Getting to Finca Bellavista from anywhere in the world can be straightforward and stress-free with proper planning.
Finca Bellavista is located in the Central American country of Costa Rica, in the Southern Zone (on the Pacific Coast side). The Finca Bellavista community is 3 kilometers east of the InterAmericana Highway, near the town of Piedras Blancas (in between the cities of Palmar Norte and Rio Claro). Exact driving directions and GPS coordinates are sent with each reservation.
Getting to Costa Rica
For travelers originating outside of Costa Rica, finding a way in to the country is the first step in travel planning to Finca Bellavista. Getting to Costa Rica has never been easier or more affordable, with a variety of options available to travelers from all over the world. Visa and entry requirements vary from country to country, so check with the appropriate governing bodies if travel plans originate outside of Costa Rica.
Fly in to the capital city of San Jose, to the Juan Santamaria International Airport. A variety of airlines have direct flights to and from from major cities in the United States, Canada, Europe, Central and South America. (Due to extended travel time, traveling to/from the Liberia International Airport in northern Costa Rica is not recommended for guests of Finca Bellavista, and is therefore not included.)
Please note that an airport departure tax is required when leaving Costa Rica, and is included in some airline ticket purchase prices. Passport, visa and other entry requirements vary by country of residency and origin, so check with applicable governing bodies prior to booking travel.
For travelers coming to Finca Bellavista by land, the nearest border crossing is located at Paso Canoas on the border of Panama and Costa Rica. Finca Bellavista is located a 45-minute drive to the North via the InterAmericana Highway. Another regional border crossing is available to overland travelers coming from Panama to Costa Rica at Rio Serena near San Vito. Fewer services are available, but the access to Amistad National Park and San Vito might make an appropriate crossing point for some travelers. Car rentals are not allowed across the border.
Golfito harbor is the closest deepwater port to the north of the Panama Canal on the Pacific Coast. As such, many cruisers stop in to Golfito, which is filled with local character and a variety of amenities. The waters of the Golfo Dulce around Golfito have many safe anchorages, and a handful of small marinas can provide a safe and comfortable place to anchor. A large-scale marina project is under construction in Golfito, and is set to open partially within the year.
Public ferry boats and water taxis (passenger only – no vehicles) operate between Golfito and Puerto Jimenez, and between Zancudo beach and Golfito.
Finca Bellavista is a 45-minute taxi ride from Golfito and provides a great land layover for those that live and travel by water.
Travel from San Jose
Getting to Finca Bellavista from San Jose is dependent upon budget and timeframe. A variety of travel options to the Southern Zone are available at different price points and budgets.
Regional flights are the fastest way to get from San Jose to the Southern Zone. We recommend flying in to Golfito, as the scenery is a breathtaking and unforgettable part of traveling to Finca Bellavista.
Two regional airlines operate daily flights between the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose and Golfito. On average, these flights take 45 minutes of air travel time. A 4×4 taxi from Golfito to Finca Bellavista adds 45 minutes of ground travel, and can be easily negotiated at the Golfito airport. If you would rather make arrangements for taxi service ahead of time, we have a list of taxi options.
Nature Air compensates 100% of carbon emissions from flight operations, and has expanded its flight options for the Golfito airport. Nature Vacations – the travel agency branch for Nature Air – offers regional Fly & Stay packages for travel within Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua. Nature Air’s terminal is inside of the international airport in San Jose (ensure that you book a flight from Juan Santamaria International Airport and not Pavas).
Sansa Airlines is another good option for flights between San Jose and Golfito. Sansa’s terminal is next door to the international airport in San Jose.
A variety of ground transportation options are available to travelers at different price points.
Taxis are readily available in most towns, including Golfito, to get to Finca Bellavista. Please note that a 4×4 is required on the road from the highway to the finca, and that any taxi needs 4-wheel drive to access Finca Bellavista. Negotiate the price before you get in the taxi, and ensure that the taxi driver has read the Spanish directions on our pointers sheet (sent upon making a reservation) and fully understands where they are taking you if they have not been to Finca Bellavista. Rates are dependent upon the market price of fuel and other factors. The current rate (August 2016) from Golfito to Finca Bellavista is $50-$70, depending on the size of vehicle and number of people.
Private shuttles and transfers are more expensive but more direct than shared shuttles or unscheduled taxi service. While the prices might seem expensive at first glance, remember that you don’t have to drive, get lost or navigate, and can just sit back and enjoy the scenery. We recommend Costa Rica Drivers, as their network of drivers covers the entire country, they are familiar with travel to/from Finca Bellavista, most of their drivers are bilingual, and they are consistent and reliable for visitors traveling to Finca Bellavista.
Travel in between regional hubs, touristy areas and cities can be made with shared shuttle services. Agencies like Interbus, EasyRide, Costa Rica Shuttle and Super Shuttle provide regular trips with shared costs for travelers making connections throughout the country.
Car rental prices in Costa Rica are higher than in other countries, but allow a freedom of movement and schedule that other transportation methods do not have. Drive time is 5-8 hours to Finca Bellavista from the international airport. For those interested in renting a vehicle, we recommend getting one near the international airport, and taking a few days to explore the South Pacific Coast en route to Finca Bellavista (see Trip Planning for a list of suggested itineraries). Mapache Car Rental is the best option at the International Airport. Mention Finca Bellavista at time of booking to receive a 10% discount. Mapache also discounted drop-off fees for Finca Bellavista guests.
Bus travel is the most affordable, yet slowest travel option to Finca Bellavista. If you do not speak Spanish, we do not recommend traveling by bus. Please see the Trip Planning section for selecting either the Costenera or Mountain route.
With three different bus stations servicing three different regions of the country, bus travel to Finca Bellavista from San Jose must originate at the Tracopa bus station. Select a bus that goes to one of the following locations: Paso Canoas, Golfito, Ciudad Neilly, Rio Claro or Laurel (‘Cerro’ routes go via the mountain route/Highway 2 and tend to be longer, Costanera routes use the Caldera Toll Road/Highway 34 and is normally a faster route.). If available, opt for busses that say ‘directo’ as there will be fewer stops and shorter travel times. All of the above-mentioned busses pass by the 4-wheel drive entrance road to Finca Bellavista that connects to the InterAmericana/Highway 2 in La Florida de Piedras Blancas. You must ask for the bus to stop in La Florida or Piedras Blancas and will need to get a taxi up the 3-kilometer uphill road from La Florida.
Local bus travel is affordable and useful for traveling short distances between towns and cities, or exploring within bigger cities for the day. Wait times, the number of stops, prolonged travel times and the likelihood you will be standing make local busses unfeasible for travelers with luggage and is not recommended.
A public ferry services the harbor towns of Puerto Jimenez and Golfito. Hours and days of service vary, but can often times be found