Is there a way...to fit in Mal Pais and Montezuma?

Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 02:58 PM
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Is there a way...to fit in Mal Pais and Montezuma?

I am traveling to Costa Rica in March and plan to visit Arenal, Monteverde, Samara, and Manuel Antonio.

Is there a way to somehow fit in Mal Pais and Montezuma if I am going to Arenal and Monteverde first? I would like to spend the bulk of my time in Manuel Antonio.
I am having a hard time deciding if i should go from Monteverde to Samara or Monteverde to Manuel Antonio then Mal Pais then Samara...
Does this even make sense?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:32 PM
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You haven't said how much time you have and that makes all the difference.

I'd suggest this itinerary:

Arenal--at least 2 nights, 3 better

Monteverde--same

Samara--2 nights (I'd leave this out in favor of Montezuma if I had to)

Montezuma/Malpais--3 nights

Manuel Antonio--3 nights

Return to SJO.

I'd not go to Montezuma for less than 3 nights. Too much trouble to get there. Great place, though!


M
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 08:02 PM
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Thank you for your reply!
I have 16 days.
minus 2 because I am flying in and out of San Jose.

I will be staying in Arenal 2 nights. and Monteverde 1 night- is this too short of a stay in Monteverde?

Can I fly to Mal Pais from Monteverde?
The rest of the time I would like to spend in either Mal Pais/Montezuma and Manel Antonio.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 02:57 AM
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Okay, good. 14 nights for the locations you've mentioned is do-able. Definitely you will need at least 2 nights for Monteverde, and just because it's such a neat area I'd plan 3 nights for Arenal. BUT I guess if the beach is your main objective, then you'd feel differently than I do about that.

We've been both places for 2 nights. Wasn't enough for us considering all there is to do and see and considering the travel time to Monteverde. Next time I got there, it will be for at least 3 nights.

You cannot fly out of Monteverde to MalPais. You'd need to ride back into San Jose (or drive), about 4 hours, and fly from there. For your itinerary, driving seems more feasible. None of the drives are particularly hard except for getting to Monteverde from Arenal. I haven't gone to Monteverde that way, but it sounds rough. I think not bad, just requires slow going. Spending so much time getting in and out of Monteverde is why most people tend to stay there a few days. It's just not a drop in, drop out kind of place.

March is a busy time in CR. It would be a very good idea for you to get your itinerary firm and begin making reservations. Many places are going to be full already. Good luck!
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 01:23 PM
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What about....
San Jose to Arenal
Arenal to Monteverde
Monteverde to Samara (shuttle)
Samara to Liberia
from Liberia fly to Tambor
Tambor to Mal Pais and Montezuma
Montezuma to Manuel Antonio
MA to San Jose

From Montezuma, about how long will it take to get to Quepos?
Thank You!
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 02:09 PM
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I know it takes about 5-6hrs driving & ferry to get to Jaco from Montezuma, so probably add another 1-1.5hrs to that to get to Quepos

Alternatively you can take the taxi boat from Montezuma to Jaco (leaves at 6:30am everyday, takes approx 1hr) then drive/shuttle 1-1.5hrs to Quepos

try zumatours: http://www.zumatours.net/ for more transportation info
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 05:35 AM
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You may want to consider leaving Samara out of your itinerary. Getting there involves alot of travel and it's just a so-so beach.
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 07:29 AM
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Yes, do yourself a big favor and skip Samara. Either drive to Puntarenas and take the ferry over then drive to Mal Pais or drive back to SJO from Monteverde and fly to Tambor.

From Montezuma you drive 1 1/2 hours to the ferry, get in line super, super early for the ferry - maybe 2 hours early - 2 hour ferry ride to Puntarenas and then I think it was about 2 1/2 hours drive to MA.
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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Thank You all for the advice!
I have decided to drop Samara from the trip and travel straight from Monteverde to Mal Pais.

Are these my options- which one is the best?

-Interbus from Monteverde to Montezuma
(about 6 hours?)

-Monteverde to San Jose and then fly to Tambor (about 4 hours plus 30 min for flight?)

-Monteverde to Puntarenas and then ferry to Paquera
(about 3 hours then 1 hour ferry ride?)
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 08:43 PM
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I'd take Interbus. By the time you get back to SJO from Monteverde, arriving 45 min. ahead of flight time, fly to Tambor, then transfer about an hour to Montezuma--you're looking at LONGER than the 6 hours it will take you on Interbus. Remember, Interbus takes the ferry as well, so it really will not be much benefit for you to drive to Puntarenas, then ferry across and on to Montezuma. Might as well let Interbus take you all the way.
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Old Jan 27th, 2007, 07:40 AM
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Shillmac, you seem to be knowledgable about this area so I am wanting advice on going from MA to Malpais. We will be in MA for 1 week ( May27-June 3) and want t spend 1 wk in Malpais. Is this a good idea? I know it's a long trip but my hubby wants to try to stay @ Blue Jay Lodge. Can we fly to SJO from Malpais? Any info will be appreciated
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Old Feb 4th, 2007, 08:59 PM
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Will you be renting a car while there? If so, then you can drive from Monteverde to Puntarenas in about 2 1/2 hours, take the ferry to Naranjo (the one to Paquera wasn't running at the time we were there) which takes just over an hour and then drive to MalPais in about 1 1/2 hours.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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Just a note regarding the previous post. . I'd think twice about taking the ferry to Naranjo. From Paquera to Malpais is about an hour and a half. The road from Naranjo to Paquera is a nightmare and will add about an hour, if not more, to your travel time! Surely the Paquera ferry will be in service as it has always been when we've traveled to that area. . .
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 06:46 PM
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Actually Shillmac, we just made the trip last week and the times that I posted are accurate. We had a 4x4 and while the roads did have some potholes in them, we didn't have any troubles. The 10:30 ferry to Paquera wasn't running and so we took the 10:00 ferry to Naranjo and got to Mal Pais before the next ferry to Paquera would have even left.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 07:05 PM
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Well good, I stand corrected. About 18 months ago, that road was so bad, it took us an hour and a half just to get between Naranjo and Paquera! So if it has been repaired, that is a good thing! Our drive from Paquera to Malpais has always been about 1.5 hour.

During that last trip (18 months ago), we ran into a problem trying to take a ferry on a Saturday (it was the July 25 Anexecion de Guanacaste Day and the crowds at the ferry were unbelievable). We pulled in an hour ahead of departure and had 100 plus cars in front of us. We weren't going to be able to get on a ferry until late afternoon, so we took off up north of Puntarenas, crossed the Friendship Bridge and drove down the east side of the peninsula to Paquera before our ferry would have left. It was a nightmare of a drive--worst roads I'd ever seen in the country. At least we were moving, had AC, and weren't sitting waiting in the heat! Thanks for the update. . .good to know.
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