How to get from Monteverde to Tamarindo

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What to expect when visiting Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a popular surf town on Costa Rica’s northwest Pacific coast. This once quiet fishing village has risen to popularity thanks to the surf waves of Playa Tamarindo, Playa Langosta, and its many other beaches.

Tamarindo is where tourists come to play and party, but it’s never crowded enough to take away the fun.

There is also a quieter side for families. Watch leatherback sea turtles lay eggs at Playa Grande, go kayaking at Tamarindo Estuary, or just lounge on your beach of choice.

How to travel from Monteverde to Tamarindo

You have 3 options when travelling the 160 km from Monteverde to Tamarindo: a 3-hour minivan, a 3-hour private transfer, or an 8-hour bus. Rates range from $11 (7,000 CRC) to $182 (110,000 CRC).

3 ways to get from Monteverde to Tamarindo (Sorted by popularity)

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Minivan3 hours$45 (27,000 CRC)Check tickets
Private Transfer3 hours$182 (110,000 CRC)Book a private transfer
Bus8 hours$11 (7,000 CRC)Read article for more info

We recommend taking the minivan from Monteverde to Tamarindo if you’re travelling with one or two people. The minivan is a direct option with fares starting from $45 (27,000 CRC), including free hotel pick-up and drop-off.

Travelling in a group? A 5-seater taxi costs $182 (110,000 CRC) from Monteverde to Tamarindo. When you travel in a group, a private ride can be more cost-efficient than a shared minivan.

We don’t recommend taking the bus from Monteverde to Tamarindo unless you’re on a budget. You will need to take 4 buses and travel for around 8 hours (that includes the waiting time for your connecting transfers). With combined fares from $11 (7,000 CRC), it is a more budget-friendly option compared to the minivan or taxi.

New to Tamarindo? Our compact Tamarindo guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss, and many more tips for your visit to Tamarindo!

Where to stay in Tamarindo?

Still looking for accommodation? Don’t forget to check out our favourite places to stay in Tamarindo at the bottom of this page.

Compare travel itineraries from Monteverde to Tamarindo

Monteverde to Tamarindo by Shared Minivan

Duration: 3 hours
Cost: $45 (27,000 CRC)
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: $45 (27,000 CRC)

We recommend getting a minivan from Monteverde to Tamarindo for solo travellers. This convenient shared shuttle takes only about 3 hours. You can get a minivan ticket for $45 (27,000 CRC).

The rate of the minivan may look expensive compared to the low-priced bus ride, but comes with the advantage that you can travel door-to-door from Monteverde to Tamarindo. If you travel by bus, you’ll have to take 4 buses just to complete this supposedly short journey.

You can choose from two companies when travelling by minivan from Monteverde to Tamarindo, RideCR or Interbus. Both companies include free hotel pick-up and drop-off.

Minivan schedule from Monteverde to Tamarindo

Minivan OperatorScheduleCosts
RideCR07:45-10:45$45 (27,000 CRC)
Check Van Tickets
Interbus09:00-13:30$65 (39,000 CRC)
Check Van Tickets

Because there are only 2 minivan trips available daily, we recommend buying your tickets online a few days in advance for a good chance of securing a seat. If you’re travelling during the busy season or on a weekend, it wouldn’t hurt to book at least a week ahead.

You can book your tickets via BookAway, which offers the best rates for minivans operating between Monteverde and Tamarindo.

Monteverde to Tamarindo by Private Transfer

Duration: 3 hours
Cost: $182 (110,000 CRC)
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: $182 (110,000 CRC)

When travelling in a group, a private transfer will be a better option than the shared minivan..

With BookAway, rates for a 5-seater car start from $182 (110,000 CRC). Split the cost and it’s only $36 (22,000 CRC) if you are travelling in a group of 5 people.

You can ask your hotel to arrange a taxi or book a private transfer online. We recommend booking a ride with BookAway because they offer more spacious cars that come with professional drivers.

Book a Private Transfer with BookAway

Monteverde to Tamarindo by Bus

Duration: 8 hours
Cost: $11 (7,000 CRC)
Duration: 8 hours
Cost: $11 (7,000 CRC)

On a budget? Travelling by bus in Costa Rica isn’t always convenient or straightforward, but at least it offers a budget-friendly alternative compared to the more expensive minivans.

For this route, there are no direct buses from Monteverde to Tamarindo. You’ll have to take 4 buses and travel for about 8 hours. This is more than double the amount of time compared to the 3-hour minivan ride, but the tickets won’t cost you much more than $11 (7,000 CRC) for the total journey,

TIP: Be mindful of your luggage when taking a bus in Costa Rica. Don’t leave your bigger bags until they’re safely inside the compartment below the bus, and make sure to get your luggage ticket! Keep all your valuables in a smaller bag that you can put on your lap. Your bag’s safer where you can see it than on the overhead bin.

