Our online concierges, Pablo and Emily, are actually certified “Costa Rica Experts” and have long-established working relationships with the area's best tour and transportation providers. Many of our activities and classes are unique and were designed especially for our guests. If you're staying with us, you'll automatically get the benefit of our concierge staff in planning your itinerary. Even if you choose to stay outside of Tulemar, at another property, Pablo and Emily will be pleased to assist you with any questions you might have about Costa Rica and the Manuel Antonio area and arrange your transportation and tours. We’ll start by providing options for your trip from San Jose to Manuel Antonio, guide you thru the many tours and activities in the area and then help you make your stay even more special with options like a private chef, a spa day in your villa or “fun classes” like surfing, cooking or yoga.
You can also find answers to many of your questions at the bottom of this page.
Traveling in Costa Rica can be an exciting and educational part of your vacation experience, but it also has the potential to be challenging. Due to the topography of the country, the infrastructure and the weather, travel times can vary widely. You should fly into our international airport in
San José (Juan Santamaria); from there you'll have several options to get to the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area. Your choice will probably be based upon the arrival and departure times of your flights in/out of San José, personal preferences, and your budget.
We recommend that you take advantage of our expertise and relationships with the local service providers and allow us to assist you with your transportation needs within Costa Rica.
Flying to Quepos
We have a small, regional airport in Quepos, serviced by two commuter airlines. None of the local airports in Costa Rica have runway lights or control towers, so the flights only operate from sun rise to sun down (about 6:30 AM until 5 PM) and less frequent from May thru November.
TIP! Check baggage policies carefully. The weight limits are enforced.
TIP! Upon arrival in San José, you'll need at least 1½ hours before your flights on Sansa and 2 hours on Nature Air.
TIP! Returning to San José to connect with your international flight, give yourself 2 hours on Sansa and 2½ on Nature Air to connect.
Sansa flies 12 passenger, single engine, turbo prop planes from the local terminal next door to the international airport in San José. It's very convenient. The flight is about 20 minutes and approximately $80 per person, each way.
Fly Nature Air
Nature Air flies 21 passenger, dual engine, turbo prop planes from the downtown San José airport in Pavas. It's a 20 minute taxi ride from the international airport. The flights are also about 20 minutes and $80 per person, each way.
There are several, excellent, charter companies operating out of both airports in San José. We can provide you a quote, based upon the number of passengers, size of aircraft and flight times. Although more expensive than a commercial flight, chartering a flight can be surprisingly affordable in Costa Rica. For example you can charter a 6 passenger plane for about $1000 total, for the one way trip.
The roads in Costa Rica are generally pretty good and improvements are always underway. However, accurate road signs and an occassional disregard for the rules of the road on the part of fellow travelers can make navigation around the country a challenge for international drivers.
A recently completed highway between San José and the coast has reduced the travel time, but the trip will still require 3+ hours regardless of who's doing the driving.
Private Van & Driver
With the new highway, the drive from San José to Manuel Antonio is roughly 3 hours. We can arrange a private van with a driver for about $150-$200 per trip, depending on the number of passengers. It's a great ride; much easier and safer than driving yourself. We can also arrange private van trips to other destinations like Arenal or the Osa Peninsula.
Shared Shuttles & Buses
The most economical way to reach Manuel Antonio, if you have the time and patience, is via the Shared Shuttle or national bus services. The travel time is a little longer than with a private van and driver, but the real trade-off comes in the flexibility of your itinerary. You'll need to have an arrival and departure time that is compatible with their pick-up time. In each case, there's one rest-break halfway through the journey.
The longest-operating Shuttle service providers are Interbus and Grayline Costa Rica. There are others out there on the Internet, but these two are the most reliable, in our experience. Both charge around $50 per person, each way.
Travelers on the national bus line will need to make their way from the airport to downtown San José. Unfortunately, we're not able to assist guests with this mode of transport, as tickets are only sold at the bus terminal.
Getting Around Tulemar
If you're staying in Tulemar, you'll have access to the free shuttle that operates within the resort, from the front gates to the beach and many points in between. Taxis will come right to your door in Tulemar and pick you up for a trip to the store, Quepos, the National Park or out for dinner. There is also a bus stop located right outside the gates of Tulemar (about 50 cents to Quepos or the National Park). We can also arrange for a private van/driver to take you wherever you would like to go. If you would like a rental car, we can have one delivered to you.
