It is recommended that you book your flight and arrange for a shuttle four to five months before your trip. While we ask that you book your own flight, we can happily assist with shuttles to/from San Jose Airport on the suggested arrival/departure days.
Flying to Costa Rica
It is recommended that you fly into San Jose Airport (SJO), located in Alajuela, just outside the capitol city of San Jose. Many US airlines have direct or one-stop flights from major US cities into San Jose.
When to Fly
- Arrival is recommended late morning or early afternoon of your check-in date. This will allow you time to make the drive, mini flight, or take a shuttle to Uvita and arrive late afternoon or early evening. Check-in is anytime after 2pm and a late dinner will be provided that night.
- Departure is recommended late afternoon or early evening on your check-out date. Check out is anytime before 11am, and you will need 3.5 hours to make the drive to the airport, as well as another 2-3 hours at the airport to make time for exit tax, customs, and security. Early breakfast and beverages will be provided the morning of departures.
Getting to Uvita, Costa Rica – Rental Car/Shuttle/Bus/Mini Flight
Getting to Uvita, Costa Rica is easy. If renting a car (we recommended Hertz or Vamos in San Jose), you can follow the directions below to find the Uvita information center, and from there, follow the secondary directions & Map to get to Flō. Allow 3.5 hours to arrive to Uvita and an additional 15 minutes to drive to and find Flō from the airport in San Jose. We do highly recommend renting a GPS (or using Waze with cell coverage) with your vehicle, as most streets in Costa Rica do not have signs or even names! The GPS works via the “Point of Interest” option, and inputting “Banco Uvita” will take you right to the big bank in Uvita, which just happens to be the center of town! NOTE: We recommend you take the coastal route on Hwy 34, not the mountain route through the center of the county.
Shared ride shuttles provide another option for getting to Uvita AND Flō. Sit back and watch the scenery and leave the driving to the pros. To make your travel as convenient as possible, we are working to arrange shared 4×4 shuttles to/from Flō at $55-60 each way.
Should you need a shuttle on a different date or time, shared ride shuttles typically cost around $65-75 each way and take about 3.5-4 hours. We generally recommend Monkey Rides www.monkeyridecr.com or Easy Ride www.easyridecr.com. You can book a 4×4 cab down from the mountain, and then hop on your shared shuttle from Uvita Central. Private shuttles to/from San Jose airport or the city run $150-$200 each way and take about 3.5 hours.
One can also take a 25-minute mini flight from San Jose to Quepos and then take a taxi or rent a car to drive the remaining ~50 minutes south to Flō. These mini flights can be booked through www.sansa.com and the airport is directly outside of the San Jose airport. Just remember, if you want to take your taxi all the way to Flō, you’ll need to book a 4×4! Otherwise, you can have it drop you off in Uvita Central (right by the bank), and there’s a taxi stand that usually has 4×4 cabs available to head up the mountain.
And lastly, public buses can take you from downtown San Jose right to Uvita Central. The buses leave from the TRACOPA bus terminal, and the bus line is called Delio Morales. You will have to buy a ticket to Uvita, but you can technically get off anywhere if you’re coming early and want some sight seeing! There are two buses each day. Each bus stops briefly at Orotina and Quepos before arriving at Dominical, and finally, Uvita. The buses leave at 6am and 3pm and take about 5.5 hours to get to Uvita.
Finding Flō Retreat Center in Uvita
Flō Retreat Center is located approximately 2KM up the mountain from Central Uvita. IT IS ONLY ACCESIBLE VIA 4×4 CAR. Please make sure to tell your cab driver this (shared shuttles will already know). This is not uncommon in Uvita, so no one will be surprised.
If you’re heading south on Hwy 34 (coast road), the first big intersection in Uvita (no traffic light) will have… Banco de Costa Rica & SP Groceries on the SE corner, La Casona Restaurant (Giant old lady statue) on the SW corner, Gollo Electronics on the NE corner, and a small restaurant (currently el Toro Loco) on the NW corner.
TURN LEFT on the paved road at this intersection (there is a turn lane), heading east toward the mountains, passing between the Gollo on your left, and the bank, on your right.
CONTINUE STRAIGHT (~1km) along the paved road past some small shops and the cemetery. Do not turn on any of the left side off-shoots that head up the mountain.
Once the paved road ends (at cemetery), continue straight (this road is called Calle la Faralla, but you won’t see any signs). STAY RIGHT where the road splits and the left side heads up the mountain.
Another 300M past the final split will bring you to the river before the bamboo forest. If you’re lucky, they’ve finished the bridge they’ve been building. Do a little dance. If not, carefully drive through the river (in 4×4), making sure NOT to cross if the water is more than 12 inches deep (should not be a problem in April). That shared shuttle is starting to sound nice, right? #PuraVida
Continue through the magical bamboo forest, or stop to marvel at its beauty. We know. It’s fabulous. In approximately 300M, the road will split again. Take the larger road to the LEFT that goes UP, not the smaller road to the right that angles down. You will see a sign for Flō Retreat Center with an arrow here. Get excited because now you know you’re in the right place. Before, you were just guessing.
CONTINUE along Calle La Faralla (again…no street sign, sorry) for ~0.5KM. It’s a bit bumpy, but rest assured, we have flattened out the worst bits.
You will come across another very small river. That means you’ve almost made it. Again, take caution crossing, but this little guy is usually no more than 3-4 inches deep.
100M after the second river, you’ll see a gate ON THE RIGHT SIDE (which will be open) and a sign for Flō retreat center. Turn and head down the ½ KM driveway to the off-loading zone and main building. Someone will be there to greet you shortly.
If you miss the first gate, you’ll see Steph & Ben’s gate another 20M up the road and you’ve gone too far.