Get from A to B

Many airlines around the world service Costa Rica. Most fly into Juan Santamaria International airport in San Jose. Once you have arrived in San Jose there are several options for getting to Dominical.

By Car

The most common is to rent a car and drive. Depending on the time of your arrival it may be possible to drive directly the same day. However, as we do not recommend driving after dark and it is a minimum of about 3 hours drive, please ensure that you leave sufficient time or, spend the night in San Jose and enjoy a leisurely drive the next morning.

Most of the major car rental agencies have offices in San Jose in addition to some local ones. A short list of options is below – many more are avaialble. It can be less expensive to rent from a location off the airport as there can be an extra fee. Most agencies will pick you up from either the airport or your hotel as needed.

Reminder: You do need a 4X4 vehicle for the hills in our area.

Domestic Flights

There are commuter flights from San Jose to either Quepos or Palmar Sur. Both are about 30 miles (18 kilometers) from Dominical. Again, car rentals are available in these locations – advance reservations are recommended. Should you arrive in Dominical without a vehicle you can rent a 4X4 from Alamo or Solid – again, we recommend booking in advance to ensure availability. These local agencies may also pick you up at the airport if you make advance arrangements.

By Bus

There are also Tourist microbuses available with drivers to bring you from San Jose to Dominical.

  • EasyRide Bus – these are nice small buses.
  • Musoc – This is the public bus system. Large comfortable buses will take you as far as San Isidro where you will need to transfer to a local bus or taxi or car rental. You will need to get to the Musoc Bus Station in San Jose – usually by taxi. Call Musoc for a schedule. This is a useful link to the transportation schedule.

Driving to Dominical:

Rule Number 2: DO NOT LEAVE SAN JOSE AFTER 2:00 PM AS RULE NUMBER 1 IS DO NOT DRIVE AFTER DARK. It is VERY SAFE to drive in the evenings in the immediate areas where you are staying, however, due to potential sudden weather changes, the curvy roads, the pot holes and fog, in some areas you do not want to drive any distance. Stay in San Jose for a night and enjoy a nice dinner and leave the next morning.

There are two alternatives please ensure that you ask at either your hotel or the rental car company for directions to your preferred main highway route:

  1. Coastal Route – The newest highway in Costa Rica, #27, has made the trip to the coast from San Jose much faster & easier! This is the preferred route; particularly if you do not like the curvy mountain roads. In addition, the road from Quespos to Dominical is also complete (with only a few minor spots of gravel to finish up) as of January 2010. The entire trip can now be done in about 3 hours. However, keep in mind that if there is an accident, the cars are not allowed to be moved until the transito (police) arrive and therefore the road could be blocked for some time if this were to happen – thus, we still do not recommend “leaving early from Domincal to catch a noon flight.
  2. Mountain Route – This is a beautiful drive up and over the mountains, very windy, lovely valley vistas, two lanes, can be dangerous with oncoming cars attempting to pass, pedestrians on the road and other interesting experiences….but a few “Soda” (roadside cafe) stops along the way are possible with some amazing views.

    This is a longer drive. Plan for at least 4 hours – without stops. We recommend leaving in the morning as the afternoons can become fogged in at the top of the mountains making driving a bit slower.

    Generally, from San Jose, you will take Hwy #39 to San Pedro; then Hwy #2 to Cartago, just outside of San Jose and continue on Hwy #2 all the way to San Isidro de el General (on signs this is: San Isidro Gral.)

    Hwy #2 will bring you right into the town of San Isidro. Continue down the hill and turn right at the McDonald’s – this is more of an “angle right” than a complete right turn. Continue straight on this road right through the central downtown of San Isidro – about 20 blocks. The road continues out of town and again becomes curvy and mountainous as it winds towards Dominical. When the road ends, turn left, there is a small police check-point here, however it is unlikely that they will even be stopping anyone. As you cross the bridge you enter Dominical. The main street is a right turn onto a gravel road and most of the main town is to the left at the bottom of the short hill.