La Fortuna
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Private car transfer
from San Jose to La Fortuna

  • Door-to-door in 2 h 40 min
  • From ... per seat
  • Professional driver
  • Sanitized vehicles
Risk-free

Cancel 24 hours before departure for a full refund

Trip Information

Pick-up

Your driver will meet you at your address in San Jose.

  • Door-to-door service
  • Help with your luggage

Trip

You’ll travel in comfort for 2 h 40 min.

  • Optional sight-seeing
  • Clean, comfortable car
  • Professional driver
  • Bottled water
  • Child seats
  • Prepared for handicapped
  • Smoke-free
  • Pet friendly

Drop-off

Your driver will drop you off at your address in La Fortuna.

  • Door-to-door service
  • Help with your luggage
In total
  • 131 km
  • 2 h 40 min

Visit these sights on the way

Overview: Car Trip from San Jose to La Fortuna

You might have just arrived at the airport in San Jose or might be leaving the capital after enjoying it for some time. In either case, traveling from San Jose to La Fortuna will be a refreshing journey into the thick green of Costa Rica from the modern capital. The distance from La Fortuna from San Jose is 80 miles (130 km) and both private car and shared shuttle rides take around three hours without stopping.

Aside from the comfort and convenience of riding door to door, one of the benefits of taking a private car from San Jose to La Fortuna is sightseeing! There's the delectable Britt Coffee Tour, where you can learn about the history of Costa Rica’s delicious coffee, how it is made, and even how to prepare it at home through a guided tasting. From this delightful experience, you can move on to a nice trip into the jungle. Los Chorros Waterfalls are located in the heart of a lush park and are reachable on a walk along a jungle trail. Or wander among tropical plants from around the world at the Else Kientzler Garden.

And in between these stops, be prepared to be amazed by the fantastic scenery the roads of Costa Rica offer before your driver drops you off at your accommodation in La Fortuna.

About La Fortuna

Located in Costa Rica's Northern Highlands, La Fortuna is one the best destinations to enjoy Costa Rica's natural beauty. The lush rainforest climbing the slopes of Arenal Volcano feels worlds away from the bustle of San Jose, even though it's just a 2.5-hour trip.

The heart of La Fortuna is a vibrant park with colorful gardens with a white church in the center. In these streets around the central plaza, there are local restaurants where you can try Costa Rican food, tour operators in case you’d like to set out into the jungle, and many shops.

While the town is charming, what makes La Fortuna so special is the Arenal Volcano, which dominates every view from every angle. Standing at a lofty 5,358 feet (1,633 meters) above sea level, it really is the star of the town. La Fortuna is also famous for its hot springs and waterfalls. As a result of an eruption of another volcano called Chato, the nearby La Fortuna Waterfall was formed, and is a very popular attraction. Hot springs are scattered throughout La Fortuna. With temperatures ranging from 30 to 50 °C, they're the perfect place to relax after a day of hiking. With its small-town vibes and tropical surroundings, La Fortuna is guaranteed to leave you mesmerized.

From San Jose to La Fortuna: Travel Tips

Traveling from San Jose to La Fortuna is a dream trip for many. Follow these travel tips to make sure yours doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

Be ready for rain

Because of its tropical climate, La Fortuna sees a lot of rain. Bring good shoes that can stand against the mud, water, and puddles. We also recommend having a lightweight rain jacket or poncho for sudden showers. Packing a waterproof sunscreen is a lifesaver when you are enjoying the hot springs of La Fortuna as the sun can get strong during the day despite the rains.

Beware of mosquitoes

La Fortuna sits smack in the middle of Costa Rica's jungle. The wet weather makes it prime real estate for mosquitos, so expect to be pestered. Mosquito-proof clothing is a good idea, but repellent is almost a necessity. Local travel guides recommend ParaKito natural bug repellent.

Currency and payments

The Costa Rican colón is the local currency, but US dollars are widely accepted in tourist areas. Keep some cash with you for small purchases and visits to local markets or shops that don't accept credit cards.

Stop for sightseeing

Whether it’s your first time in Costa Rica or your 100th, there’s always something new to see or do. Use the drive from San Jose to La Fortuna as an opportunity to explore more of this beautiful country and make your trip even more memorable.

How to Get from San Jose to La Fortuna

There are several ways to get from San Jose to La Fortuna including taking a bus, driving, booking a private door-to-door car, or a shuttle transfer. Which one is best for you depends on your preferences.

