If you want to use public buses you are going to have to stop in San Jose to change buses and bus stations.
If you want to use shared shuttles you are going to have to take a morning shuttle to San Jose and switch to a 2nd afternoon shuttle from San Jose to Manuel Antonio. Your best bet is to hire a private driver. Either do a search on this forum for recommended drivers or just contact Tucan Limo Services, (roadadvisor) for a quote: http://tucanlimoservices.com/
Any route that doesn't go thru San Jose (Turrialba Valley) is going to take even longer.
Thank you CRFAN…nice of you…Merry Xmas from PARADISE…
You are correct Gecko maybe better INTERBUS…
Thanks everyone - some really useful tips there! Will investigate the shuttle and private driver options! :)
In our experience, e-mailing Interbus did not produce any results, but phoning them at their CR # helped. Once, it was busy non stop, we had to dial multiple times, long distance, for 2 days until we got through, but then were able to book. (Some of the properties in the general areas they are working in, might not be on their site, so you cannot book them on-line, and then the only way to do it is by phoning them. Which is what we had to do with our place in Manuel Antonio with them.). Interbus does not have a direct booking for the route Cahuita-MA on their site - https://www.interbusonline.com/rates.php . So you might need to try to phone them, too, to see if they can coordinate Cahuita to SJ, SJ to Manuel Antonio for you. Even the "direct" tickets booked by clients on-line or over the phone between the destinations listed on their site, might include shuttle changes, but those are painless. While you are having a stop over for the washroom, snacks (carry your valuables with you), the drivers move the luggage to a near by shuttle van, and you continue with another driver. Travelling from S. Caribbean to MA area, will likely include 1 or more shuttle changes and a few stops.
Caribeshuttle has a UK/Europe contact phone # on their site: https://www.caribeshuttle.com .
Both Interbus and Caribeshuttle have a lot of reviews on TA.
We also used Pleasure Ride shared shuttle between S. Caribbean and SJ. We were the only 2 ppl for the entire ride, it was great! Very nice driver, good modern clean van with A/C and WiFi. But I do not know if they can take you from Cahuita all the way to MA. http://www.pleasureridecr.com . Their min booking is 2 ppl per transfer, not per booking, so if you are travelling solo and no one else has booked that route on your date, you might not be able to do it or would have to pay for 2 ppl.Edited: 17 December 2017, 20:45
You can have shuttle or private driver to San Jose…hopefully connecting with the bus to Manuel Antonio…
Or the other way around…Cahuita to San Jose by bus…and private driver to Manuel Antonio that is Aprx. $ 160.00 USD for up to 4 passengers…and they will pick you up anywhere in San Jose.
This is excellent - thanks everyone. We may look at a private transfer actually as that may be easier. Great recommendations and much appreciated.