Alternate route Quepos to S.J.?

Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:11 AM
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Alternate route Quepos to S.J.?

Anybody have experience driving from Quepos area to San Jose via Domincal and Cartago? We thought it might be more fun to do a circular route rather than go back the same way we came. If so, any interesting things to do places to stay etc on the way?
thanks...
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 12:46 PM
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From Quepos, you can drive to Dominical in about an hour and a half. From Dominical you can be in San Isidro in approximately an hour, maybe a little more or less. San Isidro de General is on the Cerro de la Muerte highway. This is a beautiful area and, I believe, the highest road in Costa Rica. It is one that should be traveled in the early part of the day because it gets fogged in later, making it considerably less safe.

If you have time, you would enjoy breaking up your return to San Jose by staying overnight in Dominical. Once you arrive in San Isidro and get on the highway back to San Jose (it goes through Cartago), you might want to take the road that goes down to the Rio Savegre to the little town of San Gerardo de Dota. I think the turnoff is at the 18 km marker. Beautiful area. Trogan Lodge and Savegre Lodge are down in that little valley. This is an area where you are most likely to see the Resplendant Quetzal, a gorgeous bird! Both of these lodges come highly recommended on this board and either would be worthy of your time for a night or two. This is a cloud forest area. It is cool and refreshing. You'll need a jacket or a fleece pullover! The flowers are absolutely beautiful. You can horseback ride or hike to the falls, fly fish for trout, go birding with a guide, or just relax and enjoy the beauty on your own.

Your plan is a very good one for allowing you to experience a part of Costa Rica that is not frequented by so many tourists!

The disadvantage is if you wanted to get to the airport on your return to San Jose. Cartago is on the other side (east) of town and will require you to drive through SJ to the airport, which is in Alajuela, about 12 km west of SJ. But that isn't a big deal if time allows.

I would certainly encourage you to set aside as much time as you can and make your way back to San Jose in as leisurely a fashion as possible should you take this route. Good choice!
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 03:05 PM
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hey that sounds very cool, shillmac, thanks. I had seen the Savegre Lodge website before - looks very nice. BTW, we're going to be driving from Arenal to M.A. with our two little ones, 6 & 8, who run out of patience for driving after about 3-4 hours. Any idea for an interesting stop halfway between the two? We want to try the peace lodge, but the location doesn't quite match up.
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 04:15 PM
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There aren't a lot of choices on the direct route, but I can think of two very interesting hotels, and either would be a good way to break up your trip. One is a bed and breakfast called El Cafetal. It is in the country, outside of Atenas (on your way), a working coffee farm. Beautiful grounds, very nice hosts.

The other is La Finca Que Ama, not far from Orotina, which is on your way. You would actually turn in Orotina and drive (over a very interesting little bridge) to the small town of San Pablo de Turubares, then back east toward Puriscal-- 2km to the hotel. Lovely place, delicious food, very gracious young couple, Neta & Arbel who would be delighted to make your stay the best! These rooms have some of the nicest amenities in the country.

You and your children would enjoy either place. We've stayed at both.
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Old Oct 11th, 2004, 12:14 AM
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Wow, I love the internet. These look like great suggestions. We might have to try them both. Thanks very much! I don't know if hyperlinks work here, but I'll try, as both places have goood websites: <a href="http://www.cafetal.com">www.cafetal.....com</a> and <a href="http://www.costaricafinca.com">La Finca Qua Ama</a>
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Old Oct 11th, 2004, 12:15 AM
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well, now I know. no hyperlinks allowed.
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