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driving from MA to Sierpe

Sunnyvale, CA
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driving from MA to Sierpe

We are planning on spending 2 weeks in Costa Rica this August. Half of our trip will be in the Arenal/Monteverde area, the other half in the MA/Osa area and we are renting a car. We are two adults, 2 boys (8 and 12) who love advenuture. For 3 nights we will be either in MA or Dominical, and then we will drive to Sierpe to take a boat to the Osa peninsula.

1. How long would it take to drive from MA to Sierpe - the boat leaves late morning?

2. Another option is to stay in Dominical instead. We might skip MA then and see the Ballena marine park instead. How long does it take to drive from MA to dominical?

3. How is the snorkeling in Ballena marine park - are there good snorkeling tours there?

Any information is appreciated.

Lana in Sunnyvale, CA

New York City, New...
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1. Re: driving from MA to Sierpe

The drive from Dominical to Sierpe will be about 1.5 hours. The Costanera Sur highway is excellent.

The road from Manuel Antonio/Quepos to Dominical is a question mark, as it isn't paved and can be pretty wrecked in the rainy season. Figure 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, but definitely ask ahead in MA about the latest road conditions before you set out.

Regardless of where you stay, you can easily stop at Ballena on your drive down (or back up). Snorkeling is good here in the dry season, but in August it may not be worthwhile because of the rains killing visibility so ask around before you book a boat trip.

If you are doing the Osa portion of your trip at the end, consider doing a oneway car rental, dropping off in Palmar Sur where you'll take a taxi to Sierpe. After the Osa, you can just fly back to San Jose to save you the longer drive and also paying for your rental car while it sits mothballed in Sierpe (be sure to arrange for it to be parked in a secure location if you leave it).

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2. Re: driving from MA to Sierpe

You would need to leave VERY early from MA to make a late morning boat from Sierpe. A stop for a night along the way would be a good idea. Dominical is a scruffy surfer town but maybe just your thing. The problem for you will be the road from MA/Quepos to Dominical. It is very rough rainy or dry season. The snorkeling in the park is fair. Sounds like you are going to Drake Bay which is wonderful. Another post suggests getting rid of your car while you are in the Osa - good idea. Fly back to SJ.