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Santa Teresa for 4 days in green season- is it worth it?

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New York City, New...
posts: 1
Santa Teresa for 4 days in green season- is it worth it?

Hi I purchased plane tickets to Costa Rica for the last weekend in August but I'm having trouble deciding where to stay. I really love everything I have learned about Santa Teresa however it sounds like a long ride from San Jose (I will not be renting a car)

Is it true the trip can take more than half a day? Since I will only be there for 5 days (actually 4 flight leaves home early afternoon on the 5th day) is it worth it? If it is than I'm going otherwise I will choose another CR destination and save ST for my next trip!

If it is worth it any hotel recommendations. I was looking into Casa Marbella.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,629
1. Re: Santa Teresa for 4 days in green season- is it worth it?

Another area you can look is Manuel Antonio National PArk area...only 2 and half hours from San Jose Airport....great hotels there...great for relaxation...

Or you can fly from San Jose to Tambor about 30 minutes fly...and rent a car there or take a transfer to Santa Teresa...

roadadvisor

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,412
reviews: 10
2. Re: Santa Teresa for 4 days in green season- is it worth it?

Like roadadvisor says, you can fly to Tambor on Sansa, which leaves from the same airport you fly in and out of (SJO) and it is only a 30 minute flight, then rent a car for the time you are in Santa Teresa (roughly a 30 min. drive from Tambor). If your flight doesn't leave until the afternoon, you can chance catching the first Sansa flight out of Tambor on the day you fly home. Casa Marbella is a nice place.

If you really don't want to be stressed about making your flight home, or missing it due to weather complications (could happen), then I would choose to go to Manuel Antonio or Jaco for your 5 days. As roadadvisor says, it is a two hr. road trip (if there are no highway problems - could happen!)

It really is a coin flip....your choice!

Atlanta
Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
posts: 3,685
reviews: 111
3. Re: Santa Teresa for 4 days in green season- is it worth it?

Santa Teresa is a wonderful part of Costa Rica and really worth the visit. If you can at least find a way to fly one way then it may be worth it. If you get a flight in to SJO and arrive early and then leave late on your last day it may be worth going and flying into Tambor. It is easy to get taxis from Tambor to ST. If you don't want to have to deal with lots of traveling once in CR the I agree with Jaco or Manuel Antonio. They are both VERY different then ST.

Pensacola, Florida
posts: 12,947
reviews: 57
4. Re: Santa Teresa for 4 days in green season- is it worth it?

www.hotelvillacaletas.com

www.backyardhotel.com

great beaches only A LITTLE over an hour from the airport

would maximize your short time there would cut travel time

and go for that...have fun,

Pensacola, Florida
posts: 12,947
reviews: 57
5. Re: Santa Teresa for 4 days in green season- is it worth it?

might also have a look at the 2

www.xandari.com

make a nice upscale combo with beach

to cut travel time...

Dallas, TX
posts: 293
reviews: 29
6. Re: Santa Teresa for 4 days in green season- is it worth it?

I guess that I share a simular concern. We fly into San Jose at 11:30 am on November 20th. My first thought was to take the flight to Tambor. When you start pricing that out for two people you are looking at $400 round trip. Then you rent a car at Tambor and drive to ST.

As an alternative we are looking at renting the car in San Jose and taking the ferry. That would save us $400. But the concern is the time that it takes to get to ST. Villas Hermosa's website tells us that it is a 4 hour trip plus any wait time at the ferry.

Frankly I have read some messages on this board that scare the hell out of me about road conditions and the time that it might really take to get to ST.

I would appreciate an estimate of the real drivetime. It would seem to me that I really don't want to be driving around that part of the world in the dark without a clue where I am going.

Mahalo

Atlanta
Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
posts: 3,685
reviews: 111
7. Re: Santa Teresa for 4 days in green season- is it worth it?

IMO there are to many different factors to give you a good estimate. Your flight could be delayed. It may be raining lots so roads could be worse. Traffic may be bad. Ferry could be full so have to wait for another one (with cars) The new hwy may not be open that day so you have to take the old road. You never know how long it will take to actually get your rental car, sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes 1.5 hours. Lots of variables. When you are traveling around CR and especially if you are driving yourself then you really need to embrace Pura Vida and enjoy the journey. For a 5 day trip I would go somewhere easier to get to.

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,412
reviews: 10
8. Re: Santa Teresa for 4 days in green season- is it worth it?

Mahalo65078:

I will be as candid as possible with your situation....

Just to begin with, arriving at 11:30, you could get through customs & immigration and get your luggage and get to the rental car agency, get your car (hope it is a 4x4 because the roads on the Nicoya Pen. are at their worst in Nov.) and get on the road, you are looking at probably catching the 5 PM sailing from Puntarenas to Paquera, arriving on the Nicoya Pen. well after dark (sundown in Nov. is between 5:30 and 6), then you will be driving in the dark....not a good thing.

Drive from the airport area to Puntarenas ferry is roughly 2 hours (going the old route), the new highway is a bit shorter, if you can connect with a ferry and you get onto one as soon as you get there, you will have about a 1.5 - 2 hour sailing including loading and unloading, then you will have about a 2 hr. drive to Villas Hermosa during day-light hours, if you don't stop and if you drive carefully and avoid all the pot-holes. So, roughly 6 hours, if the connections with the ferry are made and if there are no car accidents, or any acts of Mother Nature or God!

Villas Hermosa is a gorgeous property and once you get there, you will wish you had more time!

My advice is to 1) either extend your stay for a few more days, even two more would give you those two days to travel from SJO and return by car on the ferry. or 2) bite the bullet and take the Sansa flight and rent a car in Tambor. or 3) forget Santa Teresa and go to Manuel Antonio which is easier to get to from SJO.

If you want the real Costa Rica experience, you will not get it in 5 days!

The fact that Santa Teresa is not easy to get to helps the area retain it's attraction.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,629
9. Re: Santa Teresa for 4 days in green season- is it worth it?

Agree 100% with wefish88...great advice...he hit the nail right at the head!

roadadvisor

Sandy, Utah
posts: 5
reviews: 10
10. Re: Santa Teresa for 4 days in green season- is it worth it?

I'd echo what others have said. Especially during rainy season, there are too many variables in roads, bridges and weather for you to count on a prompt arrival.

I'd also suggest that if you aren't renting a car that you look into one of the shared-van services from San Jose or the airport. The cost is only about $50 per person (although you might need a minimum number of people, especially during low season), and the van may take you straight to your hotel.

If you do go by bus, make sure ahead of time that you're on one of the direct routes so you don't have to worry about making the ferry connection. Coming back to Alajuela on the direct bus, we left Santa Teresa at 2 p.m. and were at the airport by about 8:30, and it was a comfortable ride (and cheap, about $13 per person). But going to Santa Teresa, we ended up having to take a taxi from the Puntarenas bus station to the ferry terminal (where we missed the ferry) and make a connection in Cóbano, and the trip took us 11 hours from the time we left Alajuela. (Having a washed-out bridge at Tambor added some time.) It was a very long day, although the trip was beautiful and we did get a look at Costa Rican life we wouldn't have otherwise.