*Please be advised: We don’t recommend driving at night without a GPS system – you’ll miss the scenery and will likely have trouble distinguishing signs and the road’s painted lines. The roads in Costa Rica are extremely windy and often in poor condition. Because of this, daytime driving is generally much easier. As Costa Rica is set along the Earth’s equator, the sun is in the sky from 5:30 AM to 5:30 PM. This is the time of day that we advise visitors to drive, so plan accordingly.
There are no addresses in Costa Rica it is a country purely of landmarks. So upon arrival into El Castillo we are located 1 km sur de la escuela.
Essence Arenal is located 28.5 kilometers north west of La Fortuna. From La Fortuna go west on route 142.
Our GPS coordinates:
10.420754 North, -84.754279 West
Altitude: 879.8 meter (Up in the Hills of El Castillo)
There are several ways to get here:
Great website to use….http://thebusschedule.com/
The main buses leave from Alajuela airport bus station at 6:30 am or 8:30 am, and arrive in La Fortuna.
Local Shuttle @ La Fortuna to the Hostel
The local El Castillo shuttle, which leaves from La Fortuna every day at 7:00 am, 12:30 pm, and 5:30 pm upon reservation, and costs $8 USD/person. The shuttle will be the cheapest option and will drop you off at our hostel.
The pick up is at Supermercado Christian #1 in the parking lot, across from the Cabinas Las Palmas. The shuttle also leaves Essence Arenal back to La Fortuna every day at 6:00 am, 10:00 am & 4 pm.
Shared Shuttle transportation
The rates for this method of transportion range from $40 to $50 USD per person. These are one-way prices.
Private transportation with driver
This service is usually provided in an air-conditioned minivan that can pick you up in the airport or in any location in Costa Rica. Prices can vary according to the location and time of year that you plan to travel. If you are traveling from the San Jose area, including San Jose International Airport (also referred to as Juan Santamaría International Airport), this service will cost $165 USD for a minivan of up to 10 passengers.
Nature air offers regional flights from the San Jose area to a private airport located 20 minutes from La Fortuna. The smaller planes of Nature air depart to and from the Arenal Volcano area several times a week. Please take into consideration that you must add two local transfers to the total trip cost, one from your hotel in San Jose to the Pavas airport and the other one from the El Tanque private airport to Essence Arenal.
This option is used by many tourists that prefer to rent their own car; some simply use a map to orient themselves, but a GPS rental is also offered by most car rental companies and are often well worth the extra money spent.