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Top 4 Best Ways How To Get From Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja

How To Get From Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja

Many tourists travel from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja to visit the wonderful and magical waterfall. And if you’re planning on going this route but are unsure how to make this trip, this article is for you.

I’ve helped hundreds of tourists find the best option from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja. And in this article, I will discuss the three main ways to get from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja, from public buses to hiring a private car service.

Top 4 Best Ways How To Get From Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja

  1. Public Transportation
  2. Group Shuttles
  3. Private Car Service
  4. Driving (Car Rental)

Let’s dive right in:

There are four ways to get from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja. You can use public transportation, go on a roundtrip shuttle, hire a private transportation service, or drive a rental car. Generally, the first two options are more affordable, and the latter is more convenient.

Public transportation is the cheapest option from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja. However, hiring a private car service or a private shuttle is the fastest and easiest option. Using a shared shuttle provides excellent value for money. And driving can give you the freedom that none of the other options can. 

Keep scrolling to find out how each option ranks against each other based on its pros and cons so that you can make the best of your trip from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja. 

Let’s explore each option’s pros and cons to help determine the best way for you to get from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja, starting by comparing prices.

Top 4 Cheapest Ways to Get From Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja

Transportation Service Price Per Person (USD)
Public Transportation $50 – $60
Driving (Car Rental) $30 – $60
Group Shuttle $70 – $80
Private Car Service $300 – $310

Notes:

  • The above rates do not include the 13% IVA tax.
  • These prices assume there is a minimum of two travelers.
  • Renting a car consists of the base rate, insurance, and fuel.
  • Prices can fluctuate throughout the year based on market conditions and demand.

Note: The above prices are estimations to give you an idea.

Keep reading more detailed information on each service and how they work.

Public Bus from Arenal To Rincon de la Vieja

The cheapest way to get from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja is to use the public transportation system. However, the trip is not straightforward because no direct bus connects these destinations. You must take a taxi from Arenal to La Fortuna, followed by a bus to Tilaran, a bus to Cañas, a bus to Liberia, and a taxi to Rincon de la Vieja. The whole trip will take between six and seven hours

Let’s look at the step-by-step process for getting from Arenal to Liberia by bus. Along with the instructions, I will share the links to Google Maps landmarks, which will be essential to make this trip. 

1. First, you must take a taxi from Arenal to the . The bus you need leaves from there at 8 am, and you need to do the line to purchase the tickets, so depending on where in Arenal you’re staying, I recommend you take your taxi between 7 am and 7:30 am to give you enough time to get to the terminal. This first taxi can cost between $10 and $20. 

2. Once you arrive at , you must take the 8 am bus from La Fortuna to Tilaran. After two hours of travel around Lake Arenal to get to the Rincon de la Vieja using public buses. Most travelers use the following alternatives;

Drive From Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja

Now that we know how long it takes to get from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja using public transportation, let’s talk about how to make this trip much faster. 

Driving is the fastest way to get from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja, which will take between 4 and 5 hours. A more precise estimate will depend on the traffic conditions and your experience driving around the country. On average, tourists take 4.5 hours to go from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja.

Unlike all the other ways to get from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja, driving is one of the fastest options, as shown in the following comparison table. 

Top 4 Fastest Options to Get from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja

Transportation Service How Long it Takes
Private Transfer 3.5 Hours
Driving* 3 – 5 Hours
Shared Shuttle 3 – 4 Hours
Public Bus 6 – 7 Hours

*If you don’t have experience driving in Costa Rica, the trip from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja will take about 4.5 hours. Contrarily, if you’re an avid driver with experience driving in Costa Rica, you will likely make this trip in 3.5 hours.

Aspects to Consider When Driving from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja

Let’s discuss a few drawbacks of driving in Costa Rica, which you should consider before renting a car from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja. 

Driving from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja is relatively simple. The roads are in good shape, and both destinations are in the countryside of Costa Rica, making them almost “traffic free.” However, driving in Costa Rica can be very different from how you’re used to driving at home. 

In Costa Rica, crazy local drivers, unpredictable and harsh weather conditions, and narrow roads make driving here a challenge and an overwhelming task for some

For example, it’s common to see local drivers going full speed, passing multiple vehicles on a relatively narrow road. Witnessing a car pass like that on these roads can make some drivers feel uncomfortable and anxious. 

I have witnessed this scenario many times before, and it still feels a bit uncomfortable for me. Getting past at full speed in such narrow streets means the car passing by comes very close to you, and it’s not cool. And it’s one of the main complaints I’ve heard from foreigners visiting Costa Rica for the first time. 

On the other hand, the weather conditions in Costa Rica are pretty unpredictable. Costa Rica has more than 300 microclimates (a local set of atmospheric conditions that differ from those in the surrounding a. And that means you can experience several different atmospheric conditions over a two-hour drive. 

