My friend and I are planning a 2-week trip to Costa Rica in October. Would love to hear thoughts and recommendations re: the following itinerary. Our main concerns are:
1. Can we actually count on buses and jeep+boat+jeep to get from one place to another?
2. Is it better to go back every time to San Jose or does it make sense to move directly from one spot to the other?
3. Does it make sense to finish in relaxing time in Manuel Antonio, if we’re looking for beach time, surfing (beginners) etc?
Day 1 (Tuesday): Arrive at San Jose
Day 3 (Thursday AM): Take bus to Arenal
Day 5 (Saturday AM): Take jeep + boat + jeep to Monteverde
Day 9 (Wednesday AM): Take bus to Manuel Antonio
Day 13 (Sunday AM): Take bus back to San Jose
Yes, that plan makes sense to travel between the destinations directly. You can definitely count on the bus and “jeep-boat-jeep” but the bus is quite slow so you will have to have patience. Many times the bus doesn’t connect directly between destinations so you will have to make connections. Try the bus schedule website. It is usually fairly accurate. If you want to make the travel quicker, you could take a shared shuttle service like Interbus. We offer a discount if you book 2 or more shuttles with them. You can check it out on our discounts page. It will be nice to end with beach time in Manuel Antonio. It will be the height of the rainy season in October but can still be sunny on some days, especially in the morning.