Costa Rica’s public transportation is constantly improving and the 7-10 bus terminal is one of the greatest upgrades. From here, you can go all the way to Monteverde, La Fortuna and other corners of the country.
We 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!
San Jose to Jaco Bus
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.
You can now purchase tickets online on their website (terminal7-10.com) or purchase in person. If you are visiting during holiday season, I recommend to purchase online or arrive at least 1 hour early.
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.
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
- Want some ideas of things to do? Check out our travel guide to 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 to Manuel Antonio from Jaco by bus.
If you’re visiting 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!
Money saving tips for traveling in Costa Rica
Tom & Susie says
Hi, we took the Jaco to San Jose bus on Feb 2, 2023. It does indeed go to the airport and it took two and a half hours (construction in the mountains slowed us down a little). We bought our tickets at the ticket window in Jaco but realized afterward that there IS a way to buy them online and store it on your phone as a QR code, since other passengers were getting on and presenting the tickets on their phones. The web site is https://www.transportesjacoruta655.com
Glad we found your site and hope the info above helps someone else.
I can’t tell you how helpful your posts have been during my time in CR. As a solo traveler, it’s great to have some sound advice as I travel around.
Glad to hear, we hope you have a great time!
Hey thanks for the great info! I took the bus and was a super cheap option! Everything was as described except for the bus I took had AC and was way more comfortable than I expected after reading your post. Not sure if I got a lucky bus or if they are all upgraded since your post but was pleasantly surprised with a comfortable journey!
Thanks for the feedback Patrick and glad the bus has AC!
We are going to travel from San Jose to Jaco by bus using your jnfomation . Thank you . On the return we need to go to the airport, can we get the bus to the airport from terminal 7 -10 .
Hi Abby, you’ll have to Uber or taxi from Terminal 7-10 but last time we took it the bus from Jaco to San Jose stops by the airport.
Hello, we want to take the bus from San Jose to Playa Jaco tomorrow and I was just wondering if you know if I will be able to take my surfboard with me? It’s a long board thats 10 feet..
Hi Nadine, I know surfboards are allowed but I am not sure about long boards. I have seen people with 5, 6 length boards and it was OK. You can check the Terminal 7-10 site here: http://terminal7-10.com/es/ and contact them to ask.
I was wondering would my 1 1/2 year old daughter have to have a ticket purchased to ride the bus?
Hi Brittany, if you hold her in your arms, you don’t need to buy her a ticket. If she needs a seat, then you will need to purchase a ticket for her.
Hi, i’m landing in san jose in july at 16h30… i would like to go to jacos straight away. The thing is i’m not sure if i have enough time to take the last bus at 19h00 if i’m landing at 16h30 (without any delays…).What do you think? And also, i will carry a boardbag with two surfboards in it. Do you think i can take the bus with them?
Thank you !
Hi , i’m landing in san jose in july at 16h35… i was wondering if you think it’s possible for me to take the last bus ride to jaco at 19h00?
And do you know if it’s okay for the bus if i have a boardbag with 2 boards ?
Hi Julien, it might be very tight since you’re arriving right at rush hour. The 7-10 bus station takes about a 30 minutes in no traffic but it could take up to an hour or even more during rush hour and immigration might take some time. Also it is recommended to get there early to buy tickets because it is a super popular route. You could try but have a backup plan just in case you can’t make the bus. (You can try taxi or Uber if you really need to get to Jaco that night). The bus has a large storage compartment on the bottom so it should be OK, just make sure to keep the luggage ticket they give you.
sorry i wrote the message twice , i wasn’t sure if it was posted !
thank you very much for the reply.
I will be with a group of 3 traveling from Jaco to San Jose after a tour. So I won’t be able to purchase tickets the day before in Jaco. Since I will be beginning my trip in SJ, would I be able to purchase tickets in advance for Jaco to SJ a week prior from the SJ terminal/ticket office? Or do they only sell SJ departures? Also, I was searching line and saw this site … https://www.transportesjacoruta655.com/nuestra-flota/
it shows the Garabito buses, would I be able to just purchase tickets online in advance? ~ Thanks!
Hi Mari, I’ve never tried it personally but I have seen some people use it and worked fine so you can be able to purchase tickets online in advance. They can only sell SJ to Jaco from Terminal 7-10 so if you can’t buy the Jaco-SJO tix beforehand, you can get them online in advance which is highly recommended because this bus is always full.
Hi Joni, there is a Denny’s Restaurant across the street from the airport that is 24 hours. I do not recommend going to the 7-10 bus station at 1 in the morning, it’s not open and it’s actually in kind of a sketchy area so it’s not safe to be sitting outside the station with all your luggage. I actually recommend booking a cheap hostel/hotel because there isn’t much you can do at Denny’s for 6 hours and you can’t sleep in the restaurant. The airport is not in the city, it’s in Alajuela about 20-30 minutes from San Jose downtown so besides the Denny’s and the nearby hotels, there isn’t a whole lot. I’d recommend staying in a cheap hostel/hotel nearby as well since it’ll be safer and less stressful since all you can do is hang out in the arrivals area of the airport and there is pretty much nothing to do at the airport. I wrote a list of cheap places to stay near SJO, it’ll be worth having a bed and shower instead of sitting at the Denny’s for hours.
Quick question – we are arriving on a flight around 1:00am in the morning to San Jose and are traveling to Jaco for our resort. Any ideas what we can do between the time we land and the first bus leaving from 7-10? Same question about the way back – our flight leaves at 2am… so we’ll need to be at the airport around midnight. Any places around the airport where we can hang out until our flight?
This was a really great guide and definitely a cheap and easy way to get from San Jose to Jaco!
Unfortunately I learned the hard way: Keep a VERY close eye on your carry-on baggage. I had my bag stolen (which had my passport, wallet, laptop, clothes, etc) somewhere between San Jose and Jaco beach. Apparently on one of the stops along the way, someone grabbed my bag from the overhead bin and exited out the back of the bus.
By the time I was in Jaco, there wasn’t much I could do about it except schedule a trip to the American embassy for an emergency passport.
In the end, it wasn’t such a cheap trip for me. Don’t make the same mistake and keep your essential items ON YOU at all times! There are definitely thieves on the bus with you looking to take advantage of tourists.
Hi Solomon, I’m so sorry to hear that! Unfortunately there are thieves who specifically target people on the bus and I’m so sorry that your bag got stolen. I hope you had a good time in Costa Rica otherwise though and thank you for leaving your feedback.
Thanks so much for your post. It was extremely helpful and thorough!
Hi Sammi I just wanted to tell you how helpfull was your information, I knew exactly were I was going and what to excpect because of the pictures.
Thank you so much, it made my trip much easier.
Hi Marcela, I’m so glad to hear that! Have a great time in Costa Rica
Thanks so much for this guide! I plan to use it when I go to Costa Rica soon. I was wondering, how hard is it going to be to navigate at the bus station if I don’t speak a lick of Spanish? Will I buy the ticket and then have to sit somewhere and wait for them to call the Jaco bus over a loud speaker in Spanish? I know the bus leaves every hour, but how do I know I’m on the right bus if everything is in Spanish? Thank you!
Hi John. There are a lot of other travelers there as well but keep an eye on the tv screen with buses and listen for the loud speaker for “JACO” when it is about time. A lot of Costa Ricans speak English as well and you can ask the attendant “Este bus es para Jaco” or even point and ask “Jaco?” But most COsta Ricans speak very good English and they are always very helpful. Just make sure to go down to the loading area about 15-20 minutes before just in case so you don’t miss the boarding time.
Thanks for the great blog post Sammi, it was very helpful to me and I made it to Jaco and back with no problems thanks to you. One thing I wanted to point out to the readers is that there are taxi drivers outside terminal 7-10 who will tell you that all of the buses for that day are full but they can take you straight to Jaco with no stops. They will ask for something like $100. They will also say the bus takes 3 hours to get to Jaco when it actually takes a little over 2. Make sure you go to the ticket window and see how full the buses are before dealing with them. Also, I was overcharged by the taxi from the airport to terminal 7-10 ($30) so I would recommend Uber if you are coming from the airport.
Hi Jason, glad the post helped and thanks for the tips! Good to know about the taxis (I already don’t like them but that’s just crossing the line). I will make sure to add that into the post.
Hi! Im planning to take the bus from San Jose to Jaco in couple of weeks. Do you think is a better idea to buy the bus tickets online ahead of time or should I just purchase them the day before at the actual bus terminal?? Please help!
I would buy them at the bus terminal the day before, I don’t believe you can buy the bus tickets online (I think some companies are offering it but I’m not sure if this one is)
Jasmine Collings says
Hi! I would be traveling with myself and a two almost three year old. I need to get from San Jose to possibly the Los Suenos Marriot. Can I take the bus to Jaco and then taxi to los suenos? Do you think the taxi to los suenos would be expensive? Is there a bathroom on the bus?
Hi Jasmine, you can definitely do that. The last stop the bus makes is at the bus station in Jaco and you can grab a taxi to Los Suenos, there are usually taxi drivers at the station. It’s not very far so I think it may be like… $10? I am not positive since I have never taken a taxi there but it’s not a long ride. There isn’t a bathroom on the bus so make sure they go before you get on.
“Look for the Garabito sign on the bus” You don’t state why or what this sign means. Can you explain?
Garabito is the name of the bus company that runs this route.
Jeremy Clark says
Great information, many thanks! Just got my ticket to Jaco/return for 2395 each way.
Nice! You’re very welcome!
Traveling Ted says
This was very helpful. Thank you! Getting back to San Jose from Tortuguero late in the afternoon and needed to know the schedule. Thanks!
Glad it helped! You’re very welcome!
Thanks for this post, quite helpful. My return flight is at noon and I wonder if I take the bus from Jaco Station to San Jose (Terminal 7-10), does it make a stop at the airport? thanks in advance 🙂
Hi JJ, if I remember correctly it didn’t stop at the airport but once you get to the 7-10 terminal, you can take a taxi or Uber to SJO airport which is not very far.
Mel S says
Hello, My friend and I will be traveling to Costa Rica, arriving at SJO and our destination is Jaco. The bus information was very helpful. My concern is that when it is time to leave, my flight leaves at 545am and I’m wondering if there will be transportation services early enough to make sure I do not miss my flight or if it will be best to just say the night in San Jose where I will be closer to the airport? Any feedback would be very helpful. Thanks in advanced!!
I recommend staying the night in San Jose. You have to be at the airport at least 2 hours prior so 3:45 AM and from Jaco, it’s still an hour drive and a shuttle costs $100 (there is no bus at that time). It’s a lot easier to stay the night in San Jose.
Excellent post! I’m traveling to CR in a month, Playa Jaco actually so this is very helpful.
Thanks Manuel, glad it is helpful! Have a great time in Costa Rica!
Thank you for your guide. I traveled from San Jose to Jacob on 12/10/16. Upon exiting the airport, I was curious and asked one of the dozens of men how much for a transfer from the airport directly to Jacob and they were waiting $100 USD. I’ve seen shuttles online for about $45. I took the public bus from SJO airport to downtown San Jose, walked 12 minutes to Terminal 7-10 and then caught the 4:00 pm bus. My Spanish is not good so I didn’t know how to ask if seats were still available for the 3:09 pm bus. Since I arrive at Terminal 7-10 around 2:42 and got to the front of the line around 2:52 I didn’t want to risk 1.) Missing the bus and 2.) Being stuck standing. So I decided to just wait for an hour. It was take by the time I got to Jacó. I missed the stop for MásXMenos so I ended up getting off at Terminal Jacob and had to take a taxi to my hostel which costs an additional C1,300. So in total of cost me C4,105 or $7.50 USD
Hi April! Yeah many taxi drivers charge $100 and because it’s a taxi, they always charge more. I’m glad everything worked out for you taking the bus, even if you missed your stop by a little bit. Luckily Jaco is not too big and it’s easy to walk a couple of stops or grab a taxi. Hope you have a good time in CR!
Info very helpful thank you a little tip seats are assigned I did not know and when I moved seat driver was not happy I had no Issa why so that’s good to know . I’m staying in jaco can I take trips to Caribbean side on bus or do I have to go to San Jose grace
Hi Grace, yes for pre-paid tickets they assign seats since those routes get super full. From Jaco to Caribbean it’s best to go back to San Jose and then grab the Caribeno bus to Puerto Viejo.
Do you know which bus was that and where it stops at SJO and 7-10 Terminal?
Noelle Dames says
Are there extra buses around the holidays, or would it be crazy to try to catch one of the last 2 buses to Jaco after flying in on the 23rd?
Hi, They do have some extra buses but still you will see lots of people from the capital going to Jaco, I recommend you to go early and buy your ticket hours before you travel.
We have a post for taking the bus in Costa Rica that will be really helpful here: Public transportation in Costa Rica. In the post, there is a picture of how the buses look from the front (fare, destination). They will stop all over town depending on where the passengers stop so you can ask other people if they’re going to the terminal as well. If not, you can ask the bus driver in Spanish, you can just say “Va a terminal siete – diez?” since most don’t speak English.
Once the bus leaves San Jose, it goes straight to Jaco. Once it gets to Jaco, it’ll stop throughout town since people get off at different locations. You can get off at Mas X Menos if that is closest to your hotel, you don’t have to wait all the way to the end. You’ll see that a ton of people will get off by the supermarket since that is right in the middle of town. If you miss the supermarket, just get off at the next one, the bus literally stops like every 50 meters and you can press the stop button.
Awesome article. Thank you.
Thank you! 🙂
Thank yo so much! I will enjoy this journey and have fun. I appreciate your detail information.
Hi Maria, you’re welcome and have fun!
Do you know how many stops and is there a map of the bus route to Jaco? Where are the bus stops in San Jose before leaving to Jaco?
It looks like I am staying about 1 hour away from the bus station and maybe the bus will pass by where I am staying. At the Doubletree Cariari
Can I get the bus at a different location?
The information you have provided has been very helpful.
I’m not sure where the bus stops but it only goes through a few in San Jose city… I recommend to go to the 7-10 station though, especially because you need to purchase tickets before and that bus fills up pretty fast so if you want to a seat, I highly recommend going to the station.
how much is cab fare from the airport to station 7-10?
Hi Todd I am not sure about how much would that be, the problem at the airport is that all the taxis over there have their own rates and they are usually more expensive. I would recommend you to take an UBER, or if you are traveling light take a public bus they stop outside the airport and they will take you to San Jose Downtown for $1.5. If you want to know how much the taxi will be you will need to ask to one of their reps inside the airport I am guessing from $40 to $60.
Hello, I am interested in travelling as cheap as possible. I am considering taking a public bus from SJO airport to downtown San Jose and then taking the regional bus from Terminal 7-10 to Jaco beach. So I just want to clarify some things. You say public buses stop outside the airport and they will take you downtown. How are these buses marked? Do they take you to several stops all over downtown or to a central location? Do any of them perhaps take you directly to Terminal 7-10 or will it take you somewhere downtown and then you have to walk from there to Terminal 7-10 (or perhaps get a really short taxi ride)? Also, in Jaco, how many stops are there once you’re on the bus? You said the final two stops are for the Jaco bus station. I have been advised to take the stop for Mas x Menos grocery store as that is the closet to my accommodation. My fear is missing that stop and ending up too far away from where I want to be and having to take a taxi from wherever the bus drops me off at to my accommodation. Thanks!
Hi Mary, the bus is safe for travelers, I know many people who take the bus from solo female travelers to families. You can take luggage on the bus, they’ll put it underneath and save the ticket they give you since you need to give that back to get your luggage. The bus from San jose to Jaco is super easy since it’s not very long and it’s a simple common route.
Here are more tips for taking the bus in Costa Rica: Public transportation in Costa Rica
Mary Rodriguez-Reyna says
How safe is the bus for 20 yr old girls traveling alone from San Jose to Jaco & vice versa And is the luggage secure or can we take it with us in the bus.
Or do you suggest a shuttle for safety reasons.
Hi- just wondering if the schedule is still the same? Thanks
Hi Kristy, yes it is
Good site, thanks for the tips. Gonna head to Jaco in a couple days and this was really helpful.
You’re welcome Sal! Glad it’s helpful
Ava Gavloski says
Perfecto, muco gracias for the pictures and tips….. I have taken the bus before, although not the San Jose out of the city one yet… appreciate the pics of the terminal.
Hi! Thank you so much!
Just found your site – since I am a future traveler it would be great to follow you all the way from Canada 🙂
Hi Rene! It would be fun to cross paths one day! Happy travels!