How I Get Around in Costa Rica: Buses and My Own Two Feet


Standing in downtown San José you are surrounded by lots of sounds, and most of them are caused by automobiles. Cars honking, Taxi drivers offering rides, the loud rumbling of motorcycles, the whiz of bicycles going downhill, and the brakes of giant buses are some of the most common, noisiest sounds. Does your city have the same sounds? Does my city sound familiar, or very different?

How do people get around?:

Like in most big cities, there are lots of ways to get around San José. Public transportation is the network of cars, buses and trains that are available to anyone. They always charge the same price. A lot of families have their own cars, but my host family does not. My host mom just walks and takes the bus everywhere, so I do too! Since the grocery store is a ten-minute walk away and my university is a 30-minute walk away. It is easy to walk by foot. Costa Ricans have a really silly way to say this: "A pata" which translates to "by duck" is an expression they use to say "get there by walking", as if you were riding a duck to get from place to place!

When it's not so easy to walk places, most people ride the bus. It costs about 50 cents to ride from my neighborhood all the way to downtown San José. I have figured out how to take the bus anywhere I want to go.