AIRLINES – It’s closest to fly to San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO), however flying in to Liberia (LIR) further north means several hours more to get here by ground transportation. If you arrive in SJO by 11 am, 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 a bus service that’s cheaper than a direct taxi, but is at least an hour longer (see Bus option below). You can rent a car at the airport, too, but most people prefer the scenic quiet ride along the coast in our select taxi. If you arrive at SJO later than noon, it’s recommended you stay one inexpensive overnight at the Maleku Hostel near the airport (or hotel of your choice), then we can coordinate the taxi to pick you up the next morning. Details for each option is below.
OVERNIGHT IN SAN JOSE – If you leave customs in San Jose (SJO) airport after 11 am, you can stay overnight at the Maleku Hostel, close to the airport (price is about $15 USD per person, plus about a $10 taxi ride and $10 for local food). Early the next day, our recommended taxi driver Jorge (8354-4713) will take you to La Joya del Sol for $160 (2017). If this is your choice, we’ll book and confirm Jorge for you.
DIRECT TAXI – SJO AIRPORT to LA JOYA DEL SOL – If you arrive at SJO before 11 am, you can be at La Joya del Sol in about 4 hours after you leave customs. Our recommended taxi driver Jorge will take you to La Joya del Sol for $160 (2017), and travel 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 after you provide your flight no., arrival time and airline. You save money and time with 2 or more people where the fare is shared, and the ride is more comfortable and scenic than a bus. If you tend to get carsick, a bus ride may be too dizzying on the curvy mountain roads. If you have 3 or 4 more people with lots of luggage, a van will have to be arranged with a different recommended 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.
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 45 minutes away. Ask the driver to phone 8886-6802 to announce your pickup and arrival at the gate. Driving down to the rancho is not a problem as long as there is 4WD. If you arrive on a Thursday during the day, you could also arrange for the farm car to pick you up at the MUSOC terminal, for a $4 one-way gas share.
STEP 2: Option 2 – Bus from San Isidro or Dominical: Take a taxi to the regional Transporte Blanco (Dominical) bus terminal, and go to Tinamastes (pronounced Tea-Namaste). There are 6 buses leaving San Isidro daily. When boarding, tell the bus driver to let you off in Tinamastes. Call us or text by phone to 8886-6802 the time of your bus deparature. 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 no. 243 from San Isidro to Dominical, you come to the village of Tinamastes. About 100 meters downhill from the big white church on the south side, or 100 meters uphill from the pulperia Abastecedor Elizabeth, turn south onto a major gravel road into the Diamante valley where you should see a big color billboard for Nauyaca waterfalls. 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. If you need, someone will 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