Most international flights arrive in Costa Rica at the Juan Santamaria International Airport (considered San Jose Airport, or SJO), which is actually located about 20 minutes outside the city of San Jose. Anamaya is in Montezuma on the Nicoya Peninsula, in the north west part of Costa Rica. Here are the options to get to Anamaya listed in order of most suggested:
Requirements for Costa Rica
- You MUST have a passport that is valid for at least 30 days after your date of entry.
- All visitors must hold an onward or return ticket. In other words, before you arrive it is best to have a printed copy of your return flight that is scheduled with in 90 from your arrival. If you cannot provide this, you may be required to purchase a flight out of the country.
- In most cases a visa is not required for stays up to 90 days. It is required that you leave the country before this 90 days is over. Then you can re-enter the country after 72 hours.
- Please check the requirements for your specific country if you are traveling from somewhere other than the US or Canada.
- When you fly home from the San Jose airport, you will need to pay a departure tax which was just increased to $29. It can be paid in USD, CRC or most credit cards.
- Also when flying out of San Jose, you will need to go to the ticket counter even if you’ve check in on line and don’t have any luggage to check.
A beautiful way to experience Costa Rica is from the air. From San Jose it’s only a 30 minute flight to Tambor, our local airport. This costs $75-$105 (each way). There, we will arrange to have a taxi waiting for you. Then to Anamaya it’s about a 30 minute scenic ride, which costs $40 for a regular taxi (max 4 people) or $10/person for a van (5-9 people). If you don’t get a chance to arrange one with us, there is almost always one there waiting and they should know where we are located.
The airline that flies from SJ to Tambor that we recommend is Sansa.
Sansa Airline has it’s ticket office and departure area right next door to the international airport. You just go outside of the main airport to the street and turn left. Its about a 5 minute walk. Book Sansa tickets to Tambor. They also have a limited luggage allowances.
This is the more economic route to Anamaya that we are happy to book for you. It is also a way to meet other guests with whom you will be time with at Anamaya. To take advantage of this shuttle, we recommend booking your international flight to arrive no later than 1 pm on the Saturday starting your retreat. The company we work with is timely and professional. To sign up for this group shuttle, please send an email to your reservations contact person with your “arrival” time at the San Jose international airport and, of course, a request to be signed up. They will then respond with a confirmation email detailing the exact cost and cancellation procedure.
During the high season (Dec.-April) the shuttle departs SJO at 6 am and 2 pm. This costs $50 per person, which will go on your bill here at Anamaya.
During the green season (May-Nov.) the shuttle departs at 8 am (you would need to arrive by 7 am to catch this one). Sometimes it’s hard to get in this early, so if there are a few guests arriving in the afternoon (by 1 pm) it’s possible for our reservations agent to arrange a special shuttle – which would cost $60 each if we have enough guests. If this is the case for you, please check in to see if a special shuttle has already been ordered and we will be happy to help you! There are also options to book a fully private shuttle for around $300 if necessary.
It takes 1.5 hours from the airport to the ferry in Puntarenas. The shuttle driver will buy your tickets and help you board the ferry. You carry all your luggage on the boat with you. The ferry also takes 1.5 hours. Enjoy a beautiful boat ride with views of the sunset over the mountains! You will board another shuttle on the other side in Paquera, which welcomes you to our lovely Nicoya Peninsula! From Paquera, the ride is another 1.5 hours to our door at Anamaya.
To return on the following Saturday to the airport, the shuttle will pick up from Anamaya at 7am (high season) or 9am (green season) and arrive at the San Jose international airport between 12 and 12:30pm or 2 and 2:30pm, respectively. Your departure flight must be no less than 2 hours after your arrival to SJO.
For Yoga Teacher Trainings:
We will be running a special shuttle for YTT students only on both Friday afternoon (the day before Anamaya check in) at 2 pm (to Montezuma hotel of your choice) and Saturday morning at 8am (to Anamaya).
The cost of this shuttle is $60 which will go on your bill here at Anamaya.
Direct bus service from San Jose to Montezuma (Ph# 2642-0219). This bus leaves every day from the parada de San Carlos (5 cuadros al norte de iglesia de la Mercedas) in downtown San Jose at 6:00am and 2:00pm. The cost is $12 US. The bus station is a 20 min., $20 Taxi ride from the international airport. The bus trip takes about 5.5 hours total. There is one rest stop between San Jose and Puntarenas. In Puntarenas you must get off the bus and the driver will hand you a ferry ticket and a laminated card that you need to get back on the bus. Follow the bus crowd onto the ferry for a beautiful one and a half hour ferry ride. Upon crossing the gulf you will disembark in Paquera. Follow the passengers to the other side of the ferry terminal to re-board the bus and continue the journey to Cobano. In Cobano all passengers going to Montezuma switch to another bus, which takes you the final 20-30 minutes to downtown Montezuma. Please let us know your arrival time, we will have a taxi pick you up at the bus stop in Montezuma ($5-6).
If you want to rent a car and drive instead, it won’t cost much more than the shuttle if you have two or more people, but we don’t suggest it unless you have some experience driving in Central America and enough Spanish to ask for directions. It takes about 5 hours including the hour and a half on the ferry. There are not road signs, so it’s quite an adventure. Most rental companies will also rent you a GPS which helps greatly. We recommend Budget or Dollar. Caution! Many companies hide some fees, especially insurance, so be very careful. Budget is very upfront about their fees, and they have two local offices so they’re a good bet. You won’t need the car much while at Anamaya so it may be an unnecessary expense.
If you do drive, then you can get from the airport to the Puntarenas Ferry in 1.5 to 2.5 hours.
New Shortcut! There’s a new road from San Jose to Caldera, and you can use this superhighway to rapidly get to the ferry… saving up to an hour of driving time. As of this writing, there are no signs for how to do this, so follow these instructions: Drive west from the airport on the main freeway (Interamericana) until you see an exit for Atenas. Take that exit and cross over the freeway to your left. Drive for approximately 2km and turn left between a soccer field and a blue school. There is no sign here for the freeway. If you get lost, ask for “La Pista por Caldera”. Drive for 3.5km the then you’ll see an overpass. Don’t go under it but instead turn left just before the freeway, and that will take you to the onramp. Get on that and head west (right) again. It will take you to Caldera, which is the main port next to Puntarenas, and from there, drive north along the coast. You’ll pass a big development called “La Roca” and eventually you’ll pass up and over the top of the road you want to turn right onto. There’s a sign for Puntarenas, but it’s been covered with tree branches for several years, so it’s difficult to see. Loop around to the right and get onto this road, heading west again, and follow that in a straight line all the way to the very tip of the Puntarenas peninsula, and then turn right and it will curve around to the ferry line.
The ferry times are below and also shown here: Ferry to Montezuma/Malpais Area. There are two ferries. One is to Paquera and one to Naranjo. Take the Paquera Ferry, and from there, drive to the left and go to Cobano, which takes 45 minutes normally. From Cobano, turn left and head to Montezuma. From Montezuma, head south along the beach road and at Hotel Amor de Mar, you’ll see a paved road up the hill. Drive up about 1/2 km and you’ll see Anamaya’s sign on the right.
We can help you arrange to have a rental car waiting for you at the Airport in Tambor or delivered right to Anamaya for you. That way you can arrive more stress free and not have to worry about navigating the whole journey. If you do rent a car, we suggest a 4×4 since the roads here are rather adventurous.
When driving from San Jose to Montezuma or back, you will need to take the ferry (not necessary if you are coming from Tambor Airport). It takes about 1.5 hrs in total. Prices Adult: 810 colones, Kids: 485 colones, Automobiles (with driver): 11.400 colones. The ferries have an air-conditioned passenger deck complete with snack shop and restrooms, as well as a large outside viewing area. Alcoholic beverages can be purchased. We recommend getting to the ferry about 30 min before it is scheduled to leave to help make sure your vehicle gets a space on the boat. Here is the time schedule: (it changes every few months, so for the most up to date info, please call (506) 2661-2084, then press 4. It is in spanish) This one is current as of Feb 3, 2014.
From Puntarenas to Paquera:
6 am / 9 am / 11 am / 2 pm / 5 pm / 8:30 pm
From Paquera to Puntarenas:
6 am / 9 am / 11 am / 2 pm / 5 pm / 8 pm
All the way for $200-250. We can book it for you or you can just find an official taxi with an English speaking driver. This will leave from San Jose or the Airport whenever you want, but it will need to wait for the next available ferry.
Get yourself to Jaco (1 hr drive from San Jose) and then take a speedboat to Montezuma at 10:30am. If you want to go back this way, the water taxi leaves Montezuma at 9:30am. We will book it for you and give you more info.
Helicopter or private plane!
VIP Costa Rica Charter Flights (Email: [email protected] / Phone 2241-5364)
By plane from San Jose to Tambor airport (one way flight):
4 passengers plane : $457
12 passengers plane : $1265
By Helicopter from San Jose to Tambor airport ( one way flight):
4 passengers Helicopter: $1722
6 passengers Helicopter: $2750