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Top 3 Best Ways How To Get From Tortuguero to Arenal Volcano

How To Get From Tortuguero to Arenal

Hundreds of thousands of tourists travel from Tortuguero to Arenal annually. If you’re planning on going this route, and you’re not sure whether you should rent a car and drive, take a flight, take a shuttle, hire a private car service, or use the public transportation system, this article is for you.

I’ve helped hundreds of tourists find the best option from Tortuguero to Arenal. And in this article, I will discuss the three main ways to get from Tortuguero to Arenal, from public buses to private car services.

Let’s dive in and find out which option is best for you.

The Best Ways To Get From Tortuguero To Arenal

  1. Public Transportation
  2. Group Shuttle & Boat
  3. Driving (Car Rental)

There are four ways to get from Tortuguero to Arenal. You can use public transportation, go on a group shuttle & boat, or drive a rental car. Generally, the group shuttle & boat service is more convenient, whereas the other two can be more complicated. 

Public transportation is the cheapest option from Tortuguero to Arenal. However, hiring a private car service is the fastest and easiest option. And going on a group shuttle generally gives you the best balance of time and cost. 

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

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

Cheapest Ways to Get from Tortuguero to Arenal

Transportation Service Price Per Person (USD)
Shuttle & Boat $60 – $70
Driving (Car Rental) $50 – $80
Public Transportation $100 – $110


  • 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, fuel, and parking at La Pavona.
  • Prices can fluctuate throughout the year based on market conditions and demand.
  • Public Transportation (taxis) will only take cash (USD or Colones).

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

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

Tortuguero to Arenal Bus

There are no buses from Tortuguero to Arenal. Tortuguero is in a remote area that’s only accessible by boat. Therefore, to get from Tortuguero to Arenal using public transportation, you first take a ferry from Tortuguero to La Pavona Pier, which will take 1.5 hours and cost $3 per person. Then you take a taxi from La Pavona to Arenal, which will take about 3.5 hours and cost about $220. 

Considering the lack of public buses and the high taxi price tag, public transportation from Tortuguero to Arenal is generally the least popular among travelers, so let’s explore the other ways to get from Tortuguero to Arenal.

Drive From Tortuguero to Arenal

Since Tortuguero is in an area accessible by boat, there are no Rental Cars in Tortuguero, which means that if you’re looking to get from Tortuguero to Arenal by car, you must already have arrived in Tortuguero by car. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get to Arenal by car, and you will need to use either the public transportation, which I explained above or the Group Shuttle & Boat service, which I will explain next. 

Shuttle From Tortuguero to Arenal

Getting a group boat & shuttle from to Arenal is an excellent choice for solo travelers and couples. A group shuttle is a daily shared transportation service from Tortuguero to Arenal. A boat will first take you from Tortuguero to La Pavona Pier, and then a modern Van with air conditioning and WiFi will pick you up there and take you to Arenal.

Generally, taking a group boat & shuttle, or a “shared shuttle,” as the locals call it, is the most recommended door-to-door way to get from Tortuguero to Arenal 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 Arenal will be far more convenient and less expensive than public transportation. The price can change depending on the seasonality and demand, but it’s usually around $65 per person per way. 

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About the Author

Daniel Lalinde

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