How to Get From La Fortuna to Monteverde
2024 Travel Guide from La Fortuna to Monteverde
Hundreds of thousands of tourists travel annually from La Fortuna to Monteverde. And you might be planning on going this route, but you’re probably not sure whether or not you should rent a car, hire a private transportation service, or use the Costa Rican public transportation system to make it, right?
Don’t worry. I got you. Many people have come to me with this question, and I’ve helped them find the best ways to get from La Fortuna to Monteverde in the most appropriate way. People have different backgrounds and needs. Thus, what may work for some might not work for others.
Therefore, this article will discuss the four main ways to get from La Fortuna to Monteverde, from using public buses to hiring a private transportation service. Let’s dive in and find out which option is best for you.
Disclaimer: Keeping our commitment to a seamless reading experience, this educational page remains free from outside advertisements. To support this initiative and sustain the quality content you enjoy, I’ve included links for booking your transportation from La Fortuna to Monteverde through my Tour & Transportation company, MonteTours. We’ve proudly assisted thousands of travelers like you. Choosing our transportation services, whether for a spot in a group shuttle or a private ride, means you’ll receive top-tier service while directly supporting the creation of helpful travel guides like the one below. If you plan to book transportation after reading this post, I would be grateful if you considered using our links below. Your support is invaluable to us.
The Best Ways To Get From La Fortuna To Monteverde in 2023 and 2024
- Public Transportation
- Group Shuttles
- Private Car Service
- Driving (Car Rental)
There are four ways to get from La Fortuna to Monteverde. First, you can use the Costa Rican public transportation system. Second, you can go on a group shuttle/boat (also known as the Jeep Boat Jeep Tour). Next, you can hire a transportation service. And lastly, you can rent a car and drive. Generally, the first two options are more affordable, and the other two are more convenient.
Public transportation is the cheapest but most inconvenient way to get from La Fortuna to Monteverde while hiring a private car service is the fastest and most convenient way to travel.
On the other hand, renting a car and driving gives you more freedom, while going on a group shuttle gives you the best balance of price and comfort.
Keep scrolling to find out how each option ranks against each other based on its pros and cons, and learn a few tips and recommendations to help you make the best out of your trip from La Fortuna to Monteverde.
Let’s start by comparing the different ways to get from La Fortuna to Monteverde by how affordable each option is:
Cheapest Ways to Get from La Fortuna to Monteverde
|Price Per Person (USD)
|$15 – $25
|Driving (Car Rental)
|$30 – $60
|Jeep Boat Jeep
|$30 – $40
|Private Car Service
|$125 – $150
- The above rates do not include taxes.
- These prices assume there is a minimum of two travelers.
- Renting a car consists of the base rate, insurance, and fuel.
- Prices can fluctuate throughout the year based on the market conditions and demand.
Now, let’s cross this information against the following chart, which shows how long each option will take to get you from La Fortuna to Monteverde. Depending on your situation, time can be far more important than money. Therefore, using both data points will serve as a guide to help you determine which option works best for you to get from La Fortuna to Monteverde.
Fastest Ways to Get from La Fortuna to Monteverde
|How Long it Takes
|Driving (Car Rental)*
|3 – 4 Hours
|Private Car Service*
|3 – 4 Hours
|Jeep Boat Jeep
|4 – 5 Hours
|5 – 8 Hours
*Going on a Private Car Service will be faster than Driving if you’re not used to driving in Costa Rica.
Okay, so now that you know how much it costs and how long it takes to get from La Fortuna to Monteverde, let’s go over the pros and cons of each option.
Keep reading more detailed information on each service and how they work.
1. Riding the Public Bus: The Cheapest Way to Get from La Fortuna to Monteverde
The cheapest way to get from La Fortuna to Monteverde is to use the Costa Rican public transportation system, but it isn’t easy. The entire trip will take between 5 and 8 hours, and you will have to change buses twice as there is no direct bus from La Fortuna to Monteverde. In addition, you must deal with non-English speaker drivers, which can be a bit challenging if you’re basic Spanish is not up to par.
However, the trip is doable, and I will explain everything you need to make it, including the links to the Google Maps of the bus terminals. After reading the following section, you should be ready to make this adventure of traveling from La Fortuna to Monteverde using the public transportation system like a local without a car would do.
How to Get From La Fortuna to Monteverde by Bus
First, you must take the bus from La Fortuna to Tilaran at the La Fortuna – Tilaran Bus Terminal, which will cost about $7 (3,370 Costa Rican Colones). Even though this bus goes thrice daily at 8 am, 12:15 pm, and 5:30 pm, you must use the first one to arrive at Tilaran around 9:30 am.
