How to Get to Tamarindo from Liberia Airport

Ask anyone who has been to Costa Rica and you’ll often hear them say that they visited Tamarindo.  And why not?  It offers a lot to do for travelers of all types, including families, digital nomads, and surfers of all levels.  You’ll also be able to enjoy the best dining options in Tamarindo and choose from accommodations for all budgets and tastes.  Perhaps the best part about this popular beach town is that it’s a quick one hour drive from the Daniel Oduber Quiros Liberia Airport, making it an easy beach to get to if you fly into Guanacaste.

If Tamarindo is in your travel plans, and you have questions about how to get to Tamarindo from Liberia Airport, this guide will walk you through all of your options.

Driving to Tamarindo

Driving to Tamarindo from the Liberia Airport is a breeze.  You’ll get to enjoy some of Costa Rica’s best paved roads and there aren’t many turns.  You won’t even need an SUV for this drive!  If you are looking to get a car, there are many rental car companies near Liberia Airport.  I always recommend booking through Discover Cars, which acts as a local search engine to help you find the best deal and take care of any car insurance all in one stop.

No matter which agency you match up with, you’ll get picked up in a shuttle and they will take you just five minutes away to where you pick up your vehicle.

Once you secure your rental car, there’s a main road that you will already have been on to get to the agency, and that’s where you’ll need to stay.  You’ll take this road to the left if you are facing the airport, and to the right if the airport is to your back.  You are headed west, so if you are confused, follow navigation. There are also plenty of signs.  You’ll take this main road for about 30 minutes.  At this point you’ll arrive at an intersection in the town of Belen that has a gas station as the primary landmark. You’ll make a right here and drive another ten minutes until you pass a school where you will turn left.  The road has many signs so you shouldn’t miss it. I do recommend using Waze if it’s your first time.

You’ll follow this road all the way to a town called Huacas.  At this point you’ll see signs to either continue straight, which leads you to Conchal, or go left, which brings you to Tamarindo.

Shuttle Transportation

You can find plenty of shuttles to Tamarindo from the Liberia Airport as well, so if you don’t feel like driving, you do have that option.  Prices range but for a shared shuttle it’s usually $20 to $30 per person.  You can shuttle to any beach town from the airport, and rates will changed based on distance.  You can also book transportation back to the airport after your trip.  Pre-booking is advised or you may pay more if you use your hotel directly.

Private shuttles are abundant as well, so if you have a family or travel with a group, you can expect about $80-100 for a group of usually up to six people.  You can also ask them to stop at a bank, market, or other store but be mindful of the driver’s time and consider tipping them for this service.

Taxi Service and Ubering to Tamarindo

You’ll find no shortage of aggressive taxi drivers around the Liberia Airport.  These will be marked in an official red color.  There may also be rogue taxi drivers in unmarked vehicles offering rides, but I don’t suggest you hire them.  These are called “piratas” and you could get robbed.  Normally they are okay, but I still advise against it.  Expect a taxi service to Tamarindo to be $60 – $100 which will be factored based on the number of riders.  I’d also say that you should pre-book your shuttle to Tamarindo if you are coming during high season or arriving at night.  This way you won’t encounter any confusion if many people arrive at the same time or if it’s dark.

While you won’t find many Ubers in Tamarindo, you will find Uber services at the Liberia Airport.  It’s not as popular as it is in San Jose, but there are some around.

Flying to Tamarindo

Tamarindo is one of the few Costa Rica beach towns that does have it’s own local airport, but there aren’t a lot of routes offered.  It’s only an hour drive, so there aren’t many flights for this reason.  The Tamarindo Airport is just five minutes out of town and 20 minutes away from Conchal, making it a good place to fly from say, San Jose, but not really Liberia.

Of course, you can also fly to San Jose, if that works better for you.  Here’s a guide on getting to Tamarindo from San Jose.

Getting to Tamarindo by Bus

You can also arrive in Liberia and get to Tamarindo by bus.  The Liberia Municipal offers directed trips to Tamarindo that leave at the following times:

  • 3:50 AM
  • 4:30 AM
  • 5:15 AM
  • 6:10 AM
  • 7:10 AM
  • 8:10 AM
  • 11:10 AM
  • 1:10 PM
  • 2:10 PM
  • 4:10 PM
  • 5:10 PM
  • 6:10 PM – this route passes through many beach towns and can take 2-3 hours.

There’s also a 10:10 AM on the weekends.  The bus fare is 1400 colones which equates to about $2.29.  I don’t ride the bus personally, I always rent a car, but there are reports that the bus doesn’t always stop directly at the airport.  The main road is about a 20 minute walk from the airport and if that’s your method of transportation, ask an official at the airport where the best place to catch the bus is.  They will either say at the end of the airport near departures, or on the main road.  You should be able to see the bus 20 minutes or so before it’s scheduled departure time.


There you have a few ways to get to Tamarindo from the Liberia Airport.  Whatever method you choose, make sure you are always aware of your surroundings and that you follow all local driving and country laws.


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Tim Schmidt is a 20+ year Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. A Fort Lauderdale-based "Digital Nomad," he enjoys traveling as much as possible with family and friends. AllWorld is his escape to document all of his adventures, including being a hardcore "foodie." He has property in Costa Rica and visits several times each year and is happy to offer his expert advice for planning your trip.

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