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Are you thinking about using shared shuttle services to get around during your trip? Great choice! Here’s everything you need to know about shared shuttle services in Costa Rica.
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General info, vehicle types, and passenger capacity
Shared shuttle services are one of the most common modes of Costa Rica transportation. They offer transportation in an air conditioned tourist van that typically seats 8-12 passengers. The service type is shared with other travelers and is not private to your particular travel group.
Most shared shuttle services offer direct transfers, which means they don’t make impromptu stops along any route. Most shared shuttle services provide a scheduled bathrooms stop, however.
Shared shuttle services connect Costa Rica’s most popular destinations. The following list is non-exhaustive, but it provides an idea of the types of places shared shuttle services travel to:
- The country’s two international airports located in Alajuela (San Jose) and Liberia.
- Popular inland destinations such as La Fortuna / Arenal, Monteverde / Santa Elena, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, and Rincon de la Vieja.
- Popular coastal destinations including Papagayo, Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa, Brasilito, Playa Flamingo, Tamarindo, Samara, Tambor, Montezuma, Santa Teresa, Puntarenas, Jaco, Quepos / Manuel Antonio, Dominical, Uvita, Sierpe, Cahuita, and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
Carry-on luggage is kept with you at your seat. Checked luggage is stored at the back of the vehicle or secured above the vehicle. According to the policies of the shared shuttle service provider you book with, there may be a limit to the amount of luggage you can travel with. Large items, such as surfboards, may require payment of an additional fee.
Children and pets
Reduced rates for children are usually offered. Children up to the age of twelve travel with a car seat. If your family does not plan to travel with a child car seat, one (typically free of charge) can be requested through the shared shuttle service provider.
Pets (with the exception of guide dogs) are not permitted in shared shuttle service vehicles.
Shared shuttle services are reasonably priced. Exact prices vary by route but generally fall in the $40-60 range (shared shuttle services to far-flung locations can run closer to $90). Transfers are priced per person, per one-way service.
Shared shuttle services have set departure times. Depending on the degree of popularity of the route you are interested in, one or two departure times may be available per day (typically one in the morning and sometimes another in the afternoon). Departure times are set by the shared shuttle service provider and are nonnegotiable.
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you used shared shuttle services in Costa Rica? What did you think?