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Getting from Liberia Airport (LIR) to Santa Teresa

Brimming with rugged natural beauty, Santa Teresa, located on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, simply can’t be missed. Spend your days hiking through the country’s first National Park at Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, have a Robinson Crusoe moment when you island-hop to nearby Tortuga Bay, and follow the local tradition of heading to the beach at sunset. 

The two most popular ways to get from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa are by taxi or private transfer, and a combination of 4 public buses and a ferry. Travelling by taxi or private transfer is certainly the recommended option since it only takes 205 minutes during light traffic, and it provides a door-to-door service. On the other hand, the bus and ferry option takes 7 hours excluding wait times, however, it is a very affordable option.

Welcome Pickups offers meet and greet services and a friendly introduction to Liberia at the same price as a regular taxi. Click here to see the cost.

Comparison of the options

Taxi €346 205min 24/7
Bus €29.5 420min 04:30–19:30

Getting from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa by taxi

When travelling from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa in Costa Rica, a taxi is by far the quickest and most convenient way to get to your destination. During light traffic, the trip takes about 205 minutes but this can increase to up to 250 minutes during the wet season or increased traffic. 

Many companies offer shared shuttle services for this route too which take 300 minutes or more during light traffic, depending on additional stops for other passengers. Shared shuttles start at around €46 (CRC 26,290) per person. Keep in mind, however, that these services operate on a restricted schedule. 

Taxi fare from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa

The price of a taxi for up to 4 people when using the taximeter will come to around €346 (CRC 198,000), however, it may be possible to negotiate a lower price when travelling longer distances. Since the cost is calculated based on time and distance travelled, as well as the type of vehicle, fares can significantly increase during increased traffic or road closures due to bad weather. 

To lock in a competitive, set-rate fee with no extra costs, we recommend booking a private transfer in advance. You also receive the benefit of having an English-speaking driver who will share about favourite local spots and give you a personalised experience.



Trip Duration

205 Min.

*Fares very unless booked in advance.

Value for Money

Taxis are available 24/7 from Liberia International Airport (LIR).

Where do I catch a taxi from?

Taxis collect passengers from the airport at the designated taxi rank in front of the main terminal.


Travelling by taxi is by far the most comfortable and easiest way to travel from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa. Moreover, a taxi will take less than half the time than if travelling by public bus and will drop you directly to your accommodation.

Editor’s Note

Airport taxi minivans, which seat up to 8 people, offer more economical fare rates if you are travelling in a larger group.

Useful Tips

Only take government-regulated taxis; from the airport look for orange vehicles with an official logo.
Ask your hotel in Santa Teresa for a price estimate before negotiating a flat rate fee with your driver.
It is expected that you tip your driver 10-15% of the total fare price.

Getting from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa by bus

Since there isn’t a direct service from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa in Costa Rica, you’ll need to take a combination of 4 buses and a ferry to reach your destination. In total, the journey takes around 420 minutes, excluding wait and transfer times.

The following outlines the route and transfers you will need to take:

  • Take the bus to downtown Liberia from Liberia Airport to the Terminal de Buses Municipal which takes approximately 30 minutes.
  • From there, take the 180-minute 506/508 bus to the town of Puntarenas.
  • In Puntarenas, you’ll need to walk for 20 minutes to reach the ferry terminal or take a 5-minute taxi ride.
  • Board the ferry to Paquera which takes around 90 minutes.
  • Once in Paquera, take the 631 bus to Cobano which takes about 75 minutes.
  • Lastly, from Cobano you need to take a 30-minute bus towards Mal Pais, stopping in Santa Teresa.

The last bus to Santa Teresa leaves Cobano at 19:30 each day so this transfer option is only suitable if you are arriving at Liberia Airport early in the morning, otherwise you won’t make the connection in time. 

How much does the bus cost?

The total cost for the journey by bus and ferry from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa is €14.75 (CRC 8,329 ) per traveller. All bus tickets need to be purchased with cash and can be bought directly from the driver. Tickets for the ferry on the other hand can be purchased online in advance for €1.60 (CRC 902), or in person with cash from the Boleteria Ferry a Paquera for €1.40 (CRC 810) per person. The cost for each bus ticket is:

Liberia Airport to downtown:  €5 (CRC 2,800)
Liberia bus station to Puntarenas: €5.40 (CRC 3,060)
Paquera to Cobano: €1.83 (CRC 1,045)
Cobano to Santa Teresa: €0.92 (CRC 522)



Trip Duration

420 Min.

The airport bus runs every 30 minutes. The Liberia to Puntarenas bus runs every 45 to 165 minutes. The wait between ferries is 120 to 180 minutes. Buses from Paquera Port to Cobano run every 60 to 180 minutes.

Value for Money

Buses from the airport run daily between 04:30 and 22:00. The Liberia to Puntarenas bus operates daily between 05:00 and 17:00. The ferry to Paquera operates daily between 04:00 and 22:30. Buses from the Paquera Port to Cobano operate daily between 05:50 and 19:30.

Where do I catch the bus from?

Buses from the airport to downtown Liberia depart from the departures lobby in the main terminal. Once you get downtown, take the bus from the Terminal de Buses Municipal to the Terminal Eupsa Puntarenas operated by Reyna del Campo. In Puntarenas, it is a 2 km walk or 5-minute drive to Naviera Tambor ferry terminal for the boat to Paquera. From Paquera Port, the bus travels to the bus terminal in Cobano where you can take the bus to Santa Teresa bus terminal; both of these buses are run by Transportes Cobano.


Travelling by bus and ferry from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa is the most affordable way to make this journey, however, it is also the longest and most complicated. If you aren’t under any time constraints and are travelling with a small amount of luggage, then it is certainly possible, but navigating Costa Rica’s transport system can be tricky and requires some planning.

Unless you are travelling on a tight budget, a much more straightforward option is to book a private transfer with Welcome Pickups. This is especially recommended for anyone arriving later than 10:00 at Liberia Airport, since after this time it isn’t possible to complete the bus and ferry journey within a day.

Editor’s Note

It is best to book your ferry ticket online in advance to secure a seat. If tickets sell out online, it is still possible to purchase them in person the day of travel, but you may have to wait for the next service if the ferry is sold out.

Useful Tips

In smaller towns, unregistered 'pirate' taxis are more common and sometimes the only option. If you need to take one to the ferry port, be sure to agree on a price up-front.
Buses generally aren't air-conditioned and there may be extra costs for excess luggage.
On holidays buses generally run less frequently; schedule changes depend on each bus company.

Welcome Pickups has a Net Safety Score of 99 of 100

We’ve introduced a metric indicating how safe travellers feel when using our services during the COVID-19 pandemic. After every ride, we ask each traveller to leave a review.

  • 20 minute gap between transfers

  • Regular Car Sanitisation

  • Contactless ride

  • Sanitiser in every car

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Frequently asked questions

How far is Santa Teresa from Liberia Airport?

The distance from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa in Costa Rica is 206 km. When travelling directly via taxi or private transfer the journey takes between 205 and 250 minutes, depending on traffic and the weather.

How do I get from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa?

The only direct way to travel from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa is to take a taxi or private transfer which takes around 205 minutes, depending on traffic and road conditions. Alternatively, you can take a combination of public buses and a ferry which will get you there in 420 minutes, excluding wait times.

Is there a direct bus from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa?

There isn’t a direct public bus from Liberia Airport to Santa Teresa; to make the journey by bus requires 4 buses and a ferry ride and the journey takes 7 hours, excluding wait and transfer times. For a direct route, I recommend booking a private transfer at a competitive rate and enjoying door-to-door service to start your holiday off right.

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