How To Get To Uvita, Costa Rica — Everything You Need To Know

To get to Uvita by air, you can first take a domestic flight from Liberia or San Jose into Quepos, which is about a two-hour drive outside of Uvita. But if you want to go by land, you can take a drive from San Jose to Uvita (3 and a half hours) or from Liberia (about 5 hours). Tracopa is a bus service that runs down the Pacific Coast from San Jose. Most buses stop in Uvita, regardless of their final stop. 

If you’re thinking of spending time in Uvita for the first time, one of the bothersome questions would be how to get to this part of Costa Rica. Not all methods of transportation are ideal. You want to know which one is faster, safer, and cheaper, especially if you’re coming from other parts of Costa Rica. 

In this article, you will learn what airport you should fly to, how long it is to drive, and how the roads are in Uvita, Costa Rica. This post also contains all the heads-up you need to know before embarking on your trip to Uvita.

Key Takeaways

  • Going to Uvita by air: You can’t fly directly into Uvita. However, from Quepos airport, you can take a 2-hour drive to Uvita.
  • Going to Uvita by private car: From San José, just take the Inter-American Highway (Route 27) toward Orotina, then continue on Route 34 (Costanera Sur) toward Uvita.
  • Going to Uvita by bus: Buses run often from San José to Uvita. You can catch one at the Tracopa Bus Terminal in San José. 
  • How to get to Uvita, Costa Rica, from San Jose The cheapest way to get from San José to Uvita (Station) is by bus, which costs $10–$19 and takes 5 hours.
  • The closest airport to Uvita, Costa Rica—TThe nearest airport to Uvita is Puerto Jimenez (PJM).

1. Getting to Uvita by Bus

Buses run often from San José to Uvita. You can catch one at the Tracopa Bus Terminal in San José. 

The trip lasts about 4–5 hours, but it could be longer if there’s a lot of traffic or if the bus makes many stops. 

You can check out details, prices, and schedules on the TRACO website.

If you can’t afford a car, you can still get to Uvita by bus. Tracopa has several buses leaving from San José every day. It has a separate terminal in San José.

If you’re coming from Manuel Antonio, there are also buses from Quepos to Uvita.


  • It’s cheap
  • One-way drive
  • Fastest option 
  • Used by many tourists

What to look out for

  • The price of tickets can vary.
  • You can only make stops during the journey when the bus decides to stop at a bus stop, unlike when you travel with a private car, which allows you to make stops at your will.
  • The journey can take up to 6 hours, depending on where the bus is coming from.

2. Getting to Uvita by Car

Getting to Uvita by road is pretty straightforward, and driving can be a handy choice. From San José, just take the Inter-American Highway (Route 27) toward Orotina, then continue on Route 34 (Costanera Sur) toward Uvita. 

The drive usually takes 3–4 hours, but it may be longer depending on traffic and road conditions.

If you plan to stick to main roads and avoid rough terrain, a regular car should do the job. It’s cheaper and fine for driving on well-kept routes. 

But if you’re thinking of exploring the mountains, crossing rivers, or going off-road, you’ll need a 4-wheel drive car. It’s better for rough or unpaved roads.

Like in all of Costa Rica, having your rental car makes getting around Uvita much easier.


  • You can make as many stops as you want.
  • The most convenient option

What to look out for

  • You need a 4×4-wheel car if you’re exploring mountains.
  • Driving can take longer, depending on the traffic.

3. Getting to Uvita by Taxi Shuttle 

You can catch a private shuttle from different places, like San José and other tourist spots in Costa Rica. 

These shuttles make it easy and comfy to get to Uvita.

It costs more than the bus, but it’s way more dependable and relaxed. 

A shuttle will arrive at your location and take you straight to Uvita. 

They run from lots of different spots in Costa Rica, such as San Jose (from $63), Manuel Antonio (from $43), and even Jaco ($50).

Source: Bookaway

After Arrival: Moving Around Uvita 

After you arrive in Uvita, it’s time to think about how you’ll get around and what fun things you can do nearby. Depending on where you’re staying and what you want to do, you’ve got a few choices. 

If your hotel is close to everything and you want to explore the town or nearby places, walking is a good option. Uvita is small, so you can reach many exciting spots by walking.

However, some hotels and shops let you rent bicycles so you can ride around. This is great if you want to see more of the area but still enjoy being outside. If you’re staying around Bahia Ballena, Osa, I totally recommend Dolce Uvita for bicycle rental services. 

Meanwhile, taxis are easy to find, especially near places like El Pacifico supermarket. Your hotel can also help you get one if you need one. 

Friendly Advice: 

  • Uvita itself doesn’t have buses running within the town. But you can hop on coastal buses that go to different places along the coast. 
  • When you’re traveling by bus in Costa Rica, it’s much simpler to pay with cash. Sometimes, even if the bus looks full, if you offer the driver cash, they might find a seat for you.

Renting a car is a good idea if you want to explore Uvita and its surroundings on your own. It’s also a better option if you plan to go to places that are a bit far away. Some like Alamo and Hertz Car Rental are some of the highly-rated car rental options. 

Once you arrive, here are some things to do in Uvita.  I also made a list of places to stay in Uvita.

Know Uvita and its Environment

Uvita is relatively spread out, with restaurants and places to stay tucked away in remote areas. 

Regardless of where you stay, you’ll end up doing a lot of driving (either in your car or by taxi) or walking long distances.

The Costanera Sur Highway runs right through the town, dividing it in one direction, and the Rio Uvita River splits it in another. 

This creates three distinct areas: the ‘center’ along the highway, the inland area near the waterfall, and the Bahia neighborhood, which is closer to the beach.

  • Highway Area—Central Uvita: This part has bus stops, a gas station, a big supermarket, a bank, and some restaurants. It’s busy and commercial, but not very nice.
  • Calle Uvita—Inland: This dirt road has many restaurants and cafes, breweries, the Uvita Gastropark, and a few places to stay. The Uvita Waterfall is located on a hill, making this area feel more like a jungle.
  • Bahia Neighborhood, Beach Area: This is seen as fancier, but it’s also quiet and local. There are many places to stay here, but they tend to be pricier than in other parts of Uvita.

The bottom line

Overall, you can’t get to Uvita from anywhere in Costa Rica or beyond without spending a minimum of an hour and 30 minutes on the road. And the transportation company, Tracopa, is the popular way through which people come into Uvita. 

The company runs buses to many vital places across Costa Rica. If you stayed overnight in San Jose, you might need to call another Uber to take you to the Tracopa station. 

Once you’re there, head to one of the counters to buy your bus tickets. It costs at most $15 for a ticket for the 5- to 6-hhour bus journey to the beautiful Uvita Beach. 

I hope you found this helpful.

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Born in California, Michelle traveled extensively through the USA and Europe before moving to South Florida during the pandemic. Her career in Marketing has taken her all across the world. Her favorite country is France but she'll never turn down a beach vacation!

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