Directions

Santa Teresa is the perfect vacation destination. Situated on the pacific ocean, at the end of Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa is well worth the travel needed to get here.

Whether you're coming from San Jose, Liberia, or somewhere else, there are many different ways to get here. You can rent a car, take taxis, shuttles, or buses. You can also take a flight to Tambor and then taxi to Santa Teresa, and be in Santa Teresa less than and hour and a half after you leave San Jose.

Below are detailed directions for getting to Santa Teresa. Scroll down to the end of the page to see directions for how to get to Banana Beach Restaurant or Bungalows once you're in Santa Teresa.

Use the Contact Information below if you'd like us to arrange a shuttle, taxi, or rental car for you

San Jose to Santa Teresa

Local Flight Rental Car Shuttle/Taxi Direct Bus

Local Flight

nature-air-photo-hr7_cropped

  • Sansa Regional and Nature Air are two companies with multiple daily flights from San Jose to Tambor.
  • Nature Air flights depart from inside the SJO Terminal. As such, you need to arrive at check-in a little earlier.
  • Sansa Regional flights depart outside the main terminal, about a 5 minute walk from the main terminal.
  • The flights take about 30 minutes, and from there a 40 minute drive brings you to Santa Teresa.
  • You can have a taxi waiting to pick you up, or arrange to have the rental car company pick you up at the airport and take you to their office. This needs to be arranged in advance.
  • These flights are small, and fill up fast, so be sure to book in advance.
  • Remember that these flights have low weight limits, with fees for extra weight. During busy times, they may refuse to take overweight luggage, or put it on a later flight.
  • Special restrictions apply to surfboards. Contact airlines for more information.
  • We can help you arrange the flight, taxi, and/or rental car.

Rental Car

drive_croppedNote: There are four rental car companies in Santa Teresa (Toyota, National, Budget, and Alamo), so you can take another form of transportation to Santa Teresa, and then rent a car once you're in town. 
See map below for driving directions.

Step 1: Getting to Puntarenas:

Make sure to check the ferry departure times and plan your trip accordingly. Try to arrive half an hour before departure time.

During peak travel dates the ferry may fill up and you'll have to wait for the next one.

There are two possible routes to Puntarenas, which is where you need to go to catch the ferry to the Nicoya Peninsula. The ferry will take you across the Gulf of Nicoya with your vehicle, and drop you off in Paquera.

The Pan-American Highway (Carretera Interamericana Norte), or Route 1, takes about 2 hours. A newer toll road (about 500 colones per toll, there are multiple tolls) is called the Caldera Highway (Autopista del Sol), or Route 27. This road cuts the driving time to about 75 minutes from San Jose to Puntarenas.

Step 2: The Ferry:

Ferry Puntarenas - PaqueraWhen you arrive at Puntarenas, be sure to ask where the line is for vehicles boarding the ferry to Paquera (not Naranjo), and park you car there. You must purchase a ticket for the ferry at the ticket window. You will pay for the car, as well as every passenger in the vehicle. Only the driver may drive the car onto the ferry, and the rest of the passengers must board the ferry on foot. The driver can climb the stairs to the higher levels to reconnect with passengers, once he/she has parked the car on the ferry.

Step 3: Paquera to Santa Teresa:

When the ferry lands in Paquera, you will then drive to Santa Teresa (or MalPais), which will take you past Tambor and Cobano before arriving in Santa Teresa. Signs for these places, including Mal Pais, will let you know you’re going the right way.

When you get to Cobano keep going straight to go to Santa Teresa (a left turn will take you to Montezuma). Follow the signs for “Mal Pais" and "Santa Teresa”. Drive for 10 kilometers on the often unpaved road. Make sure to turn left at the 3-way junction, (you'll see signs for Malpais and Santa Teresa). If you continue straight you'll end up in Rio Negro. When you arrive at the Playa Carmen crossroads at the entrance of town, turn right to go to Santa Teresa.

Once you arrive in Santa Teresa, follow the directions below to arrive at Banana Beach.

