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*This information is current as of November 16th, 2015
There are two international airports in Costa Rica from which you can reach us. Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), is near the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose. 2 people per year confuse San Jose, Costa Rica with San Jose, California and wind up having a much less fun vacation...try not to be that guy. The other airport is the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR). Reaching us from either takes close to the same amount of time.
Considering the lack of road signs and the vast array of options from these airports, getting to Cabuya can be a bit complicated. Our recommendation is to allow us to help you arrange your incoming trip. Approximate cost will be $15-$230 depending on your time of arrival and the amount of people traveling with you. Please keep in mind that this cost is not included in our program fee.
For booking your flights to Costa Rica, consider that, with the exception of workshops, our programs begin on Sundays with accommodations after 12 pm (check in) and end with check out on Saturday by 11am. Classes are held Monday through Friday.
We strongly encourage, and will be happy to help you to arrange, the "Easiest" or "Fastest" options as they leave the least amount for error.
There are two companies which offer a 30 minute flight from San Jose (SJO) or Liberia (LIR) to the Tambor Airport (TMU), 45 mins. from Cabuya.
Flights cost $22-$129 plus tax plus additional charges for luggage weighing over a certain amount.
From Tambor, you'll need a $50, 45 min. taxi. Please allow us to arrange your taxi to make sure you get the fair price from a trusted driver who knows where to drop you off. Also, if our surf van is available, we can pick you up for $40 instead.
Sansa Air and Nature Air
Both airlines leave directly from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) as well as the airport in Liberia (LIR). We recommend that you arrive at least 2 hours before your connecting domestic flight.
Main Differences between airlines:
For Nature Air info and availability, please check http://www.natureair.com/
**Important Note** Your flight must arrive 2 hours before any shuttle departure and any time before 4:00 pm if scheduling a chartered shuttle for the same day.
Includes shuttle from the international airport (SJO) to a hotel in Alajuela (where the international airport is located), lodging, breakfast and shuttle to La Escuela Del Sol the next morning:
For the shuttle pack, you may arrive at any time in the evening and you will depart the following morning by van. The hotel will pay your cab fare from the airport once you arrive.
This service has been discontinued.
By Bus From SAN JOSE
There is daily, direct service between San Jose and Montezuma through Transportes Rodriguez (Tel. (506) 2519-9973; (506) 2642-0992). The trip takes approximately 6 hours, including a 1.5 hour ferry ride from Puntarenas to Paquera. The cost is approximately $15. Once in Montezuma, there are buses to Cabuya ($1.50) every 2 hours until 4:15pm. If arriving later, you will have to take a taxi ($14) from the center of town to reach us. Having a fair handle on Spanish is essential or you may miss a changeover and get lost.
If planning to take the bus, you'll need at least 3 hours between your international flight arrival and the public bus departure. With this option, you must first take a public bus ($1) or official (red or orange color) taxi (approx. $25) from the SJO airport to the bus station: "la nueva terminal de los buses a Montezuma" located at "Avenidas 7 y Calle 8, Contiguo al antiguo cine Libano". From there, you will take the escalator to the 3rd floor to buy tickets for the bus headed to Cobano, Mal Pais, Santa Teresa and Montezuma. You will be making a stop in Puntarenas to hop on the ferry. After enjoying the views of the Gulf of Nicoya from the upper deck, your bus will meet you on the other side to bring you to Montezuma. Stay on your toes because you will have to change buses in Cobano for Montezuma. Once in Montezuma, take the 12:15pm or 4:15pm bus to Cabuya or, if arriving later, take a taxi ($14).
Buses depart at 6:00 am and 2:00 pm. Make sure to call ahead for any schedule changes (happens often). Reservations are not available, so arrive early for tickets, which may be bought on the 3rd floor of the bus terminal.
By Bus From LIBERIA
There is no direct bus from Liberia to Cabuya but there are local buses. Connections are not timed so it may take you all day (or two!). If you don't speak fluent Spanish, this is not a recommended way to travel.
If you rent a car in San Jose or Liberia, the car rental company should provide you with an adequate map (be sure to ask if they haven't!). You may also request GPS navigation for additional cost, although be warned that these devices cannot tell the difference from roads in good or poor condition and may lead you toward uncrossable rivers in the rainy season. It would be better to have the route highlighted for you on a physical map before you begin your drive. For those of you who have your phones activated and are able to receive internet, you want to use the Waze App. This app will give you real time hazzards as reported by other users and reroute your trip so that you may reach us in the safest and fastest way possible.
Autopista Del Sol from SAN JOSE:
This is the fastest route from San Jose to the Puntarenas. Once there, follow signs for the Paquera Ferry (schedules at http://www.navieratambor.com). Kick back and enjoy the views for an hour and a half until you reach the ferry dock. After you return to your car, you will follow signs for Tambor and then Cobano. Turn left at Cobano and follow signs to Montezuma and finally to Cabuya. The whole trip should take approximately 6 hours.
