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Can't figure out my flights to CR. Any advice?

Rochester, New York
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Can't figure out my flights to CR. Any advice?

I have booked my return from Costa Rica, but am having trouble with my arrival.

I have a house reserved in Santa Elena on Saturday (3/3). I can arrive in SJO on Friday at 3pm. In another post I was told that there was nothing in particular between the two. So what do I do? I don't really like cities, so going into San Jose isn't all that interesting, but if I did that, would I rent a car at the airport and drive in, or get a shuttle of some sort and rent a car in San Jose the next day?

My other option is to arrive into LIR at 9:35PM, stay near the airport, and drive to Santa Elena the next day. Is that practical? Would I rent my car at the airport, or the next day? Where would I want to stay Friday night?

Would there be time to visit Rincon on the drive to Santa Elena on Saturday?

Sadly, I can't get into LIR any earlier in the day on Friday; that would be perfect.

Any advice on this dilemma would be appreciated.

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Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Central America
Santa Elena
Santa Elena
Monteverde, Costa Rica
Juan Santamaria Intl Airport
Juan Santamaria Intl...
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Jose
San Jose
San Jose Metro, Costa Rica
Liberia Airport
Liberia Airport
Liberia, Costa Rica
6 replies to this topic
Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: Can't figure out my flights to CR. Any advice?

I would get the car when you arrive, stay near the airport, and leave for Santa Elena early the next morning.

It's much better to fly into Liberia, but I wouldn't want to arrive that late. SJO is not in San Jose; it's in Alajuela so you wouldn't be "in the city" but traffic is difficult there, especially compared to Liberia.

To make things easy you can stay at a generic hotel, such as the Hampton Inn, the first night. If you get the car when you land you can get an earlier start the next day.

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Santa Elena
Santa Elena
Monteverde, Costa Rica
Liberia
Liberia
Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Juan Santamaria Intl Airport
Juan Santamaria Intl...
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Jose
San Jose
San Jose Metro, Costa Rica
Alajuela
Alajuela
Province of Alajuela, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: Can't figure out my flights to CR. Any advice?

Rent the car and hit the road…or hire a private driver and have your car once in Santa elena…

roadadvisor

Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: Can't figure out my flights to CR. Any advice?

Are you saying that there's a place to rent cars in Santa Elena? I have never seen anything like this anywhere near Monteverde.

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Santa Elena
Santa Elena
Monteverde, Costa Rica
Rochester, New York
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4. Re: Can't figure out my flights to CR. Any advice?

Can I rent a car that late in LIR? (9:30pm arrival...)

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Liberia Airport
Liberia Airport
Liberia, Costa Rica
Slovenia
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5. Re: Can't figure out my flights to CR. Any advice?

I would fly to SJO, then used a taxi or a free transfer if supplied and would stay first night in Alajuela. Next morning most of the rental car companies would deliver the car to your accommodation. Alajuela is a nice enough little town to have a good feeling staying at. Also hotels/lodges are OK.

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Juan Santamaria Intl Airport
Juan Santamaria Intl...
San Jose, Costa Rica
Alajuela
Alajuela
Province of Alajuela, Costa Rica
Tampa, Florida
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6. Re: Can't figure out my flights to CR. Any advice?

Since you should stay by the airport the first night, even with the 3 PM arrival, I would select the flight that's overall better (less expensive, fewer connections.....) The advantage of SJO is that you can definitely pick up your car the day you arrive and get an early start the next day.

If you fly into Liberia, you may not be able to get your car until the next morning, which isn't a big deal if you get up early. I do not believe that you can rent a car in Santa Elena.

Since it's just for that first night, I wouldn't go out of my way for a genuine CR hotel; I would pick what ever's most convenient and stay as close to the airport and rental car counters as possible.

For SJO, I recommend the Hampton Inn, which has a free shuttle and is across the road from the airport. You can walk to the Vamos office from there. They are a highly rated car rental agency and can provide you with a cell phone equipped with Waze. Check out their website.

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Juan Santamaria Intl Airport
Juan Santamaria Intl...
San Jose, Costa Rica
Liberia
Liberia
Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Santa Elena
Santa Elena
Monteverde, Costa Rica
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