Shuttle/Taxi

shuttle-minivan-costarica_cropped There are several ways to get to Santa Teresa using Shuttles or Taxis. We can help you arrange your transportation

Shared Shuttle:

There are several shuttle companies that provide shared shuttle service to Santa Teresa. The shuttles leave at specific times, and can pick you up at the airport or your hotel room. They will bring you to Santa Teresa and drop you off at your hotel. You may have to switch shuttles several times, and you will have to take your belongings with you on the ferry. This is because the shuttle drops you off at the ferry and another shuttle picks you up on the other end.

Private Shuttle:

You can arrange a private shuttle. It will pick you up in San Jose (either your hotel or the airport), go on the ferry with you, and drop you off at your destination in Santa Teresa. This is perfect if you have a large group. If the group is big enough, it may even be cheaper than a shared shuttle. If you want to save money, you can have one shuttle drop you off at the ferry, and another shuttle  pick you up in Paquera. You'll have to take all your belongings with you on the ferry.

Taxi:

You can pick up a taxi at the airport, or we can arrange for one to be waiting for you when you arrive. In this case, we recommend having the taxi take you to the shuttle, and then you can pick up another taxi in Paquera, since it is substantially cheaper. There are taxis waiting at the airport (as soon as you walk outside you'll be bombarded with offers of a taxi). Take one and tell them you want to go to Puntarenas (ferry in Spanish is Naviera). We can also arrange a taxi that will be waiting for you at the airport.

Uber:

I've never used it, so I can't give you specific information, but Uber has started operating in Costa Rica as well.

Contact Usfor more information.

Direct Bus

directbus_cropped Transportes Cobano is a private bus company that provides two direct buses a day from Downtown San Jose to Santa Teresa (and from Santa Teresa to San Jose as well).

The first bus leaves at 6am and arrives in Santa Teresa at about 12:30pm.
The second bus leaves at 2pm and arrives in Santa Teresa at about 8:30pm.

The bus fare is around $15 (give or take a couple dollars) per person, and includes the ferry as well (In the low season, there are times when the ferry fare is not included).

A taxi ride to the bus station from the airport takes between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on traffic, and the cost is roughly $30.00.

Visit Transportes Cobano's facebook page

How the direct bus works:

The bus departs twice a day (6am and 2pm) from the new bus terminal, Terminal 7-10. You must buy a ticket from the ticket booth inside the building before you enter the bus.

When you are ready to board the bus, show your ticket to the bus driver and put your luggage under the bus. You will receive a luggage ticket for your bags. Keep this ticket and your bus ticket. Do not discard the tickets, you will need to present your bus ticket to get back on the bus after the ferry, and you will need the luggage ticket to get your luggage.

When you arrive at the dock in Puntarenas, leave your luggage under the bus, and board the ferry. When leaving the bus, present your bus ticket to the driver to receive your ferry ticket. (There are times in the low season when the ferry fare is not included, and you will have to purchase the ticket yourself, at the ticket booth).

The bus will get on the ferry with you (There are rare occasions when this is not the case. If not, the driver will announce in Spanish that you are to take your luggage with you, and another bus will be waiting for you in Paquera). When the ferry arrives in Paquera, walk off the ferry and wait for the bus to get off the ferry. Present your ticket to the bus driver and get back on the bus.

The bus will stop in Cobano (If you're going to Montezuma, you will take the Montezuma bus from here). Sometimes the bus continues on to Santa Teresa, other times the bus will stop in Cobano, and you will take another bus to Santa Teresa. If you need to switch buses in Cobano, take your luggage off the bus, and get on the bus to Santa Teresa/MalPais.

Once the bus arrives in Santa Teresa, it will continue up the road. Tell the bus driver you want to get off at Banana Beach.

Catch the bus as it passes by the airport. for Advanced Travelers – Puente Villa Bonita (Villa Bonita Bridge):

When traveling to Santa Teresa directly from the airport, you may not have enough time, or want to spend the money for a taxi ride to Downtown San Jose. If so, there is another option, which is recommended for advanced or adventurous travelers, with at least a basic knowledge of Spanish.

At least 20 minutes after the bus leaves Downtown San Jose, it passes by Puente Villa Bonita (Villa Bonita Bridge), which is a 5 minute taxi ride from the airport. The time the bus arrives at the bridge depends on how bad traffic is. I've heard of people waiting as much as 55 minutes before the bus arrived. Traffic is heavier in the afternoon than it is in the morning.