Next, if you’re fortunate, you may arrive on time to catch the bus from Tilaran to Monteverde at the Tilaran – Monteverde Bus Terminal. That one leaves at 9:30 am, costs about $1.5 (930 Costa Rican Colones), and takes about 2.5 hours to reach Monteverde. Thus, you will arrive at Monteverde around noon. However, most of the time, the bus from La Fortuna arrives in Tilaran either at 9:30 am or later, which is not enough to make the connection on time. Therefore, you will likely need to wait in Tilaran for the next bus, which leaves at 12:15 pm and arrives in Monteverde at around 3 pm.
2. Going on the Jeep Boat Jeep from La Fortuna to Monteverde
A Jeep Boat Jeep Tour is a semi-private door-to-door transportation service from La Fortuna to Monteverde. Locals often refer to this service as “Taxi Boat Taxi,” and you share the cost with fellow travelers. You travel by Van from La Fortuna to Arenal’s lake. Then you take a boat to cross the lake. And then, you take another Van from the other side of Arenal’s lake to Monteverde. The Vans and the Boats have capacities ranging between 10 and 20 passengers, and instead of paying for the entire car/boat, you pay a “per person” rate.
Generally, taking a Jeep Boat Jeep Tour is the most recommended way to get from La Fortuna to Monteverde for most travelers. That’s because the service is convenient and provides the best balance between saving time and money for travelers in most cases.
The Jeep Boat Jeep Tour from La Fortuna to Monteverde is more accessible and less stressful than renting a car and driving if you’ve never driven in Costa Rica. It will also be far more convenient than public transportation yet significantly less expensive than hiring a private car service such as a Taxi, an Uber, or a personal driver.
The price can change depending on the seasonality and demand, and you may be subject to an additional fuel surcharge, should your lodges be in a remote location. However, here at MonteTours, we generally charge between $30 and $40 per person for this service if your lodge is “in-route.”
Are you interested in joining our Jeep Boat Jeep service with us? Click here to visit a page to learn more about this service or use the following “Book Now” button to see real-time availability/prices and book your spots. After you click the button, a widget will show a calendar. Click on the day you’re inquiring about and see our availability. Then, you can enter your information and use your preferred credit card, GooglePay, or ApplePay to make your reservation. You can cancel up to 48 hours before the day of your trip to get a full refund.
3. Private Car Service from La Fortuna to Monteverde
The most exclusive means of transportation from La Fortuna to Monteverde is to hire an Uber, a Taxi, or a Private Driver. While Uber and Taxis are often more readily available, they also tend to be more expensive and especially unreliable.
Local news has also reported multiple instances when Uber and/or taxi drivers have altered their systems to charge tourists way more than they should. Taxi drivers have managed to do this by manipulating their taximeter, which they use to determine how much to charge based on time spent and distance driven. Uber drivers have found a way to manipulate the system by accepting the ride, and then imposing “their fee” (not what the Uber App indicated) once they arrive to pick you up, at which point you can decline the ride, but you will have already lost time, and you might end up requesting a new Uber car, which will probably do the same thing.
According to some reports, customers have been charged up to 2 times what they should have been. Travelers have widely discussed this problem in travel forums, leading taxi and Uber drivers to lose credibility, and as a result, tourists have lost faith in these means of transportation.
Another aspect to consider is that Uber is illegal in Costa Rica. They still operate around the country but are not an official means of transportation. Consequently, they don’t offer insurance in the event of an accident. This might not be a big issue if you have your own travel insurance, which I recommend you get before planning your trip to Costa Rica. However, there is a bigger problem with Uber being illegal here. If you take an Uber and the police stop it for a check (which they do regularly), the driver will get a fine, and you will need to get off the vehicle. Therefore, you will lose your trip and your money. And you’ll be left behind wondering how to finish your trip. Not a great situation.
On the other hand, Taxis charge you both ways because, according to the law, they can only operate within their jurisdiction. Consequently, they can’t offer their service to other customers when they leave their region. Therefore, if they take you from La Fortuna to Monteverde, they can’t work until they return to La Fortuna.
A final aspect to consider even with honest Uber drivers, is that the Ubber App bases the rates on demand, making it impossible to predict how much the trip will cost if you’re planning your trip weeks or months ahead. On the other hand, even the honest taxi drivers will often charge you both ways, from La Fortuna to Monteverde and then from Monteverde back to La Fortuna, because they can only work within their jurisdiction, so they charge you both ways because they know that the law will not allow them to pick up other customers on the way back.
