Liberia to San Jose...by road or by air?

Old Jan 21st, 2008, 12:34 PM
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Liberia to San Jose...by road or by air?

We (husband, self and 15 yr old daughter) will be taking our first trip to Costa Rica the week before Easter. Flying in to Liberia to spend 3 nights at the Four Seasons and then we will travel down to San Jose to stay 4 nights with a relative who has purchased a ranch property near there. We will fly home directly from San Jose.

I've looked into Nature Air and that seems to be a pretty quick and convenient way to go. Looks like the tickets are about $US100 per person the day we need to go. Is this the best thing to do?
Or, should we hire a driver and do some sightseeing stops along the way? Hard to tell from the maps if there are things that can be easily accessed, or with a minor detour, from the road we would need to travel.
All suggestions will be appreciated!
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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 02:38 PM
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I think the flight might be your best option. The drive is about 4.5 hours. We always enjoy the drive and have done it a gadzillion times, but if you are wanting to conserve time, go by air. That stretch of highway (in my opinion), while it offers some nice views here and there, doesn't really have much to warrant stopping and sightseeing en route. Hope this helps. . .have a great trip. Not much time left!
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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 04:13 PM
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I agree with Shillmac. We usually enjoy driving ourselves but that particular route is extremely boring & we found it to have a lot of speed traps as well. I would suggest the flight.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:39 AM
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Thanks so much for taking time to reply. We were not actually thinking of driving ourselves, but hiring a driver. Our relative there knows a reliable one.

In looking at the map, it seems as though we might be able to make a detour loop off the main highway, to include Monteverde. Based on the rest of our itinerary, this might be our only chance to see the Cloud Forest Reserve and do the zipline there, which we have heard is one of the best. Is it actually farther than it looks on the map? Do bad roads make this inadvisable?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:57 AM
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Pardon me, but I can hear the Costa Rica Fodor folks chuckling from California to North Carolina! Monteverde isn't a day trip. The drive from the highway is a good hour and a half. Unless you schedule time to take in the reserve (full half day, early a.m. recommended), it would hardly be worth it just to "see Monteverde". It is a worthy destination, but not as a side trip on the way to SJO! But you're right--certainly looks possible on the map! Confuses a lot of folks.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 05:24 AM
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Wow, this is what makes this board such a valuable resource! You just saved us from wasting precious vacation time. We have lived and traveled extensively in Asia and participate frquently on that board. But since this is our first CR trip, we are still trying to get a handle on how to approach it and appreciate the help even more.

Sounds as though this detour would only work if we rent a car to drive ourselves and then spend a night in Monteverde. But I think that's cramming too much into a one week trip, so we will save it for another time. With family now living near SJ, I'm sure we will be back again. And then we will be full of more questions about this intriguing area.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 09:45 AM
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Monteverde is best visited as a 3 night destination, although you can get by with 2 nights. You need at least one full day to at least partly appreciate the area and what it offers. It will be fun to look forward to next time!
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