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Carate from Panama and for 4 nights only- can I do it?!

Brighton, United...
posts: 256
reviews: 27
Carate from Panama and for 4 nights only- can I do it?!

Hello!

I wanted to go to Osa last year to find me a tapir and experience the beautiful national park, but it wasn't possible :-(

This summer, I want to try to make it happen but I have restricted dates. I'm travelling up by bus from David in Panama (to SJ, I guess) and I have some questions:

1. Does anyone know what route this will bring me on and how to best get to Carate? I'm not finding much on the internet and the CR bus schedule link isn't cooperating right now :-(

2. I would leave David on August 25th (24th at a push), but I need to be in SJ on the night of 29th (would catch bus up from Jimenez on the 29th?). I fly out from SJO on the afternoon of the 30th. I can't come earlier because of exams and can't stay longer because of flights! Is it possible in this short time frame?

3. I will be having this little adventure on my own, will I still be able to do a tour or are people just pushing for couples/ groups? I did find that attitude in Orosi :-(

Ideally, I'd like to do an overnight tour to Sirena...

4. Going to Carate from Jimenez, is collective easy enough or is taxi necessary? I think taxis must be quite pricey for one person?

5. I read somewhere that if weather is bad you can have issues getting out of Drake Bay, this isn't the same for Carate is it? I can't miss my flight home or I'll probably be sacked!

Thanks for reading and I hope you can help, even if just a little bit because I'm so confused! :-)

C x

Puerto Jimenez...
posts: 354
reviews: 3
1. Re: Carate from Panama and for 4 nights only- can I do it?!

Here is my suggestion, and I travel between OSA and David often enough.

Make sure you have your park reservations sorted in advance so you can avoid spending time in this dance in PJ.

On the 25th, travel from David to Paso Canoas from the central bus station in David on the first bus. Cross the border. Clear immigration on both sides and take the first bus you can from Canoas to Golfito on Transgolfito bus (located halfway between panama and cr immigration).

Tell the bus driver to drop you at the "launcha". Take the next boat from Golfito to PJ.

In PJ, meet your guide if using one, pick up any supplies you need and try to take the 1:30 collectivo to Carate. It will be a long day, but worth it. Or travel with guide/ group at dawn on the 26.

August 26, 27, If going into the park, hike into Sirena for two nights. Or make day trips into the park from Carate.

August 28, take the afternoon collectivo from Carate back to PJ and buy your bus ticket for the early morning bus to San Jose.

August 29. Bus to San Jose

It will be a busy trip, but I think it's doable.

Regarding the collectivo, it works. Don't expect comfort, just getting from place to place. Taxis are $100 one way to Carate.

It would be best to find a group to join for the expedition to Sirena as it will reduce your costs. Solo travelers usually pay more.

With your schedule I would stick to the Carate side of the peninsula as travel options are easier than to/from Drake Bay.

Hope this helps, Pura Vida, Ballardo

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 7,817
reviews: 57
2. Re: Carate from Panama and for 4 nights only- can I do it?!

Copy/paste into my next trip itinerary. Ballardo, what would be same but going to Drake Bay (don't worry about dates, I need only logistic). Thanks.

Brighton, United...
posts: 256
reviews: 27
3. Re: Carate from Panama and for 4 nights only- can I do it?!

Thank you Ballardo, I'm going to look into this properly then :-) Yay!

I have several hours of Spanish exams on the 23rd so I'll need a beer or two after those, but I could be awake enough to get an afternoon bus up on the 24th and stay in Golfito? I've not been there before! I don't mind a non-luxurious collectivo either :-)

So, I'm wondering if it would it make my trip easier if I travelled up to Golfito on the 24th? I'm just thinking if it's quite a long journey with connections/ ferry, etc, it might be less stressy? Or do you think it's not worth doing that?

Also, are the buses quite regular from David to Canoas and from Canoas to Golfito?

I really appreciate all the detail, that's exactly what I needed.

Thanks ever so much for your help x

Brighton, United...
posts: 256
reviews: 27
4. Re: Carate from Panama and for 4 nights only- can I do it?!

Hello again, I just worked out the CR bus website and I can see Canoas to Golfito every 60/ 90 mins. I have also managed to get the Panama version to cooperate :-) No need to worry on the buses front but if you have any advice/ recommendations on the Golfito stopover idea then that would be great. Thanks again x

Edited: 2:18 pm, February 15, 2013
Puerto Jimenez...
posts: 354
reviews: 3
5. Re: Carate from Panama and for 4 nights only- can I do it?!

If you can make the push over to PJ I think you will enjoy your evening more than in Golfito. Last boat leaves around 4 so try to make it by 3. It takes me about 5 hours depending on lines at immigration.

Puerto Jimenez...
posts: 354
reviews: 3
6. Re: Carate from Panama and for 4 nights only- can I do it?!

Xelas, from PJ to drake, you will want to take the morning bus to La Palma. In La Palma there is a minibus that runs around 11-11:30 am to Drake, and another one that leaves around 4pm. Takes about 2+ hours.

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 7,817
reviews: 57
7. Re: Carate from Panama and for 4 nights only- can I do it?!

Thanks. I might be in Panama / Bouquet in near future so I would like to get into Corcovado from Drake Bay side. However, not this year (sigh).

Brighton, United...
posts: 256
reviews: 27
8. Re: Carate from Panama and for 4 nights only- can I do it?!

Thanks Ballardo, I'm starting to plan my Osa adventure now! x

9. Re: Carate from Panama and for 4 nights only- can I do it?!

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