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Help w/itinerary details - SJ to/from Manuel Antonio!

new york, ny
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Help w/itinerary details - SJ to/from Manuel Antonio!

I will be in Santa Ana doing a Spanish program and living with a family in mid-August. On the last Friday of the program, my boyfriend is coming down and we are flying out together on Wednesday.

We've decided to spend the whole time in Manuel Antonio rather than try to drive around.

He gets in around noon on Friday and I am not done with class until around 3:30. Since I won't be able to rush right out (nor would I want to...say goodbye to family, etc.) is it too late to head for MA around 6pm? I've read that driving at night is not advisable (although I think we will hire a driver or take a van or something).

Would you recommend leaving for MA early Saturday morning?

Our flight back is at 10 am on Wednesday morning. I was thinking we should head to SJ Tuesday night, but again am worried about driving (or being driven) at night. At the same time, I want to spend as much time as possible in MA to be able to experience it. I know the park is closed on Monday so we were going to try to do a zip line and/or rafting that day.

Any thoughts? What time do you think we could reasonably leave on Tuesday?

Thank you!!

Playa Hermosa...
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1. Re: Help w/itinerary details - SJ to/from Manuel Antonio!

Definitely don't make the drive yourself at night! You can hire a private driver (who knows the road well) to make the trip to M. Antonio on Wednesday; however, remember that you'll arrive quite late. Additionally, the drive from SJ to M. Antonio is quite scenic and if you travel it at night, you'll miss some lovely vistas. A good option is to hire a driver for Saturday a.m. (early), arrive M. Antonio before lunch. Enjoy M. Antonio Saturday afternoon thru Tuesday. Wednesday morning, take the early Sansa flight back to SJO. Or of course, just to play it safe you can leave M. Antonio by midday on Tuesday and spend the night in SJ. Lots of options are avail to you to maximize your vacation in Manuel Antonio. Have a great trip! Lisa

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Help w/itinerary details - SJ to/from Manuel Antonio!

The only thing to add to Lisa's great advice is that for $50 a head, you could fly the 30 minutes down to Quepos early on Saturday instead of drive. You could even be there for breakfast...

Northern Virginia
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3. Re: Help w/itinerary details - SJ to/from Manuel Antonio!

I was terrfied of flying, but opted to do the flight to Quepos rather that drive to maximize my time in Manuel Antonio and would strongly advise doing that. The flight was great.

Atlanta
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4. Re: Help w/itinerary details - SJ to/from Manuel Antonio!

I agree with the above posts. Its worth the $50 to fly over the mountains and view Costa Rica from the sky. And the best part is that the flight is 20 minutes.

We arrived at our hotel by 9ish and ate breakfast with the monkeys. They even let us check in early so we had the entire day in MA ahead of us.

Winnipeg, Canada
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5. Re: Help w/itinerary details - SJ to/from Manuel Antonio!

If you really want to maximize your time in Manuel Antonio there is another option which I will throw out which would also save you money. Lets call it the budget travel option.

There are direct buses leaving for Manuel Antonio from the Coca Cola bus station at 6.00 PM (and I think there is also an even later one at about 7.00 PM but I have never taken it) The ride is about 3.5 hours. The buses have reserved seating so you would want to buy you ticket ahead. The direct buses are relatively comfortable - though there is no air conditioning nor are there bathrooms on board. There is a rest stop half way. The cost is just over 2000 colones.

To go back you could leave Manuel Antonio at 5.00 PM on Tuesday. Or else you could choose to take the bus one way and fly or be driven the other...

I realize that this option is not for everyone. Some people seem averse to taking the public buses. Since you say you will have been studying in CR, you should be OK in the fact that you will speak some Spanish and have some idea about the country. I will caution that the Coca Cola area is known to be dangerous and you should be careful and watchful. But you can just take a cab there and arrive 15 minutes before bus departure - which is when they start loading the bus.

raquel

new york, ny
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6. Re: Help w/itinerary details - SJ to/from Manuel Antonio!

Thanks for the advice everyone. The only problem is that I'm terrified of the flight. My boyfriend hates flying too although he is actually better in the small planes. I'm the opposite, don't mind the jetliners but hate the small planes.

If I can put my fear aside, could we fly early enough Wednesday morning to make a 10 am flight out of SJO? I would like to drive one way to see the scenery. I will check the timetable but just wondering if people who've taken the flights have found them to be on time.

Thank you! Can't wait to go!

new york, ny
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7. Re: Help w/itinerary details - SJ to/from Manuel Antonio!

Sushi, where did you stay?

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Help w/itinerary details - SJ to/from Manuel Antonio!

Yup. Looks like there's a 6:35am flight from Quepos that gets into SJO at 7am. Even if the flight is delayed an hour, you'll still have time to make your flight back to the States...

Raquel is right on about the evening bus from San Jose... The La Coca Cola station area can be a little dicey, but just take a cab there and keep your wits about you and you'll be fine. Think the 125th Street Metro North station with less of a police presence...

Atlanta
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9. Re: Help w/itinerary details - SJ to/from Manuel Antonio!

We stayed at Si Como No and I HIGHLY recommend it. They were so accomodating and the hotel is just beautiful. They will even pick you up at the local airport. Our flight into Quepos was on time to the minute, but on the return it was a little late. But we allowed several hours before our flight back to Miami, that 30 minutes late, didn't matter.

I like your idea about doing the flight one way and driving the other. The scenary is supposed to be beautiful along the way, but I can't stand being in a car for a long time so we opted to fly. That way, we got more time in MA, and not in a car/bus.

Enjoy!

new york, ny
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10. Re: Help w/itinerary details - SJ to/from Manuel Antonio!

Thank you so much for the advice.

Is there a night bus from MA to SJ on a weeknight? That could be an option for us, and just stay at a hotel in SJ that night for our 10 am flight. I'm not averse to public transportation...I would have no problem with the Metro North station although a little wary of the subway at some of the stops up there :)

I think we will end up taking a van or something early Saturday morning. Assuming everything goes well with the family I will be living with for 2 weeks, I wouldn't want to seem rude and depart the minute I'm done with school. We will stay in a hotel that night only because I wouldn't want to make my BF stay in a hotel alone!

Does anyone know anything about Santa Ana? Any hotels there?

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