AIRLINES – It’s closer to fly to San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO), however flying to Liberia (LIR) requires several hours more to get here by ground transportation. If you arrive to SJO before noon, you can get to La Joya del Sol by taxi door-to-door 4 hours later and arrive in daylight to settle in. There’s also MUSOC bus service that’s cheaper than a direct taxi (see Bus option below) but requires another 1 hour leg of ground transportation to La Joya del Sol from the San Isidro MUSOC terminal. Car rental at the airport is an option, but most people prefer the scenic quiet ride along the coast in our Jorge’s select taxi. And if you arrive at SJO after noon, it’s recommended you stay one inexpensive overnight at the Alajuela Backpackers Hostel near the airport (or hotel of your choice), where its easy to coordinate Jorge’s taxi to pick you up the next morning. Details for each option is below.
OVERNIGHT IN SAN JOSE – If you exit customs at SJO airport after noon, you can stay overnight close to the airport at the Alajuela Backpackers Hostel. Early the next day (8 am suggested), our recommended taxi driver Jorge (8354-4713) will take you to La Joya del Sol for $160 (2018). If door-to-door taxi is your choice, we’ll book and confirm Jorge for you.
DIRECT TAXI from SJO AIRPORT to LA JOYA DEL SOL – If you arrive at SJO before noon, you can be at La Joya del Sol door-to-door in about 4 hours after you leave customs. We’ll book Jorge to take you to La Joya del Sol for $160 (2018), traveling along the scenic beach route, stop to see the crocodiles in Matapalo, and fruit / coconut stands.If this is your choice, we’ll book and confirm Jorge for you when you provide your flight no., arrival time and airline. He’ll have a sign with your name as you leave customs. You save money with 2 or more people if the fare is shared, and the ride is more comfortable and scenic than a bus. If you tend to get carsick, a bus ride can be dizzying on the curvy mountain roads. If you have 3 or 4 more people with lots of luggage, a van can be arranged with a different taxi driver.
OVERNIGHT IN QUEPOS (if you fly to Liberia) – If you arrive in Liberia (LIR) you can take a bus to Quepos on the coast, stay overnight at the Quepos Hostel or Vista Serena Hostel 2777-5162 (and enjoy Manuel Antonio Park). There’s a 5:30 am bus that leaves Quepos that goes to San Isidro which can let you off in Tinamastes (pronounced Tea-Namaste) where a taxi or someone from La Joya del Sol can pick you up.
ARRIVAL TIME and DAYS – Please arrive by 3 pm so there’s enough daylight (sun sets at 5:30 every day) to find the farm and settle in. In rainy season from June to November, you also run more a risk of being caught in a late afternoon rain. Tuesdays and Thursdays are market days, so it’s possible to arrive by bus or taxi to Tinamastes (Tuesdays) or San Isidro (Thursdays). We’ll coordinate with you ahead of time to meet and take you the rest of the way to the farm from these two destinations.
FROM SAN JOSE BY BUS: (Let us know by email so we can confirm taxi pickups)
STEP 1: Take a taxi from the airport or your hotel to the MUSOC bus terminal and buy a ticket to San Isidro del General, about $6 USD (Seniors with ID – $4). Buses run each hour on the half hour from 5:30 am to 5:30 pm. The ride to San Isidro is 3 hours, with 45 to 90 minutes more to the farm from the MUSOC terminal there, depending on further transportation by either taxi or local bus to Tinamastes. MUSOC bus runs every day, including holidays.
STEP 2: Option 1 – Taxi from San Isidro: Once in San Isidro, take a 4WD taxi from San Isidro to the farm (about $45 with taxi Merlin (8769-9072), about a 45 minute trip. Driving down to the rancho is not a problem as long as there is 4WD. If you arrive on a Thursday at MUSOC, you could also arrange for us to pick you up at the terminal after going to the farmers market.
STEP 2: Option 2 – Bus from San Isidro or Dominical: Take a taxi to the regional Transporte Blanco (Dominical) bus terminal, and tell the bus driver to let you off in Tinamastes (pronounced Tea-Namaste). There are 6 buses leaving San Isidro daily. Call or text us by phone to 506-8886-6802 the time of your bus departure. Either arrange for the farm car (with gas share) or a local taxi to pick you up (Tom – 8375-6809) at the bus stop to take you to the farm from Tinamastes. If you arrive on a Tuesday or Thursday, you can usually get a ride with the farm car returning from the market.
FROM SAN ISIDRO OR DOMINICAL BY CAR –
About halfway on the paved winding road Hwy. 243 from San Isidro to Dominical, you come to the village of Tinamastes. About 200 meters downhill from the big white church on the south side, or 200 meters uphill from the pulperia Abastecedor Elizabeth, turn south onto a major gravel road into the Diamante valley where there are some big color billboards. Go 4 km through the village of Las Tumbas to the village of San Salvador, about 20 minutes, or 7.1 km.
At the cemetery in San Salvador at the first “T” intersection on the left, you will see the sign above. Turn left to “Camino a La Florida”. La Joya del Sol’s iron brown farm gate is about 2.9 km uphill on the right where the road levels out, with an upright rock next to the public road in this photo:
The taxi drivers mentioned know where it is. A 4WD is required on La Joya del Sol’s road. 2WD is sufficient on the public road up to the farm gate, where someone can come get you at the driveway entrance if you don’t have 4WD. If the gate is locked, call when you arrive and someone will let you in. Be sure to close the latch on the gate going in or out.
TAXIS TO THE FARM – Here’s the recommended taxi drivers that know the way here. If you must use a different driver, show the photos and tell the instructions, and ask the driver to call us at 8886-6802 for announcing your arrival and get directions. You (or the taxi driver) can call or text ahead to the next taxi driver if you go by bus so that the other taxi will meet you at the next terminal. Taxis can also pick you up with your provisions from the farmers market, or from here, or take you to an ATM on the way if you need cash.
Jorge (8354-4713) based in San Jose
Merlin (8769-9072) based in San Isidro
Tom (8375-6809) based in Tinamastes
Roberto (87409-974) based in Dominical
CAR RENTAL – A 4WD is essential to drive onto the farm and tour the mountainous regions of Costa Rica, especially if you’re looking for land or want to tour the most beautiful parts of the countryside on your own. A simple drive up to the gate does not require 4WD, as someone can come to get you if you get dropped off if you arrange it ahead and call to announce your arrival.
LOCAL TRAVEL – For personal reasons, if you need to go to San Isidro, the beach, Nauyaca falls, or visit somewhere locally, the farm car may be available for a modest gas share fee if we’re headed in that direction. Otherwise there are local taxis that can take you,
ROAD MAPS TO LA JOYA DEL SOL