It’s just two or so hours to get to Jaco from Costa Rica’s capital and this is a great beach town to head to. There are plenty of water activities here, hiking too and bird watching. There’s great scenery, in this beach town in the provinces of Puntarenas that’s just 100 kilometers (62 miles) from San Jose. There are a variety of transport options for this route and this guide covers whether you’re going from San Jose to Jaco or Jaco to San Jose. We cover the best way to go from San Jose to Jaco, as well as the different options for traveling to Jaco from San Jose Here’s our guide on how to get to Jaco from San Jose
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BEST WAY TO TRAVEL
The easiest way to go from San Jose to Jaco is to take a shared shuttle. No need to hike to the bus station, get door-to-door transport in air-conditioned comfort.
Where is Jaco
Jaco is about 2 hours drive from Costa Rica’s capital city, San Jose. By road, it’s about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from San Jose, and it’s even closer if you’re coming directly from the San Jose International Airport. Jaco is Costa Rica’s closest beach destination to San Jose and it’s a popular weekend getaway, so if you’re traveling at the end of the week you’ll want to pre-plan and prebook your transport.
How to Go from San Jose to Jaco – Transport Options
In this guide on how to go from San Jose to Jaco, we’ll cover the fastest way to travel go from San Jose to Jaco, the easiest way to go to Jaco from San Jose, and the cheapest way to get to Jaco from San Jose. Just about the only way you can’t get to Jaco is by train, but all other options are on the table! Our guide on the best things to do in Jaco is here.
How to get to Jaco from San Jose
For transport from Jaco to San Jose, then you have several options. Firstly, and the most popular, you can rent a car and drive. You can take a private transfer to Jaco from San Jose, a large bus, or a shuttle. There are lots of options to choose from. Let’s start with the most popular was to go to Jaco from San Jose. Driving
Renting a Car and Driving from San Jose to Jaco
If you’re planning on driving, then you’ll want to plan your route so that you’re driving during daylight. Expect dusk in Costa Rica at around 17:30 all year round. In Costa Rica, we recommend using Discover Cars to get a quote for all the major rental car providers.
Driving to Jaco from San Jose takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours. The quickest way is to take Calera Route 27, then exit to the right on Route 34, towards Orotina. There are signs directing you to Jaco. You’ll need to pay tolls, which are about US$5.
This is a quick and easy drive from San Jose, if you’re renting a car, check with your rental company before you leave home to see if you need an international driver’s permit (most people don’t), but you can review all the things you need to do before you come to Costa Rica here.
Buses leave throughout the day from Terminal 7-10 in downtown San Jose – they usually go every two hours. The bus from San Jose to Jaco takes about 2 hours and you’ll need to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure time to buy a bus ticket. Longer at weekends and holidays.
The best option is to book with Transportes Jaco, which runs this route four times a day from 07:00 until 19:30. You can buy tickets at the terminals, but it’s easier to buy tickets online here.
If you’re buying tickets in person, then you’ll need to go to the second floor of the bus station to buy tickets for the route from San Jose to Jaco, and there’s also a waiting room here. Your bus will leave from the first floor. (Tickets for other destinations are sold on the third floor). Tickets cost around US$5.
You can see where the 7-10 Terminal is on our map of bus stations, later in this article. The bus arrives in Jaco at the north end of town, near the Banco de Costa Rica and the Best Western Hotel. This is also where it departs from for the return journey.
Bus boarding starts about 15-20 minutes before departure time, but you should be able to see the details on the monitors around the bus station. This is the cheapest way to go from San Jose to Jaco.
For a LOT more comfort take a shared shuttle from San Jose to Jaco. This is the most popular way to go from San Jose to Jaco and shared shuttles include air conditioning, pick up from your hotel in San Jose and drop off at your accommodations in Jaco. These shared shuttles take about 2 hours and you have a choice of departure times. These shuttles do book up quickly, so you’ll want to select your preferred options asap and book it.
The earliest departure is at 04:30 and the latest departure is at 17:30. You can check the times of the shared shuttles to Jaco here.
Map of Bus Stops and Transport options for going from San Jose to Jaco
You can also see the transport stops from San Jose to Jaco here
The quickest way to get from San Jose to Jaco
The quickest way to go from San Jose to Jaco is to drive, your second quickest way is to take a shuttle to Jaco.
The easiest way to go to Jaco from San Jose
The easiest way to get from San Jose to Jaco is to get a door-to-door transfer, with either a private transfer or a shared shuttle. Compare the prices here.
The cheapest way to go from San Jose to Jaco
The cheapest way to get to Jaco from San Jose is to take the bus– and you can reserve your seats on the cheapest option.
Popular Routes Around Costa Rica
Here are our guides to some of the popular routes around Costa Rica.
- How to go from La Fortuna to Monteverde
- How to go from Monteverde to Nicaragua
- How to get from SJO Airport to San Jose
- How to go from San Jose to Manuel Antonio
- How to go from San Jose to Tamarindo
- How to go from Puerto Viejo to Cahuita
- How to go from San Jose to Jaco
- How to go from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna
- How to go from San Jose to Puerto Viejo
- How to go from Puerto Viejo to Tortuguero
- How to go from San Jose to La Fortuna
Travel Tips for Exploring Costa Rica
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
- Arriving by air? Arrange your airport transfer with Welcome Pickups.
- Make sure you have the right plug adapter for Costa Rica.
- Book the best Costa Rica tours and guides on GetYourGuideand Civitatis
- Save money in Costa Rica with a Wise debit card
- Book Buses in Costa Rica with Bookaway
- Book accommodation in Costa Rica with Booking.com
Final Words on How to Go from San Jose to Jaco
The route from San Jose to Jaco is short, quick, and easy. However this is a popular route, especially at weekends and holidays, so you’ll want to prebook your planned departure times and make sure you can get a seat. Pick the cheapest way to travel or a shared shuttle. If you’re planning on seeing some of the rest of Costa Rica – perhaps some of these unique places, then renting a car is a super option.
Stock images in this article are courtesy Deposit Photos.
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