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where to stay in Paquera and how far in advance at the ferry

Boulder, Colorado
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66 posts
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where to stay in Paquera and how far in advance at the ferry

hi! We will be arriving in San Jose at 3 pm and want to get to Malpais asap. We've been to Puntarenas before, and were not thrilled. We'd like to take the 9 pm ferry to get across so we can relax the rest of the day getting to Malpais. First question, how far in advance should we get the the ferry? Any suggestions of stops or things to do en route from San Jose to Puntarenas as we'll have a few hours to kill? Is there a place you'd recommend staying in Paquera (very cheap, but safe for our car & clean) as we'll just be going to bed and getting up early in the morning? I've seen good reviews of Mapi's, but cannot find a way to contact them. Thanks SO much for your advice! Also, can anyone recommend a hotel in Puntarenas (same deal...we'll take the last ferry from Paquera) and just need a place to sleep before our flight from San Jose the next morning. Any favorite places to stay in Malpais area in mid March?

Montezuma, Costa...
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538 posts
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1. Re: where to stay in Paquera and how far in advance at the ferry

Hiya,

Actually right now the last ferry is at 8pm, but that may change depending on your dates. Call 2661 2084 for the latest schedule.

You will need to be there minimum 1/2 hour before to buy your ticket for the ferry.

Unfortunately the last ferry (8pm) is the only one that does not have a connecting bus waiting in Paquera, so your only option as you say is to wait overnight in Paquera (sorry no accomodation recommendations, I've never known anyone to do it). If you make the 8pm ferry, why not just drive on to Malpais?

The other thing is to just hang out in Alajuela at somewhere that suits you and get an early start the next day

Ferries are currently at 6am, 9am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm

If you need to stay over on airport days, why not stay in Alajuela?

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
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1,762 posts
51 reviews
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2. Re: where to stay in Paquera and how far in advance at the ferry

Personally, we stay in Alajuela on our 'airport days' and we know the route from the airport to Santa Teresa blindfolded, it is the unknown and unexpected that we don't know and can't rely on every trip to be smooth.

If you are bound and determined to do the part-way drive, here are two accommodations, one near the ferry on the Paquera side and one in Puntarenas:

http://www.bahiarica.com/

peninsuladenicoya.com/…puntarenas (Mar y Mar Cabinas)

We have a general rule to not drive at night and have adhered to the rule for over 12 years....will stick to the rule for at least another 12+ years.... especially after a long day of airports and planes!

Costa Rica
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97 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: where to stay in Paquera and how far in advance at the ferry

There are several nice places near the ferry dock in Puntarenas.

Michaels Surfside Hotel - American run - www.michaelssurfsidehotel.com/EnglishM1.html

Hotel Alamar - http://www.alamarcr.com/index.php?idioma=2 - one two bedroom apartment in addition to hotel rooms

Hotel Tioga http://www.hoteltioga.com/index.htm - Puntarenas landmark with comfortable, clean rooms.

4. Re: where to stay in Paquera and how far in advance at the ferry

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