After a long, international flight, it can be very stressful and time consuming, picking up a rental car and finding your way to Manuel Antonio, especially at night.
If you really want a rental car, we suggest renting one with a GPS at the San José airport or we can arrange to have one delivered to you upon your arrival in Manuel Antonio.
The GPS Coordinates for Tulemar are Latitude: 9.407636, Longitude: -84.158256
A personal note from Dave: I truly dislike most of the car rental companies in Costa Rica, except for one, Adobe Rent a Car. Most others, from the worldwide companies to the Costa Rican ones, do two things that are very disturbing; they will “hard sell” you to buy all the extra insurance coverage they can, no matter if you have an "elite status" with the company or what coverage you have with your credit cards or insurance company. They will not let up until you make the purchase, even threatening not to rent you the car. This transaction will take one hour. Count on it. No express service here. Upon returning the car, it will take 45 minutes for them to inspect it, close the contract and to get back to the airport. Only Adobe has proven to us that, besides the mandatory LDW (by all companies in Costa Rica), the other additional insurance coverages are truly an option and you will not leave angry. The transaction will be a little quicker as well. For reservations, information and preferred rates, just click the button above the cars.
With so much to see and do in Manuel Antonio, you'll never know a dull moment. We recommend you book at least some of your adventures in advance since the best tours and activities often fill early. Some of our tours and our “fun classes” are offered exclusively by Tulemar Vacation Homes and letting us book those in advance of your arrival helps provide you the best experience, guide and/or instructor. Even if you're not able to stay with us in Tulemar, we're happy to be able to assist you with information and plans for your itinerary.
One of the many reasons that Manuel Antonio is such a popular destination is the sheer number of tours and exciting adventures offered in the area. All include seeing our abundant wildlife and the natural beauty of Costa Rica. From the zip lines, the national park or white water rafting, we offer some of the best and most unique tours in all of Manuel Antonio!
Whether your stay with us is short or long, we've got opportunities to expand your horizons in fun and easy ways.
From surfing and photography to cooking and yoga, these are the activities that give you more than memories
For a special treat, we can help arrange for a private chef to prepare one, several or all your meals during your stay with us. We send you the menus and you choose what you'd like. The chef will purchase the groceries, prepare your meal, and leave the kitchen spotless while you relax and enjoy your villa!
Massage & Spa!
The best massage and spa therapists can come pamper you right in your villa. Facials, manicures, pedicures, and a deep, relaxing massage are just the thing to take away the stress of the world.
How about hosting a Spa Day for you and your guests?
Cell phones and Internet service in Costa Rica are affordable and widely available, but sometimes lacking in quality and innovation.
WiFi is provided free of charge in all of our properties with speeds in the 1-2 Mbps range. Connectivity problems and short-term, intermittent outages are not uncommon.
The cellular phone network supports all modern 4-band cell phones in both GSM and 3G configurations using the same frequencies as North America. Prepaid SIM cards are available at the phone company kiosk in Juan Santamaria airport. This is a good option if your phone is unlocked.
If cell phone service is important to you during your stay, you should consult your specific service provider to verify that your phone and calling plan will function in Costa Rica and what costs you can expect.
Every stay at Tulemar is special and memorable, however, we are pleased to offer guests an opportunity to enhance your stay by adding some special touches.
Nothing says, “Celebration” like a gorgeous bottle of champagne. Your concierge will deliver your ice-cooled libation at the time you designate. It’s a perfect choice for birthdays, honeymoons, anniversaries, or just because the sun came up in the East today!
Veuve Clicquot, French — 750ml
Concho y Toro, Chilean — 750ml
100% organic, hand-crafted chocolates are a rare treasure. Produced here in Costa Rica by Master Chocolatiers Julio Fernandez and George Soriano, Sibú truffles prepresent part of the artisan movement “...dedicated to taking chocolate back in time to a realm of heightened quality and sensory pleasure.” So much care goes in to these divine creations, you'll feel like they love you as much as you'll love them!
9 piece truffles
16 piece truffles
Gift Registry Service
The joy of giving knows no season at Tulemar! If you've got friends or family staying with us and want to let them know that you're thinking of them, why not arrange for a special gift for them?
Our concierges can help you make arrangements to give them any tour, activity, massage or spa treatment, or even a personal chef. Any of these great gifts are sure to be remembered and appreciated!
Complete the information requested, and we'll provide you with the details about each option you select below.