The regular bus line offers daily public transportation from San Jose to Tamarindo. Buses depart at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. from the Alfaro Terminal in San Jose (aslo known as “La Coca Cola”) located at the intersection of Avenida 3 and Calles 14/16. The trip takes between six and seven hours and costs around US$10 (5,000 CRC)
If one would like to ride in smaller groups and with other foreigners, perhaps be little more comfortable, take a more direct mode of transportation, and are willing to pay a little more, there are several shuttle bus or transfer services that offer service. Grayline Tours and Interbus can take visitors to up to 40 destinations around the country. Usually these services can pick people up and drop them off at their hotel location. Tickets cost around US$45
You can also take a short flight from SanJose Local carriers Nature Air and Sansa operate daily flights to and from Tamarindo. Flights from San Jose to Tamarindo depart from Nature Air’s or Sansa’s terminal in Alajuela, part of the larger Juan Santamaria International Airport.
You can also rent a car and drive. Depending on road conditions and traffic, travel time between San Jose and Tamarindo is roughly four to five hours. Take the Caldera Highway (Route 27) following signs to Caldera and Liberia. Pass the Shell gas station in Limonal and follow signs to the Tempsique River Bridge (Puente La Amistad) and Nicoya; turn left here onto Route 18. Continue driving until you reach the T-intersection south of Nicoya, then turn right and follow signs to Nicoya and Santa Cruz. Drive through both towns and turn left, where you will see signs to Tamarindo. Follow signs through the town of 27 de Abril and Villareal. In Villareal turn left to arrive to Tamarindo
Travelers can take the La Pampa bus company from the Liberia bus terminal to Tamarindo.
Buses depart at 3:55 a.m.; 5:15 a.m.; 8:10 a.m.; 10 a.m.; 10:10 a.m.*; 11:10 a.m.*; 1:10 p.m.; 2:10 p.m.; 4:10 p.m. and 6:10 p.m.
This trip takes about 2.5 hours and costs US $5.00
There are several companies that offer transfer service from Liberia Airport
The trip takes about 1 hour and is roughly US $40 depending on hotel location
Taxi service is available from Liberia Airport for around US $100