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Planes, Buses or Automobile

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Boston...
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Planes, Buses or Automobile

I'm looking for the best advice out there on how to get from San Jose - Manuel Antonio. Help us please!!! By Rental Car – it’s about $200+ for the week plus a hold on your credit card for $1000.00+ (oh, and don’t forget gas). By hotel service car, it’s $150.00 each way and the 3 ½ hour trip. How bad are these roads- SUV or no? By Bus- Can you make secure reservations before you get to SJO? Again, the trip is 3 ½ hours long. By plane into Quepos and it’s $165 pp and it’s only a ½ hour flight. (Did you see how tiny that plane is and luggage fees perhaps?)

Who out there has the best advice for me? Drive, Bus, Hotel service or Fly? Thank you all !!!

Canandaigua, New...
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1. Re: Planes, Buses or Automobile

I have seen many many posts that this road is a fairly new one and easy to travel baring any unforseen problems is around 2-1/2 to 3 hour trip .

Winnipeg, Canada
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for Costa Rica
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2. Re: Planes, Buses or Automobile

Hi callieq

Deciding whether or not to drive all boils down to personal preference. It definitely is the most flexible. You don't need an SUV for that route.

And "best advice" is so subjective and personal.

If when you say "bus" you mean something like Interbus or other shared shuttle like Grayline , yes you can make reservations ahead of time.

But if you mean public bus - not really - though there us at least one company that will do it for you at a premium.

Best advice may also depend on the time you are arriving as shared shuttles, buses and the flights have fixed schedules and your arrival may or may not fit in. Also if you choose to drive - you wouldn't want to drive in the dark on your first trip and it gets dark before 6.00 PM. A driver on the other hand will be waiting for you when you arrive and you are off to your destination with no real worries.....

If anyone is really interested in taking the public bus on their trip, I usually suggest to try it from Manuel Antonio back to San Jose . MA to San Jose is a good candidate for several reasons. It is quite simple. Besides you won't be tired from your International flight and you will have got a bit used to the way things work in Costa Rica.

You can buy your ticket a day or two ahead at the station in downtown Quepos to ensure you have a seat.

The fares are very reasonable - about $8.00 per person

There are several daily departures - from very early morning to 5.00 PM. The directo buses are relatively comfortable - though no air conditioning and no bathrooms. You get to avoid the infamous Coca Cola bus station if you want to. The bus will let you off on the road right in front of the airport if you tell the driver..

And as for flying - a great option - but again some people just don't like the small planes....

Sometimes the best way is to mix and match - maybe the flight or private driver or hotel pick up to get there and public bus back.

pura vida

raquel

La Fortuna de San...
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3. Re: Planes, Buses or Automobile

I prefer to fly whenever possible....20 minute flight vs. 4 hours of driving...no contest! :-) Second best is Interbus...definitely schedule at least a week ahead...affordable, comfortable a/c vans-very professional! ;-) http://www.interbusonline.com. We use them all the time!

Wendy at the Villa Hermosa, La Fortuna, Costa Rica

San Jose, Costa Rica
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4. Re: Planes, Buses or Automobile

Nice short flight...30 minutes...driving is only 2 hours and 45 minutes...I do it several times a week...

Hiring a driver is a good idea...

roadadvsior

Manuel Antonio
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5. Re: Planes, Buses or Automobile

Flying is only $75pp each way and is fast and has an excellent safety record. If you have a larger group, you can charter a plane for around $400 each way and they leave on your schedule.

Private driver is really fun and easy and the price you quoted is below average, so take that price if you decide that way. Fun to see the crocodiles under the Tarcoles bridge.

Rental car is easy, the new hwy is great, only around 2.5 hrs on pretty good roads all the way. Gas is around $4.50 a gallon here tho, so ouch on that. Fun to have the freedom though, and you will not need SUV for our area.

Lastly, limited departures for semi public transport like Interbus and Grayline tours. Very efficient, but you are locked into their limited schedule.

Enjoy!

Boston...
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6. Re: Planes, Buses or Automobile

Thank you to all who responded!!!

Now if I am going to fly: Do I fly Nature Air or Sansa Air? Which one is closer to SJO International Airport?

If we decide to take a bus/car hire- Is the travel from Manuel to San Jose an experience within itself- a pretty ride?

Once in Manuel, is a rental car that necessary? We are staying at La Mariposa.

If our check out is noon, will they let us lounge by the pool with our luggage until our departure?

Thank you!!!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: Planes, Buses or Automobile

Good choice to fly...

SANSA is just 5 minutes walk from SJO terminal....

NAture Air is about 25 minutes car ride from SJO...

The ride from MA to SJO is a nice ride...well I do it about 4 times a weeks and still love it...and the stop over to see the wild crocs is a free tour...people love it...great ocean views by Playa Hermosa...to admire the huge African Plants Plantation...and going up fro Orotina to SJO...is a nice ride...by 27 road or by Monte del Aguacate...

roadadvisor

Manuel Antonio
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8. Re: Planes, Buses or Automobile

Ditto what Roadadvisor says.....go Sansa and stay at the same airport with a short 25 min flights. Nature Air is good too, but a 20+ min taxi ride to another small airport.

The drive from SJ is nice, really fun to see the huge crocodiles under the Tarcoles Bridge, and its only around 2.5 hrs.

Once at Mariposa you definitely do not need a car. Lots of restaurants in walking distance, the tours include transport, and they have a shuttle to the beach & park.

Enjoy!

Boston...
6 posts
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9. Re: Planes, Buses or Automobile

I feel like I have the same dilemma. I arrive in SJO at 11:50 and am heading to MA. I'm worried about making firm reservations with the plane, shuttle or even private driver since if you're plane is delayed, you lose the money. I was wondering about hailing a cab right outside the airport.

Anyone have thoughts on that?

Boston...
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10. Re: Planes, Buses or Automobile

Callieq,

I'm from Boston to and heading to Manuel Antonion from SJO. I get in on 2/19 at 11:50. Any chance we could share a ride to MA?

Linda