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SJO to city - taxi, Interbus, or local bus?

SJO to city - taxi, Interbus, or local bus?

Old Apr 10, 17, 1:52 pm
  #1  
H_X
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Join Date: May 2009
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SJO to city - taxi, Interbus, or local bus?

Good afternoon, I'm flying into San Jose in a few weeks. I arrive around 12 noon. My first night is in San Jose, because I'm joining an organized tour there.

I've heard that if I take a taxi, I'm supposed to prepay a flat rate at the airport. I've also heard that it's according to the meter. Which is it - flat rate or meter?

Has anyone been on Interbus? Do I have to book in advance or can I just show up at their counter in the airport and buy a ticket?

I read that the local bus drops off at Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Merced. From there it's about 3/4 mile, mostly along Paseo Colon to my hotel. Is it safe to walk that route? I'll have a wheeled bag and a backpack. I'm more concerned about being pickpocketed or mugged, than I am about traffic. Would it be safe to take a taxi from there to my hotel?

Thank you!
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Old Apr 10, 17, 6:34 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
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Airport taxis are metered. You'll pay $25-30 to a hotel on the west side of the city. The drivers congregate as you exit customs. That's the option I'd take.

The local bus stops at the airport but it's a regular commute bus, not really an airport bus. There's no designated place for bags. The terminal is in a dodgy part of San Jose. I'd never walk that route between the terminal and your hotel with a bag. You'll be too conspicuous.
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Apr 12, 17, 12:04 am
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Official airport taxis (orange) use meter. You can pay with cash or card to the driver at the end of the ride.

Regarding the walk from the bus terminal to your hotel, my biggest concern wouldn't be the traffic, nor crime, but RAIN. April is the first month of the wet or green season, so it's highly likely that you'll see rain every afternoon. But if it's not raining, I'd walk, it's very common to see people with baggage around that area because a major bus terminal is near there (Coca-Cola Bus Terminal), so you see tourists and locals hauling their bags down Paseo Colon, it's a very safe area as well (the actual Paseo Colon, DON'T take other streets). Pickpocketing is not big issue in Costa Rica.
Buses don't have a designated baggage area, BUT you can place your baggage in the handicap area, which is usually in the middle of the bus.
ariel_sjo is offline  
Old Apr 19, 17, 6:57 pm
  #4  
H_X
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Join Date: May 2009
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Taxi - Somewhere I read that it's about 30 USD from the airport into the city. How much is it customary to tip (how many dollars)?

Local bus - What's the current fare? Is it exact change only, like in the USA? Does the bus stop anywhere else in the city, or only at the terminal? Are there taxis waiting at the terminal? What are the rates in San Jose (minimum and per km)?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 22, 17, 7:42 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
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The public bus makes a lot of stops. As I said above, it is not a dedicated airport bus. It's the local bus between San Jose and the city of Alajuela and back that just happens to stop at the airport. (The airport is just outside of Alajuela.) The fare should be around $1 (between 500 and 600 colones). Drivers can make change. If you pay in dollars, have singles. They're not going to change a large bill for you.

You don't need to tip taxi drivers. It's nice to do so if they help you with your bags. The orange airport taxis are officially the only ones allowed to take you from the airport. You'll see the drivers as you exit customs. Elsewhere in Costa Rica, taxis are red.

I think the taxi is your best option. Seriously, I think this plan to walk several blocks to your hotel is a bad idea.
SJOGuy is offline  

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