Maps and Directions
Costa Rica is located in Central America, between Nicaragua and Panama. It’s only a five hour flight from most parts of the United States, and much closer to the East Coast than Hawaii is. The location, safety, reputation of its people for warm and generous hospitality, and the beautiful beaches and jungles have made Costa Rica one of the world’s top tourist destinations in recent years.
To get to the Mal Pais / Santa Teresa area, you can either fly from San José to the Tambor airport, or you can drive from San José to Puntarenas and take the ferry to Paquera. From there, drive south through Tambor to Cóbano. It’s pronounced CO-ba-no, not co-BA-no. Most people seem to get it wrong. From there you can drive to Mal Pais, Santa Teresa, or Manzanillo, as well as Montezuma. It’s another 20-30 minutes to Malpais from Cóbano. The total time from San Jose to Malpais is around 4-6 hours, mostly depending on how long you have to wait for the ferry in Puntarenas. Depending on the season, the ferry leaves every 2-3 hours. You can call 2661-2084 ext-4 to listen to a message that tells you the ferry schedule, but it’s only in Spanish.
Southern Nicoya Peninsula Map
Caution! Do not use the store-bought maps. I haven’t ever seen one that is accurate. They often show roads and towns that disapeared many decades ago! The maps shown here are the most accurate one that I know, because I made them myself using a GPS and years of driving around. The map in ZOOM magazine also is accurate. I recommend that you print these maps before you arrive in Costa Rica.
Santa Teresa Map