The taxi will drop you off at a crude bus stop, next to the bridge. You'll see many people waiting for many different buses. All the different buses that pass by have their destination written on the front of the bus. The one to Santa Teresa will say something like "San Jose - Cobano", or "Santa Teresa", or "Malpais" (or perhaps even "Montezuma"). You'll need to flag down the bus as it approaches.

We highly recommend finding out if anyone at the bus station is also waiting for the bus to Santa Teresa, as they'll know which bus to flag down.

Liberia to Santa Teresa

Rental Car Shuttle Public Buses Local Flight

Rental Car

drive_cropped

Direct Route to Santa Teresa

The direct route from Liberia to Santa Teresa takes a little over four hours. The drive until Naranjo is on a paved road. From Naranjo to Paquera the route in unpaved. From Paquera to Cobano the road is paved, and then from Cobano to Santa Teresa sections of the road are unpaved. Although not strictly necessary, a 4x4 or a car with clearance is highly recommended. Because not all the turns have clear signs, we recommend using Waze or some other GPS map to make sure you're driving the correct route.

There are several ways to drive down the peninsula. There are some routes that look shorter than others, but end up taking longer, because of the conditions of the road. We recommend driving down the eastern side of the peninsula, through Naranjo to Paquera, and then on to Santa Teresa. You will pass through Santa Cruz, Nicoya, Jicaral, Naranjo, and then Paquera, Tambor, and Cobano, before arriving in Santa Teresa. (See the map below for detailed driving directions).

An easy way to make sure you're taking the correct route is to use Waze, and put the airstrip in Tambor as your destination. Then, once you've passed Tambor, use Banana Beach as your final destination.

Via Puntarenas and the Ferry

Ferry Puntarenas - PaqueraThis route will take more time, but it is easier to follow and is better if you have a smaller car (not a 4x4). See the map below for detailed driving directions.

Make sure to check the ferry departure times and plan your trip accordingly. Try to arrive half an hour before departure time.

During peak travel dates the ferry may fill up and you'll have to wait for the next one.

Drive south on the Pan-American Highway (Route 1), and turn off at the Puntarenas exit. Once you arrive in Puntarenas, the ferry will take you across the Gulf of Nicoya with your vehicle, and drop you off in Paquera.

When you arrive at Puntarenas, be sure to ask where the line is for vehicles boarding the ferry to Paquera (not Naranjo), and park you car there. You must purchase a ticket for the ferry at the ticket window. You will pay for the car, as well as every passenger in the vehicle. Only the driver may drive the car onto the ferry, and the rest of the passengers must board the ferry on foot. The driver can climb the stairs to the higher levels to reconnect with passengers, once he/she has parked the car on the ferry.

When the ferry lands in Paquera, you will then drive to Santa Teresa (or MalPais), which will take you past Tambor and Cobano before arriving in Santa Teresa. Signs for these places, including Mal Pais, will let you know you’re going the right way.

When you get to Cobano keep going straight to go to Santa Teresa (a left turn will take you to Montezuma). Follow the signs for “Mal Pais" and "Santa Teresa”. Drive for 10 kilometers on the often unpaved road. Make sure to turn left at the 3-way junction, (you'll see signs for Malpais and Santa Teresa). If you continue straight you'll end up in Rio Negro. When you arrive at the Playa Carmen crossroads at the entrance of town, turn right to go to Santa Teresa.

Once you arrive in Santa Teresa, follow the directions below to arrive at Banana Beach.

Shuttle

shuttle-minivan-costarica_cropped There are two daily shuttles from Liberia to Santa Teresa. The first one is at 8am, and the second one is at 3pm.

Certain times of the year there shuttle requires a minimum amount of people to make the trip. If they tell you that the shuttle won't run unless they have 2 people and you are traveling alone, we recommend buying 2 tickets in order to take the shuttle, since it is still cheaper than a taxi.

Contact us if you'd like to book the shuttle.

Public Buses

Public Bus from Liberia to PuntarenasIt is a long journey and we don't recommend it, but it is possible to take public transportation to Santa Teresa. It takes a long time, and at the end you might end up paying just as much as a shuttle.

