SJO airport is not located in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, but in a city right next to it, called Alajuela. Located about 20km from downtown San Jose, the journey takes approximately 35 minutes without traffic congestion. It's simple and easy to get from SJO to San Jose by various means of transport. You have as many as five different options. Bus from SJO to San Jose is your cheapest option. However, depending on your circumstances you might want to choose one that suits you most.
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Listed in the order from the cheapest to the most expensive options.
1. Bus From SJO To San Jose
To get a bus, you need to exit the airport, cross the street toward the parking lot, turn left and follow the sidewalk around as it skirts right. You will end up on the main street. Stay on the same side of the road as the airport and walk about 20 meters and you’ll see the bus stop and people waiting.
All buses have signs on the front with the name of their final destination. You need to catch the one with ‘San Jose’ written on it, but be sure to confirm with the driver. There are different bus companies. The most popular one is red bus Tuasa. They run frequently, approximately every 10 minutes in the hours between 4:30am and 11pm. Sometimes the bus will make few stops on the way. The Tuasa bus final stop is the Tuasa terminal on Second Avenue near Marced Park.
The bus fare costs around 500 colones ($1). You buy the ticket from the driver as you enter the bus, It’s better to have colones than dollars. Although some bus drivers accept dollars, but they will give you change back in colones. This can be more expensive as they use their own exchange rate. It’s easier and better to have local currency ready. You can take cash out from one of the ATM’s available at the airport terminal.
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