Costa Rica by Bus

Someone recently asked me about getting around the country by bus and I think I referred them to the Bus Schedule website which lists all of the option when you type in the “From” and “To” spaces on that website with all bus companies included.

Well, I forgot about an even better help beyond schedules, the Facebook Group Page Costa Rica by Bus on which you can post a question (may have to join group first) and some of the many people who travel by bus will share their experiences and advice. And of course they also recommend the bus schedule site above. And by the way, that bus in photo above is the one I took to Turrialba.

I plan to go to a birding lodge near San Isidro del General in May, so anticipate my report on that bus experience then. I use the bus almost weekly to go from Atenas to Alajuela for many different reasons and have gone to San Jose by bus many times. Some of my other bus adventures have been (with links to photo galleries):

All of this was to simply say that you can travel on a “shoestring budget” and see a lot of Costa Rica whether you live here or visiting. Buses are cheap here! That is the way most Ticos travel! And you can do it without the Spanish language, though much easier and a richer experience if you speak at least a little Spanish.

Now, as a retiree who has made seeing all of Costa Rica my main activity, I do not do everything the budget-way and love to go the longer distances on Sansa Airlines or to places less than 3 hours from Atenas by my favorite driver here in Atenas, but I do not have a car and have basically quit renting cars because of the high insurance cost, thus seeing Costa Rica by bus is one option I still use when I consider it the most practical way. The next bus report comes in May!   🙂

“Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets”    ~ Oscar Wilde

I just realized that I did a similar post in 2017, Seeing Costa Rica by Bus   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Tenorio Park & Rio Celeste

Charlie Doggett crossing Rio Celeste 
I sure have a lot of “Jungle Fun” for an old man! Its why I’m here!
Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica 
Welcome Sign 

Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica 
They are known for Tapirs (the image) but we saw none. 
We did see 5 Peccaries (like wild hogs), probably a family.
And photos below of 3 other animals.

Merging of the Waters 
2 streams merge & their minerals mix & turn the water blue. Fun!

30 meters upstream from the bridge photo above. 
Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Trailhead to Waterfall I Missed 

Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Strong winds had knocked some trees over trail. Closed all 3 days there.
It was interesting to learn that Bomberos (Firemen) would clean it up. 

And yes, some people went around the yellow tape anyway. Not me.
Sendero Cerrado – Trail Closed

And Every Tree is a Work of Art! 

Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Brown Wood Turtle 

Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

White-nosed Coati 

Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Yellow-eared Toucanet 

Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Yes, Much of Trail was this Muddy! 

Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
I always take two pairs of hiking shoes & one is still drying from cleanup!

You may be asking how it could be so wet when you are still in the “Dry Season.” Well, in a cloud forest like this it is always humid, misty, and sometimes raining, year-around. Maybe more so during the rainy season. Same goes for the coastal rainforests, while we in the Central Valley have two very distinct seasons. That is why the majority of the population lives in the Central Valley.


History of Gallo Pinto (beans & rice in Costa Rica)

Starbucks Coffee Farm in Costa Rica

Another Reason to NOT have a Car in Costa Rica  (Besides the high cost)

Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!   (Dry Season problem around the world!)

Another Trip Planned Ahead Today – For September

Hotel Banana Azul,  Puerto Viejo de Talamanca,
South Caribbean Coast, Costa Rica

Popular or “good” hotels and lodges stay booked sometimes up to a year ahead, so even though I live in Costa Rica, I too have to plan ahead even in the “off season” which most say includes September. Though I have also read that the best time to visit the Caribbean Coast and its year-a-round rainy season is August and September when they have the lowest amount of rain all year. Thus my last two trips to the Caribe have been in either August or September and I’m staying with that plan for this year too. Both of the other times I studied hotels and wanted the Banana Azul Adults Only Hotel and they had no vacancy. Well, this year I planned far enough ahead and got in! And don’t let the adults thing confuse you. Not XX adult, just peace & quiet adult. Most hotels in CR emphasize families and lots of families come! And often dozens of kids dominate the space and the sound waves. So this will be interesting! And maybe quiet, though they do allow age 16 and older.  🙂

They have already, within 2 hours, put me in contact with a local guide service that will take me to some new and different birding locations not seen last year. So I’m hoping for more new species! The Caribbean side of CR is not as popular as the Pacific beaches, with fewer tourists, smaller hotels, and a much quieter, calmer beach and jungle to explore. My kind of place! And snorkeling is better but not surfing.

And I have my public bus schedule printed out already. I will be traveling to three of my next four locations by public bus, really cheap as a senior adult. And even my small plane trip to Drake Bay is cheaper than a rent car. Even though I now have a CR Driver License, I will rarely rent a car. And I’m so glad I did not buy a car! You can literally go anywhere in the country on a bus! And for my local friends or others who may want to see Costa Rica by bus, you need to know about this website for bus schedules in English:   or “Travel Planner” as they call it. Cool! Easy! You pay before boarding bus. Of course it helps to know a little Spanish, since most drivers speak little or no English, but they are exceptionally helpful and will do everything possible to get you to your destination. Lots of brave foreign travelers tour the country by bus, especially young singles and us old singles!  🙂

My birding trips scheduled for balance of 2017 now:

MARCH: Tenorio Volcano National Park with Celeste Falls and visit to Caño Negro, Rio Frio.
MAY: Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park Rainforest + island visit for snorkeling
JULY: Return visit to Rancho Naturalista near Turrialba Volcano, east of Cartago.
SEPTEMBER: Puerto Viejo on the South Caribbean Coast and rainforests.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER: Not planned yet. I’m debating with myself about either returning to Tortuguero (North Caribbean) or exploring some new places on the Nicoya Peninsula or another National Park southwest of Cartago, called Tapanti. So much to see and do!

A lot of trips? Yeah! Isn’t that what retirement is suppose to be? A continuous vacation!   🙂

KIND OF FUNNY: Most of you know that I have geckos living in all of my rooms now as my free pest control service – eating virtually all of my insects! I rarely play a CD but tonight I played the one I have of a Costa Rica Rainforest sounds with birds, insects, waterfalls, etc. It really excited the geckos!  🙂

See all my Costa Rica Photo Galleries at:
Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA