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Car while in Manuel Antonio for family with kids

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Chicago, Illinois
3 posts
Car while in Manuel Antonio for family with kids

We'll be staying in Manuel Antonio (Tulemar Villas) in August with our 3 kids (ages 3,6and 8) and are were thinking it would be simpler to have a car (for the Park, beach, grocery shopping, going to dinner) as opposed to having to rely on the bus or cabs. We were wondering about the parking situation in Quepos and at restaurants in the area. Would it be easier to just use cabs, even with the kids?

Lastly, what kind of price should we expect for a private transport from San Jose to MA and back for 2 adults and 3 kids should we choose not to rent a car?

Manuel Antonio
Level Contributor
32 posts
23 reviews
1. Re: Car while in Manuel Antonio for family with kids

All or most restaurants here have safe parking lots, the park does not have a parking lot although there are many places where to park for about 6us or so, but whatch out for scamers that act like park rangers and lie saying that you cant drive any further. you can read about it in the MA forum. Now, the public bus service is great, Tulemar is surrounded by all you need supermarket, best restaurants are walking distance, ATM and bank across the street. Taxi from tulemar to the park is about $10, I would say there is no need to rent a car and better avoid the stress of driving out of San José.

Manuel Antonio...
Level Contributor
732 posts
53 reviews
2. Re: Car while in Manuel Antonio for family with kids

I agree with the post above.....don't drive out of SJ to Manuel Antonio if you don't have to.....it can be stressful....the price for a private van/driver for 5 is about $160-$180 each way......you won't need a car while staying at Tulemar for the reasons above....but some people (my parents for instance) just HAVE to have their own car......to go when/where they want...easily......that's OK.....we can have a rental car delivered to you once you arrive in Tulemar if you would like.

Tulemar Dave

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 posts
12 reviews
3. Re: Car while in Manuel Antonio for family with kids

We took Interbus from SJO to Manuel Antonio and paid $45 pp. There is NO WAY I would recommend you renting a car and driving to MA because of the driving habits with whom you are sharing the road if this is your first trip. Keep yourself and your children safe and let an experienced person do the driving. Good luck.

Edited: 11:03 pm, August 01, 2012
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
44,965 posts
28 reviews
4. Re: Car while in Manuel Antonio for family with kids

Great advice by cork...but once in Manuel Antonio nice to have a car ...mostly with kids...you never know when you will need a ride or go somewhere...in my case I´m like Dave parents...I most have a car!


Plano, Texas
Level Contributor
45 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Car while in Manuel Antonio for family with kids

Going soon myself and I plan to rent a car. This is my 3rd trip to Costa Rica, but first down to Manuel Antonio. I rented a car the other two trips and had no issues with driving. Drove from Liberia to La Fortuna, Monteverde, Tamarindo, Playa CoCo.

Chicago, Illinois
3 posts
6. Re: Car while in Manuel Antonio for family with kids

Thank you for all the feedback. Not too worried about the driving from SJ to MA (pretty sure I've driven in worse). I think we'll stick with keeping the car as the price of rental will be about the same as the round trip cost.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
916 posts
15 reviews
7. Re: Car while in Manuel Antonio for family with kids

Wise choice Tozer to keep the car rather than blow the budget on a private driver, as to your question about Quepos, there are lots of side streets and you can usually always find a spot outside the popular restaurants and shops. Do make it a point to come down to the boulevard bordering the ocean, and visit Cafe Milagro for great coffee and banana bread to die for. The Gran Escape restaurant tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g309289-d1… offers great meals at a decent price, and although there is a ridge between yourself and the ocean, it's still a view. There is also a neat farmers market on sat mornings on the boulevard, granola like you have never had before, and fresh fruits and veggies, just a neat experience.

Have a great holiday.

Manuel Antonio
Destination Expert
for Manuel Antonio National Park
Level Contributor
2,171 posts
8. Re: Car while in Manuel Antonio for family with kids

Ditto what Dave said. From Tulemar you will really not need a car as they have shuttle service on the property, and there are many restaurants, banks, grocery stores, etc right near their gates. If you need a taxi, they are cheap to get around, and if you do tours those all include the transport anyway. Also, it is fun to come out with the drivers and have them point things out and tell stories along the way.

However, if you enjoy having that freedom and exploring on your ownm, then by all means get a car. The roads from SJ are easy and it is part of the CR adventure! Enjoy!

9. Re: Car while in Manuel Antonio for family with kids

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