All of the above reasons, explain why you seldom see a tourist using a Taxi or an Uber to travel long distances in Costa Rica. Instead, taxis and Ubers are often used for short trips within a region or as a last resort for long trips whenever Private Car Services are unavailable.
Private Car Services, on the other hand, are much more reliable, as you pay for the service in advance, and they are nine times out of ten less costly than hiring a taxi or an Uber that follow those illegal practices. Of course, not all taxi and Uber drivers do this, but in my personal experience, over the last few years, I’ve tried making arrangements for tourists using taxis and Ubers and I’ve faced this issue many times, which is why, a couple of years ago, I started providing the Private Car Service through my Tour & Transportation Company, MonteTours for $271 (per ride, not per person, and it includes up to six passengers).
Are you interested in hiring our Private Car Service? Click here to visit a page to learn more about this service or use the following “Book Now” button to see real-time availability and book your spots. After you click the button, a widget will show a calendar. Click on the day you’re inquiring about and see our availability. Then, you can enter your information and use your preferred credit card, GooglePay, or ApplePay to make your reservation. You can cancel up to 48 hours before the day of your trip to get a full refund.
We’ve covered the pros and cons of going from La Fortuna to Monteverde using public transportation, Jeep Boat Jeep tours, and private transportation. Let’s now talk about driving.
4. Driving from La Fortuna to Monteverde
The most flexible way to get from La Fortuna to Monteverde is to rent a car and drive. Driving allows you to spend your time as you deem more appropriate. It also gives you more privacy: no need to wake up early to catch a bus and no need to travel with strangers. Furthermore, renting a car gives you an excellent value for money, compared to all other means of transportation discussed.
Renting a car is also a great way to stop to appreciate the magical scenery you will encounter from La Fortuna to Monteverde.
However, driving in Costa Rica is not easy unless you have previous experience riding in a similar country. Costa Rica’s roads are somewhat lousy, with potholes everywhere. Besides, the streets are narrow and precariously illuminated and labeled. Furthermore, touristy destinations like La Fortuna and Monteverde have many unpaved, bumpy roads.
Another aspect to consider is that Costa Ricans drive significantly faster than foreigners. In addition to this, since we know the roads, as locals, we can make risky moves that might scare someone who has never driven in our country. Consequently, tourists often feel stressed and under pressure.
On the other hand, you have the unpredictable weather conditions of Costa Rica. You might be driving with a clear sky when suddenly a cloud forms ahead, pouring rain all over the place. Going under changing weather conditions might not be a big problem during the summertime from December through April. However, it can get extremely challenging during the rainy season, from May through November.
The rain also causes a lot of damage to the roads, which worsens during the rainy season. Many potholes come to life during this time of the year, and it takes a couple of months for the government to repair the cracks. During this time of the year, I see tourists on the side of the road with flat tires and other mechanical issues almost daily. And I lost count of the number of times I’ve pulled them out of deep, muddy potholes with my truck.
Issues like those mentioned above are not dramatic, but they can ruin a few hours of your dream trip to Costa Rica, dealing with insurance companies, and whatnot. Hence, I only recommend you rent a car and drive if you know what you’re getting into before making that decision.
And, if you still decide to rent a car and drive, I recommend you use the Costa Rica Rental Car Comparison Tool. This tool compares the best rental car deals in real-time, ensuring you get the best-guaranteed bang for your buck. I’ve been using this tool for many years and still use it once a year when my brother, who lives abroad, comes to visit us. Check it out. I highly recommend it.
Here’s the end of this article. Thank you for reading this far, and feel free to share this info with fellow travelers as you deem appropriate. Happy travels and ¡Pura Vida, amigos!
- The Best Times To Visit Monteverde
- Getting Around in Monteverde
- Going From Tamarindo to Monteverde
- Going From San Jose to Monteverde
- Going From Manuel Antonio to Monteverde
- Going From Monteverde to Tamarindo
- Going From Monteverde to San Jose
About the Author
I am the founder of MonteTours. I live in Monteverde and love Nature and Mountain Biking. I love spending time outdoors and traveling around Costa Rica.
Along with our team, we have 50 years of combined experience in the travel industry, and there is no major Costa Rican destination we haven’t visited.
We love planning and arranging curated tours and activities for tourists, helping them have a memorable experience in Costa Rica.