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Your Best Transportation Options Between Monteverde And La Fortuna (Costa Rica)

Your Best Transportation Options Between Monteverde And La Fortuna (Costa Rica)

In Monteverde and need to get to La Fortuna (or vice versa)? Have we got some recommendations for you!

Ricky & Nikki – Van-Boat-Van from La Fortuna to Monteverde

La Fortuna (home of the stunning Arenal Volcano) and Monteverde (the infamous cloud forest) are two of the most visited locations in Costa Rica. Located close in proximity to one another (when viewing a map), travellers might be surprised to learn that the unlucky positioning of Arenal Lake dividing the two towns on either side presents some transportation challenges.

Ricky – Enjoying Lake Arenal

Fortunately, there is a route that runs between La Fortuna and Monteverde around the lake – ideal for travellers with their own rented vehicles wanting to make a solo trip. The trouble with this option is that the road is quite rough in parts and the added required drive time in following the road all the way around the lake from town A to town B makes the trip an extra long one. Shared shuttle services also run to and from Monteverde and La Fortuna, as do private transfer services, however both of these options face the same challenge: a long and bumpy ride.

Van-Boat-Van Driver – A New Friend!

As an alternative to these transfer services which require travelling around the lake, there is also a van-boat-van service (often referred to as the jeep-boat-jeep or taxi-boat-taxi service in some guidebooks) that significantly reduces travel time, and consequently, hassle and stress. The van-boat-van eliminates the majority of time spent driving around the lake by offering a boat ride directly across the lake. Van-boat-van services offer hotel pick-ups in either Monteverde or La Fortuna, as well as hotel drop-offs at either the former or the latter. The cost is inexpensive, your luggage stays with you the entire time, and the entire business (which operates to and from Monteverde and La Fortuna twice daily – once in the morning and again in the afternoon) runs smoothly.

Along the Road to Monteverde

Although the van-boat-van service is arguably the most popular, time efficient, and cost efficient method of travel between Monteverde and La Fortuna, there are also a few tour options that include transportation between these two cities in their rates. For those who enjoy horseback riding, there is a full-day horseback riding tour which incorporates part of the van-boat-van service with a leisurely horseback riding tour between La Fortuna and Monteverde – a great way to experience a fun activity on a day you would have otherwise only scheduled your transportation. Similarly, for those who are in search of a more physically challenging experience, there is a full-day mountain biking tour that also combines part of the van-boat-van service while allowing travellers to partly ride themselves to their next destination.

Nikki – View of the Arenal Volcano from Arenal Lake on the return trip

*Discounts for the van-boat-van service, as well as tours including transportation to/from Monteverde and La Fortuna are available through Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated at:

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: What is your preferred method of travel between cities? Shared shuttle transportation? Transfer services private to your group? Local buses? Domestic flights?

Pura vida!

Costa Rica tour discounts

Costa Rica tour discounts

Costa Rica tour discounts


2 thoughts on “Your Best Transportation Options Between Monteverde And La Fortuna (Costa Rica)”

  • Thank you. Really good tips here. I have a question. My husband and I will be 2 weeks at flamingo beach. Have a rental for a portion and want to visit Arenal or Monteverde. Can we see both with 2 days and one night in La Fortuna and take a taxi/boat over and enjoy Monteverde as well? What are your thoughts? Dislike paying for extra nights when the 2 weeks are already paid. Thank you. KO

    • Kay Underwood Ortiz –
      Yes, absolutely! It will require a fair bit of driving and you will want to fit in as much as possible in both locations to make the most of your visits while at each, however if you only have 2 days / 1 night it is possible. If you plan to spend 1 night in the La Fortuna area, our best recommendation would be to depart from Playa Flamingo early in the morning and drive directly to La Fortuna. Once there, participate in the tours/activities you desire and spend the night at your desired La Fortuna hotel. The next morning wake up very early and drive around Lake Arenal to Monteverde (no need to take the taxi-boat-taxi here as you will have the rental vehicle – the boat is a small speedboat and not a ferry so unfortunately with a rental car you cannot cross the lake but must drive around it). Plan to participate in the tours/activities that interest you there before departing later in the day for Playa Flamingo. 🙂
      Pura vida!

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