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advice on trip to Santa Teresa

Portsmouth, Virginia
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276 posts
100 reviews
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advice on trip to Santa Teresa

I am going from San Jose to Santa Teresa on the southern end of Nicoya in the second week of July.

Was considering taking the bus, but it seems the area is spread out a bit, so I'm leaning toward driving there instead.

Two questions:

-Is it correct that I'd likely want to drive instead of taking the bus; I won't be surfing but will want to see the sights in the area.

-Are the roads around and to ST from the ferry from Puntarenas such that a 4x4 is needed, or would a regular sedan be okay? The sedan option would really be ideal for my budget as I have a Tico friend whose car I can rent for much less than what a 4x4 will cost, as I would have to rent one of those through an agency.

Any other pointers such as "must see" or "don't miss" places, great little sodas, great hangouts for chilling or your favorite cabinas, greatly appreciated.

Will be traveling with a Tico or two so language and navigation aren't an issue.

Thanks! C:

Chiang Mai, Thailand
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1. Re: advice on trip to Santa Teresa

Hi,

You will need a 4x4, so don't boter renting at SJO. Take Montezuma Expeditions from SJO to your hotel or vacation rental. Then rent your friend's vehicle or get an SUV for a couple of days to go to Cabo Blanco & Montezuma.

Pura vida,

Joe

Playa Guiones...
Destination Expert
for Nosara
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2. Re: advice on trip to Santa Teresa

Agree with Joe. Take a bus or shuttle service to get there, then rent a car once you arrive.

Portsmouth, Virginia
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276 posts
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3. Re: advice on trip to Santa Teresa

Thank you both for your replies.

Joe, it appears you live or spend some time in ST so you'd be a good one to bounce this off of.

Do the locals, the Ticos, drive sedans throughout the area?

I'm relatively experienced in less than ideal conditions, dirt roads, and have many thousands of km's under my belt driving in CR. I'm not coming directly to ST from SJO, so the shuttle option is out.

The gut reaction from the expats seems to always go for the 4x4. But, if there are folks tooling around the region in sedans, and my friend's sedan is in good shape it seems a waste to me to rent a 4x4 when his car, if driven carefully and with restraint, will do the job.

Not that I don't appreciate the effort on both your and the other poster's parts, but after consult offline with Luis, AKA "roadadvisor" it appears that a sedan can do the job, knowing that we'll be limited on where and how quickly we can drive.

Thanks again!

Ed

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
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4. Re: advice on trip to Santa Teresa

A 4x4 is NOT a good idea. You need the clearance, not the 4x4 option! A sedan will bottom out and wreck the undercarriage!

Take the direct bus from the San Carlos Station in San Jose for $15, it will save you money and is less than a shuttle. Rent a vehicle in Santa Teresa (you will only find 4x4 vehicles to rent in the area)....or rent a Quad for exploring.

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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5. Re: advice on trip to Santa Teresa

Sedan car can do most of the roads a 4x4 can, apart of the most difficult ones and those real off-road. Now what is really needed is not 4x4 type of driveline but sturdier suspension, bigger tyres and above all, as pointed above, higher ground clearance. If you will choose wisely, the price difference will not be so high. and I do suggest you to get a car with as high of a ground clearance as possible.

Portsmouth, Virginia
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6. Re: advice on trip to Santa Teresa

To complete this thread. We used my friend's sedan for the trip to Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. No problems, whatsoever. The roads from Paquera to Cobano, Mal Pais, montezuma and Santa Teresa are more paved than gravel, and the gravel roads outside of the beach areas are flat, well graded and without many potholes, the beach roads are somewhat rougher but sedans and other smaller vehicles can make it without problems, as long as you drive slowly and go around larger holes We drove all over the areas, were able to see many different beaches without the need and additional expense of a 4x4.

7. Re: advice on trip to Santa Teresa

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