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SJO to Santa Teresa by Rental Car

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Charlotte, North...
posts: 2
SJO to Santa Teresa by Rental Car

Good evening,

We will be coming to Santa Teresa by rental car from SJO next week. Unfortunately, our flight does not arrive until 1:30 in the afternoon so I cannot catch the last Sansa flight to Tambor at 2pm. Also, no scheduled afternoon shuttle buses are running because it is the low season.

I have been to CR before but I've never been to the Mal Pais area. I feel comfortable getting to Puntarenas for the 5pm ferry. This is the bigger ferry and its low season so I am hoping that catching this one will not be a problem. I should get to the ferry terminal by 4:15 - 4:30.

My biggest concern is what happens once we depart the Ferry in Paquera. I have maps but my experience tells me that once the sun goes down, The maps aren't really going to help.

I'm hoping someone can either tell me I'm crazy for trying or provide turn by turn directions (with distances) from the ferry terminal to Frank's place. I can find my Hotel from there. At the very least, are there signs pointing to the different towns at the larger intersections?

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,299
1. Re: SJO to Santa Teresa by Rental Car

You are not crazy at all...it is doable...just common sense...if is to much rain that night maybe find a place to stay ...but with a GPS or good map it will be posible and not that hard...

roadadvisor

Atlanta
Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
posts: 3,679
reviews: 111
2. Re: SJO to Santa Teresa by Rental Car

Last summer when I was in ST I met a young couple who did just what you are talking about. They rented a 4x4, stick. Only the girl could drive a stick, so she did all the driving. They arrived in ST at 9pm. We watched her stumble to her room and she crashed. We met the boyfriend that night trying to find some food. She didn't wake up till 10am the next morning and she was sore. The roads are not great and you have to be very careful.

Montezuma, Costa...
posts: 538
reviews: 8
3. Re: SJO to Santa Teresa by Rental Car

Oh Sorry Cr surftourist

I realised I posted without answering your most important question.

There is really only 1 road from Paquerea -right out of the ferry terminal & just keep following it.

The only possible confusion may come in the town of Cobano, where there is an intersection for Montezuma. But just keep going straight and follow the road .

Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
posts: 2,619
reviews: 26
4. Re: SJO to Santa Teresa by Rental Car

definitely get a gps. this will take all the stress out of finding your way, especially in the dark. the raod is paved all the way to cobano and from there to santa teresa is dirt road, but one of the better ones i've driven on.

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,405
reviews: 10
5. Re: SJO to Santa Teresa by Rental Car

If you are going to attempt this, I would suggest you follow one of the buses, or shuttles or some other vehicle that would get you as far as Cobano (the buses and shuttles usually stop for about 10 minutes). If you do this, you will be able to follow their path to avoid potholes because they drive the road daily. If you are not able to follow anyone, just take it easy. There are signs to direct you to Santa Teresa/Mal Pais at every major intersecting road. When you finally arrive at the cross-roads of Mal Pais/Santa Teresa, you will have to turn either right to Santa Teresa, or left to Mal Pais, Frank's is right on this corner (all of the stores line the exterior of the hotel). At least you are staying at a hotel that is easy to find!!!

California
posts: 508
reviews: 1
6. Re: SJO to Santa Teresa by Rental Car

I would spend the night at Casa Bella Rita in Santa Ana, have a good meal, get a good nights sleep, and catch a ferry in the morning.

Charlotte, North...
posts: 2
7. Re: SJO to Santa Teresa by Rental Car

Thank you all for the information. One last question..

In Puntarenas, what's the procedure to follow to catch the ferry. Do I wait in the car for someone to give me the card and then go pay? Or do I simply walk to the counter and pay?

Once on the ferry, are the contents of the vehicle safe? Do they make you leave the vehicle?

Thank you,

Marshall

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,405
reviews: 10
8. Re: SJO to Santa Teresa by Rental Car

Remember that when you are driving through Puntarenas, stay on the main road until you get to the very end of the peninsula and the road veers right leading to the ferry line-up (you will find a line of vehicles on the left side of the road, just follow into the line-up).

You wait in line until you are given a piece of paper which is then taken down to the booth where the paper is presented and your passage is paid for and you get two receipts (a yellow one and a white one, one is taken from you as you get onto the ferry, the other is your receipt). If you have a passenger, they can pick up the tickets to board, they just have to be sure they say how many passengers plus the driver of the vehicle. The passengers get separate tickets to board because they walk onto the ferry, the driver must drive the vehicle on without passengers. All the occupants of the vehicle don't have to go to the ticket booth, someone should stay with the car (we usually leave the driver with the vehicle). If you have a piece of paper denoting a diver and vehicle, you have priority at the ticket booth over passengers only, so you can move ahead of people without the vehicle/driver paper.

Once on the ferry, the contents in your vehicle are safe, but to be sure, don't leave money, passports, cameras in the vehicle....you never know. If you get on the large ferry and park below decks, you can't keep an eye on your vehicle, so just be safe rather than sorry!

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 22
9. Re: SJO to Santa Teresa by Rental Car

Once you get in, you have to leave your car, keep your values with you.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,299
10. Re: SJO to Santa Teresa by Rental Car

Today the fare went up at the ferry now is about $ 10.00 per car that includes the driver...passengers still the same!

roadadvisor