Traveling in Costa Rica requires time and patience.
An adaptable attitude will help immensely.
Bus schedules tend to be unreliable and often change.
Also, it is easy to be misled by untruthful taxi drivers.
There are many options for traveling to Rainsong. The best option for you depends on various factors:
1. Ability to speak Spanish.
2. Travel budget and time factor.
3. Flight arrival time.
4. Number of people traveling together.
5. People with limited Spanish, traveling alone, should avoid stay-overs in San Jose.
You can call Mary with any questions about your travel options. 011 506 2642 1265.
(but our phone doesn't always work !)
The most direct way to reach Rainsong in Cabuya is to fly into the
Juan SantaMaria International Airport, near Alajuela/San Jose.
then choose one of the travel options below to continue your adventure to rainsong.
Flying into the International Airport at Liberia might 'look' closer on the map, but it's very complicated and expensive to get over to Rainsong from that airport.
Fly into the San Jose / Alajuela International Airport .
AIRPORT TAXIS -- orange taxis outside the airport terminal.
go to the taxi booth to the left of the double glass doors as you exit the airport terminal.
PRE-PAY for your taxi in advance there, so your destination will be registered.
This is the only safe way to avoid being overcharged.
We discourage using the red taxis at the bottom of the ramp at the airport, where the buses stop.
It's much safer to PRE-PAY an airport taxi [the orange ones] to take you to your hotel in ALAJUELA.
A taxi to San Jose is at least $25.
There are plenty of nice hotels in nearby Alajuela, 5 minutes from the International Airport
We always send our volunteers to stay at Hotel Cortez Azul, a very cozy & friendly small hotel owned by a good friend to Rainsong, Eduardo gives Rainsong volunteers a nice discount.
Mary can arrange your reservations at Hotel Cortez Azul, in case your flight gets in later than noon,
or you need to overnight to catch the next morning shuttle transfer.
The shuttle office is half a block over from the Hotel Cortez Azul.
FAST but NOT CHEAP:
Airflight from San Jose/Alajuela International Airport to Tambor on the Nicoya Peninsula.
Then by taxi to Rainsong/Cabuya.
AIRFLIGHT INTO the TAMBOR AIRPORT, ON THE PENINSULA de NICOYA
This is a travel option that we STRONGLY DISCOURAGE.
We've had nothing but problems with Sansa overbooking, leaving people stranded in San Jose, or canceling flights without any notice.
So we no longer offer a Rainsong taxi service if you fly into Tambor Airport.
A regular taxi will charge you $50 to $60 to bring you to Cabuya. RIDICULOUS !
The Rainsong taxi only charged $35 for Rainsong volunteers, but we can no longer waste his time waiting at the Tambor Airport for flights that don't arrive, or passengers that got bumped due to Sansa's overbooking.
We strongly suggest you do not use Nature Air, because their terminal is in Pavas,
not at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela.
The taxi ride to the Pavas Airport is at least $25. Big hassle !!!
DIRECT SHUTTLE : $200 PRIVATE CHARTER
For those of you who would like the convenience of a door-to-door private shuttle transfer service, we can offer another option.
Our good friend Doniceo [or it might be Nonyo] can pick you up at the International Airport (Alajuela/San Jose) or a hotel in the area, and bring you directly to Rainsong in Cabuya, or your lodging option in Cabuya..
This personal shuttle is costly, $200, but we're hoping the volunteers could network to share the cost of the charter.
This is an excellent option for groups. Limit per van -- 8 persons. For large groups we'll send 2 vans.
For 4 persons or less, the charter is $200 US. For 5 or more persons, the fee is $35 U.S. each.
Mary has to make the reservations for this shuttle, so send an email,
(subject title:MARY-- PRIVATE SHUTTLE) 2 weeks in advance, with your full name and passport #, airport arrival time, airline company name & flight # .
If you require this private shuttle, you must send to mary the fee of $200 U.S. by Western Union, well in advance.
The driver will be holding up a sign ''Rainsong''.
We can't foresee all circumstances (car trouble, traffic accidents blocking the highway, ferry breakdowns, etc.), but we can
guarantee you will be met , so don't panic !!!
