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How to Get from San Jose Airport to Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a laid-back but at the same time vibrant city on central California’s coast. Its beautiful beaches, rich surf culture, and galleries offer exciting activities to different types of travellers. If you’re arriving at San Jose Airport, you can make your way to Santa Cruz either by taxi or bus. Depending on your needs, you can choose whatever transportation option best suits you and your travelling party. Taking a San Jose airport shuttle to Santa Cruz or booking a private, personalised transfer, is the fastest and most comfortable transportation option to reach your destination, despite the higher cost. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can get to Santa Cruz by bus but be prepared for a longer and more time-consuming trip.

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

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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Comparison of the options

PRICE FOR 2PASSENGERS
OPTION PRICE DURATION AVAILABILITY
Taxi €104 46min 24/7
Bus €24 105min 07:52–18:20

How to get from San Jose Airport to Santa Cruz by taxi

Getting from San Jose Airport to Santa Cruz by taxi is the fastest and most comfortable transportation option. No matter what time your flight arrives, you can get in a San Jose airport taxi and get to your accommodation or other destination in less than an hour. If you prefer to avoid waiting in line for a taxi, you can book your private shuttle in advance and have a driver waiting for you as soon as you land.

How much does a San Jose airport shuttle to Santa Cruz cost?

If you get a quote from different operators for a ride from San Jose to Santa Cruz, you’ll see that the total fare can differ significantly. The average price for a standard taxi for up to 4 passengers is about $110 (€104) and depends on the exact pickup and drop-off locations as well as traffic conditions.

Cost

$110 (€104)

Trip Duration

46 min

The total fare might vary depending on the operator so consider pre-booking your transfer.

Convenience
Safety
Value for Money

Taxis are available at San Jose Airport 24/7.

Where do I get a taxi from?

You’ll find taxis available at San Jose Airport all day long for on-demand service. They’re lined up outside Terminal A at Stop 2 and Terminal B at Stop 1.

Convenience

Taking a San Jose airport shuttle to Santa Cruz might seem like a pricey option but it’s definitely the most convenient one. No matter how long your flight was, it’s way easier and stress-free to just hop into a taxi instead of waiting for the bus. For an even better experience, you can pre-book your San Jose airport transfer and skip the line that you’ll probably find at the taxi ranks.

Editor’s Note

For solo travellers, taking a taxi can be quite an expensive and unsuitable choice if you're travelling on a budget. For families, however, or larger groups, taking a taxi will offer a much more comfortable and stress-free experience.

Useful Tips

Different rates apply among the various taxi companies, so ask the driver what the rate is before you start the ride.
Most taxis in San Jose accept card payments but it’s best to check with your driver before entering the vehicle.
Leaving your driver a 10% tip or more is customary in San Jose, CA - especially when it comes to longer routes.

How to get from San Jose Airport to Santa Cruz by bus

If you’re travelling on a budget, then you can reach Santa Cruz by bus. There is no direct connection from San Jose Airport to Santa Cruz so you’ll need to find the best itinerary for you. The fastest option is to switch three buses, as follows:

VTA bus line 60
from San Jose Airport Terminal A/B to El Camino & Lafayette

VTA bus line 22
from El Camino & Lafayette to Santa Clara & Montgomery

Amtrak Highway 17 Express
from San Jose Diridon Station to Santa Cruz Metro Center

Keep in mind that Amtrak Highway 17 Express operates only on weekdays, so if you’re arriving at San Jose Airport during the weekend, this is not an option.

How much does the bus ticket from San Jose Airport to Santa Cruz cost?

Since you’ll need to switch three different bus lines, three different tickets are required. A single adult fare for the VTA bus lines is $2.50 (€2.30) and for the Amtrak Highway 17 Express is $7 (€6.70); the total cost for the whole trip is $12 (€11.30) per traveller.

Cost

$12 (€11.30)

Trip Duration

1 h 45 min

The cost and trip duration refer to the whole trip and might vary depending on the itinerary you choose.

Convenience
Safety
Value for Money

VTA bus lines 60 and 22 are available multiple times per day from early in the morning until midnight; Amtrak Highway 17 Express is available only on weekdays from 07:52 until 18:20 every 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Where do I get the bus from?

The first bus you’ll need to catch is line 60 and departs frequently from both Terminals A and B. The bus stop is located on Airport Blvd in front of each Terminal. Then you’ll need to disembark at El Camino & Lafayette and switch to bus line 22 until you reach the bus stop at Santa Clara & Montgomery. From there, you’ll need to continue on foot for about 3 minutes to reach San Jose Diridon Station; there you’ll find the Amtrak Highway 17 Express.

Convenience

Getting from San Jose Airport to Santa Cruz by bus might seem appealing due to the much lower cost than taking an airport taxi. If you’re not in a hurry and travelling light, go for it. For larger groups, families or travellers with many pieces of luggage, it can be a rather stressful and slow transportation option; booking a personalised San Jose airport transfer instead, will offer a much smoother travel experience.

Editor’s Note

Choosing to make the whole trip using only the bus can be a good and cheap option if you're an experienced traveller and you're not in a hurry. If you're travelling with many pieces of luggage or young children, it's highly recommended to take a taxi instead and reach your destination directly.

Useful Tips

You can purchase your ticket on the bus only in cash; make sure to have the exact change ready when boarding.
There is a 50% youth, seniors, and disabled discount on VTA buses; children up to 5 years old travel free of charge.
All buses in San Jose are fully accessible to wheelchair users.

Welcome Pickups transfer

Welcome Pickups

Book a trained, English-speaking taxi driver to pick you up at the same price as a regular cab from the line

If you feel more relaxed knowing that somebody is waiting for you, you may as well book a Welcome Pickups transfer. As soon as you arrive at the airport you will be greeted by your driver. He will be waiting for you at the terminal of your arrival with a sign that has your name on it. Your driver will help you out with your luggage and together you will make your way to the vehicle. While he is driving you to your accommodation, the driver can give you some tips and recommendations on what to do during your holidays in San jose. Our drivers are hand-picked and speak fluent English. No need to worry about miscommunication issues that you may face with the local taxi drivers regarding your destination. Relax and enjoy your ride.

Best drivers

Hand-picked english-speaking drivers

Flight monitoring

Drivers are always on time

Quality support

24/7 email & phone support

Cancel up to 24h before and get a refund

Edit or cancel transfers

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Prices

DAYTIME
€135.0
NIGHTTIME
€162.0
Same price as a regular taxi from the line

PRICES FOR

Sedan Car

4 pax, 4 pieces of luggage

Book Welcome Pickups transfer

Frequently asked questions

How do I get from San Jose Airport to Santa Cruz?

Getting from San Jose Airport to Santa Cruz is possible either by taxi or bus. Taking an airport taxi is more expensive but will take you to your destination in about 45 minutes. A more budget-friendly transportation option to reach Santa Cruz is by taking the bus but you’ll need to switch buses at least twice and pass through downtown San Jose, which makes the trip slower and more complicated.

What's the cost of a taxi from San Jose Airport to Santa Cruz?

Official San Jose taxis are metered but the fare might differ among taxi operators. The average price for a standard taxi for up to 4 passengers is about $110 (€104) and depends on the exact pickup and drop-off locations as well as traffic conditions.

How far is Santa Cruz from San Jose Airport?

Santa Cruz is located approximately 53 kilometres south of San Jose Airport; getting there by car or taxi takes about 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

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