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The Pros and Cons of Private Transportation – Liberia, Costa Rica, to Manuel Antonio

Increasing numbers of world travelers are flying into Costa Rica’s Liberia International Airport (LIR). The hub, officially known as the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, is located in the northern region of Guanacaste Province.  It’s an increasingly attractive option because of its proximity to various vacation destinations, such as the northwest Pacific Coast beaches and national parks.   

However, not all travelers that fly into LIR plan on staying in the area.  

Costa Rica is indeed a small country, but there’s a lot to do and see. Its geographic diversity is a significant factor in picking the right transportation. 

Visitors are usually surprised by the vast array of life zones and habitats they encounter. There are towering mountains and volcanoes, deep canyons, cloud forests, rainforests, and miles and miles of rugged coastline and wetlands. 

In a nutshell, getting from one place to another can take longer than expected. So, the question arises, “What is the best form of in-country transportation for visitors?” 

Liberia, private transportations

There are several travel options to choose from. The most common are car rentals, domestic flights, private transportation services, public busses, and shuttle services – the possibilities are plenty.  So, which is the right one for you?

Taking public transportation is undoubtedly the cheapest option, but it takes much longer to get from one place to another. Public busses also have limited schedules – a serious drawback for people with little time to spare.  

Apart from the public bus system, the most economical and practical form of transportation for couples or groups is renting a car. 

Transportation from Liberia Airport

The best way to get around in Costa Rica is in your own car. You have the freedom to leave when you wish, change destinations if the whim hits, and explore off-the-beaten-track national treasures. And, you don’t have to depend on taxis or your hotel’s shuttle for your daily outings.

There are dozens of car rental agencies in Costa Rica, but they aren’t all the same. TripAdvisor is packed with traveler complaints of rental agency scams, hidden fees, and exorbitant mandatory insurance rates.

We at Adobe Rent a Car guarantee our rates are upfront and reasonable. We’ll never add-on additional fees at check out that you weren’t advised of when you made your reservation.

We have close to 30 years of experience in the rental car market, and we know our customers always come first! Ask around, and you’ll find that Adobe is the most highly recommended agency around.  

What’s more, we have 15 full-service Adobe offices strategically positioned throughout the country. Wherever you go, there will always be an Adobe Rent a Car nearby to help. 

How to get to Manuel Antonio 

Manuel Antonio National Park is one of Costa Rica’s biggest attractions. Most tourists are wanting to spot wildlife and experience beautiful beaches list Manuel Antonio on their travel itinerary. 

The town and national park are on the Central Pacific Coast, approximately 167 miles (267 km) from Liberia Airport (LIR). The drive takes around 4:30 hours without stops. The same ride on a public bus will take anywhere from 6 hours or longer. 

From the San José Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), the drive to Manuel Antonio is approximately 98 miles (157 km) and takes around 2:45 hours. 

The small town is situated on the steep cliffs above the Pacific Ocean and down along the shoreline. Stunning panoramic vistas of the sea and rainforest can be enjoyed from just about every hotel. 

The idyllic Manuel Antonio National Park is located between the coastline and the steep mountainside. In 2011 it was hailed one of the top 11 most beautiful parks in the world by Forbes. Its most stunning attributes are the three white sand beaches and scenic offshore islands located within the park’s interior for most visitors. 

Professional bilingual naturalist guides can be hired to point out the park’s abundant bird, animal, and reptile species. Most carry powerful binoculars, telescopes, and tripods, making it possible to spot even the most elusive creatures hidden in the foliage. Sloths, iguanas, deer, snakes, pizotes, and at least two monkeys species are among the most commonly seen species. 

Because of the town’s steep topography and narrow winding roads, getting around requires a car, taxi, hotel shuttle, or the public bus. Walking to and from your hotel can be hot and dangerous because the main road lacks a sidewalk (for the most part). 

Shared shuttles and car service vs private transfer Liberia Airport to Manuel Antonio?

Renting a standard SUV vehicle from Adobe Rent a Car for four, such as the Hyundai Creta 4×2 Automatic or similar, runs approximately $44.50 per day during the low season and $91.50 during the peak tourist season.

On the contrary, a private airport transfer from Liberia to Manuel Antonio in an air conditioned SUV or minivan for five costs between $280 and $320 for most providers – one way. 

Sharing a ride on a Liberia shuttle bus company offering regular transfers to Manuel Antonio runs an average of $70 per person ($300 for four). The same San Jose shuttle (shared) runs an average of $55 per person ($220 for four). Shared shuttle busses don’t always offer daily service to all destinations and operate on a fixed schedule.   

La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano is another trendy Costa Rican destination for visitors. From Liberia, the trip is approximately 84 miles (135 km). Private service in an SUV to La Fortuna costs roughly $180 and transfers in a minibus around $270. 

Costa Rica, Liberia, private transportations

Visitors with a flexible budget may choose to hire private transportation, Costa Rica. There are several bilingual drivers with their vehicles that offer daily and weekly services. Their rates, however, are significantly higher and may include the cost of the driver’s lodging accommodations.  For example, one provider asks just over $1,000 for three days and over $2,015 for six days. 

Manuel Antonio transportation – In-country flights

Costa Rica has a robust network of in-country flight providers that connect Liberia and the San Jose airports to important commercial and touristic centers. Flying is by far the fastest method of transportation. That is if you don’t consider the time required for check-in before the flight.

The cost of domestic flights is another downside for individuals with a limited budget. For example, a one-way flight from Manuel Antonio to Quepos – the closest domestic airport to Manuel Antonio – is approximately $90. Consider the wait time and taxi costs to and from your hotel, and the overall price rises significantly. 

Adobe Rent a Car – Your best option when going to Manuel Antonio

There’s no arguing that renting a vehicle is the most convenient and affordable option for comfortably getting around Costa Rica.

We have full-service offices just minutes away from both international airports and nearby most domestic airports. We also provide complimentary airport shuttle service to our clients. 

When making your reservation, let us know your flight details and arrival/departure times, and we’ll arrange for your free pick-up or drop-off at the airport of your choice. 

We also offer a wide variety of affordable extras that will make your trip more comfortable. This includes infant car seats and boosters required by law for children 12 years old and younger.

Portable Wi-Fi hotspots (connecting up to five devices), GPS navigational devices, coolers, and surfboard/luggage racks can also be rented at low daily rates.

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