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Ferry Puntarenas/Paquera then transport to Montezuma????

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Fort Collins
posts: 56
reviews: 6
Ferry Puntarenas/Paquera then transport to Montezuma????

Hi all,

Added a week to my trip early next year. Hope to start booking part of the trip this weekend. Just starting to discover this area of C.R. so would appreciate any info.

I have seen several posts about waiting to get on the ferry at Puntarenas. Is this just a problem if you have a car or also if on foot??

I noted there are a number of buses from Paquera to Montezuma. Is the bus station near the ferry landing? Can a gringo that speaks little Spanish manage at the bus station? What would be the cost of a taxi from Paquera to Montezuma?

Particularly interested in info on getting to Montezuma from Paquera. Could take Interbus overland from SJO to Montezuma but they require two passengers minimum and I am traveling alone.

TIA, Jay

Ontario, Canada
posts: 2
1. Re: Ferry Puntarenas/Paquera then transport to Montezuma????

Hey Jay, wifey and I have been to the Montezuma/Tambor area about 6 times over the past few years. We have taken the paquera/Puntarenas ferry on several occasions. We speak very spotty spanish but don't have too much difficulty getting our point across. Catching a bus from Paquera to Montezuma is a breeze, the buses are waiting at the ferry, and are no problem boarding or getting tickets without pre-booking. There are also many cabs/minivans waiting. The most confusing part of the ferry trip is actually at Puntarenas, as the tickets for the ferry are purchased in a small office across the road from the ferry terminal. They only sell them from about an hour ahead of time, and exact change in colones is recommended. The folks in front of us only had a 50 american and the ticket person was reluctant to give change, so they left to find change. I had the same thing (50 amer.) but I nsisted she give me change or I wasn't moving. No anger just firm and polite begging. I got a better exchange rate from her , than at the hotel desk! I guess the best advice is be ready for a lot of confusion ( if you speak no Spanish), but don't panic or get rude. There is usually some kind of North American surfer dude or student around that will give you a hand if you ask nicely. Brushing up on basic Spanish and making an attempt with the locals, goes a long long way in this part of the world

New England
posts: 177
2. Re: Ferry Puntarenas/Paquera then transport to Montezuma????

The previous poster has things about right. There are two ferry companies that criss-cross the gulf so even if you miss one it is still not that big a deal. Their schedules alternate more or less and one is never more than 90 minutes, or so, away. I believe the ticket seller actually rides in on the ferry so when you see it dock and begin to unload the ticket window will open soon after. The ticket office is not much more than a storefront across from the dock but you can't miss it...just follow the crowd. Be sure you have the right one. There is also a ferry to Naranjo, farther north on the peninsula. U.S. dollars will get you on, as long as the bills are not too large or really beat up. I have found the ticket sellers for the ferries to be both very fast and very accurate in counting out your change. You will likely see a local hustler in the area who speaks English and will promise to get you on the next ferry. He can answer your questions but will expect a buck or two to do so. They are not employees of the ferry companies but do perform a useful function in helping you navigate the system (something that the ferry companies themselves don't do). On the Paquera side things are a bit more professional, as the dock is dedicated to the ferries and there is nothing else around. Buses and taxis are plentiful whenever a ferry unloads and transport should not be a problem.

Fort Collins
posts: 56
reviews: 6
3. Re: Ferry Puntarenas/Paquera then transport to Montezuma????

Puravidacpl and PhiloKvetch thanks for the info. I likely will have colones buy the time I get to the ferry as I will have been in C.R. for a few day. I might have enough now as I brought some back from my last trip :-). Doesn't sound like the ferry is very expensive. Just trying to compare cost with going overland. But if I have to buy two tickets on Interbus overland it would be $76 each way.

I will have one large bag (wheels and handle) and my carry on. Kind of a pain, but I'm sure I won't be the only one.

Thanks again, Jay

New England
posts: 177
4. Re: Ferry Puntarenas/Paquera then transport to Montezuma????

The ferry is pretty inexpensive. We usually pay for four people and a car and that is well under $20.00 so I can't imagine a walk-on is very costly. You will have to navigate the stairs to the upper deck but that also shouldn't be much of a problem, even with the bags.