In case your flight arrival is delayed, we will wait at the airport til your flight gets in.
The passengers always have to pay the parking costs.(approx. $5 per hour).
We hope offering this new option makes for a more enjoyable and relaxed transfer to Rainsong.
Your flight must arrive before 2p in order to make the ferry to the Nicoya Peninsula.
Rainsong - tel # 2642 1265 // mary's cell # 8387 3607
Taxi drivers' tel #'s :: Nonyo - #8899 4918 / Evelio #8818 3895 / #8892 6066
Neither Nonyo or Evelio speak english.
Rainsong's phone # - (011 506) 2642 1265 // mary's cell # 8387 3607
Have these phone #'s with you when you board your flight.
Call Rainsong first, if your flight is cancelled or seriously delayed.
We will make any necessary adjustments to your pickup at the airport.
Doniceo speaks limited english.
PUBLIC DIRECT SHUTTLE :
SAFE, FAST, COMFORTABLE.
$45 per person (dropoff at Rainsong or any other rainsong lodging options in Cabuya).
Please book it at firstname.lastname@example.org (011 506) 2441-3394
You need to send Rainsong your flight info to arrange for the shuttle transfer.
Due to many NO-SHO's by Rainsong volunteers,
Mary will fill out your reservation form, send it to you and the shuttle company, then you must fill out the credit card formulary and return the formulary to the shuttle company to secure this service.
If your flight comes in later than 1pm, (to make the 4pm ferry),
Rainsong can recommend where to stay in nearby Alajuela.
Hotel Cortez Azul - $10 per person, tel # - 2443 6145 (owner Eduardo, speaks English, and is very helpful).
To get to the hotel, you will have to take a taxi from the airport.
DO NOT take one of the independant taxis waiting outside the airport. You will risk being driven around for hours and charged for the time.
go to your LEFT , as you exit the airport terminal, there is the Airport taxi booth.
You PRE-PAY there for your taxi service, and the taxi driver will take you directly to your destination [Hotel Cortez Azul, etc.].
Alajuela is only 5 minutes from the International Airport.
The shuttle will pick you up at your hotel at around 8am (May thru November)..
In high season there are 2 shuttle services daily.
6 am, and 2pm leaving the Central Valley area.
While staying in San Jose-Alajuela, if time allows, you might like to visit the exotic bird sanctuary nearby, Amigos de los Aves,
pioneers in the re-production for re-introduction of scarlet macaws in Costa Rica. Also, many other bird species.
A $20 donation is requested. This is not a public rescue center, and is a very worthy cause
that deserves support.
Also in Alajuela, ZooAve is a very active NGO in rescue and rehabilitation for Costa Rica's wildlife.
Visit their zoo if time allows. Very nice.
DIRECT BUS TO MONTEZUMA - $11 pp,
Then to Cabuya by bus - $1
or taxi - $9 or $10
To Rainsong / Cabuya.
The direct bus to Montezuma departs daily from downtown San Jose (Coca Cola Market).
You have to take the morning bus for bus connections thru to Rainsong.
The pm bus puts you into Montezuma late.
Also, Coca Cola Market is in a bad neighborhood, so watch your stuff at all times.
WE STRONGLY DISCOURAGE THIS OPTION.
since the bus company no longer allows passengers to board at the International Airport near Alajuela,
this becomes a very undesirable option, since now you have to take a taxi to san jose [$25], and usually overnight to wait for the morning bus.
WE URGE OUR VOLUNTEERS TO AVOID GOING TO SAN JOSE.
it's very dangerous, and unnecessary.
STAY IN NEARBY ALAJUELA IF AN OVERNIGHT STAY IS NECESSARY.
CHEAP BUS OPTION
ONLY FOR THE ADVENTUROUS !
For those adventurous spirits seeking direct cultural immersion and exchange, [and you’d like to avoid an overnight stay in the city Alajuela, to wait for the next morning shuttle transfer],
Try this travel option if your flight gets in before noon. Even if your Spanish is very limited, you’ll find the ticos are happily very helpful, in general.
