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travel from sjo to mal pais then to manuel antonio

Boston...
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travel from sjo to mal pais then to manuel antonio

Leaving Friday for our seventh trip to Costa Rica. Can't wait - we keep getting more snow here in Massachusetts. We've spent time in Tamarindo, Coco, Mal Pais and our last two trips we were in Jaco. This trip we plan to split our time between Mal Pais and Manuel Antonio. Our reservations are set in both places for Sat to Sat. We will have a car.

My question is, can we get from SJO to the ferry and on to Mal Pais on Friday night? We are scheduled to get to SJO around 2:30PM. From what I have read on this site, it is an hour and a half from SJO to Punterenas and then another couple to Mal Pais. We don't have a reservation for Friday night and we'd kind of like to wake up at the beach. Is this doable?

Also from what I've researched to go from Mal Pais to Manuel Antonio, you go back to the ferry and then through Jaco on to MA. Is the five hour trip accurate? We enjoy driving through Costa Rica and stopping at different towns and beaches.

Can't wait to get there and thanks for the help.

Slovenia
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1. Re: travel from sjo to mal pais then to manuel antonio

Well, it took us more then 2 hrs using the PanAm Hwy last June. So let me calculate: 2:30 PM landing, 3:30 PM out of airport, 4:30 PM out of rental car agency, 6:30 PM at the ferry in Puntarenas. 8:30 PM ferry, 9:30 PM at Paquera, 11:00 PM in Mal Pais. In my book that means pushing it too far. YMMV.

Going to MA should be like 5 hrs on the roads, plus the ferry embarking and disembarking and travel, 2 hrs. So total trip time not less then 7 hrs.

Boston...
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2. Re: travel from sjo to mal pais then to manuel antonio

Thanks - is the drive possible at night if you have a good GPS? We were there 10 years ago and then it probably wasn't a good idea without a guide. Still would like to wake-up at the beach.

Actually suprised the trip to MA was that long. Is it better to drop the car and tke a boat to MA?

Slovenia
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3. Re: travel from sjo to mal pais then to manuel antonio

Yes, the drive is possible; however the road was horribly bad after Cobano last June (and I have not heard that it was paved or even repaired after) so you will need to drive very slowly. then again, people drives at nights, so you will be able to do it also. With a good map on GPS, as there will not be many to ask directions from.

Yes, it is long, as you need to calculate the ferry time. BTW, you are familiar with average driving speed in Costa Rica, so actually I am surprised by you being surprised :)) . You ca take the boat to Jaco and taxi or bus to MA, but where will you drop the car in Mal Pais (or Montezuma)?

Edited: 22 February 2014, 20:19
Santa Teresa, Costa...
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4. Re: travel from sjo to mal pais then to manuel antonio

If you can get good directions to get onto the new highway from the airport, you can make it to the ferry landing in Puntarenas in less than 2 hrs. If you take the old highway, it will take more than 2 hrs.

The roads are all good from Paquera to Mal Pais.....repaired, potholes filled and all is well, but I would not advise the trip at night. There is just too much to watch out for.....pedestrians, horses, cows, dogs, motorcycles without lights, bicycles without lights or reflectors, and the list goes on..... If you catch the last ferry, you will arrive in Mal Pais very late. It will take 1.5 hrs to cross and about 1/2 hr. to disembark. Then another 1.5 - 2 hrs. to drive to Mal Pais. You had better have an idea where you will be staying or you will just have to park the rental at the beach in Playa Carmen and literally 'wake up on the beach'!!

If you plan on dropping the rental in Mal Pais, the only agencies with offices here are Budget and Alamo....so if you are renting from another company, then you are SOL. The Water taxi to Jaco from Montezuma is a good option, then you can shuttle back to SJO from MA.

Of course, it is all very do-able, but please be careful....I seriously don't advise driving at night such long distances, especially after a long flight.

Boston...
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5. Re: travel from sjo to mal pais then to manuel antonio

I think you are all right. The drive from Paquera to Mal Pais at that hour of the night really doesn't make sense. Glad to hear the roads are better. Drove in from Liberia ten years ago (with a guide) and it was an adventure.

Can anyone recommend a good place to stay on the Paquera side and maybe a good place to relax and get dinner?

Three more wake-ups for me - and snow in the forcast today. CAN'T WAIT!!!

6. Re: travel from sjo to mal pais then to manuel antonio

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