How to travel to Santa Teresa
There are several ways to get to Santa Teresa. Depending on whether you drive, take a flight, or shuttle, the travel time will vary.
There are two international airports in Costa Rica. One is Alajuela (SJO) and the other in Liberia (LIR). While LIR is closer to Santa Teresa, flying into SJO will give you more options.
Flying to Tambor
There is an airstrip in Tambor, 40 minutes from Santa Teresa. There are flights from San Jose and Liberia to Tambor. The flight is about half an hour, so you can arrive in Santa Teresa in under 2 hours. From San Jose, there are several airlines that each offer multiple flights per day to Tambor. From Liberia, there is one flight per day.
Driving to Santa Teresa
The drive from Liberia to Santa Teresa takes a little over 4 hours. Because you do not have to take a ferry, you can leave whenever you want (we recommend making the drive in daylight). Most of the road is paved, but some of road signs are not as clear as they could be. We recommend using a GPS program such as WAZE to keep you on the right path.
Driving time from San Jose is a little over 5 hours, and that does not include the time spent waiting for the ferry. It is about an hour and a half from San Jose to the ferry in Puntarenas. The ferry ride (including the time it take to drive off the ferry) is about an hour and a half, and the drive from Paquera to Santa Teresa is also about an hour and a half. While it takes longer than driving from Liberia, the roads are more well marked.
You can also take a taxi or shuttle to Santa Teresa. The shared shuttles leave at specific times, so depending on what time you land this may not be an option. Because there are 3 rental car companies in Santa Teresa, you can take a shuttle here and then rent a car once you're in town.