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Should we stay over 1st night on way from SJO to Dominical?

New York City, New...
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52 posts
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Should we stay over 1st night on way from SJO to Dominical?

Hi there. My family (including 2 small children) is arriving in SJO on a Friday at 1:30pm and we'll renting a 4X4 to drive down to the Dominical area. Will we make it there before dark if we stop for lunch, groceries, bathroom, etc, or should we plan to stay over one night somewhere else, and if so, any recommendations on where to stay? Somewhere near SJO like the Marriott Costa Rica or somewhere along the road? Thank you very much for any suggestions!

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Destination Expert
for Richmond
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1,739 posts
217 reviews
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1. Re: Should we stay over 1st night on way from SJO to Dominical?

Well, you would be pushing it to make it there.

When your flight lands at 1:30, it will take time to get off the plane, find your luggage, and make it through customs. It will then take time to complete the rental car process. You will get done with all of that around 3:30 if everything goes smoothly. Even if you left right then and didn't stop to eat or get groceries, and you would be getting to Dominical around 7:30/8PM, meaning you would be driving in the dark the last few hours. If you had to stop for lunch and to get groceries, that would set you back another 1.5 hours. And that's all if everything went smoothly.

Get a place for the night in Alajuela (where the airport is). Staying in San Jose would actually be back-tracking. You can also wait to rent the car the next morning as it would save you a nights rental fee (unless you'd rather pay the extra night fee to assure you can get on the road bright and early).

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Edited: 20 January 2014, 00:53
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Destination Expert
for Richmond
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1,739 posts
217 reviews
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2. Re: Should we stay over 1st night on way from SJO to Dominical?

...and yes, the Courtyard Marriott San Jose Airport Alajuela Hotel is a good place to stay for the night. Close to the airport and clean. It's also next to Walmart where you can grab some groceries. They have a free shuttle to and from the airport if you need it.

For the best rates, book directly through their Costa Rica Marriott website. (At least that's what I've found the best rates there)

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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20,772 posts
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3. Re: Should we stay over 1st night on way from SJO to Dominical?

+1 to above advice of staying first night near the airport. Plenty of choices, many with free airport shuttle. You will have more time to properly inspect the vehicle, and by renting off airport you will avoid paying the airport tax (13%).

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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4. Re: Should we stay over 1st night on way from SJO to Dominical?

Or you could have a late lunch in Alajuela, pickup the rental car and head for Jaco for the 1st night. Jaco is only 1.5-2 hours from the airport and while it's not my favorite town is does have plenty of places to stay. That way you have a short drive the next day and you could stop and buy groceries at the large grocery outside Jaco (Automercado in Playa Herradura) before driving to Dominical. Take a look at the Los Suenos Marriott just north of Jaco.

5. Re: Should we stay over 1st night on way from SJO to Dominical?

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