Replies: 10 - Last Post: Feb 11, 2013 12:09 PM Last Post By: ebmriolwyn
Feb 6, 2013 1:17 PM
MAl PAISI am planning my first trip to Costa Rica with my boyfriend in late February, we will have 10 days, flying in and out of SJO. The plan is public bus straight from the airport to La Fortuna; spening 4 nights or 3 full days there - doing stuff... volcano, hiking, waterfalls etc.
For the second half of the trip I want to spend it on the beach, I had Mal Pais in mind, but have a few questions. I like the sound of it as it seems much less crowded and there is plenty to do on the southern nicoya peninsula as well as the beach. However we will be travelling there by public bus/ferry - so I have set aside a whole day for travel - without a car how easy is traveling around the area once we are there, we will want to visit a few different beaches and towns, as well as do other activities. Are there plenty of buses, can we rent bikes or a vespa, walk? I want to get a better idea or the distances, roads and transport options.
Also given this is a surfing area, are there calmer swimming spots? I wouldn't mind doing a day or two of surfing but my boyfriend would prefer a quiet/safe beach (not a strong swimmer). Will we be able to find spots to spend the day on the beach just to swim and not be fighting waves - or should I chose another part of the coast all together?
And the final question is accommodation - we are on a budget but want to get something nice, looking at up to $100 a night, an outdoor area or balcony would be nice with views. Is this unreasonable for the price, any reccommendations?
Any advice appreciated!
Feb 6, 2013 1:48 PM
1this is a good resource for that area: http://www.nicoyapeninsula.com and also http://www.anywherecostarica.com/destinations/mal-pais-costa-rica
for public bus schedule: http://www.thebusschedule.com/cr/
you can look for a bus from la fortuna to mal pais or take a more frequent bus from la fortuna to puntarenas, (with a transfer in ciudad quesada - also known as san carlos) get on the ferry and then get another bus on the other side.
Feb 6, 2013 2:33 PM
2Mal Pais is rather isolated and at the end of the road, you can access Cabo Blanco and Montezuma areas from there, as well as Santa Teresa, otherwise the reason its so nice, as its sees far fewer tourist/traffic than just about any other popular surf town on the Pacific.
Getting there is not easy via public bus, but is 6 hours from SJ, so from La Fortuna figure longer unless you can find a shuttle.
Most the good beach towns and hang and party are from other activities, though Tamarindo is closer for day trips to Rincon or Tenorio.
Feb 6, 2013 3:05 PM
3yeah, the bus takes all day. there are shared van shuttles from la fortuna to mal pais that take around 6 hours and cost about $55 - $60.
for shuttles - check http://www.anywherecostarica.com - click on transportation.
Feb 6, 2013 4:56 PM
Feb 7, 2013 8:45 AM
5My wife and I were in Santa Teresa Mal Pais area last Feb. Had our own car. We stayed at the Zulu Inn for $65 per night. It's off the road, cabina with full kitchen, also nice swimming pool. You can rent a ATV in order to visit different beaches. Just be aware that time of year the road along the beach is incredibility dusty!
Feb 7, 2013 1:09 PM
6Thanks for all the advice!
I realise that my travel is going to be long and slow - have set aside a full day for it - looking into the shuttle as well as buses.
I think I might split the 4 days between Samara and Montezuma, they both sound amazing and if we have time could make a day trip to Santa Teresa/Mai Pais. But I also just read about Tortuga Island which sounds like it would make an amzing day trip too.
Running out of days already - I might reduce La Fortuna to two days from three to add an extra day at the beach!
Next is to find accommodation - are then any good websites for the different areas Samara, Montezuma and La Fortuna which compare, list or review different options? Looking for mid range under or around $100 a night.
Feb 7, 2013 1:48 PM
Feb 7, 2013 2:56 PM
Feb 7, 2013 3:28 PM
9by bus - there are no other options. you can try to get a shuttle from samara to tambor but no buses go that route that i know of. the shared van shuttle run about $50 from samara to mal pais and it takes about 4 hours.
shuttles and buses don't use the southern nicoya peninsula (except the route across the very southern part) because the roads are so bad or there are river crossings, etc.
Feb 11, 2013 12:09 PM
10Thanks, I found a shuttle which will take about 3-4 hours, so at least I only waste 1/2 a day travelling, maybe the trip will be interesting.
I have a question on Montezuma and tour companies called Zuma. There seem to be many tour companies with Zuma in the name, looks like the company Zuma tours with a .net address gets very good reviews on trip advisor, are all the other companies with similar names, the same company but being sold through other websites, are they to be avoided a rip off of the original company or just another legitimate company? Looking to book the day snorkeling trip to Tortuga Island.
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