It will takes between 3 and 3.5 hours to get to La Fortuna from San Jose by car, depending the route you take. You have two different ways to reach the Arenal Volcano from the Costa Rica's capital.
1 - Follow the Panamerican Highway in route to Puntarenas. After 50 minutes driving you will find an intersection on your right towards downtown Naranjo. Take that route and continue to Ciudad Quesada, it's around one hour and 45 minutes. From that point there is only 45 minutes left. You will pass by towns like Florencia, Santa Clara and El Tanque. Follow the signs.
2 - This is the shortest way. You need to follow the Panamerican Highway towards Puntarenas. After one hour driving you will arrive to the crossing of San Ramon, where you have to take your right in route to Arenal. Just follow the signs. You will go by communities like La Tigra and Chachagua. It is a road without many deviations and it will take you 2 more hours to get the colossus.
- The time will depend on the traffic.
- We recommend you to drive during the day; the roads are not marked sufficiently and it could be difficult driving at night.
- If you need to make a stop during the road, keep an eye on your belongings.
Approximate duration time:
By car: 3-4 hours
Shuttle Service: 4 hours
Public bus: 6 hours
By flight: 40 minutes