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map of nicoyamap of costa rica

Mal País by Car

You can reach the port town of Puntarenas by going two ways, by either taking the new motorway, Route 27 or by taking the Interamericana Highway Route 1.

Option 1, Motorway Route 27

From the international airport in San Jose you'll need to turn right (east) in the direction of San Jose (Route 1) and drive for about 12kms where you will then need to take a right exit for Route 39 for Escazu. You drive along that road for about 3kms and then take the second exit which will bring you onto the Autopista Prospero Fernandez. You will now be driving west in the direction of Escazu/Santa Ana where you will go through the first toll. You continue to drive past Santa Ana and then follow the signs for Orotina and then the autopiste becomes Route 27. You continue straight all the way to Caldera passing 3 further tolls and it takes about an hour to reach. Drive through Caldera about 10kms and then you will need to take a right turn for Puntarenas (please keep an eye out for this turn as it's badly marked). From here you drive straight through Puntarenas and continue right to the end of the town where you will find the ferry port to your right, it will also be signposted. From San Jose to the ferry takes about an hour and fifteen minutes. If you take the new motor way you need to be aware that you can only pay in cash, about $7 total in the tolls which can be paid in Colons or Dollars

Option 2, Inter American Highway Route 1

From the international airport in San Jose you'll need to turn left (west) which will bring you straight onto the Inter American (Route 1) in the direction of Puntarenas. The highway will bring you all the way to the turn off for Puntarenas. From the turn off you drive straight through the town of Puntarenas and at the end of the town you'll find the ferry port on your right, it will also be signposted. It takes about two and a half hours to reach the port town of Puntarenas. The old route has no tolls but it's worth knowing that it's a twisty road and it can become quite congested with articulated trucks. It's also poorly lit so we don't suggest driving it after dark.

From Puntarenas

In Puntarenas take the ferry to Paquera which is located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. The ferries leave Puntarenas every two hours during the high season and the ride across the Gulf of Nicoya is a scenic 1.5 hour trip.

Click here for ferry schedule *Please note that this timetable is not updated daily. For a more accurate time you can call this number +506 26612084, then press #1, however this is only given in Spanish.

From Paquera

When you arrive in Paquera take the road to Tambor, continue straight on to Cobano and from Cobano drive to Mal País/Santa Teresa, finally take a left turn at the Playa Carmen crossroad and Moana is located 1.5kms down on the left hand side. Driving from Paquera to Mal País takes about 1.5 hours and is about 50kms in distance.

Directions From Liberia

You need to take the Interamericana Highway and headed South and then take the turn off to the port town of Puntarenas, this will be on your right/West. The journey time is about 1.20min about a half an hour shorter than doing the journey from San Jose. In Puntarenas take the ferry to Paquera which is located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. For futher instructions for reaching Mal País please read above.

Mal País by Air

Getting to Mal País/Tambor, from San José by air you have two airlines that fly daily, Sansa or Nature Air. It costs about $90 per person going one way and takes about 30mins flying time.

Nature Air is located in Tobias Bolanos Airport in Pavas, San Jose. The airport is about 5 miles west of downtown San Jose and about 10 miles (30 minutes drive) from the international airport of Juan Santamaria.

Sansa is located in the Domestic Terminal at Juan Santamaria (JSM) International Airport in San Jose which is located about 30mins outside the City in the district of Alajuela.

The airport nearest Mal País is Tambor Airport, from here we can arrange to have you picked up by taxi. Its about a 50min cab ride to Mal País and costs about $55.

For further information check:
www.natureair.com
www.flysansa.com

Costa Rica by Air

Most of the major American airlines fly into Costa Rica. You can also try LACSA, which is the Costa Rican national airline. From Europe there’s Iberia who fly out of Madrid, and Martin Air from Amsterdam. Most flights arrive into the capital city of Costa Rica, San Jose, at the Juan Santamaria (JSM) International Airport.

American Airliners Flying into Costa Rica

American Airlines
Continental Airlines
US Airways
United Airlines
Delta Air Lines
Spirit Airlines

By Shuttle Bus

This service we can arrange for you, all that we require is your name and the hotel you’re staying in.
From San Jose it costs $50 and takes about 5.5 hours. The bus will pick you up in your hotel in San José between 7:30 am and 8:30 am. All the buses have A/C and they will stop allowing you to have something to eat.

Public Bus

A direct public runs to Mal País twice daily. It departs from the Parada de San Carlos Station in downtown San Jose, Calle 12, ave 7-9 (but never let your bags out of your sight), it doesnt however stop to pick up passengers at the airport.

Unfortunately the bus schedule changes constantly so we cant offer you exact departure times. Usually buses depart at 6.30am and later in the day at 2pm, the best thing to do is to call ahead when you arrive in San Jose.

To get to the hotel you will need to get off at Franks Place when the bus arrives at the cross at Mal País/Santa Teresa. From there you'll need to walk or take a cab to the hotel which is 1.5kms down on your left, headed south from the cross at Franks Place, it costs about $4.

The bus is air conditioned and costs about $14 per person and the journey takes about 6.5hrs which includes the ferry crossing. Surf boards can also be taken, but bus tickets cannot be prebooked. The bus also makes the return journey to San Jose twice daily.

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1 888 865 8032
Tel +506 2640 0230
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Hotel Moana  |  Mal País, Costa Rica  |  US Toll Free (reservations only) 1 888 865 8032  |  Tel +506 2640 0230  |  Fax +506 2640 0623  |  info@moanacostarica.com