By Taxi around San José, San José
In 1996, we took taxis infrequently - they were cheap, but most of the time we took local buses which were even cheaper. At that time we always asked the price before getting in. Now I understand the cabs have to use meters.
After we landed at the airport, in the afternoon, we took a taxi from the hotel to San Jose (the capitol) for $8.00. We thought this quite expensive at the time. The next day we took a taxi from the central city ($1) to a butterfly farm (in the city behind the zoo) call Spyrogyria.
The cabs are easy to spot as they are red with a yellow logo. In 2015 the cabs were the same color - still red with yellow logo. Official red taxis, called rojos because of their cherry-red paint, are part of the city or town taxi cooperative. Rojos have an official taxi license plate, and are required to use the meter (known as the maria) at all times. You can flag down a red taxi on the street, catch one at an official taxi stand, or call one for pickup at your location.
We met Eduardo on a taxi drive and he was so awesome that we used him to take us to Jaco. Since we weren't in a hurry he took us the scenic route (same price). It was for sure more than I expected out of a taxi ride. He stopped at places of interest, helped us carry our shopping bags and let us know if we were paying too much. We used him for several stops around just San Jose as well and had no problem whatsoever. He speaks perfect English and I can't leave out that he is very funny.
While wandering around looking for a restaurant, a cabbie was hanging around waiting for his riders. He helped me find it, asked where I was from--I told him. I said, are you from NY? He aid Yea, how';d you know in a thick NYC accent.
Turns out he's a cabbie who got tired of the costs and traffic of NY, moved to San Jose. Alex runs a cab, speaks English, and is available for any rides anywhere, even throughout the Country.
I told him to pick me up to take me to the airport at 5:30am, he was there 5 minutes early. Told me wher to go in the airport to pay my $28 to leave, and was very helpful. Try him out--Alex Palma.
Taxi cabs in San Jose are literally everywhere. Just look for the red cars zipping around, or hanging out on the street corners.
Unlike other Central American countries (like Panama), San Jose cabs are not negotiable. They are required to run the meter, so you know you are always going to pay the correct price and will not be ripped off by cabbies trying to take advantage of foreigners.
Because of this, taking cabs is safe, easy, and cheap. The meter starts out at the equivalent of $1 when you get in and then goes up per kilometer. We took one all the way from the center of town to Saprissa stadium and it turned out to be extremely cheap!
The meter is not used to go to the airport though. There is a standard, higher fare for that. I believe it was around $20-$25.
An easy way to get around San José is by taxi. Taxi's are everywhere, everytime and they are not expensive at all. You can be brought from one end of the citycentre to the other for something like 2 dollars.
And in San José you have the big advantage that the taxi's have meters; so you don't have to bargain about the prices anymore here, and be afraid of being ripped off. The only thing that you have to keep an eye on is that the meter is in fact being used by the driver. They might want to try to do a trip "of the record" and make use of the fact that you're a tourist.
Officially you are not allowed to enter a taxi unless you're at an official taxi-stop, but in reality you can easily get a taxi anywhere you need one.
San Jose Airport is a fairly safe place for taking taxis, but if you want to feel safer - plan ahead. There are quite a few sites out there where you can pre-arrange for taxi or limo service ahead of time like GoServices (www.goservices.com) or 1800TaxiCab(www.1800taxicab.com). Hope that helps.
I would recomment to take taxies in San Jose they are cheap an fast.
arange a price before you get in the car...
I paid ranges from 1000 to 2000 colones..... never accept the first price try to lower it...
even when you lower it its more expensive for you then for the locals.... but its a safe way to travel...
Taxi cabs are everywhere in San Jose. You can hail one easily.
Always check with the driver for the rough cost (most speak some english). We used many cabs, only one tried to rip us off. The fare starts at about 20p. A 5 minute journey was maybe £2 max.
The only tghing we found was that heading out of San Jose, the cost was less than when you came back in. If there are fewer taxi cabs, they try to charge you a little more. Still not much by UK standards.
Drivers love to chat about football. As one told us, he does not like football, he loves it
Just about everywhere we went in San Jose we saw an abundance of bright red taxis, so there should be no problem in finding one, especially in the well-traveled areas of the city.
Taxis in San Jose are said to be generally inexpensive. A ride inside the city center will usually cost from 500 to 1000 colones, or a couple of dollars. As always, it's a good idea to agree on a price before taking the taxi, especially to outlying destinations, so that there will be no misunderstanding.
Taxis are plentiful in San Jose and it is recommended that you use them, especially at night, because the city can be very dangerous. There are certain situations that you need to avoid though. First, never take the taxis that are waiting in front of hotels. They automatically charge you extra because they are "hotel taxis" and it doesn't matter where you are going, if you are a guest at the hotel, or whatever. Second, always ask the driver to turn on the meter. There is a law that says that he must use it but many try to get around this. At the end of your ride they will look at you and arbitrarily name a price. If the taxi driver refuses to use the meter or says that it is not working tell him where you are going and demand that he set a price before the ride starts. Try to remember what you pay to go certain distances and be willing to argue for your money. I once had a driver take me a short distance and ask for a ridiculous price. I told him what the ride should cost and that I wasn't going to pay a penny more. I handed him the money, got out of the cab, and he took it with a frown. He knew that he was wrong and that was the end of it. Many cab drivers will offer to give you their cellphone number and be available to take you wherever you need to go for a certain price. I think that this might be a good option (if you can find a driver that you trust) for non-Spanish speakers. Just remember to tip him well for any extra info or service that he provides.
They’re everywhere. Cheap and plentiful. The drivers will ask if you need a taxi when you leave your hotel. They’ll honk at you if they see you walking on the sidewalk. You’ll see them lined-up for a block or more waiting for customers. When it rains, really rains, even if you have an umbrella, all of a sudden you’re the one looking for them.
We took a taxi around San Jose to restaurants and convenient stores. It was only $5 to take the taxi and was, in my opinion, the way to get around downtown. You might want to know a little Spanish, though, because I only know a total of five words and found it hard to communicate with the taxi driver. He eventually figured out what we wanted after we used our hands to explain.
Would recommend getting a taxi to go around san jose for the day, they are cheap and are easy to find. Also if you don't speak spanish look for a guy who speaks a little english it will help as it can be confusing trying to communicate. Also I had this happen to me, don't know how often this happens but when the taxi driver dropped us off we told him when to come back and he agreed but in the end never did had to catch another taxi back to the hotel. Overall most convenient form of transportation though around San Jose.
At one point or the other, you'll end up needing a taxi. Even more so if you're travelling by bus like we were.
They are reputate cheap, we found them just a little above cheap. A ride from the Bus stop to our hotel, which must be less than 2km, cost us 2 to 5$. From San Jose to Alejuela (the national airport is in Alajuela), it's 20$. Our 2km ride in the mountain between our hotel in Manuel Antonio and Quepos docks cost around 2 and 4$.
So it's not all that expensive, but not really cheap either. And as you can see, there's room for bargaining!
We were also suprise to find them in top shape and, mostly in the San Jose area, very luxurious. Always use the official red taxi.
We were also proposed day-trip. We had a designated driver all day when visiting the Poas volcano and the area. We estimated that just the trip to and from the volcano would have cost a little more than what he charged us for the entire day. Ask around!
about cabs, there is only one company for the service FROM the airport to the town centre: the orange cabs, and the price is 10 US$ but no need to bargain, there is a kiosk where you pay for the trip this fixed amount and where they accept credit cards.
while from town TO the airport, any cab can offer you the service and then you can and had better to bargain ;-)...