Depending on how you are traveling to Santa Teresa Costa Rica or Mal Pais you might have to take the ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera. The drive from San Jose Costa Rica to Puntarenas is approximately an hour and a half to two hours depending on traffic and road conditions. You will then take the ferry to paquera. The Paquera ferry is about a 70 minute ride not including loading and unloading times. I love taking the ferry because It is a wonderful way to split up the 5-6 hour commute to Santa Teresa by car, shuttle or bus. It gives you the opportunity to stretch your legs, grab a light snack and enjoy the views of calm waters against a mountain backdrop. Once you arrive to Paquera you will drive another hour and a half to two hours to Santa Teresa
In the high season the top deck snack bar converts into a dance floor. You might find people singing their favorite tunes or showing off their dance moves. They often play 80’s and 90’s hits. It will instantly give you flashbacks of when you use to make mix tapes of your favorite hits to play in the car. It always makes for a great time.
If you are taking a morning or afternoon ferry you can escape the heat and enjoy a cold drink in the air conditioned indoor common area. Personally my favorite time to take the ferry is at 5pm because you are able to enjoy the sunset and watch vibrant colors paint the Costa Rican sky. Its a lovely perk, especially if you have been traveling all day. Make sure to keep your camera easily accessible because you’re going to want to snap some photos.
The ferry leaves on time, so try not to be late especially if you are visiting during the high season. Santa Teresa is located an hour and a half drive from the ferry and Blue Surf Sanctuary. Please check this link Paquera Ferry for up to date information on ferry times and fees.