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From San José to the Península de Nicoya Print E-mail

The trip from San José to Puntarenas is a beautiful journey through the mountains, either along the main road going through San Ramon, or the more ountainous road passing through Atenas. Both of theese ways are a 2-3 hour car ride, depending on traffic and coffe breaks.

In January 2010, a new road, known as the Autopista del Sol, was opened from San Jose to Calderas (just outside Puntarenas). This new autopista begins in Ciudad Colón and will get you to Puntarenas, about 77km away, in 1 hour, more or less. The entire route, from La Sabana/San José to Caldera, costs travelers in a passenger car 2000 colons ($3.50), and the toll stations are located in Escazú, Alajuela, Atenas, Orotina and at several highway exits.

Driving here is a little like traveling in a different world, with the big cuts through the mountains, covered with a layer of concrete, plus the fact that at this point in time, there is no place to stop; no gas stations, no restaurants or rest stops makes it a bit like a "science fiction" drive.

Once you get to Puntarenas, you take the ferry to Paquera and will enjoy a relaxing ride crossing the Golf of Nicoya. From Paquera you will be traveling through tropical landscape until you reach your chosen destination.
The road from Paquera to Cóbano is paved. Once you leave Cóbano, the roads are unpaved and sometimes in a good, average or bad condition. 

By bus: Bus to Puntarenas (Tell the taxi driver: A la estación de Buses a Puntarenas)
From there take a taxi to the Ferry to Paquera or walk to the Lancha. Once you get to Paquera, there will always be a bus going to Montezuma via Tambor/Cóbano.
Depending on the time, in Cóbano you get a connecting bus service to Santa Teresa/Mal País.
Besides, there is a direct bus which leaves twice a day from the big bus station ?Coca Cola? in the center of San José.

By plane:
Either with Sansa from Alajuela (right next to the international airport) or from Pavas with Nature Air to Tambor.
You may also drive a rented car to Puntarenas, join the queue of waiting vehicles and wait for the guy with the ?ficha?. The ?ficha? is a slip of paper which is handed out by the staff of the ferry to all cars that will fit on the ferry. Only with the ?Ficha? will you be able to buy your tickets. Be aware: sometimes there are people asking for money so that you can get on the ferry. Don't give money to anyone walking along the queue. The tickets are sold at the counter on the corner!

Or you take a minibus from San José directly to your destination on the peninsula. Many tour operators offer this service. I am sure your hotel in San José will be glad to help you organize such a trip (approx. $ 40).
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