Monteverde Getting There
From San Jose: $6; departures at 6:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m daily.; 4.5 hours. Departs from Calle 14 and Avenida 11 and 9. Tel: 2645-5159/2645-5644
From San Jose, the drive to Monteverde takes approximately four hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. A high-clearance 4WD vehicle is recommended year-round due to the potholed, gravel roads. Take the Interamerican highway (Route 1) north, following signs to Liberia. Continue past the entrance to Miramar and pass the El Caballo Blanco restaurant on the right. At the Rancho Grande gas station, turn right. Stay on this road for a few miles until you reach the town of Sardinal, where you turn left after the soccer field. Follow this road, which turns to gravel and turn right, following signs to Santa Elena and Monteverde.
Shuttle companies such as Grayline and Interbus offer door-to-door service between most major tourist destinations. Comfortable, air-conditioned buses seat 10 to 15 passengers and have a bilingual driver. There are both morning and afternoon departures for Monteverde daily, and costs average $45 per person, each way.
From the international airport or downtown San Jose, transportation via private mini-van is available. Most companies charge between $130-$190 each way (up to four guests), and provide a bilingual driver. This option is more expensive, but allows you to set your own schedule and enjoy the scenery en route to Monteverde.
Horse: When arriving from Arenal, tourists may choose to travel via horseback. Several area companies will outfit the trip ($80-$100 per person), usually combining horseback trail rides with Jeep travel. Be aware that trails may be very steep and possibly dangerous; always use discretion when choosing a tour company, treatment of the horses is usually proportional to the price of the trip. It's better to avoid this journey during the rainy season (May-November).
Taxi-Boat-Taxi: The transportation method of choice for those traveling to or from Arenal, the fun taxi-boat-taxi route saves time and energy. Costing around $30 per person, the land-lake-land trip lasts three hours, a welcome alternative to a half-day car ride. Mini-vans depart Arenal at 8:30 a.m. daily for the scenic trip to Monteverde.