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Traveling from La Fortuna to Mal Pais

Boston, MA
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Traveling from La Fortuna to Mal Pais

How hard is it to get from La Fortuna to Mal Pais? We will be heading down to Mal Pais from La Fortuna on a Wednesday in mid August, and were thinking that we would either take a bus to Punteranas or hire a driver... and then take the ferry over to Paquera. Then we would get a driver to pick us up in Paquera?

Does anyone have any idea how long this would all take , and if it's a good idea or not?

Thanks!!!

Sarasota, Florida
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319 posts
65 reviews
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1. Re: Traveling from La Fortuna to Mal Pais

Hi Amsmall81~ I posted this a few weeks ago for someone that had the samr question. I hope this helps a little. The whole trip: car-ferry-car, will take you about 6 hours. We had a rental car so I don't know about puiblic transport but at least this will give you an idea!...

We just make this road trip last week so I will help as much as I can because we struggled to get help on this question.

The best way to go is via San Ramon. When you are on the main road in La Fortuna, there is a big Alamo rental car sign and you want to turn down that road and follow the signs to San Ramon. San Ramon is pretty big town. You will want to get gas here if you need to and there is an ATM too. (Don't forget there is not an ATM in Mal Pais and many places do not take credit cards!)

Once you get to San Ramon, go to the end of town and make a left at the light and then a right at the very next light. There, you will go a couple of blocks and see a mall on your left. Stay to the right and you will then just follow the signs to Puntarenas.

Once you get to Puntarenas, you will (again) go to the end of town and then just before it dead ends, you will make a right to get to the ferry. This is not the best area so keep your doors locked. When you get the ferry, get your car in line and look for the guys with blue collared polos as they are the only guys that work there! Do NOT but tickets from any other solicitors, they are scammers!

Get to the ferry about 45 minutes before it leaves. The trip from La Fortuna to Puntarenas will take about 3 hours. The ferry takes about 1.5 hours.

Then, on the Nicoya side, just follow the signs to Mal Pais. It will take about an hour and 15 minutes. The roads are all paved and fine until you get to the Mal Pais area. Once you are about 5 miles from Mal Pais, the pavement ends and the pot holes (or mud holes, as I refered to them) begin. The roads in Mal Pais are horrible. Don't expect to get anywhere quickly. It takes about 20 minutes to go a mile!

Have fun! The trip is not that bad and we liked the adventure!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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47,184 posts
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2. Re: Traveling from La Fortuna to Mal Pais

It is great idea...hire a driver ALL the way...or rent a car...is a great area to have a car...

R.A Luis

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in paradise!!

3. Re: Traveling from La Fortuna to Mal Pais

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