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September 30, 2023

5 Ways to Get to the Southern Zone of Costa Rica for Every Type of Traveler

Dominical Sign at the Entrance to Playa Dominical Costa Rica

Was it Ralph Waldo Emerson or Aerosmith who said, “Life’s a journey, not a destination?” Doesn’t matter. Look, there are plenty of life philosophies out there about arriving at your destination, the road less traveled, yadda yadda yadda. 

Here’s what really matters: your travel philosophy. 

Do you value the snake-like journey that a scenic route offers? Or would you prefer to get to your luxurious vacation villa’s pool lounge chair as quickly as possible? 

These are your choices, your philosophy. We’re just here to lend a helping hand. 

That said, here are five different ways to get from San Jose International Airport to Uvita, Osa and Dominical; the Southern Zone of Costa Rica. 

An Independent Thinker Who Enjoys Scenic Routes

After your arrival at SJO Airport, collect the 4×4 rental car that you’ve reserved in advance. This is the most popular option with our guests. Whether you’ve saved up hours of dad jokes to share with the tweens on the drive to the villa, or you just know your daughter is dying to see those giant crocodiles at Tarcoles river, renting a car is the answer. Most of the adventure tours you’ll find near our villas will require 4×4. We feel the best way to experience tours, restaurants and all that the southern Pacific coast has to offer is with your own 4×4 rental car.

Group of Crocodiles - Wildlife Photo

Patience is for Other People

If the thought of waiting a full three hours to dip into an infinity pool upsets you, consider flying directly from SJO International to Quepos – Manuel Antonio XLP Airport. The domestic airport in San Jose is located next to the international airport you’ll arrive at. The Sansa and Costa Rica Green Airways websites offer a 30-minute flight option a few times per day. You can then opt for a 4×4 rental car, taxi or private car to get from Quepos to your villa in Dominical, Uvita or Ojochal.

Limousine Ridin’, Stylin’ & Profilin’ 

If your idea of a luxurious vacation in Costa Rica means being pampered from the start, opt for a helicopter ride from San Jose to the soccer field in Dominicalito. It’s 35 minutes of pure bliss. Is a chopper ride too much excitement for Day 1? You can also go with a private car and chauffeur. Go ahead and have that extra wine on the plane, let your driver handle everything from the time you exit the airport until you arrive at your vacation villa’s front door. We can have a 4×4 rental car parked and waiting at the property, while you take the round trip private transfers to and from San Jose International Airport. Helicopter or private ride, you’ll be living the good life. 

For Them, Driving Doesn’t Sound Like a Vacation 

Beaches in Dominical Costa Rica

Occasionally we have guests enquire about visiting the area and using only paid transport. Well, it’s not as easy as it should be, but it is doable. YouGetHere is one of the few companies in the zone renting beachfront villas. If your vacation experience would be best sans car, we can arrange for a shuttle or private ride to take you straight from the airport to the beautiful trio of Caballitos del Mar villas. From here you can walk to town along the coast highway or along the sandy beach during low tide. If you’re staying at a mountainside villa, 4×4 taxis are available but will cost about as much as a rental vehicle. Uber and Lift aren’t currently operating around Dominical and Uvita. 

Slower Path, But Saving Money

Tulu Azul Sloth relaxing

YouGetHere’s vacation villas are some of the most luxurious, comfortable and incredible homes in the area. In addition to larger properties, we do have a couple of great 3-bedroom rental homes in Uvita town (Casa Bella Vita) and near the beach (Casa Pura Vida). These villas are popular with clients looking for an epic Costa Rican experience on a strict budget.

The two most affordable options to get from SJO International to Uvita are either a Shared Shuttle (~$60) or the public bus (~$10). Of the two budget options, the shared shuttle is far easier to arrange and brings you to the town of Dominical or Uvita, where you can then take a taxi to your villa. In order to take the public bus, though, you will need to taxi from SJO Airport to downtown San Jose and find the Tracopa Bus Station. We only recommend this if you enjoy a warm journey while meeting lots of new people.


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