Driving from LIBERIA:
Be sure to ask for directions and a map from your car rental company. The best route for all seasons is to follow signs in order toward Nicoya, Jicaral, Playa Naranjo, Paquera, Cobano, Montezuma and finally Cabuya. The trip should take about 4.5 hours.
**Note on driving in Costa Rica**
You will encounter many unpaved and quite bumpy roads along the way. In addition, there may be a difference in road quality between the dry season (Nov-Apr), the green season (May-Aug, Nov) and the rainy season (Sept-Oct). During the green and rainy seasons especially, we recommend that you drive a 4x4. Also note that road signs are often missing or hidden behind fast growing trees or bushes. Be on your toes if driving. You may want to splurge on a GPS device to keep you going in the right direction, but be warned that as of yet, these devices will not warn of uncrossable rivers. If you don't have a smart phone with internet access in CR, a good strategy is to follow a physical map with your route highlighted by your rental agent. But the best method of all would be to use the Waze app on a smart phone, which will not only point you in the right direction, but also report in real time any road hazzards and reroute you accordingly.
By Taxi From SAN JOSE
It's possible to find a taxi any time you land to reach us within 6 hours. A door to door taxi from the airport will cost $250 one way. Another option is to take a $100 taxi to the ferry and meet another taxi for $60 on the other side which we can arrange for you, or the $3 bus which awaits every ferry. If you don't mind carrying your luggage on the ferry, this is a better budget option.
Your flight must land by no later than 5pm to take either of the previously mentioned taxi options since you'll have to connect with the last ferry at 8:30pm.
If landing later, we can try and find a taxi which will cost $300 or more depending on what time you land and who agrees to drive. They will drive the long way around, which skips the need for a ferry and takes about 6 or more hours (depending on road conditions). You'll want to arrange this with us ahead of time (preferably a week or more in advance) if you decide to do it at all. We recommend spending the night in SJ and taking the shuttle or domestic flight the next morning, but if you're really anxious to get here, this is an option.
By Taxi From LIBERIA
A door to door taxi from the airport will cost $250 and take 4-5 hours.
Once In Cabuya
If traveling by bus, ask to be dropped off at the next right hand turn from Super Chicho. From there, walk west (away from the ocean) for 700 meters. You will see our sign on the left hand side. If traveling by shuttle or taxi, be sure to give them the following address:
La Escuela Del Sol/Rainsong Sanctuary
Del Super Chicho
100m al sur
700m al oeste
Cabuya de Cobano
Commuter flights run from Tambor Airport ($40, 45 min. taxi from Cabuya) and take approximately 25 minutes.
When applicable, SANSA NOW OFFERS DISCOUNTED TICKETS TO OUR STUDENTS. You may obtain the discount by first finding flights at http://flysansa.com and then emailing
, stating that you are a guest of La Escuela Del Sol and that you would like your discount. Discounts do not apply for certain dates.
You may also want to check http://www.natureair.com/ for available flights.
Keep in mind that Sansa flies to SJO International Airport whereas most Nature Air fly to an airstrip 30 minutes from SJO and offer shuttle service to the international airport for an additional $20. Both airlines fly to LIR but may layover in SJO first.
Direct buses leave from Montezuma to San Jose each day at 6:00 am and 2:00 pm and make a stop at the international airport (SJO) on the way to San Jose. The trip is approximately 6 hours. There are no direct buses to Liberia. To reach Montezuma, you may take a taxi in the morning or taxi or local bus in the afternoon.
The same rates apply as above. To SJO, shuttles leave Cabuya from Dec 16th - April 30th at 6:30 am and 2:30 pm and arrive around 1-2 pm and 9-10 pm. From May 1st - Dec 15th, shuttles leave Cabuya for SJO at 8:30 am and arrive around 2-3 pm. The shuttle pack is also available to stay the night in Alajuela, near SJO.
To LIR, regular shuttles leave Cabuya at 6am and 8am and arrive around 11am and 1pm respectively, for $55 per person. Private shuttles are available on your schedule for $230 for the first 4 passengers and $15 for each additional person up to 11.
By Boat and Shuttle Package to San Jose
Shave off 2.5 hours from the trip by taking this transfer package. A boat will take you from Montezuma to Herradura where a shuttle will be waiting to take you to San Jose. Boats leave at 9:30 am and arrive around 12:30 pm at SJO International Airport. It costs approximately $85/person with a 2 person minimum. You may also take the boat and find a bus from Jaco to San Jose to save money. Speed boat costs $40. Buses cost around $10. Schedules vary but buses depart as frequently as every 2 hours.
To San Jose, follow signs out of Cabuya towards Cobano, Tambor and Paquera. Take the ferry to Puntarenas and continue driving towards Caldera, then San Jose. Be very careful to follow signs. To Liberia, follow signs to Montezuma, then Cobano, Paquera, Naranjo, Jicaral, Nicoya and finally Liberia.