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Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais

Geneva, Switzerland
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Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais

Debating flying to Liberia instead of San Jose so that we can control our destiny by not dealing with the ferry. Does anyone know if this is a good idea. Bringing surfboards or would even consider flying a small plane to Tambor. Anyone done this?

Pensacola, Florida
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1. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais

Flights into LIR more expensive further away.

Plane cost very high.

Better cheaper to rent a car do the ferry

www.wild-rider.com

www.nicoyapeninsula.com/general/map.html

Have fun,

Costa Rica
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2. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais

Flying into Liberia is quite a bit more expensive. If you want to avoid the ferry, fly in San Jose, rent a car and drive north of Puntarenas and cross the bridge to Nicoya. Having a rental car also allows you to "control your destiny." It's not a bad trip and lets you see more of the country. At the intersection where you turn to go to the bridge, there are a couple of nice restaurants, and one of them - Mi Finca - has some scarlet macaws that live in the back - not in cages. It is almost worth the drive just to see them!

Tamarindo, Costa...
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3. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais

If you're going to bring surfboards then you will eliminate the small commuter plane choice.

Whether you arrive in SJ or Liberia you're still looking at taking the ferry.

If you're not moving any further than the end of the peninsula, then either way is good. If you're traveling elsewhere, then your final destination may determine your airport choice.

Geneva, Switzerland
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4. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais

Thank you! I thought there was a bridge from Liberia? And one of the helpful responses was to just drive around from San Jose and simply see more of CR instead of sitting for 2 hours waiting for the ferry. Any views?

Seoul, South Korea
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5. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais

There is a bridge but it really is not going to help much in terms of getting to Mal Pais/Santa Teresa. The route to this area after you cross the bridge can be quite difficult to drive. At times the road becomes non-existent. If it in the rainy season then for sure I would not recommend it. Either way, I think you are best to go to San Jose and take the ferry. It is a faster route. Besides the ferry is a time to relax with nice views.

Santa Teresa, Costa...
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for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
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6. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais

If you can get a reasonable flight to Liberia instead of San Jose, the idea is not bad at all. If I had my choice, I would fly to Liberia over San Jose just to avoid the drive down the mountain, I don't mind the ferry ride, it gives you a chance to rest and take a deep breath!

Everyone that has posted seems to want to send you driving down the main highway to Puntarenas to take the ferry. There is a route down the peninsula.

You can hire a driver or rent a car to do this route. The bus route is not direct and can be very long and convoluted. If you were to fly Sansa or Nature Air from Liberia to Tambor, you might be lucky enough to catch one of their specials, flying is faster, but more expensive.

If you rent a 4x4, you can take the road toward Tamarindo and then turn south to Santa Cruz and Nicoya.

At Nicoya, you can decide whether you want to cross over to Samara and take the coast route. A good map is necessary as well as a 4x4, even during the dry season (only advisable from Jan. - May due to river heights and the need to ford them, it is impassable at many points during the green season); or you can continue to drive south to Jicaral and cross over to San Francisco de Coyote and get on the coast road to Mal Pais; or you can continue south on a very rough and washboard road to Paquera.

The route down the Nicoya Peninsula is scenic, the coast route is beautiful.

If you fly to San Jose, you can catch a shuttle bus with one of the Mal Pais/Santa Teresa companies for $35-40 per person; or for $10, get on the direct bus that leaves from the Coca Cola station (it doesn't make scheduled stops until they reach the ferry in Puntarenas, so you can't get on near the airport, but they do stop at the airport on the way back into San Jose).

Tamarindo, Costa...
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187 posts
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7. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais

If you're going to bring surfboards then you will eliminate the small commuter plane choice.

Whether you arrive in SJ or Liberia you're still looking at taking the ferry.

If you're not moving any further than the end of the peninsula, then either way is good. If you're traveling elsewhere, then your final destination may determine your airport choice.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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8. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais

As you may know already Liberia is more expensive...than San Jose...

If you do not want to deal with the ferry...the other option is to drive to bridge de La Amistad...then down to Nandayuer...Playa Naranjo...to Mal Pais...but that is long ride..very long...basically that is the reason why they builded the Amistad bridge!

I have no idea how big your boards are...charter a small plane is an option...but you have to provide first the size of the boards to see what kind of equipment can be used!

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!

Tamarindo, Costa...
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9. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais

As the previous post says, there is a bridge but then you have to drive southward on secondary roads that can be horrible in the rainy season.

Alexandria, VA
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10. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais

We just got back from Costa Rica and traveled from Arenal to Mal Pais/Santa Teresa and then traveled from Mal Pais/Santa Teresa to Liberia.

Even after many nights of rain, we were able to travel thru the middle of the penisula on back roads. The trip from Mal Pais/Santa Teresa to Liberia took about 4.5 hours.

We did not have to take the ferry (which we did on the way over). It was a much more enjoyable trip to just drive than to take the ferry.

I always prefer to see as much as possible when traveling and the drive from Liberia to Mal Pais/Santa Teresa will expose you to a lot of beautiful scenery!