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sharon928 Jun 6th, 2004 07:48 PM

one night in Puntarenas
We will be traveling to CR in July and will be staying overnight in Puntarenas in order to catch the ferry early the next morning to Nicoya Peninsula. Does anybody know of a decent place to stay there? I e-mailed a couple of places but have received no response. Would it even be necessary to have a reservation for a Sunday night stay in July?

shillmac Jun 6th, 2004 08:18 PM

Hello Sharon,
We did exactly the same thing--next day ferry to Paquera from Puntarenas. I'd like to know your arrival time. The problem is, Puntarenas is NOT a good place to stay. Very sleazy--probably one reason you don't see hotels advertised much.
We arrived about 2:00 in the afternoon, rented our car, and drove to La Finca Que Ama. It is south and west of the airport about 45 minutes, a lovely new hotel with a beautiful view. The owners are Neta and Arbel, a very nice,young Israeli couple. We had a lovely dinner, good breakfast, and they sent us off with a packed sandwich for our ferry ride. We left there about 8:30 or 9:00 the next morning, and arrived at the ferry in Puntarenas 30 minutes before departure time (10:30).

The ferry schedule tends to change occasionally, so it is a good idea to check it at We were expecting a noon ferry, but it was at 10:30, so we lucked out in arriving just in time to catch it!

The thing is, we have been to Costa Rica many times and we wanted to head toward Puntarenas a little way, but not actually stay there. There really isn't much on the way (like hotels) by way of the Interamerican Highway (the regular route to Puntarenas). So we just took this little detour down to La Finca Que Ama, which put us within 1.5 hr. of Puntarenas. You can e-mail the hotel ([email protected]) if you'd like. I think you would like it there--quiet, peaceful, good company! Also bathtubs and DVD player!

By the way, the first time we took the ferry from Puntarenas a couple of years ago, we had a little trouble finding it. Go into Puntarenas and straight ahead as far as you can (Puntarenas is on a spit and you have to drive to the end of it). The ferry is to your right a block or two off the main road. If you go far enough west through town, you'll see a little sign that simply says "ferry". Good luck!

And, just to clarify, if I had to stay the night in Puntarenas for the early ferry or stay elsewhere and take the mid-morning ferry, I wouldn't think twice about it--I'd stay elsewhere and plan on the 10:30 ferry!

sharon928 Jun 7th, 2004 07:17 AM

Thank you, Shillmac, for your advice. Our flight comes in at approximately noon. We had planned to drive as far as Puntarenas that day (Sunday) and then take the early ferry across and then on to Montezuma. I like your idea, though. Are there usually long lines for the ferry? So, if we were to leave the inn that you suggested around 8 AM, we could easily catch the Paquera ferry that leaves around 10:30? What time do you think we could get into Montezuma if we took this option? I look forward to your response. Sharon

flycatcher06 Jun 7th, 2004 09:36 AM

Hi there, You could stay at the Fiesta overnight we stayed there last year and had a really great time. It is only about 10 minutes from the ferry. It is an all inclusive resort. I believe you can also just rent a room.

shillmac Jun 7th, 2004 10:01 AM

Hi Sharon,
Your flight time is great! You could easily leave La Finca Que Ama at 8:00 for the 10:30 ferry. This is just what we did. We had been on the Interamerican highway many times, and liked the opportunity to see some new countryside. The hotel is between the town of Puriscal and San Pablo de Turrialba (sp?). On the way, you will pass a new little shopping center with a great supermarket and a place to use the ATM. Also, at the ATM there is someone who can change your money for you through a window. But I think the ATM gives both colones and dollars. We enjoyed stopping here.

We have stayed at Fiesta also. It would be a decent alternative if you like the resort atmosphere. I think we paid about $60 per person per night.

You need to arrive at the ferry at least 30 minutes ahead of departure. You buy two tickets--one for the vehicle and driver and another for yourself as passenger. One person drives the vehicle on and the other walks on. The vehicles are parked below of course, and the driver then joins you on the upper level. The ferry ride to Paquera is about 1.5 hours. From there you are about an hour (maybe just a tiny bit more) from Montezuma. So you should be in Montezuma by 1:00 more or less if you take the 10:30 ferry. Again, be sure to check the schedule.

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