Playa Tamarindo – Costa Rica
Home > Blog > Travel Costa Rica > How do you get to Tamarindo, Costa Rica?

How do you get to Tamarindo, Costa Rica?

Tamarindo is the biggest vacation hotspot on Costa Rica’s northwest Pacific Coast. Once a quaint fishing village, the beachfront town today offers some of the country’s best eco-adventures, surfing, and lodging.

As a top destination in Costa Rica, visitors have several options for getting to and around the area. Tamarindo is easily accessible by well-paved roads that connect it to the mainland and the Nicoya Peninsula.

We all want to get the most from our vacation time. The following guide explains your transportation options when visiting Costa Rica.

How to get to Tamarindo from San Jose, Costa Rica

The Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) is Costa Rica’s biggest and most popular port of entry. Its central location near the capital city offers easy access to the country’s most frequented destinations. There are several options for getting to Tamarindo from San Jose airport. 

Driving to Tamarindo, Costa Rica

There are two main driving routes to Tamarindo from the airport SJO. The fastest is to take Route 27 to Puntarenas, followed by Route 1 to Limonal. Then,  Route 18 across the Puente de la Amistad bridge. From there, take Route 21 through Nicoya to Route 155 and Tamarindo.

If you’re flying into the Liberia Airport LIR, visiting Tamarindo is even easier. To get from LIR’s Adobe office at the airport to Tamarindo, take Route 21 southwest to Belen then Route 155 to Tamarindo. The drive is 77 km and takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

How to get around in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Renting a car is by far the most convenient. Experiencing all the country has to offer is best with a rental car. There are several car rental companies to choose from. But few offer the security and convenience Adobe does.

Adobe Rent a Car is Costa Rica’s largest and longest operating rental car company. We are Costa Rican-owned and know Costa Rica’s roads and visitors’ needs better than anybody. All of our cars are expertly maintained and less than two years old.

You can pick up your rental car at the airport by taking our free shuttle to our Adobe SJO airport office. From there, the drive to Tamarindo is 254.2 km and takes 4.5 to 5 hours.

How to get from San Jose, Costa Rica, to Tamarindo with a private or shared shuttle

If you’re not interested in driving, there are other options for getting from San Jose to Tamarindo. Shared and private shuttles from San Jose and Liberia are readily available. Their travel times range from 5 to 6 hours. 

The shuttle will usually stop in Santa Cruz, a charming town not far from Tamarindo. Other shuttle services operate out of Liberia and other main tourist destinations.

One downside to shuttle services is that they can get expensive if you travel with multiple passengers. Once you arrive at your final destination, you’ll still need to arrange alternative transportation. 

Flights from San Jose and Liberia to Tamarindo

Another option is to fly from San Jose to Tamarindo. Daily flights are available from both the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) and the Daniel Odúber International Airport (LIR). 

The flight time from LIR is only 20 minutes, making it the fastest option for getting to Tamarindo. Flights from SJO take approximately 45 minutes.

Once you arrive at Tamarindo Beach, the best way to get around is by rental car. If you didn’t rent a car at the airport, you can easily rent a car in Tamarindo. Our car rental Tamarindo, Costa Rica Adobe Tamarindo office is in the nearby town of Conchal. 

Having a car will allow you to explore the surrounding area and visit nearby beach towns such as Playa Conchal and Playa Flamingo.

Traveling to Tamarindo by public bus

Traveling using Costa Rica’s public bus system is the cheapest way to drive from San Jose to Tamarindo. Bus schedules vary depending on the season. However, several bus companies offer direct and indirect services daily. For times and prices visit the Tralapa, Alfaro, or Transporte Inteligente websites.

While public buses are inexpensive, they can be timely. Try to find a direct bus service which will cut down on travel time significantly. It’s also best to reserve your tickets ahead of time to ensure availability.   

Some long-distance bus services do not pick up passengers at random bus stops. You must board the bus at a central bus station in downtown San Jose or Liberia.

Frequently asked questions:

What airport do you fly into to go to Tamarindo?

You can fly into either the SJO or LIR international airports. Getting to Tamarindo is the fastest from LIR.

How far is Tamarindo, Costa Rica, from the airport?

From SJO Airport driving to Tamarindo takes approximately 4.5 to 5 hours, depending on traffic. From LIR Airport, drive time is approximately 1:45 to 2 hours.

Is Tamarindo closer to Liberia or San Jose?

Tamarindo is closer to Liberia, Costa Rica.

Is Tamarindo worth visiting in Costa Rica?

Tamarindo is one of the country’s most popular destinations. The town offers a variety of lodging options and dining venues. And its outdoor activities make it the perfect place to enjoy Costa Rica to the fullest.

Should I rent a car to visit Tamarindo?

Tamarindo is surrounded by beautiful beach towns easily accessed by car. It is also a short distance from the country’s volcanoes. Hot springs and adventure sports are big draws at Costa Rica’s volcanoes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *