You have a couple options to get to the Mal Pais area from San Jose…
Flying…There are two domestic airlines, Sansa and Nature Air. Your flight destination is TAMBOR. The flight takes about 20 min and then it is about a 45 minute drive to Mal Pais. I can have a taxi or rental car waiting for you at the airstrip in Tambor (see below for more info on a rental car). For flight schedules and pricing check out www.flysansa.com and www.natureair.com . Private flights and helicopters are also available. Contact us if you would like more information on arranging a private charter.
Renting a car…I can arrange a car for you through our local rental office. We can have the car waiting for you in San Jose or in Tambor (if you choose to fly). Driving from San Jose takes about 5 to 6 hours. First you have to drive to Puntarenas (about 2hrs). You need to get on the ferry going to PAQUERA. The ferry takes about an hour and then you are about 1 ½ hours from the Mal Pais area. The ferry schedule occasionally changes so check www.navieratambor.com/horarios-y-tarifas for current departure times.
Shuttle service…A daily shuttle service leaves from the airport (and airport area hotels) at 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The shuttle will drop you at the ferry in Puntarenas. Another shuttle will pick you up on the other side for the drive to Mal Pais. To make a reservation go to www.motezumaexpeditions.com .
Bus…There is a direct bus to Mal Pais that runs daily from the Atlantico Norte Terminal (also called San Carlos). The bus terminal is about a 30 min drive from the airport (depending on traffic). The bus departs daily at 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. and it costs about $12.
Note: The international airport Juan Santa Maria (SJO)is actually located in Alajuela even though it is referred to as “San Jose”. Downtown San Jose is about 30 minutes from the airport so if you need to stay near the airport make sure the hotel is in ALAJUELA.