Please note that a 4×4 vehicle is required for the last 3km from the main road to Finca Bellavista. If you don't have a 4x4 vehicle then you can leave it securely at the base of the mountain and get a ride up You will be greeted at the base of the mountain for your first arrival
Whether arriving via car, bus or taxi, local residents Bryan or Jess Ramirez can meet you at the base of the mountain where the main road turns off to the town of 'La Florida'.
Bryan worked for 12 years at Finca Bellavista before the property management company closed in early 2020. He still assists the private community by meeting and greeting guests, arranging excursions, providing taxi services but is more famously known for his night hikes (which can be reserved when making your booking).
Jess was the former masseuse at Finca Bellavista and former owner/designer of Casa Tamandua. She built the home in honor of her father.
Jess and Bryan fell in love and got married in 2019. Together they live in La Florida and tend to their farm. Their combined experience and proximity to Finca Bellavista make them the ideal couple to welcome you to Finca Bellavista.
Once your reservation is confirmed, you will receive their contact details - it is advisable to get whatsapp and to contact them prior to your day of arrival for planning purposes (you will be asked for a contact number when making your booking). When you reach Palmar Norte, please make contact one more time so Bryan/Jess and drop a location pin for you.
(If for whatever reason you are not able to contact Bryan or Jess, please go to the shop at the base of the mountain and ask them to contact them for you - the shopkeepers name is Cinio)
If you do not have a 4x4 vehicle then you can leave your car with Bryan and Jess and catch a ride up. Please note that we can only help with the initial ride and arrangements will have to be made with Bryan and Jess for additional trips, including your departure - this can be organised directly with them when you first meet and rides up or down the hill cost $20.00 (the initial ride up is paid for by the private community).
If you have a 4x4 vehicle, you can follow Bryan or Jess up to the entrance of Finca Bellavista. Base camp is closed to the public/guests as it is now considered 'private property' but the private community is leasing land from the neighbor right next door for parking. For safety reasons, guests cannot drive to the home. Bryan or Jess will escort you to the rental home on foot (please pack accordingly) and make sure everything is in working order before leaving you to enjoy your jungle adventure. Hiking times to the home from the car park are as follows:
El Fenix: 10 - 15 min
Casa Perezosa: 10 - 15 min
The Fusion Home: 15 - 20 min (includes a section with a steep hill and loose gravel)
Fila Tortuga: 25 - 30 min
Tamandua: 25 - 30 min (includes a section with a steep hill and loose gravel)
* please note, we recommend hiking shoes or wellies for walking around
Getting to Costa Rica
For travelers originating outside of Costa Rica, finding a way into 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. BY LAND 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.
Ticabus provides bus service and connects capital cities in Central America, including Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Tracopa provides bus service between David, Panama and San Jose, Costa Rica. BY SEA 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.
Sansa Airlines operates daily flights between the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose and Golfito. On average, these flights take 50 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.
A variety of ground transportation options are available to travelers at different price points. Please note that a 4×4 vehicle is required for the last 3km from the main road to Finca Bellavista.
Taxis are readily available in most towns, including Golfito, to get to Finca Bellavista. Remember 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 (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 2020) from Golfito to Finca Bellavista is $70-$80, 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 and Eco Drivers CR 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. Your private transfer vehicle must be 4×4 if wanting to park at 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). Remember that your rental car must be 4×4!
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 oftentimes be found