San Jose to La Fortuna by bus

Taking a public bus from San Jose to La Fortuna is the cheapest option. The tickets can be purchased for 2,600 colones which is around $5 US. However, the bus does have several drawbacks. The bus is slower, taking around 4 hours to get to La Fortuna. Also, tickets are not available online so you'll need to buy them at the station. The bus departs only once a day at 8:40 AM, so you should be at the station an hour early to make sure you secure a ticket. Finally, the ride can be a bit uncomfortable considering the bus can be filled with up to 70 people and goes through hot and humid conditions.

San Jose to La Fortuna by a shared shuttle

Taking a shared shuttle to La Fortuna is the best balance between budget and comfort. It's faster than the bus, taking just 3 hours, and you'll be in a comfortable air-conditioned van with 7 people rather than 70. The shuttle departs at 7:45 AM and 1:00 PM, so you can travel in the afternoon instead. And to relieve a lot of stress, you can book tickets in advance online. Prices range from $42-$80 US depending on the season and demand.

San Jose to La Fortuna by rental car

If you plan to travel around Costa Rica and like being in complete control, you can rent a car and drive yourself from San Jose to La Fortuna. The drive takes between two to three hours depending on the traffic in San Jose. It might take longer than what your GPS shows you since you'll probably want to make some stops and will be driving more carefully than the local drivers who are used to the sharp turns and curves of the roads.

San Jose to La Fortuna by private car

The most convenient and relaxing way to travel from San Jose to La Fortuna is by booking a door-to-door private car service like Daytrip. You don't have to stress about driving on foreign roads or catching (or missing!) a bus, and instead can just sit back and enjoy the views as you ride door to door. And unlike public transportation, you leave whenever you want and can stop for sightseeing. It's still economical, especially if you're traveling in a group with prices starting from $32 US per person.

Things to Do When You Get to La Fortuna

After smoothly traveling from San Jose, there is a tropical town filled with things to do when you get to La Fortuna. La Fortuna offers countless activities, hikes, walks, and nature excursions that will make you consider becoming a tropical hermit.

Explore the Arenal Volcano

Although Arenal Volcano will watch over you throughout your stay in La Fortuna, you cannot miss exploring the volcano closer. Hike the Arenal Volcano National Park or Arenal 1968 Trail, each of which will take you over decades-old lava flows to get closer to the volcano. Another trail to take is called Mirador El Silencio which will take you to an almost eye level with the volcano’s peak. If you’d like to see the volcano from another perspective, you can also visit the Arenal Observatory. The observation deck offers some fantastic views for anyone with limited mobility.

Relax in the hot springs

After a day of hiking, spending a long afternoon in the hot springs of La Fortuna is a once in a lifetime experience that no one should miss. The heart of La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano, heats the springs with its thermal energy. There are several different ones with varying temperatures so you can choose the one that suits you. Resorts such as EcoTermales and Tabacon are among the most popular.

Don’t skip the hanging bridges

16 bridges are scattered around the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, which gives you a perfect vantage to watch the birds, snakes, monkeys, and other park inhabitants as they go about their jungle business. The bridges are high off the ground and can swing in the wind, so this might not be the best activity if you're afraid of heights.

See the jungle at night

A really unique thing to do in La Fortuna is to take a night tour of some of the parks. Experiencing the jungle and observing its exotic animals at night is an entirely different experience than exploring during the day. Much of Arenal's wildlife is nocturnal, so there's a whole other world to get lost in.

When’s the best time to visit La Fortuna?

Thanks to its location, Costa Rica has a tropical climate all year round and experiences only two seasons; the dry season and the wet season. The dry season, from December to April, gets the most sunshine. But it's also the high season and is when most people visit. The wet season is also called the rainy or the green season and lasts from May to November. Both seasons are great for discovering La Fortuna if you plan accordingly.

The wet season is cooler with sunny mornings and rainy afternoons - perfect for taking an early hike and then relaxing in the hot springs. In mid-July there's a break in the rain that locals call “el veranillo de San Juan”. If you visit La Fortuna during this period, you will enjoy the gorgeous summer weather. Both seasons are warm enough to have a tropical getaway with temperatures varying between 20 to 25°C.

