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Travel Information

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 180 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 travelling 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 about 70km 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

We can organize a private shuttle service from Liberia airport to your host family in Santa Rosa or Villarreal or directly to Playa Tamarindo for USD 100.00. The travel time is around 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 75.00 (included is airport pick-up from 10am – 10pm, breakfast, Wi-Fi 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 $ 68.00. 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 Denny’s by the airport, and it arrives in Playa Tamarindo approximately at 1 pm or 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 10.30 am – 02.00 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. In case a student arrives later we will leave the keys of the residence in a lockbox, but this has to be organized prior to the arrival. 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 “Centro Comercial GOLLO” in the center of Villareal where a member of their host family will wait for them.

By Airplane

SANSA is flying from San José’s Juan Santamaria International Airport to Playa Tamarindo around 3 times a day.

Students can purchase the ticket with SANSA directly on their web sites .

At the airport, in Playa Tamarindo, you can take a taxi for about USD 10.00 to get to Santa Rosa, Villarreal 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 Villarreal. 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 Villarreal, they will be picked up by a member of the host family.