If you are travelling on a budget, here is how to travel from Monteverde to Tamarindo by bus:

Step 1: Monteverde to Tilaran by Bus

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: $4 (2,000 CRC)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: $4 (2,000 CRC)

First, you’ll take a bus from Monteverde to Tilaran, a town located 50 km northwest.

Transportes Monteverde Hermanos Soto operates only one trip for this route daily. This bus departs at 07:00 in the morning. Try to be at the bus station at least 30 minutes prior to departure time to make sure you can get a seat.

A bus ticket costs around $4 (2,000 CRC) and travel time takes around 2.5 hours.

Buses depart from Monteverde Bus Terminal and arrive at Tilaran Bus Station.

Step 2: Tilaran to Cañas by Bus

Duration: 40 minutes
Cost: $1 (1,000 CRC)
Duration: 40 minutes
Cost: $1 (1,000 CRC)

Next, you’ll travel further west to the town of Cañas. Buses depart from the same station you arrive at, which is Tilaran Bus Station.

Reyna del Campo is the sole bus operator for this route. Their buses are available almost every hour from 05:00 to 20:00. You shouldn’t have a hard time finding their blue and white buses at the terminal.

The bus journey from Tilaran to Cañas takes around 40 minutes. Ticket prices start from $1 (1,000 CRC).

Buses park at La Cañera Bus Stop in Cañas.

Step 3: Cañas to Liberia by Bus

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: $3 (2,000 CRC)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: $3 (2,000 CRC)

From La Cañera Bus Stop, you will once again travel northwest, about 50 km to Liberia.

Reyna del Campo is also the main operator for this route. Their buses are available every hour from 04:30 to 19:30. A ticket costs around $3 (2,000 CRC) for the 1-hour journey.

You can also travel with Tralapa and Colorado de Abangares, although their buses do not depart as frequently as those of Reyna del Campo.

You are to get off the bus at Liberia Bus Terminal.

Step 4: Liberia to Tamarindo by Bus

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: $3 (2,000 CRC)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: $3 (2,000 CRC)

Finally, from Liberia Bus Terminal, you’ll have to transfer to another bus bound for Tamarindo, located 80 km southwest.

Buses for this route are available every 2-3 hours from 05:00 to 18:10. You can choose from 3 bus operators: Transportes La Pampa, Tralapa, and Transporte Inteligente de Guanacaste.

You should arrive in Liberia around noon. This will be a good time to take a lunch break because the next bus will not be departing until 14:10. Make sure to confirm the schedule at the terminal before leaving to get food.

The bus trip from Liberia to Tamarindo takes around 1.5 hours. Fares start from $3 (2,000 CRC).

Buses arrive at Tamarindo Bus Station, which you can find in the town centre, just a few hundred metres from the beach.

 

Our favourite places to stay in Tamarindo

Les Voiles Blanches - Treating yourself

Tamarindo is full of luxury resorts, and Les Voiles Blanches is one of the top. There are a number of beautiful pools scattered around the property, so you’ll be able to find your own private oasis.

The hotel offers both normal hotel rooms and tent-style rooms. Don’t worry, there’s no slumming it, they’re more like luxurious wooden cabins. Every room has its own terrace, but there’s also stunning communal areas to relax in.

  • Multiple swimming pools
  • Unique style rooms
  • Super attentive staff
  • Home-made breakfast available

Double rooms start from $80 per night

Read More

 

Ten North Tamarindo Beach Hotel - Treating yourself

Ten North has a huge array of room options, ranging from a double room, all the way to 2 bedroom apartments. The pool is a pretty good highlight of the hotel, but it’s the staff that steal the show. They are incredibly friendly and just love to help you with anything that they can.

The rooms boast a rustic and bright vibe that feels very homely. You won’t want to spend too much time in your room as there’s so many places around the hotel to chill and relax. All whilst being surrounded by nature.

  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Incredibly friendly staff
  • Beautifully decorated rooms
  • Range of room sizes to accommodate everyone

Double rooms start from $80 per night

Read More

 

Hotel Mahayana - Mid-Range

In a touristy destination as Tamarindo it can be difficult to find a family-run and cosy accommodation. Hotel Mahayana, is a hidden gem amongst all the hustle and bustle. The hotel owner makes you feel at home straight away and the pool is also a great plus!

All of the rooms are bright and spacious with pops of colour, giving them some life. There’s also a shared kitchen if you want to cook your own food.

  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Amazing host
  • Homely feel
  • Shared kitchen

Double rooms between $50-$80 per night

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Hostel La Botella de Leche - Budget Friendly

Offering both dorms and private rooms, you can pick the type of accommodation that suits your needs. As it’s classed as a hostel, you’ll find a fully-equipped shared kitchen, plus lots of places to hang out and meet people.

Hostel La Botella de Leche has its own swimming pool, outdoor lounge area, shared living room, library and plenty of hammocks. It’s also in a great location, only minutes from the beach.

  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Shared living room
  • Sociable atmosphere
  • Great location

Double rooms between $15-$50 per night

Read More

 

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