Getting Around CR

Nov 14th, 2005, 10:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 78
Getting Around CR

I see there are similar questions to mine posted here, but they aren't quite the same.

We're looking to go from San Jose to the Arenal area to Monteverde to the Manuel Antonio area.

Can anyone recommend a company I can contact to arrange land transfers for this itenerary or can I work with area hotels to book land transfers?

Thoughts on driving this route? I presume we would have to learn to drive a manual car before the trip though, as we don't have that experience yet.

Thank you in advance for any advice!
Audie79 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 117
Audie, if you're working with a travel agent, they should be able to arrange for transfers. As far as driving, have in mind that in addition to driving a manual car, you'll be driving in less than perfect roads. I've had no problem, but then again, I learned to drive in Peru!


ebrener is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 01:36 PM
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There are many transportation services, including regularly scheduled, air-conditioned minivans that run between all of your chosen destinations. You do not need to use a travel agent to book these. You can do it yourself online.

Here is the website of Interbus, the one I prefer:
raderbarbarian is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 03:13 PM
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Raderbarbarian, thank you for the link. I was hoping to book the transfers myself so I'll check out that site!
Audie79 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 11:07 AM
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if you're not good at driving manual, get transfers! the roads are very difficult in places, and the locals drive pretty wildly.
CarolM is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 11:33 AM
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I am going to Costa Rica in December. We are also driving from Arenal to Monteverde.

Maybe this is a silly question, but can't you make this drive with an automatic?

We had planned on renting a car, but neither of us knows how to drive a manual.
honey913 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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for honey913--of course you can rent an automatic, and we've got one reserved for our trip in February. But, they are substantially more expensive. And I'd definitely reserve one in advance, as there are far fewer than manuals. If your trip is in December, don't wait to reserve!
jczinn is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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Another question for those who have driven in CR - anything travelers should worry about or be aware of, other than road conditions? Also, has anyone done the drive between Manuel Antonio and Corcovado? We wanted to see Corcovado but I hear it is hard to get to. Would it be better to try taking a bus there rather than driving? The idea is to see San Jose, Corcovado, and Manuel Antonio. Parks could be in either order. Any recommendations for the best route/mode of transport?
Amelie1 is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 05:13 PM
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There are several things you should be aware of. There are no shoulders to these roads and many locals don't have vehicles. That means that people are always near the road (including small children) walking, on bicycles, on horseback. There are animals likely to appear on the road at any time. Usually dogs, but an occasional cow, horse, or ox isn't unusual!

Costa Rican drivers are aggressive--drive defensively--eventually you will be as aggressive as they are, but still. .drive defensively!

Obey the speed limits as much as possible. You don't always come out ahead dealing with the police. If you speak Spanish, that is a big plus! Fewer misunderstandings, and less opportunity for bribery.

When you say Corcovado, are you referring to the Osa Peninsula or do you really mean Corcovado Parque Nacional? If so, then your vehicle can only take you as far as Sierpe where you will transfer by boat to Drake Bay, the most likely point from which to visit Corcovado.

If you are merely going to the Osa Peninsula, you certainly can drive to the Golfo Dulce side (loved this area--as do many others!) where you're likely to see just as much wildlife or more than you would in Corcovado. You would drive down to Palmar Norte, then on south around the northern edge of the Golfo Dulce to Puerto Jimenez, continuing on another 45 minutes or so to Cabo Matapalo area on the Golfo Dulce. OR you could stay in the Puerto Jimenez area.

We did this route by bus (only coming FROM Cabo Matapalo north. It would be much faster in a car! My guess is about 5-6 hours. Good luck!
shillmac is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 08:40 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Thanks, shillmac! We are thinking of Corcovado Parque Nacional. So, here is another question - what about flights from San Jose to somewhere in the vicinity of the Parque? Are there some puddle-jumpers that operate that route? Does anyone know what airlines those would be, and where we would fly into? Perhaps Drake Bay so that we could then get to the Parque entrance by boat from there?
Amelie1 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 09:20 PM
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You could fly into Puerto Jimenez, then take a taxi or collectivo to some of the inns in Carate, the closest you can stay to the park from that end (then you'll have to walk about 2 miles to the Leona station). There is Lookout Inn and also Terrapin Lodge in Carate. I think it's about 2 hours, on a good day, from PJ to Carate. There's a charter service called Macaw Air you could take from MA southwards but don't know much else about them and imagine it's pretty pricey.
tully is offline  
Nov 20th, 2005, 06:07 AM
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Check out Sansa and NatureAir websites for San Jose to Carate or Puerto Jimenez.

Hi Tully! The kids are back in Puerto Rico as of yesterday morning. They went to that "Body" exhibit--are you familiar with it? Said it was unbelievable--you might be interested in checking it out? Know what I'm talking about? They were amazed and said it was very interesting. They had a great time in Tampa and enjoyed the cooler weather!
shillmac is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Just one more note on renting an automatic. I shouldn't have made the implication that you couldn't rent an automatic to make the drive.

But having said that (as one who can't drive manual), I purposefully reserved an automatic in the off-season, way in advance, only to get there, spend all the time filling out the paperwork, then they pull up the car and it's manual and they tell me that they had no automatic to rent me (in the "class" that I had paid for).

Anyway, thankfully my travel partner could drive stick. Just wanted to mention that, since I guess the automatics are harder to come by. I believe this was Hertz.
CarolM is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 10:47 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Thank you to everyone for your responses!

I was excited to hear that we could rent an automatic car, but then CarolM's last post scared me a bit! We would be up a creek if that happened!

We're still trying to figure this out, but thank you for all the great leads!
Audie79 is offline  

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