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Transportation to and from San José Juan Santamaría Airport


What is the distance from San José Juan Santamaría Airport to the centre of San José?

The distance from the airport to the centre of San José (Plaza de la Cultura) is 18 kilometres / 11.2 miles, the journey time is approximately half an hour.

From SJO Airport to San José City centre by Taxi
18 km
25 min
CRC 15000.-


Public transport

Bus to San José and Alajuela

Although most tourists opt for a taxi, it is possible to travel by public transport from the airport to San José and Alajuela. The bus stops at San José Juan Santamaría Airport can be found along the main road (Public Bus Station Airport) behind the parking garage, go to the left and walk around the garage. Buses depart in both directions (“ambos sentidos”) from the bus stops at the airport. At the front of the bus, you can see in which direction the bus is heading, to be completely sure you can ask the bus driver. There are a couple of bus services running to and from the airport, Grupo TUASA (red white buses) and Station Wagon (yellow orange buses) are the most used.

Buses of Grupo TUASA run every 6 to 12 minutes from San José Juan Santamaría Airport to San José and Alajuela, every day of the week between 04:00 hours and 22:00 hours. Travel time to San José Bus Terminal on the north side of Parque de la Merced is 30 to 40 minutes, it takes 20 minutes to get to Terminal TUASA in Alajuela. Tickets are available on board the bus, the price is 675 CRC (1.10 USD) for a single journey. You do not have to pay extra for luggage. You need Costa Rican colon to pay for your ticket, keep in mind that the bus driver usually does not have much change. You can withdraw cash at the ATMs in the Main Terminal. Please consult website Grupo TUASA for more information.

Discover and book tickets, activities and tours:



San José: Guided City Bus Tour With Lunch & Welcome Drink

Discover the city of San José in the comfort of a double-decker bus. Visit museums, parks and the main shopping streets, then enjoy a typical Costa Rican lunch in a local restaurant.


San José: La Paz Waterfall Gardens Half-Day Tour

Explore the beautiful Vara Blanca, just one hour from San José. Get to know more than 110 species of wild animals in a wildlife refuge. Discover the five highest waterfalls in Costa Rica.


Monteverde: Suspension Bridges, Sloths, and Butterflies

Explore all the hidden gems of Monteverde Cloud Forest. Begin your adventure with the amazing Treetop Suspension Bridges, followed by the beautiful Butterfly Garden, and Sloth Sanctuary.



San José: Guided Volcano, Waterfall & Coffee Farm Day Trip

Discover the majestic Poás Volcano and visit La Paz Waterfall on a day trip from San José. Enjoy lunch along the way and stop at a coffee farm before heading back to San José.


San Jose: Irazú Volcano, Cartago City & Orosi Valley Tour

Visit the summit of the highest active volcano in Costa Rica, at an elevation of 3,432 meters, followed by a visit to the city of Cartago and the Orosi Valley.


San Jose: Walking Nature Tour with Sloths, Birds, and Trees

Guided by passionate biologists, discover a hidden ecosystem in the middle of the city. See native sloths, birds, butterflies, and variety of plants and insects living wild and free. Join a small group tour on the grounds of the University of Costa Rica.

Tours and transport

Tour & transport

From San Jose: 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion

Visit one of the most important destinations in Costa Rica on a guided tour. Explore a beautiful natural paradise, tour the famous Tortuguero Canal, and see diverse flora and fauna.

Tour & transport

San Jose: Tortuguero Park Day Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

Spend the day discovering the luscious landscapes of Tortuguero National Park. Explore this vibrant rainforest, see native wildlife in its natural habitat, learn about the local ecosystem, and enjoy a delicious Costa Rican breakfast and lunch.

Tour & transport

San José: Night Food and Culture Tour with Dinner

Experience the lively nighttime vibe of Costa Rica’s capital on a shared group or private tour of San José alongside a local guide. End the night with a traditional dinner with wine or beer tastings.


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