When (and if) you decide to leave us, it is fairly simple to plan your departure. If you have opted to
travel to Tortuguero via a tour agency or one of the large hotels, then your departure details will most
likely be already taken care of. If you travled here independently, you can basically follow the same
steps you took to get here, only backwards.
Main Dock of Tortuguero
Here are the boat schedules:
Leave Tortuguero at 6am, 11:00am, and 2:45pm from the main dock in town.
Tickets are 1600 colones (about $3 USD).
La Pavona (Rancho el Suerte)
When the boat arrives at the docking point of La Pavona, you will wait for the bus coming from Cariari
(it will arrive at around 7:30am, 10:30am, 1:30pm, and 4:30pm, usually the bus is already there waiting
for you). This bus will take you to Cariari for 1100 colones (about $2 USD).
If you drove, get in your car, pay the guard, and follow the map (click here to see map) out to Guaplies,
and then to wherever you are going next.
The last stop of the bus from La Pavona is at the old bus station. It takes about 1 1/2 hours from La
Pavona. To catch buses to San Jose, you will need to walk to the new bus station (click here to see
Buses leave from Cariari directly to San Jose at:
5:30am, 6:30am, 7:30, 8:30am, 11:30am, 1pm, 3pm, 5:30pm.
If you leave Tortuguero at 6am, you will arrive in Cariari at around 9am (you will most likely miss the
8:30am to San Jose) which means you should take a bus to Guapiles and then to San Jose (see below
for more information).
If you leave Tortuguero at 11:00 am you will arrive in Cariari a little before 3pm (usually with enough
time to catch 3pm bus to San Jose).
If you left Tortuguero at 2:45pm you will arrive in Cariari at around 6pm (you will most likely miss the
last bus to San Jose from Cariari).
Bus to Guapiles and then to San Jose
Rather than waiting in Cariari for 2 and a half hours (if you left at 6am), or missing the direct buses
altogether (if you left at 2:45pm), we suggest that you take a bus from Cariari to Guapiles. It takes
about a half an hour, costs around 300 colones (.60 cents), and leaves Cariari from the old bus station
every 20 minutes. Stay on the bus until the last stop which will be the main Guapiles terminal where
you can take another bus to San Jose or any other main city on the Caribean side of Costa Rica.
In Guaplies, direct buses leave for San Jose about every half and hour starting at 5:30am until 7pm. It
will take about 2 hours.
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