Bus from San Jose:
Take a cab to the MUSOC bus station. You will want to buy a bus ticket for San Isidro (approx 2,600 colones) – buses leave almost hourly every day from 5:30am to 5:30pm. It is important to be there at least one hour in advance to get your tickets, (office hours are from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
PLEASE call me once you have bought your bus ticket so I know what time to be at the MUSOC bus station in San Isidro to meet you.
Car from San Jose:
If you are coming by car please advise me beforehand approximately when you expect to arrive. Your total journey from San Jose to San Gerardo should be no more than 5 hours.
You will follow the signs in town for Cartago, but BEFORE Cartago you will take a right signposted to San Isidro de General. Ask your rental agency for detailed directions to connect with the highway to Cartago and south to San Isidro. It’s easy to get lost in San Jose!
Follow the Pan-American Highway (Highway 2) south for 140km. This road crosses a mountain pass so be prepared for mist, many curves, and slow patches behind trucks. It is advisable only to drive this road in daylight and exercise caution. Once you’re out of San Jose it will take approximately 3 hours to reach San Isidro de El General.
From San Isidro:
Proceed south on the Pan-American Highway for about 1 km (from the center of town) until you see the sign on the right to “Parque Nacional Chirripo” shortly after the bridge, and a traffic light controlled left filter to an off-ramp. Turn left up this road. After about 8 km, at Rivas, watch for the Parque Nacional Chirripó sign: turn right onto an uphill road. This road is paved except for a short section of flat. Continue for about 11 km, passing through Guadalupe, Chimirol and Canaan to San Gerardo de Rivas (elevation 1350 meters). In San Gerardo you will pass the Oficina de MINAE (parks Office) on your left and El Rio Restaurant on your right. At the bridge just after stay left up a narrow asphalt (potholed!) road about 500 m till you come to a white house on the left. (If you get to the Aguas Termales – hot springs – you have gone too far!) The office of Costa Rica Holiday Homestays is located at the white house – come on in and don’t mind Copper the dog – she’s friendly!
Traveling throughout Costa Rica:
Costa Rica has a very well-developed and cheap bus system – well worth relying on for your travel plans. But if you do decide to rent a car first get a map! (We can recommend Brunca Rent a Car) Remember that destinations may appear close on the map but elevations, mountain passes and certain road conditions make traveling much longer than you think! Travel with warm clothing and wet weather gear available as well as some emergency supplies. There are usually a number of places to stop for food and a rest en route, but if you are driving gas stations are often infrequent. Make sure you have a full puncture kit as the roads are heavy on tires.