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Advice about Karen Mogensen Reserve/Cerro Escondido Lodge

Advice about Karen Mogensen Reserve/Cerro Escondido Lodge

Old Jan 8th, 2005, 10:09 AM
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Advice about Karen Mogensen Reserve/Cerro Escondido Lodge

Hi all,

I'd appreciate some advice/help for our upcoming trip to CR this Feb!

We arrive Saturday Feb 5 in San Jose at 12:30 pm. We were planning to drive to Alajuela for that night, possibly staying at the Ecco Colonia - has anyone been there or have other recommendations for this area? The next day we need to drive to the 10 am ferry at Puntarenas (the folks from Karen Mogensen Reserve/Cerro Escondido are meeting us in Lepanto at noon and recommended we take this ferry).

My question is, does anyone know how long the drive is from Alajuela to Puntarenas? We were hoping it was within an hour's drive... if it's not, does anyone have a recommendation for a different place to stay our first night?

Now here is where I need some major advice! We have just booked just one night's stay at Cerro Escondido in Sarah Mogensen Reserve, which is only reachable by horseback (or you can walk). They have instructed us to leave our car in a "safe place they know of" in Lepanto where they will meet us with horses to take us to the lodge. The next day, they have said they will drive our car to the other side of the reserve to meet us when we finish our hike down to the waterfall, so that it will be easier for us to continue our travels to Mal Pais in the afternoon.

Has anyone ever done this before and do you know if it is safe for us to leave our car (and some of our belongings, since they have told us to pack little more than a bathing suit for our overnight) in their care? My instinct is to trust them but it sure would suck to have our car/stuff stolen at the start of our vacation!

All advice welcome! Gracias...

Amy
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 07:18 PM
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It has been awhile since I drove to the ferry area of Puntarenas so will leave that to others.

You didn't mention which ferry you were to take. I would be sure you find out. There is one to Paquera and another to Naranjo. There is also the Tambor ferry. I just looked at the schedules and there is one to Naranjo at 10am. I would double check this with the lodge to be sure.

I would bring any important papers with you on the horseback trip. I would also have a copy in your bag. Most of the time while you are touring around I would leave your passport in a safe somewhere and carry the copy.

Hopefully someone who knows for sure can help you on the safety of your things left in the car. You may just end up having to trust your own judgement on how confident you are in this place and the people you talk to.

It sounds like an interesting trip. Be sure to come back and let us know how it turned out.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 07:52 PM
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AmyNYC,
I'm not familiar with the reserve you are referring to, but am sure it has to do with the Cabo Blanco Reserve (which the Morgensens began in the 60's). Karen Morgensen (or Mogensen, I forget the spelling) is, if memory serves, buried on the southern Nicoya Peninsula on a more private property, and I am assuming that this is the property you are referring to--Cerro Escondido. I'll have to look it up! Sounds like a very interesting trip. That whole story is fascinating and really instills admiration for Karen and her husband.

The ferry schedules do change from time to time and should definitely be confirmed. From Alajuela to Puntarenas, your drive will be about 1.5-2 hours. Depends always on traffic! The Costa Ricans say it takes an hour and a half--that isn't usually our experience! Plan to leave Alajuela by 7:30 just to be on the safe side.

Puntarenas is a spit. Drive as far to the end as you can, then turn right and you will find yourself at the ferry. Plan to arrive 30 min. early to buy a ticket for your car (includes driver) and a separate ticket for each passenger. Passengers walk on to the ferry, driver drives the vehicle on, then joins other passengers on the top two passenger decks. It's an interesting, albeit long, ride! About an hour.

I don't know a thing about Ecco Colonia in Alajuela--haven't heard of it or seen it. Las Orquideas is a nice option for you as well.

If you want to avoid the morning drive, you will have plenty of time to drive to Puntarenas that evening. No way would I stay in the town, but the Fiesta Resort is nearby (there are signs), and for about $60 per person, you could spend the night. We stayed there once for a weekend, and it is just fine. Very popular with the Ticos! It's a little high, but is all-inclusive! And you could have a little leisure time in the a.m. There is also a new Fiesta Premier Resort further north--don't get them confused! You need the one by Puntarenas--it used to be called Fiesta Caribbean Resort (for some reason!).

From the Fiesta, you'll be about 20 minutes to the ferry area--maybe less.

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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 09:39 PM
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Ferry schedules, in case you don't have access, can be found at www.nicoyapeninsula.com
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 05:40 AM
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hi there,

Yes, it's the Naranjo ferry we're taking, I should have mentioned that.

Here's some info about the Cerro Escondido/KM Reserve: http://www.keytocostarica.com/Guanacaste.htm

The official site for the Cerro Escondido is http://www.asepaleco.org/ecoturismo.html

Thanks for all the info on driving times and ferry - extremely helpful!

I'll be sure to post a trip report when we get back!

Best,
Amy

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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 09:43 AM
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Yes, please do that! Cerro Escondido sounds very interesting and it will be nice to hear details of someplace seldom mentioned! Buen Viaje!
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