We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

getting from San jose to Manuel Antonio

Which Manuel Antonio National Park hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
denver
Level Contributor
22 posts
13 reviews
Save Topic
getting from San jose to Manuel Antonio

My Mother, my two sisters and I are going to Costa rica in October. My mother is 90 years old. We are flying into San Jose and staying one night at Finca Rosa Blanca. The next day we will to go to Manuel Antonio where we will be staying at Arenas Del Mar. The plan is to rent a car and drive down and back. I understand that the drive takes about 4 hours, would we be better off flying? Either way we plan to rent a car. Any recommendations re flying vs driving? We want to get out and see some of the area down there so I feel the car would be essential even if we fly to Quepos.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
46,225 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: getting from San jose to Manuel Antonio

The drive is about 3 hours...nice ride all the way...maybe a short stop at Tarcoles river bridge to see the wild Crocodriles...

Rent a nice 4x4...mostly for your mother comfort...the road In and Out of Rosa Blanca even that is in good condition...better to have a vehicle with high clearance...and the road to Arenas del Mar...at the end and about 300 meters is a nice hill...again nothing to worry but better with a vehicle with good power!

Honestly I will said that is less stress to fly...to and from SJO...to Manuel Antonio.

The road is good almost the whole way...some repairs around Monterey...but nothing else...

Just observe speed limits and distances...and Buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!

roadadvisor

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
3,528 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: getting from San jose to Manuel Antonio

From Finca Rosa Blanca it is a 3 and half hour drive to Manuel Antonio if you go through the new highway to Caldera. You do not need a 4x4 at all for where you are driving, but I agree they are normally bigger cars than the regular sedans. You might want to fly to Quepos and just rent a car there.

denver
Level Contributor
22 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: getting from San jose to Manuel Antonio

Thanks for the help. I read that there are two roads options. Any advice on which to take?

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
46,225 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: getting from San jose to Manuel Antonio

I drive to Manuel Antonio not less than 3 times a week...a lot of times from Rio Segundo that is not far from Rosa Blanca...and even sometimes we drive from Rosa Blanca...the reason for me to suggest a big nice 4x4 is very simple...YOUR MOTHER age....that simple...and once again it is only 3 hours...and yes any car can make it there...but better a nice big 4x4...

Maybe the two road options that they are talking about...road 27th the new road or the road by Monte del Aguacate old road...by that road maybe 3 and half hours...by 27th no more than 3 even less...GUARANTEE!

roadadvisor

Edited: 17 September 2011, 05:50
Manuel Antonio...
Level Contributor
968 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: getting from San jose to Manuel Antonio

If you drive....don't forget to rent a GPS also.....it will make the trip so much easier.....we don't have a lot of signs/markers or addreses in Costa Rica!

Enjoy your trip....

Tulemar Dave

Uvita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Uvita, Ojochal
Level Contributor
2,647 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: getting from San jose to Manuel Antonio

Its an easy drive rent a car no problem. The aircraft of Nature Air and SANSA are not pressurised which was an issue for my 80 year old mother due to her high blood pressure, thought I would mention this in case there was a similar condition.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
3,528 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: getting from San jose to Manuel Antonio

About the 2 routes it is easier and fastest to go on through the new highway to Caldera also known as route 27th. I have driven many times from a place close to Finca Rosa Blanca to Manuel Antonio and it has taken me 3 and a half hours, respecting the speed limits, not rushing and enjoying the experience. Make a brief stop at the Tarcoles bridges to see the crocodiles

Punta Arenas, Costa...
Level Contributor
787 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: getting from San jose to Manuel Antonio

OP, skip the car rental in SJ, take the very comfortable and convenient Nature Air flight to Quepos, and have a rental car from one of the 2-3 rental agencies in Quepos meet you at the airport. A rental offers you more freedom and can be much cheaper than some of the private driver services hyped on this forum. My best friend visited me from Canada last year, he has serious lung issues, and the un-pressurized flight caused no discomfort for him. Let Nature Air know if your Mother has breathing/heart issues, and they can be prepared, but otherwise it shouldn't be an issue. Don't struggle with the very different and sometimes confusing road/hiway systems here in CR, and use the rental for local trips, then have them bring you back to the Quepos airport. Don't forget when in Quepos to have some of the excellent home made banana bread and great coffee at Cafe Milagro, and please visit the cigar shop next door and give the resident sentry chihuahua a scratch under the chin for me.

Medina, Ohio
Level Contributor
464 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: getting from San jose to Manuel Antonio

I just returned from manuel antonio in August and the drive from San Jose took 2 1/2 hours straight not counting the stop at the crocodile bridge. The drive is very nice and easy. It's a little challenging getting out of San Jose but once you're out, It's a straight shot to Manuel Antonio and there aren't many cars on the road so you can take your time or speed if you want, lol.

Edited: 18 September 2011, 03:28
Medina, Ohio
Level Contributor
464 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: getting from San jose to Manuel Antonio

don't forget money for the tolls!