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Flying into San Jose Airport (SJO)
Many North and Central American airlines offer direct flights to San Jose from their major hubs. We found that most major airlines offer consistent fares year-round, with Avianca offering by far the best service and value. Exceptionally low fares are sometimes offered on Southwest Airlines, United, Jet Blue or WestJet. Although airfares on Spirit Airlines may appear very attractive, we strongly suggest that you consider alternative carriers, to ensure you offer yourself the best chance for a great start and end of your vacation.
If you plan to arrive at La Selvatica on the day of your flight you will generally have to chose a flight landing in San Jose no later than 2pm. Similarly, if you plan to depart La Selvatica on the day of your flight, your flight should depart San Jose at 2pm or later.
Airport to La Selvatica
This is one of the favourite ways of transportation for travellers, due to convenience. Several companies offer transportation to and from the airport (or hotel) in air-conditioned minivans, directly to our gate. One way rates vary from $52 to $59/passenger. To note: Pleasure Ride is the only service which offers pick-up directly at the airport. The other providers offer pick-up at a restaurant outside of the airport (5 minutes taxi ride from the airport).
For on-line shuttle booking and detailed information, please visit our Online Services page.
Buses from San Jose to the Puerto Viejo area depart from Terminal Atlantico Norte in downtown San Jose. Upon arrival at the airport, you can choose of the following options to get to the terminal:
- taxi: axis are readily available outside the terminal. Note that there are two types of taxis: orange (licensed for airport, available immediately as you exit the terminal, more expensive) and red (licensed for the city, available on the road just behind the airport parking lot, less expensive). The cost of a trip downtown is approx. $22 (red) or $32 (orange) and takes approx. 25 minutes. In San Jose, all taxis are required to have a meter.
- public bus: budget minded and more adventurous travellers can catch one of the frequent direct city buses right outside the airport going downtown San Jose (buses run 24/7, less frequently after midnight). The trip cost approx. $1 (you have to pay in local currency) and takes approximately 25 minutes. Get off at the terminus stop, which is located on Avenida 2 downtown. The bus is safe and reliable. When off the bus, catch a taxi and ask the driver to take you to Terminal Atlantico Norte. The taxi ride will take approx. 10 min and cost $4 (2200 colones, metered).
There are 5 daily buses you can take from San Jose to the Puerto Viejo area:
- buses leaving at 6am, 10am, 2pm and 4pm from San Jose to Sixaola; you would get off the bus in Puerto Viejo and catch one of the taxis awaiting at the bus stop to La Selvatica. The bus trip takes approx. 4.5 hours and the taxi to La Selvatica another 10 minutes. Costs: bus approx. 5000 colones ($10) plus taxi 4000 colones ($8). This is the most convenient way of getting to La Selvatica by bus and is recommended to first time travellers who prefer public transportation.
- the bus leaving San Jose to Manzanillo at 12 noon can take you all the way to Playa Chiquita, 3 minutes walk from La Selvatica; however, this is only recommended to travellers who know the area and will be able to ask the driver for the specific drop-off location (in front of the El Duende Gourmet Store).
Bus tickets cannot be reserved in advance online, but can be purchased from the ticket office at the bus terminal up to 24 hours before the trip. For departures on weekends or busy holidays, it is recommended to arrive at the bus terminal 1 hour prior to your bus departure to ensure you will be able to reserve your seat.
Car Rental & Driving Directions
Seven global car rental companies have offices at the airport in San Jose. For an updated list of options, please visit this link: Car Rental at SJO Airport. Our guests have had positive experiences with the following car rental companies: Vamos, Tricolor, Service. When searching for a car rental quote, ensure that the cost of any mandatory and optional car rental is included. Using a premium credit card for car rental booking may help offset some of the mandatory insurance (CWD) costs.
Driving directions: We are pinned on Google Maps as La Selvatica Costa Rica. Driving directions details can be found here. Option 1 is the best - it actually is easier than it sounds! Once you reach Puerto Viejo, stay on the same road which goes through town, and continue to drive toward Manzanillo. Playa Chiquita is approx. 6km/4 miles (10 min drive) after you exit Puerto Viejo (you will first drive through Cocles, then Playa Chiquita is next). Keep an eye out on your right hand side for El Duende Gourmet grocery store, where you will see our sign ("Casas La Selvatica") pointing you up a small gravel road. Keep right on that road for 20 seconds and you will see our entrance.
White River Rafting
Our collaborator Exploradores Outdoors offers an adrenaline filled rafting trip from San Jose directly to La Selvatica. There is one daily departure at 6am (you would have to spend the night in San Jose). The tour operator will pick you up at your hotel and drive to a river exploration center where you will embark on a 4 hour descent on Pacuare River. You will then be driven directly to La Selvatica. Lunch is provided and your luggage is safely transported while you are on the raft. A description of the trip can be found here. The trip can be booked on our Online Service page.
For many of our travellers, this is a highlight of their vacation!
Domestic flight: San Jose - Limon
For a quick way of getting to La Selvatica from San Jose, local airline SANSA operates daily fights from San Jose International Airport to Limon airport (located approx. 60km from La Selvatica). The flight duration is only 30 minutes and approximate cost is $70 USD + tax/one way. Upon arrival, the trip can be continued with a pre-booked shared shuttle or with an airport taxi (cost of taxi can be very high). Shuttles are scheduled according to the flight schedules, cost $22/person and the travel time from the airport is approx. 1 hour.
Flights are operated with small Cesna Grand Caravan aircraft, and consequently the luggage allowance is restricted to one checked baggage of up to 30lbs./14kgs and one carry on of up to 10lbs./4.5kg.
Flights can be booked directly with the airline on www.flysansa.com. Please let us know if you'd like us to book the airport shuttle on your behalf.
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