MA to SJ via Dominical?

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Nov 18th, 2005, 03:14 PM
  #1
dhuszai
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MA to SJ via Dominical?

Please don't laugh at me, but this is my question. According to my map, it looks like the road from MA to Dominical is not paved. How bad is it? Also, is it possible to get back to SJ in one day by going from MA down to Dominical and then taking 243 to 2 and then up to Cartago, then the loop around the lake and through the Orosi Valley (for the view) and back up to SJ for the night? Whew! Can this be done or is it a dream.
 
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Nov 18th, 2005, 04:58 PM
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You could do this if you started early and didn't stop anywhere for any length of time. But how could you stand not enjoying so many great areas?!

Times are approximate:

MA-Dominical (1.5 hr??? depends of road condition)

Domincal to San Isidro (1 hour)

San Isidro to Cartago (2.5 hr. at least)

Cartago to Orosi Valley (1.5 hour)

Return to San Jose (2.5 hr)

Getting started about 5:30 in the morning would help. You really should find a way to allow a couple of days.

Another factor is the altitude on the highway San Isidro to San Jose. It is high in places (near Division north of San Isidro--freezing cold!!) and tends to get very foggy fairly early in the day. You really need to leave San Isidro by 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. to be able to enjoy any type of view--and there are no promises even then.

If you could stay overnight in San Isidro (there are a few decent places) and get an early start the next morning, you would have a little time to enjoy the Orosi Valley. AND you could enjoy the Dominical/Dominicalito area for a longer length of time as well. These would be the two highlights the entire plan.

Another factor (we've ran into this in July) was arriving in San Jose (from Cartago) about rush hour time (4:00-6:00) and having to get ourselves all the way through town. Took forever in that incredibly horrible and nerve wracking San Jose traffic. Imagine crawling along, at a standstill for minutes at a time with all that honking and craziness--and not being sure of where you are because no street signs! We know our way through there, and it was still a nightmare--thought I was going to have to knock my husband in the head!!!

Hey, no one's laughing! You have the fever and want to see as much as possible!
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 02:58 PM
  #3
dhuszai
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shillmac - Wanted you to know where there's a will there's a way. We are going to fly on Sansa from MA to SJ early in the morning and then hire a driver/guide to take us to Cartago (have to see the church), through the Orosi Valley and then back to SJ. We have a room that night at the Villa Bonita. Do you think there would also be time to do the loop around the lake? Our plane is due to land at 8:30 a.m. Thanks for your help.
 
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Dec 3rd, 2005, 08:14 AM
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Good for you! Hope it all works out just great. Which lake are you referring to? Cachi Lake and Dam down in the Orosi Valley? No problem. Lake Arenal--no way. Do a trip report when you get back? Sounds like one heck of a day! You'll enjoy all the sights.
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Dec 3rd, 2005, 01:06 PM
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BTW, please say hello to Humberto and Carmen from "Shillmac". You'll enjoy getting to know them--they are a lovely young couple and so very helpful and personable.
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Dec 4th, 2005, 10:32 AM
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dhuszai
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shillmac - it is Cachi Lake and Dam. I'll say hello to Humerto and Camen for you.

Thanks for your help.
 
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Dec 4th, 2005, 11:11 AM
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Thanks--Buen viaje!
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Dec 5th, 2005, 10:29 AM
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I traveled by bus from Manuel Antonio/Quepos to San Jose vis Dominical and San Isidro. It took all day, but was great. It went something like this:

(1) Bus from Quepos to Dominical/ approx 2 hrs. Road was bad in places, but we did it no problem.

(2) Hung out in Dominical for a bit and waited for the bus to San Isidro.

(3) Bus from Dominical to San Isidro/ approx 1.5 hours. This road was great -- straight up into the mountains with sweeping views of the Pacific at times.

(3) San Isidro. Walked around town, had lunch... Really quite enjoyed a glimpse of this non-tourist town.

(4) Bus from San Isidro to San Jose/ approx 3.25 hrs. Wow, this ride was amazing. Twisting and turning along the Interamericana Highway, topping out near Cerro de la Muerte (ignore the name...) and then heading into San Jose was really amazing.

What's nice about going this route is the contrast in scenery, from the Pacific and lush tropical vegetation up to the foothills of the Talamanca Mountains, topping out in elevations reminiscent of the sierras in Northern California and then descending into the Central Valley and urban sprawl of San Jose...
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