The Dominical Vibe
Dominical consists of a small (but lively) downtown area, beaches, and dense jungle mountains.
Even though it is a small town there are still plenty of excellent restaurants and many to do.
We like this area for an easy drive from San Jose, fun activities, and relaxation.
Map Of Dominical
Dominical is located south of Manuel Antonio and just north of Uvita on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
Dominical at a Glance
Nearest International Airport
Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose
Popular Things to Do
surfing, visiting Nauyaca waterfall, whale watching tours, Envision Festival
Best Way to Get Around
Rental car, walking in the downtown area
Best Time of Year to Visit
Dry season is from late December until mid-April
Book Your Trip
Getting to Dominical
Flights to Costa Rica
The easiest way of getting to Dominical is by flying into the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose.
For flight booking we suggest Skyscanner. They are our go-to flight booking site for great rates.
Your best option for getting to Dominical is to fly into San Jose airport and drive down. The drive will take about four hours depending on traffic.
You have two options for driving, you can either drive down the coastal road or through the mountains.
On a sunny day, this drive is absolutely beautiful. There are several places along the way where you can pull off to get a nice ocean view.
The mountain route by San Isidro de General will take you at least an hour longer than the coastal route. This route is really pretty, but the roads are a bit scary. Everything is paved but you can expect lots of curves and switchbacks.
As someone who gets really car sick, this ride is a bit of a nightmare. Plus, if you get stuck behind a slow-moving truck it can be very difficult to pass them.
We suggest using Adobe for car rentals because they are the most trustworthy rental car company in this country (in our opinion) and we have a 10% rental car discount for you.
You will not need a 4×4 to get to Dominical Costa Rica.
If you don’t feel comfortable driving we suggest taking a private shuttle. This is nice because you can sit back and relax in an air conditioned van while an experienced driver gets you safely to your destination.
We suggest Adobe Transfers for this. You can get your price quote here.
The best bus option we have found is to take the Tracopa bus. The bus leaves from downtown San Jose every day at 6:00 am and 3:00pm. It will cost about $12 each way.
This bus is air-conditioned, semi-comfortable, and drives directly to Uvita. You can just ask to get out at Dominical and they will let you out. You can find out more on the Tracopa website.
There is a small airport in Quepos (about 45 minutes north of Dominical).
It is possible to take a domestic flight from San Jose. The flight is really fast (only about 25 minutess). But, keep in mind that we don’t suggest this if you are scared of smaller planes.
From the airport it is easy to get a taxi to Dominical or have your rental car delivered to the airport by Adobe.
Getting Around in Dominical
We suggest depending on a rental car while in Dominical. Dominical has a really cute downtown area that you can easily walk, but you’ll probably want to do a lot of exploring in the surrounding areas as well.
If you opt to take a shuttle or the bus to Dominical, you can rent a car from Adobe and input Uvita as your pick-up location. They have an office directly in the downtown area of Uvita.
In the comments section of the rental car reservation, you can also specify that you need the car delivered to you at your hotel in Dominical. Adobe will deliver it to you free of charge if you are within 12 miles of their location.
Usually, they are really awesome and will deliver it even if it is a bit more than 12 miles away. If you’re unsure if your hotel is over 12 miles, just leave us a comment in the comment section and we will check with Adobe to get it approved.
Alternatively, you can ask your Adobe Transfer to drop you off at the Adobe office in Uvita. You can then just pick up your car there.
Pro Tip: Rent a car with Adobe through our site and you will get a 10% discount! Score! You can find out more about it here.
Book Your Transportation
Every time we have been in Dominical it has been really hot. Bring a lot of strong sunscreen here. You’ll need it!
The most popular time to visit Dominical is between the end of December through early May. This is dry season in Dominical. You can expect extremely hot weather and no rain.
We like to visit this area between May through mid-August. At that time of year, you will likely have a daily afternoon thunderstorm, but there are far fewer tourists. The downside is that the humidity is ridiculous. Everything just feels wet at all times.
From mid-August through mid-December you can expect the temperature to cool off a bit and more rain.