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Land at 11:50 catch 2:00 directo?

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Starkville...
posts: 8
reviews: 24
Land at 11:50 catch 2:00 directo?

I think it's clear from the forums that transportation is confusing and a huge concern of travelers! Thanks to everyone who helps try to clear up travel issues....

We are traveling in May 2014....We are looking at a flight that arrives at SJO (MUCH cheaper than LIberia) at 11:50.... how pushed for time will we be to get to the bus station to catch the 2:00 directo bus? And will that cab still be about $30 (split between people??)....

I think this is correct:

Land in SJO in Allejua 11:50 am --> cab to San Carlos Bus terminal actually in San Jose by 1:00 pm? ($30 total) --> Pay $14 pp and check luggage below bus 2:00pm --> Luggage stays on bus, board ferry $1.40 pp --> Montezuma around 8:00 pm

Back:

Pay $14 pp and check luggage below bus 2:30 pm --> Luggage stays on bus, board ferry $1.40 pp --> Arrive at San Carlos Bus terminal in San Jose around 8:30 pm --> cab to Allejua to airport for flight ($30 split) (might stay here for the night and catch early morning flight out)

Also, were a group of female friends (3-4 total) in our mid to late twenties visiting for a fun and adventurous trip. Were looking forward to the beach, hikes and adventure and local nightlife. Our budget for a hotel is $90-125 per night. Does Montezuma sound like a good fit? Will it be completely dead in May? Also... El Sano Banano or Montezuma Pacifico? Thanks so much for any help/advice!

Elizabeth

10 replies to this topic
Starkville...
posts: 8
reviews: 24
1. Re: Land at 11:50 catch 2:00 directo?

Oh and sorry.... I just destroyed the spelling of Alajuela!!

Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 468
reviews: 9
2. Re: Land at 11:50 catch 2:00 directo?

That's cutting it close with luggage, customs and getting to SJ.

It's possibly enough time IF IF everything goes smooth. But you can't count on it.

You could cab it to the ferry and catch a bus on the other side and probably not have time issues. LAST ferry has NO busses waiting.

The Directo cost includes the ferry ride cost.

Gary

Costa Rica
posts: 20,255
reviews: 23
3. Re: Land at 11:50 catch 2:00 directo?

The last bus leaves Paquera at 5 pm so not sure that would work.

Another option is to spend your first night in Jaco and take the water taxi the next morning to Montezuma.

Or - take the regular bus to Puntarenas and spend the night there and then get the ferry and the bus to Montezuma the next morning.

You can try for the directo and if you don't make it, then you can get the bus for Jaco or Puntarenas instead. If you can manage to bring only carry-on and sit close to the front of the plane, that will better your chances.

Edited: 9:29 pm, October 08, 2013
Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,422
reviews: 10
4. Re: Land at 11:50 catch 2:00 directo?

On your way back, when you are putting your luggage below, make sure you tell the driver that you are getting off at the airport.....they stop there most times and you can get off, grab a cab into Alajuela and stay there the night rather than paying for a cab all the way back to Alajuela from the San Carlos station.....saves you time and money.

Starkville...
posts: 8
reviews: 24
5. Re: Land at 11:50 catch 2:00 directo?

Thanks for all of the help! I see that something like Tropical Tours has a shuttle leaving from SJO (a shared shuttle) at 2:00 as well. It appears as if they pick you up from the airport... is this true? If that was the case, we would not need to ever travel to San Jose and could just go directly to Montezuma for only a few dollars more a person after the cab and bus fees. Also, that should give us enough time to get off the plane and to the shuttle since we would not have to actually travel to San Jose.... right? Do they drop back off at the airport directly for a return trip home? Thanks again guys.

Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 468
reviews: 9
6. Re: Land at 11:50 catch 2:00 directo?

Hattie, I was always told it was the last ferry to Paquera that had no buses on the other side. I'm 99.9% sure once I even came back from Punteraenas once that late and got on a bus (it was around the same time because after I did, the guy at my hotel suggested that next time I should have seen if I could have gotten on the directo instead of the regular). But things/times change obviously.

At a minimum, IF they had seats, the directo would be there to board. (Or another cab). Which would get them there the same night.

As WeFish88 said, the directo will drop you off at the airport on the way back if you ask them. So that's cheaper and easier than the shuttle (most of the time the shuttle has you carry your luggage onto the ferry and board their other shuttle on the other side).

Gary

Starkville...
posts: 8
reviews: 24
7. Re: Land at 11:50 catch 2:00 directo?

So...

Plan A: everything goes perfectly and we catch the Directo to Montezuma at 2:00 pm at the San Carlos bus terminal in San Jose and arrive in Montezuma several hours later.

Plan B: Contact a tour company and ask for a shared or private shuttle leaving soon for Montezuma.

Plan C: Cab to ferry, catch ferry, cab or public bus? to Montezuma (how much does this option cost?)

Plan D (and maybe the best): Land in SJO and take a quick cab to an area hotel (cheap, safe suggestions within walking distance to places for dinner and cocktails?) and just enjoy the city and the maybe take the early directo to Montezuma?? Is this cost effective since we would have to pay for a cab to San Jose and for a hotel??

And for coming back, just take the directo since they will drop up off at the airport. Thanks again! I think this is the part of our trip that I am most stressed about!

Costa Rica
posts: 20,255
reviews: 23
8. Re: Land at 11:50 catch 2:00 directo?

721elizabeth: Just take the shared van shuttle. Unless everything works out perfectly, you might miss the directo bus. And anything else will cost you more money. Plus the taxi ride into San Jose is in the $25-$30 range so that's kind of half the shuttle cost right there. It's worth the extra $.

But you will definitely have to make a reservation ahead of time and arrange a pick-up point. They don't pick you up just anywhere. This would definitely remove ALL your stress about this part of the trip. Period.

Starkville...
posts: 8
reviews: 24
9. Re: Land at 11:50 catch 2:00 directo?

Thanks! So I'm assuming that you think we will have enough time to catch the shared shuttle at 2:00 (the time on most sites I can find) since we wont have to travel to San Jose. Will most companies pick up at the SJO airport or will we need to travel (by taxi I assume) to some other spot in Alajuela close to the airport? Do these shared shuttles go all the way to Montezuma or will they drop us off at the ferry with another shuttle picking us up on the other side? My favorite thing about the directo option is that we can leave our stuff on the bus while on the ferry--I would love to be able to enjoy the ferry ride and not worry about my luggage. I'm sorry I have so many questions, but thanks for your patience and help!

Costa Rica
posts: 20,255
reviews: 23
10. Re: Land at 11:50 catch 2:00 directo?

1. Yes, you can get the 2:00 shuttle.

2. The shuttles provide hotel-to-hotel service and don't pick up at the airport. But you can get a taxi to the Holiday Inn Express and use that as your pickup point - it's about 5 minutes from the airport.

3. The shuttle will take you to your lodging in Montezuma and drop you off there. If your lodging is not on their list of drop-off points, send them an email to see if there is an extra charge to drop you off there. If it is not out of the way, there probably won't be an extra charge.

4. The other possibility is to go to Denny's - just across the parking lot from Holiday Inn Express - and get a bit to eat. If that is not appealing, there is a great little restaurant, outside, at the end of the SJO terminal (exit and turn right) called Malinche's. They serve a lot of different stuff buffet style - so it's quick. And there's lots of typical Costa Rican food to welcome you!

Edited: 3:34 pm, October 09, 2013
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