You might leave Arenal with a clear sky when suddenly a cloud forms thirty minutes later, pouring rain all over the place. Driving under these conditions isn’t a problem from December through April (Costa Rican summertime) as there are few rain showers, and they’re not too hard.

However, it can be a big deal from May through November (Costa Rican rainy season). During this time of the year, it rains more often and much harder, especially during September and October, when heavy thunderstorms are a daily norm. Generally speaking, driving during those months is significantly challenging, even for locals, especially during the afternoons when thunderstorms often come. 

And lastly, a final aspect that makes driving in Costa Rica challenging for foreigners is the poor condition of the roads. There are many potholes, so you must be extra careful, and 100% focused when driving in our country. You will want to dodge those bad boys as they can be so sharp that they can flat your vehicle’s tire.

Flat tires do not usually cause many accidents in Costa Rica, but they can still be a hassle. Since most roads are narrow, you will need to find a safe parking stop so you can change the tire. Changing tires is not super fun, and it can be incredibly discouraging if it begins to rain in the middle of the process, as it’s happened to me a few times. 

For a relatively short drive from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja, the above pointers may not be a bummer for you. Nonetheless, I consider them when planning your route. Just take your time to drive slowly to dodge potholes, assume the trip will probably take you more time than the GPS estimates, and make sure you travel in the mornings when the weather is best.

Costa Rica Rental Car Comparison Tool

After considering the above drawbacks, if you decide that renting a car is still a good option, it may be time to find a reasonable Rental Car. And I recommend using the . You can find the best car rental deals in one place. All you need to do is choose the city or Airport where you plan to pick up a car, and the Costa Rica Rental Car Comparison Tool will instantly display the best deals across the major rental car companies in Costa Rica. Give it a try. 

Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja Private Shuttle

We have already explored how to get from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja using public transportation or driving a rental car. Let’s now explore another way, using a Private Shuttle.  

Booking a private car service is arguably the easiest and fastest way to get from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja.

Hiring a Private Transportation Service, or a “Private Shuttle,” as locals call it, is the easiest way to get from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja. You can arrange a specific time and place with a private shuttle, and a transportation company will pick you up and take you to your lodge in Rincon de la Vieja. 

Here at Arenal Tours, we offer a private door-to-door service, so you can relax and enjoy the ride while we take care of the heavy lifting and drive for you. 

That way, you don’t need to worry about carrying your personal belongings around using public transportation. Neither will you need to worry about driving in a foreign country with roads that might differ significantly from the streets you’re used to riding back home. 

Instead, you arrange the pickup time and place. Then, one of our local professional drivers will pick you up with a modern vehicle to take you from your departure place in Arenal to your destination in Rincon de la Vieja.

The only disadvantage of hiring this type of transportation service is the price. Going on a private transfer is the most comfortable, convenient, and straightforward option but also pricey. 

Depending on the pickup and dropoff places, a private transfer from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja will usually cost $304 for 1 to 6 passengers. And your pickup time can also influence your pricing. For example, if you want to depart La Fortuna before 7 am or after 5 pm, there is a $20 additional fee for this service. Additionally, private transfer prices will increase as demand rises, especially during the busiest days, so I recommend booking ahead. 

Getting a Group Shuttle from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja is an excellent choice for solo travelers and couples. A group shuttle is a daily shared transportation service from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja. A modern Van with air conditioning and WiFi will pick you up at your lodge in Arenal and take you to Rincon de la Vieja in about 3.5 hours.

Generally, taking a group shuttle, or a “shared shuttle,” as the locals call it, is the most recommended door-to-door way to get from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja for most travelers. Group shuttles are convenient and provide the best balance, saving time and money for travelers in most cases.

Here at Arenal Tours, we offer group shuttles, where you share the shuttle service with fellow travelers and the cost, making it an excellent option for solo travelers and couples. Using our group shuttle to Rincon de la Vieja will be far more convenient than riding the public bus and significantly less expensive than hiring a private transfer. 

Using our group shuttle is also more manageable and less stressful than renting a car and driving. The price can change depending on the seasonality and demand, but it’s usually around $78 per person per way. 

Book a Group Shuttle from Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja here

Here’s the end of this article. Thank you for reading this far, and feel free to share this info with fellow travelers as you deem appropriate. Happy travels and ¡Pura Vida, amigos!

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About the Author

Daniel Lalinde

I am the founder of send us a message, and we will happily assist you! 

 

Use our Rental Car Comparison Tool to Find the Lowest Prices (Guaranteed) On Car Rentals To Visit Costa Rica. Choose the city or airport where you plan to pick it up, and our tool will show you the top deals in real-time.