traveling within Costa Rica

Old Sep 13th, 2002, 07:36 PM
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traveling within Costa Rica

I am planning a 2 week stay in Tamarindo. What is the best way to get there from San Jose. Would driving be terrible, it would give me lots of options during my stay. Or should I just fly to Liberia?
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 10:49 PM
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My family has driven this route, and much prefer it to flying. It depends on your attitude. The road out of the San Jose valley winds over several ridges and is too narrow for passing in most places. This does not prevent Ticos from passing anyway, including on a blind curve during a foggy night! So, if you have patience for getting stuck behind an old truck on a winding road, and the ability not to get upset by being passed by crazy drivers at the wrong time, then I think its a scenic and interesting ride. Alternatively, you can fly to Liberia and rent a car there.
Old Sep 14th, 2002, 01:05 PM
David N Cook
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It's a good days drive but very do-able if you don't try to rush. Leave early as possible and stop for lunch and other breaks. To make it more interesting, take the short Tempisque Ferry ride on Hwy 18. Driving in CR is not bad, the roads are poor condition by our standards but not really a problem if you take it easy and don't drive at nite. Good luck, you'll have fun!
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 05:23 AM
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I agree with ALF and David. The drive from SJ to Tamarindo is not bad at all. If you take the Tempisque River ferry be prepared for a long wait plus some unpaved (but scenic) roads once on Nicoya Penninsula. Alternatively, take a domestic flight from SJ to Tamarindo and rent a car or use taxis as needed once there.
If you decide to drive: I actually like going through Liberia instead taking the ferry better. Liberia is a nice non-touristy town where you can get some lunch and take a stroll and see how Costa Ricans live.
As far as I know no commercial airlines fly to Liberia yet, only charters, so your options for flying there directly from US are limited.
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 06:16 AM
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If you are spending your whole vacation in Tamarindo it would be a good idea to drive, that way you get to enjoy the country side. The trip will take you 5 hours, but there is a lot to see. If you rent a car take the ferry up and the Liberia road back down. Be prepared though to miss the ferry by 5 minutes and having to wait an hour; happens to me all the time. Important is to not drive at night, as there can be a lot of animals on the road and the potholes are not so visible! Another option is to fly Sansa from San Jose to Tamarindo, they offer around 7 flight daily. You can rent a car in Tamarindo for your stay. What time of the year are you traveling?
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 07:58 PM
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thanks for all the suggestions! For Iika, I will be there in mid-Nov.
Old Sep 23rd, 2002, 09:10 AM
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I wouldn't drive to Tamarindo. Much easier to fly up there from San Jose via Sansa or NatureAir and THEN rent your car once you're in Tamarindo. Yes, it is a small plane and you may be subjected to a few bounces, but it's only a 45 minute flight from San Jose to Tamarindo. When I was in CR last November (my first visit there) I flew on Sansa from Tamarindo to SJ --- it was on a 12 seat plane. I found it much easier than a 5-6 hour overland trip. Trust me, a few jostles in a small plane are much easier than traversing the roads (lots and lots and LOTS of potholes).
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