Costa Rica’s public transportation is constantly improving and the new 7-10 bus terminal is one of the greatest upgrades. From here, you can go all the way to Monteverde, south Nicoya and other corners of the country.
We recently took the bus from San Jose to Playa Jaco and the process is pretty simple. Like the post I did about taking the bus from San Jose to Playas del Coco, I’m going to detail how to take the bus from the San Jose 7-10 terminal to Playa Jaco and vice versa.
So if you’re planning on taking this exact route, read on!
Taking the Bus from San Jose to Playa Jaco
San Jose to Jaco
Terminal 7-10 Location
Terminal 7-10 is right in the heart of San Jose and all the cab drivers know it. Make sure you tell them to use the meter. Or take an Uber.
The building looks pretty new and has a huge sign so you can’t miss it. You’ll see all the buses lined up around the corner and you enter the terminal under the huge “7-10” sign.
As soon as you enter, you must head to the second floor to buy tickets for the bus from San Jose to Playa Jaco. First floor is where you get onto the bus and third floor is to buy tickets for other destinations. Second floor also has a waiting room.
I highly recommend getting there at least a half an hour early to buy tickets and at least one hour during holiday season (Christmas, New Years, Semana Santa).
Tickets cost roughly $5 or 2,500 colones and it is best to pay in colones though they also take card.
Also I apologize for some of the blurry photos. We were in a rush when we got to the terminal.
You’ll notice that the terminal is more like a shopping mall with clothing stores and food. So if you have time to kill, you can wander around.
They post times on the wall which I took a couple pictures of. I know it’s hard to find accurate information online so I took these photos for our own future purposes and to share with you because the times are different depending on the day.
Getting on the Bus
About 15 minutes before the departure time, head downstairs to the first floor around the back to line up. Listen to the speaker because he’ll start announcing when you can begin loading onto the bus.
It’s kind of hard to understand him but just listen for your destination. As soon as you hear it and you see people beginning to walk through, that’s a good indication you can start getting on the bus.
Also make sure to keep an eye on the monitors around the terminal as they’ll tell you the status of the bus and other important information.
Make sure you present your ticket to the attendant before you get on the bus and if you have any luggage, there is someone who will put it in the storage area underneath for you.
Get on the bus, find your seat and relax. We’ve found these buses to be fairly punctual which is nice.
The Bus Ride
The bus ride from San Jose to Playa Jaco will take roughly 2 hours. The bus makes many stops and if you need to get off somewhere, just press the stop button.
The very last stop will be at the Playa Jaco bus station and this is where you’ll take the bus if you’re doing the reverse of this route.
Taking the Bus from Playa Jaco to San Jose
Jaco Bus Station Location
The Playa Jaco bus station is near the north end of Jaco across the street from the Best Western hotel and near the Banco de Costa Rica.
The ticket station is right around the corner to the left where you see the sign for the ATM in the photo. It is a small window with a couple signs posted.
Tickets are the same price, around 2,500 colones. You must buy tickets in advance because this is a very popular route.
Getting on the Bus
The bus actually pulls around the side street so you should wait around the corner here.
The procedure is the same. Show your ticket to the attendant and you will get a ticket if you need to store luggage. Keep it because you’ll need to show it to get your luggage.
The bus ride is about 2 hours and many people get off in various spots along the way. We got off near the hospital but you can take the bus all the way to downtown San Jose and the airport.
Tips on Taking the Bus from San Jose to Playa Jaco
- Get there at least half an hour early to buy tickets, both to and from San Jose. We got there 10 minutes before at the terminal 7-10 and tickets were already sold out
- These buses are not the nicest with no AC and small seats.. It is not the most comfortable so keep that in mind if you have little ones, traveling with senior citizens or those with disabilities. I strongly recommend renting a car or booking a shuttle in those cases as these buses are not very comfortable
- Look for the Garabito sign on the bus
- Want some ideas of things to do? Check out our travel guide to Playa Jaco for fun activities, places to eat and where to sleep.
Taking the bus somewhere else? We have a post for taking the public bus in Costa Rica so you can know what to expect. Going to Manuel Antonio National Park from Jaco? Here’s our guide to get there by bus.
If you’re visiting Playa Jaco and traveling on a budget, taking the bus from San Jose to Playa Jaco is a great way to save money. Tickets are cheap, you can bring luggage and even if it’s not the nicest bus, it still gets you from Point A to Point B.
I hope this post helps you in planning your trip to Costa Rica!
More Costa Rica travel tips here!