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Advice: Flight from SJO to Tambor

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Pasadena, California
2 posts
Advice: Flight from SJO to Tambor

Hello fellow Costa Rican travelers,

I'm heading to Montezuma this December. I'm wondering if it's it possible for me to make a12:30p flight to Tambor from SJO if my flight from LAX lands at 11:37a?

I think it's cutting it close, but it seems to be the earliest I can get there to make the latest flight out to Tambor. Otherwise, I may need to spend the night in SJO.

On that note, how enjoyable would a night in SJO be for a single female traveler? Is it worth the stay before I hit seclusion (which is really why I'm taking the trip)

Thanks in advance!!

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
44,976 posts
28 reviews
1. Re: Advice: Flight from SJO to Tambor

It is way to close...even that SANSA terminal is just 5 minutes walking from International Terminal.

WAY to close!

Many nice clean places around the SJO to spend the night!

Another option can be...take a transfer to Puntarenas and take the next ferry to Paquera a lot of taxis and buses to take you to Montezuma!


Let me know if you need any more information!


Destination Expert
for Bermuda
Level Contributor
2,856 posts
26 reviews
2. Re: Advice: Flight from SJO to Tambor

I wouldn't call montezuma secluded! It's one of my favourite places in cr but it is a busy village. There are two waterfalls to visit. One is on the southern edge of the village. The fall empties into a large natural swimming pool. But if you want seclusion there's another fall about a 1.5 hour hike from montezuma. I can't remember the name of it but it is one of only two waterfalls in the world that empty directly into the ocean. I didn't see anyone except for a few tico fisherman on the trail. I was there at the end of the dry season so the waterfall was more like a trickle but it should be good in december. Take lots of water.

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,657 posts
26 reviews
3. Re: Advice: Flight from SJO to Tambor

You should definitely plan on spending the night in Alajuela - this is where the airport is located. There is a wide range of lodging available at all prices. You can stay near the center of town or out from town, in the hills around Alajuela.

If you stay near the center, you can walk around town, do some shopping or banking and get to know a Costa Rican city. Alajuela is much safer than San Jose so you should have no problem as a single traveler. One hotel I have used is Hotel Los Volcanes.

You can stay in the area surrounding Alajuela which is very pleasant, often with beautiful views and gardens. A couple of these are Hotel Buena Vista and Orquideas Inn.

Hotel Buena Vista offers shuttle service to the airport but it is very easy to get one of the orange (official) airport taxis to any of these places - you can expect to pay somewhere around $5-$7 for the taxi.

There are a number of things to see and do in the Alajuela area including The Butterfly Farm, a coffee tour, Zoo Ave among other things - or - you can just sit on the front porch with a cup of good Costa Rican coffee and relax.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
6,391 posts
22 reviews
4. Re: Advice: Flight from SJO to Tambor

I agree this connection is way too tight. Suggest you book the 2 PM SANSA flight to Tambor.

Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
Level Contributor
3,896 posts
127 reviews
5. Re: Advice: Flight from SJO to Tambor

Sansa flights don't leave from the same terminal as International flights. It is almost like a different airport next to the international airport. You have to go thru customs and immigration then exit the airport, wakl about 5 minutes with your stuff over to where Sansa is and then go thru the process of checking in again. So yes to close. A night in San Jose isn't bad. You will meet lots of other travelers where ever you stay.

Pasadena, California
2 posts
6. Re: Advice: Flight from SJO to Tambor

Thanks for all of your input-super helpful. I will check out Alajuela and the hotels you suggested.

@ Sonny, Yes, it's definitely not secluded-my friends live in central CR in a treehouse-now that's secluded! I guess I should've said head to the woods:) I live in a big city (LA) and love to be away from big cities as much as possible when I travel.

This is getting me excited about my trip and making me feel like I picked a great destination!!

Thank you all so much for your help so far.


Edited: 12:21 pm, October 02, 2010
Montezuma, Costa...
Level Contributor
538 posts
8 reviews
7. Re: Advice: Flight from SJO to Tambor


I hope my reply is not too late for you to consider.

I also think the flight transfer time is tight, but my question is what would you do to get from Tambor to Montezuma (it's around $50 in a taxi)

If I may suggest another option - after your flight, take a taxi into the Coca Cola bus station (watch your luggage there for sure!) and take the 2:00pm direct bus to Montezuma - the taxi driver will drop you off right at the correct bus.

It is an easy & cheap ride, includes the ferry (& you leave your luggage in the hold of the bus while on the ferry). I know people complain it is up to 5 hours, but it is comfy & nicely broken up and includes a lovely boat ride.

This gets you to Montezuma after dark (7 or 8pm), so it is probably best to have a reservation at least for your first night so you are not scrambling with luggage - I can recommend a few places depending on your budget - Luna Llena, Aurora, Mar y Cielo, Luz de Mono are are safe & reasonable options to name a few

For this trip , you will pay about $15 (not including taxi to town) as opposed to approx $150 for the flight/taxi option (not including taxi to hotel & hotel price)

If you consider this option, let me know and I can get more details

8. Re: Advice: Flight from SJO to Tambor

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