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Drive or Fly?? San Jose to Quepos

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Boston, MA
posts: 16
reviews: 6
Drive or Fly?? San Jose to Quepos

For our upcoming trip to Manuel Antonio, we have the option (for the same price) of flying or having a private driver between Quepos and San Jose. We plan to fly on the way back, but I wanted to know how scenic the drive is on the way there - should we consider driving one-way?

I've seen some older posts on this but I know the roads have changed significantly in the last few years including the new highway, so I'm not sure if that has changed the drive enough that we should just fly for the same price. Any advice (or suggestions along the way if we choose to drive) would be appreciated!

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 44,024
1. Re: Drive or Fly?? San Jose to Quepos

If you can fly or drive for the same money...drive one way and fly the other...the road is in great condition...and is a very nice ride!


Grecia, Costa Rica
posts: 916
reviews: 15
2. Re: Drive or Fly?? San Jose to Quepos

I would skip the private driver, the hiway is not a scenic hiway, whereas the trip over the mountains to Quepos is spectacular. Once in Quepos there are plenty of taxis from the airport, or possibly your destination lodging will have a shuttle for your use.

Only a private driver would recommend drive one way and fly the other in the hope of picking up business.

Have a great holiday, and THANK YOU for coming to visit our beautiful country.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 44,024
3. Re: Drive or Fly?? San Jose to Quepos

The drive between SJO and Manuel Antonio is a really nice one...with the stop over the Tarcoles river to see the crocs...drive by Carara...maybel lucky enough to see some great red or green macaw...the rice fields...the African palm plantations...even a nice stop at Steve and Lisas for a good ceviche...

Any person that knows our country will recommend a drive at least one way...private driver or not...any body that really knows our country!

Please enjoy our country as we NATIVES do...


San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 3,527
4. Re: Drive or Fly?? San Jose to Quepos

If it is the same price and fits your schedule I would do the flight instead of 3 hours on the road, however it is just a personal decision.

Manuel Antonio...
posts: 681
reviews: 45
5. Re: Drive or Fly?? San Jose to Quepos

When the time and budget allows.....I always reccommend our clients fly one way and take a private van/driver the other way......I enjoy the drive.....you do get to see the countryside.....and the little towns......it's not quite the same with the new highway.....but it is faster......than the old road thru the mountains.....so if you have the time....enjoy!

Tulemar Dave

San Jose
posts: 33
reviews: 9
6. Re: Drive or Fly?? San Jose to Quepos

Definitely drive at least one way, it is a very nice drive as road advisor says. And think about this. Once you get to Quepos, how are you going to move around? I am sure you will want to explore the area, there are many great beaches very near. Taxis back and forth will cost you a lot of money. Car rental is the best option, if you ask me...good luck!

San Jose
posts: 998
reviews: 22
7. Re: Drive or Fly?? San Jose to Quepos

I wouldnt mind flying both ways if the price is the same. It is a very short flight, and one that will also provide nice aerial views. The drive is not a problem at all and you can stop along the way too, but - eventhough I am not fond of heights - you wont even have time to blink before you are already in Quepos.

You can always rent a car in Quepos to move around, and even have it pre arranged with one of the companies with offices in the area and return it just before you leave. You can rent it for the whole time or a period of time. I think Adobe rent a car has offices there, and I believe also National, Budget and Avis do...

Grecia, Costa Rica
posts: 916
reviews: 15
8. Re: Drive or Fly?? San Jose to Quepos

The hiway is frequently blocked, under repair, and the cost of a rental can purchase a lot of taxi rides, and why bother with a SJ rental and struggle with a rental after a long flight? In a country like Costa Rica the journey is often the experience, and stuck in a traffic back up is not my idea of quality transport time. Lots of rentals in Quepos (Budget is at the airport) so enjoy the journey. Again, those that recommend road transport have usually a reason to gain..IMHO.

Have a great flight.

Billings, Montana
posts: 213
reviews: 124
9. Re: Drive or Fly?? San Jose to Quepos

We took Interbus from MA to San Jose and nothing was scenic about it at all. Definitely fly when given the chance.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 44,024
10. Re: Drive or Fly?? San Jose to Quepos

The road 27 and road 34 are great roads...as many roads around the world in a tropical country will have some bad days but most of the time are great rides... of course for a private driver is easy to said that ...since we drive that road almost daily..and all year long...to bad in some cases with some nice people that the day they were around those roads somenthing happend...maybe years ago..

Most of them maybe just one or a couple times in a lifetime they drove to Manuel Antonio..and was not the best expereince.... of course we private drivers recommend the drive to Manuel Antonio at least one time...great for us and great for the costumer...and of course a good reason for us to gain...but the costumer also will gain and see some great part of our country...our country the one we love...easy for us to said our country since is our motherland country.. ...!!

Thank you Tulemar Dave coming form you means a lot since you really know , respect and love our country...also crpuravida!! GRACIAS!

Sorry granite peaker that the Interbus shuttle was not a nice ride...maybe next time try a private driver...we take the time to show you the great ways to enjoy the ride..your gain and our gain...