Questions & Answers about Traveling from San Jose to La Fortuna

The distance between Galway and Dublin isn't as far as you might think. Depending on the route you take, the distance between these two beautiful Irish cities is 116 miles, taking an average of two hours and 34 minutes by train with no stops along the way. If you travel by bus, the length can vary between two and a half and three hours. In contrast, traveling by car is the fastest option, with the trip taking a little over two hours.
Whether taking a train or bus from Galway to Dublin is better will depend on your budget and travel preferences. If you are strapped for cash and don't mind a slower transit time, then the bus would be the better choice. However, traveling by train will be preferable if you want to get to Dublin quickly and in comfort and don't mind spending slightly more on a ticket.
The easiest and most comfortable way to get from Galway to Dublin is by private car service Daytrip. Daytrip offers door-to-door services, ensuring you're fetched at your accommodation in Galway and taken to your hotel in Dublin. In addition, Daytrip also offers sightseeing stops if you choose, and the cars are comfortable and well-maintained.
There are many places you can stay in Dublin if you're traveling from Galway. With more than 714 accommodation options, you're spoilt for choice as there is a place to suit everyone's budget. From backpacking hostels to luxury hotels and cozy bed and breakfasts, Dublin's accommodating personality extends to its accommodation.
There are several options you can choose from depending on your preferences. Buses are economical but are often crowded and take 4-5 hours. Shared shuttles are slightly more expensive, but are more comfortable, have air conditioning, and are able to be booked online. Renting a car is a flexible option if you plan on exploring more of Costa Rica. A private and door-to-door car service like Daytrip is the most comfortable and convenient option, letting you travel door to door and stop for sightseeing.
La Fortuna is an absolutely great destination worth visiting. It offers stunning views of Arenal Volcano, natural hot springs, adventure activities, the chance to see wildlife unique to Costa Rica, and authentic Costa Rican culture.
Prices vary depending on which car you choose and the demand but you can expect to pay something between $160 to $240 US. The prices are for a private vehicle, so for a group of 7, this comes out to under $35 per person.
Two days allow for a highlight tour, including Arenal Volcano National Park and hot springs one day, plus a waterfall and adventure activity the next, but a longer stay is recommended for a fuller experience.
A car offers more flexibility if you want to visit distant sites, but it's possible to get around La Fortuna using taxis, shuttles, or tours for the major attractions. You can even bike to more local attractions.
Absolutely. One of the biggest advantages Daytrip offers is that you can enjoy the stops on the way, and take your time exploring them while your driver waits for you. It is also guaranteed that your driver will be local and can give tips about these stops.

Why people love Daytrip

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  • 4,764 travelers took this route with us

Vehicle options for this trip

Most popular

sedan

Sedan

Comparable to aVolkswagen Passat
Passengers and luggage
  • 1-3
  • 3x
  • 3x
  • Clean
  • Comfortable
  • Air conditioned
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Child seats
  • Pet friendly
  • Smoke-free
From ... per seatSelect

Best reviews

suv

SUV

Comparable to aToyota RAV 4
Passengers and luggage
  • 1-2
  • 2x
  • 2x
  • All standard sedan features
  • Upgrade to larger vehicle
  • Chauffeur-style service
  • Extra amenities
From ... per seatSelect

More options

mpv

Compact MPV

Comparable to aVolkswagen Touran
Passengers and luggage
  • 4
  • 4x
  • 4x
From ... per seatSelect
van

Van

Comparable to aMercedes Vito
Passengers and luggage
  • 5-7
  • 7x
  • 7x
From ... per seatSelect

The Daytrip driver advantage

Daytrip driver
  • Local knowledge about the route from San Jose to La Fortuna
    Including available sights:
  • English speaking*

    All Daytrip drivers speak English* as well as their native language (and sometimes additional languages too!). They'll be happy to discuss local history and culture with you, as well as answer any questions you may have. And because they speak the language, they're able to provide you with a unique opportunity to connect with local culture. *Drivers for Lite service aren't required to speak English but must meet all other standards.

  • Safety first!

    We screen all our drivers for criminal and traffic records, and personally interview each one. We also inspect their cars for safety, comfort, and reliability. All cars must be less than ten years old, in excellent operating condition, and insured as required by local law. And because our drivers are locals, they're familiar with the rules and customs of the road.

Book today - it's risk free!

You can cancel your booking up to 24 hours before departure and get a full refund.

World-class customer support

  • Available 24/7
  • Close relationship with drivers
  • Experts on the route from San Jose to La Fortuna

Flexible cancellation policy

  • Cancellations: 100% refund up to 24 hours before the trip!
  • Changes: Free up to 24 hours before the trip!

Good to know

Children

If you’re traveling with children, make sure to let us know in the booking so we can get the appropriate child seats ready!

Pets

Pets are allowed (and loved)! We just need to know beforehand. You can tell us about them in the next phase of the booking.

Tips

Gratuity isn’t included or required, but if you really enjoyed your trip, you can show your driver your appreciation with an optional tip (10% is sufficient).

Luggage

  • Big luggage
  • 29x21x11 inches
  • 74x53x28 cm
  • Small luggage
  • 22x14x9 inches
  • 56x36x23 cm

Each passenger is allowed to have one checked bag and one carry on. If you’re traveling with more bags or oversized luggage, you can adjust this while booking.

Payment methods

Pay by credit card online, or in cash directly to your driver!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions, here are the answers.

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