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Drive from San Jose to Santa Teresa - no ferry

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Washington DC...
posts: 29
reviews: 8
Drive from San Jose to Santa Teresa - no ferry

Does anyone know how long this takes? I will skip the ferry and drive around. I have used www.yourtravelmap.com/costarica but am wondering if it is actually faster than what they are projecting which is 7 hours to go 193 miles or 28 mph average. I will start driving at 1:00 PM on a Saturday in the middle of November. Thanks, James

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 41,665
1. Re: Drive from San Jose to Santa Teresa - no ferry

Easily 7 hours...some parts of the road...no bad condition but the floor is made out of big round rocks...hard to go any faster..well maybe in a friends cars...not my car!

If you mentioned 28 mph...around 56 kilometers per hour that is fast in some areas in that part of the country...keep a 56 kph average it will be hard...of course not imposible...I can drive faster than that with my Sand Rail Dune Buggy..in those roads...but totally different thing!

roadadvisor

Nashville, Tennessee
posts: 143
2. Re: Drive from San Jose to Santa Teresa - no ferry

I need your help with trip plans, and using your driving, etc. people. Will be second time down, and want to go elsewhere. Thanks in advance. Jon

Costa Rica
posts: 21,896
reviews: 26
3. Re: Drive from San Jose to Santa Teresa - no ferry

Barney: Why do you want to drive the whole way instead of using the ferry? It is so much out of the way and more difficult. Where will you be coming from, San Jose or Alajuela or ??

It is easy to drive to Puntarenas, take the ferry and then drive on to Santa Teresa. The other way, you will drive north of Puntarenas, turn and go across the bridge and then head for Santa Teresa on roads that may or may not be passable, especially in November which can be very rainy and will definitely be rough and slow going.

Don't be deceived by distances in Costa Rica. Figure out how long you think it will take to get someplace and then double it. (I don't care what Your Travel Map says.) Speed limits are typically 60 kph with some 80 kph but the roads are two-lane and so passing may be difficult and you may encounter slow trucks or cars of all kinds as well as bicycle riders or pedestrians. There is not much for shoulders in many areas so people tend to ride their bikes or walk in the road. There are new and very strict traffic laws. If you are caught speeding, it is a $400 fine and likewise a hefty fine for passing on the solid yellow line. If you are traveling on a perfect day on a perfect road with no obstacles or slow trucks or heavy rain, you can probably make good time. But this is not the usual.

Do not think of trying to take a 7-hour trip starting at 1 pm unless you are very familiar with the area where you are going and have been to Costa Rica before. It starts to get dark about 5:30 and by 6:00 it will be dark - almost year round. Unless you are experienced, it can be tricky to drive after dark - remember, no shoulders, trucks, bicycles and rain.

Costa Rica
posts: 21,896
reviews: 26
4. Re: Drive from San Jose to Santa Teresa - no ferry

Jon: I am assuming that your post is for roadadvisor? You can contact his company at www.tucanlimoservices.com

Atlanta
Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
posts: 3,727
reviews: 115
5. Re: Drive from San Jose to Santa Teresa - no ferry

The last part of the drive into Santa Teresa is a crazy bad road. Even on an ATV it got hairy at some points. I found it almost easier after a rain because the puddles made it possible to see the pot holes;) I made a new friend there last month that drove from San Jose to ST via the ferry and her hands were sore for 2 days from griping and shifting so much. They got out of the airport and out of San Jose with the rental car by 10am. They were not in Santa Teresa until 8pm. She got to her hotel room and wanted to just rest her eyes and didn't wake up for 13 hours. She was young and laughed about it, but did say it was a very stressful day and glad it was over.

Washington DC...
posts: 29
reviews: 8
6. Re: Drive from San Jose to Santa Teresa - no ferry

I think I better take the ferry. I was just trying to avoid waiting for the 5:30 ferry. I have had trouble understanding what the schedule is before 5:30.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 41,665
7. Re: Drive from San Jose to Santa Teresa - no ferry

Good idea Barney...that make a lot of sense!

roadadvisor

Costa Rica
posts: 21,896
reviews: 26
8. Re: Drive from San Jose to Santa Teresa - no ferry

Barney - check here: https://www.montezuma-hotels.com/ferry-punta…

As you will see, there is a ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera at 5, 9 and 11 am and at 2 , 5 and 8 pm.

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,473
reviews: 13
9. Re: Drive from San Jose to Santa Teresa - no ferry

Barney:

I suggest you stay the night in Alajuela and begin the trip in the early morning.

If you catch the 5:30 PM ferry, you will be landing on the peninsula at 7 - 7:30 and it is DARK. I know the road from Paquera to Mal Pais/Santa Teresa and I refuse to drive that road in the dark (pot holes, animals, bicyles, motorcycles with no lights, intoxicated drivers, pedestrians with no reflective clothing are all a hair-raising and stressful concern).

If you don't know what you are in for, don't do it. Plus, when you get to Santa Teresa, where are you staying? Do you know where your accommodations are located? If you have not been to the area, you may be lost, frustrated and very angry with yourself for attempting this part of your trip at this time of the day (or night as it really will be). Trust me, this is not the way you want to begin your vacation. Your traveling companions will really not like you much by the time you find your rooms in Santa Teresa!

If you still insist on driving this distance as you hope to, don't say we didn't warn you!

boston, ma
posts: 9
reviews: 1
10. Re: Drive from San Jose to Santa Teresa - no ferry

Hello,

I was in CR last November, and am going back this November (18-28) Last year, we did the bus to the ferry, and the ferry to the bus. One - it is really cheap - like $10 per person for the entire ride, and two - it is really a nice, relaxing, ride. The buses are luxury, and the ferry is a sight to see.

The whole trip takes a half day, but that way you eliminate chances of getting lost or feeling uneasy. The ferry ride is beautiful, and looking out the window on the bus ride from San Jose to Puntarenas is amazing!! Have fun!