WE STRONGLY URGE YOU NOT TO GO INTO SAN JOSE TO TAKE THE DIRECT BUS TO MONTEZUMA.
The office for the direct bus to Montezuma is in the REDLIGHT district of San Jose, ‘Coca Cola Market’, A VERY DANGEROUS AREA.
Not only that, the taxi from the airport to the direct bus terminal in San Jose costs around $25 as well.
[The direct bus company no longer allows people to board at the international Airport. Bummer]
At the International Airport, [Alajuela/San Jose], as you exit the airport terminal, go to your left as you go thru the double glass doors,
go to the Airport Taxi booth and PRE-PAY a taxi to:
LA RADIAL, ALAJUELA - the taxi should cost no more than $5.
There is a bus to PUNTARENAS every hour. The buses stop in front of the little shopping center.
It’s very cheap!
Once in Puntarenas, get a taxi to the ferry landing for Paquera.
There is another ferry that lands at the same place that goes to Playa Naranjo -Guanacaste.
Lots of people end up on the wrong ferry, so be alert.
Also, the ferry office is a favorite hangout for thieves, so keep a good eye on your stuff.
The last ferry to Paquera with bus connections thru to Rainsong/Cabuya leaves Puntarenas at 2:00pm. You can still take a later ferry, then pay a taxi from Montezuma to Rainsong/Cabuya, for
At the Paquera ferry landing, get on the bus to Montezuma.
The last bus to Cabuya leaves Montezuma at 4p. There are usually taxis at the bus stop in Montezuma,
if you have missed the last bus to Cabuya, then just get a taxi. After dark, a taxi to Cabuya should cost around $10.
Clarify the price before getting into the taxi.
Rainsong has taxi friends who give the Rainsong volunteers a fair fee.
If you are having problems locating a taxi, call Rainsong, 2642 1265,
we will send a taxi to bring you to Cabuya.
Be clear about your destination in Cabuya:
Joe’s Hotel Cabo Blanco – tel # 2642 1529
Rosaura’s Mar y Paz Guest House- tel # 2642 0333
Rainsong – tel # 2642 1265
If a stay-over in Puntarenas is unavoidable………..
HOTEL HELEN, one & 1/2 blocks north of the san jose bus station (away from the oceanside), just before the traffic light.
$8 per person - dorm room, includes fan, tv, (shared bath)
$20 -private room (double) - fan, tv, private bathroom.
tel # 2661 2159 Olivier - owner (limited english spoken).
NO RESERVATIONS NECESSARY, DROP-INS WELCOME !
On the corner of the traffic light,
OUR FAVORITE CHINESE FOOD RESTAURANT -'LA FELICIDAD'
best shrimp fried rice in costa rica !
Our all-time favorite ' soda' (café) - Soda La Giralda - is 2 blocks down from the traffic light..
Enjoy an excellent Tico meal there, good prices.
june 2009 update - soda giralda is remodeling their building and will be closed for a while.
HOTEL CAYUGA in Puntarenas - Don Mario - owner, Fatima - administrator
phone # 2661 0244 (no english spoken)
for a few dollars more, you can stay at this nicer hotel with great security and a bar / restaurant .
simple single room - $12 U.S. /// double - $17, includes private bath & air conditioning.
deluxe suite - $35 U.S. for 2 guests - includes small fridge, AC, cable TV, private bath.
reservations aren't really necessary, especially during offseason.
if you miss the ferry, this is the place to go to.
WE STRONGLY URGE YOU NOT TO GO OUT AT NIGHT IN PUNTARENAS !!!
If you are traveling alone, try to join up with others going the same way.
We hope these suggestions make your trip more enjoyable and less stressful.
Please mention that you are a Rainsong volunteer at the hotels and when calling for a Taxi Service.
Rainsong´s favorite taxi drivers:
Doniceo - tel # 8367 5368 private shuttle and tour service
Noñyo - Cobano and beyond- tel # 8899 4918
Evelio - Cobano and beyond - tel # 8818 3895, 8892 6066
all the above taxis have full insurance and permits.
HAPPY TRAILS !!!!!!!!!
For urgent messages or EMERGENCIES call Rainsong.
011 506 2642 1265