If you arrive on an afternoon flight, you may only make the last ferry of the day. It is important to note that the last public bus from Paquera to Cobano is at 5pm, so if you take the last ferry, you'll need to take a taxi to Santa Teresa.

The bus station closest to Liberia Airport is La Radial, and you’ll need to take a taxi from the airport. In the bus station, find the bus to Puntarenas, which leaves every hour. The tickets should cost about $15.00, and the duration of the trip is roughly 3 hours.

The bus will drop you off at Cruces de Barranca, where you will need to take another bus to get to Puntarenas. The bus will drop you off in Puntarenas Downtown. You will be dropped off some distance from the ferry. (each bus to Puntarenas stops somewhere else, and the distance from the ferry depends on the bus you took). From there, you can take a taxi which might be up to a couple kilometers.

Once you arrive at the ferry, purchase your ticket to Paquera, take the ferry to Paquera (and not Naranjo). Then take the bus to Cobano or Montezuma. Get off at Cobano and take the bus from Cobano to Santa Teresa.

If you arrived on the last ferry of the day, you'll need to take a a taxi. If you split the fare and negotiate a little bit, 5 passengers in the same shuttle can arrive here from Paquera for $10.00 each.

Local Flight

There are now direct flights from Liberia to Tambor. These flights are not available every day. More information coming soon. Meanwhile, you can contact us if you have any questions.

Other Options

Water Taxi Shuttle

Water Taxi

taxi-boat-services-montezuma-jaco-zumatours1-croppedZuma Tours offers a great alternative way of getting to Santa Teresa.

The Zuma Tours Water Taxi leaves Herradura Beach (just north of Jaco) every day at 11am, weather permitting. It arrives in Montezuma about an hour later. Zuma Tours will arrange a shuttle to pick you up from may places in the area (such as Manuel Antonio, Jaco, and Alajuela - where the airport is), and bring you to Herradura.

Passengers often see dolphins and other sea creatures on the way.

Once you arrive in Montezuma, Zuma Tours takes you by shuttle to Santa Teresa.

  • Reservations must be made in advance.
  • You will get your feet wet, entering and exiting the boat.
  • There is a weight limit for luggage
  • Surfboards and boxes have an additional fee.

Shuttle

shuttle-minivan-costarica_cropped There is extensive shuttle service throughout Costa Rica. You can usually get anywhere you need to by shuttle service. It often involves switching shuttles on the way, but it is all organized and arranged by the shuttle service.

Departure examples include: Tamarindo, La Fortuna, Arenal, San Jose, Manuel Antonio, Dominical, and more.

Contact us and we can help arrange shuttle service for you.

Directions to Banana Beach

Banana Beach Bungalows Banana Beach Restaurant

Banana Beach Bungalows

Entrance to Banana Beach BungalowsWhen entering Santa Teresa, turn right (north) at the crossroads at the entrance of town.

Drive north 1 kilometer. You'll see signs for Banana Beach Restaurant. Continue along the main road past those signs. The next left you'll see signs that say "Banana Beach Bungalows". If you pass The Green World Organic Market (on the right) you've gone too far.Banana Beach Bungalows Reception

Turn into the driveway by the signs and keep left. You'll see the Banana Beach Bungalows Reception.

Reception hours are generally 9am - 5pm. If you plan on arriving outside that time frame, please let us know in advance, so that we can make arrangements.


If you need our address, it is:
Banana Beach Bungalows
1km norte del cruces
Santa Teresa, Puntarenas
Costa Rica, 60111

Banana Beach Restaurant

When entering Santa Teresa, turn right (north) at the crossroads at the entrance of town.

Drive north 1 kilometer. You'll see signs for Banana Beach. Turn left (towards the ocean) at those signs. Drive to the end of the Beach Access Road. Banana Beach will be on your right.

Here's the destination in Waze.


If you need our address, it is:
Banana Beach Restaurant
1km norte del cruces
Santa Teresa, Puntarenas
Costa Rica, 60111

Maps and Driving Directions

Driving Directions Liberia to Santa Teresa
Liberia to Santa Teresa
Driving Directions for San Jose to Santa Teresa
San Jose to Santa Teresa