Travel Information (How To Get There)
Canadians, US Citizens, citizens of the European Union, Swiss, Australians and citizens of some other countries do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica and are usually allowed to stay up to 90 days in the country. However, they must have a current valid passport and a return ticket to exit Costa Rica (either to return to your country or go to another country). The passport must be valid for a minimum of 3 months from the day you enter Costa Rica.
For foreigners of other countries, the tourist visa will depend on their nationality and they should apply for it at the Consulate of their jurisdiction.
If you will be travlling to Costa Rica from South America you will need the YELLOW FEVER VACCINE to enter Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has two international airports; Daniel Oduber Intenational Airport, in Liberia, in the province of Guanacaste, which is just 62 km away from Tamarindo and Juan Santamaria International Airport, in Alajuela, close to San José, with a distance of approximately 300 km to Tamarindo.
For students that are staying with host families or at the student houses in Tamarindo, we need to know if you are planning to come to Tamarindo by plane, public bus or private bus and the approximate time of arrival.
Traveling from International Airport Daniel Oduber, in Liberia, to Playa Tamarindo, Villareal and Santa Rosa
The airport is 40 miles away from Tamarindo, 35 miles from Santa Rosa and 36 miles from Villareal. For arrivals between 12.00 pm - 02.00 pm the service has a cost of USD 25.00 per person and for any other arrival time the cost is USD 65.00.
Importante note: The rate of USD 25.00 is only guaranteed if there are at least 2 passengers from WAYRA. In case there is just 1 passenger the student has to pay the double rate of USD 50.00 for arrival between 12.00 pm- 02.00 pm and USD 65.00 for any other arrival times.
Tamarindo Shuttle can bring you to any place in Tamarindo or to Santa Rosa / Villareal where the host families live. The travel time is less than 1 hour.
Traveling from San José to Tamarindo
Upon arrival students can change their money into Colones in the bank at Juan Santamaria International Airport. The exchange rates, and above all, the commission of changing USD or Euros into Colones, is higher than changing in other banks in the country so therefore we recommend only to change a small amount of money.
If students cannot complete their trip within one day to Tamarindo, we recommend them to stay at the Hotel Berlor. This hotel is located just 1.5 km from the airport and has a cost of USD 65.00 (included is aiport pick-up, breakfast, WiFi and taxes). The next day, students may travel with Interbus to Playa Tamarindo.
Interbus is a private bus company that offers direct service to Tamarindo. This bus ride takes about 4 ½ hours to reach Tamarindo. Interbus offers daily service at a charge of US $ 54.00. The buses are air conditioned and comfortable. The departure time is at 08:15 am at the Hotel Berlor (if you stay at this hotel) or at 03.00 pm at the Restaurant Dennys by the airport, and it arrives in Playa Tamarindo approximately at 1 pm respectively at around 06.30 pm. We can make the reservation at the Hotel Berlor and also purchase the bus ticket for you.
Since the reception of the school is open on Sunday only from 10.00 am - 04.00 pm, students that stay at one of our student houses should take the 08:15 am bus in order to get on time to Playa Tamarindo.
There is no problem for students to take the afternoon bus if they stay with a host family.
Important: Students that travel with Interbus and stay at one of the student houses should come directly to the school in order to check in. Students staying with host families in Santa Rosa or Villarreal can get off the bus at the Casa de Madera in the center of Villareal where a member of their host family will wait for them.
SANSA and Nature Air fly from San José's Juan Santamaria International Airport to Playa Tamarindo around 3 times a day.
At the airport, in Playa Tamarindo, you can take a taxi for about USD 5.00 to get to Santa Rosa, Villareal or Playa Tamarindo. Please do not forget to keep your lodging information at hand in order to tell the driver the address.
By public bus
The ride with the public bus takes approximately 6 hours from San Jose. As this is a public service, we cannot make a reservation; therefore the student must purchase the ticket personally as early as possible. Students with a homestay reservation should inform the bus driver to drop them off at the bus stop in Villareal. Since the reception of the school closes on Sundays at 4.00 pm, students staying at a student house should not take the public bus to Tamarindo. There is no problem for students to take the public bus, if they stay with a host family. At the bus stop in Villareal, they will be picked up by a member of the host family.