- Fly into San Jose – Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO).
- With new shortcuts, the drive from San Jose to Villa is 2 1/2 – 3 hours on good highways and very scenic.
- For flights arriving in San Jose by 2pm, you can drive to the villa before nightfall (6pm)
- For connecting flights or late arrivals, you may opt for staying one night in a nearby hotel.
- It is very strongly recommended that you rent a 4-wheel drive SUV.
- While main highways are in excellent condition, secondary roads and driveways to homes, restaurants and beaches can be steep and unpaved.
San Jose – Palmar Sur or Quepos by Air
A wonderful way to see the countryside and get to Villa Mariposa in South Costa Rica is by air. Both Sansa and Nature Air offer daily flights from San Jose at about 9:30 in the morning. There are also flights later in the day to Quepos which is a 1-hour drive to the villa.
This scenic flight over the mountains and along the coast takes about forty minutes to Palmar Sur which is a 25-minute drive from Ojochal. The Sansa flight departs from the local airport terminal located right next to the international one you arrived at and is the most convenient. Nature Air departs from an airport that is a 30-minute taxi ride from the International Airport. Round trip flights are approximately $175 per person and reservations are required. You can also fly one way and drive back to San Jose.
The last Sansa flight to Quepos departs San Jose at about 3:15 and arrives 20 minutes later, then it’s a 1-hour drive to the villa. The round trip flights to Quepos are about $120 per person depending on the season. See Sansa for flight information.
With an advanced reservation at Solid Car Rental you can have a 4X4 rental vehicle waiting to meet you at Palmar Sur or Quepos for the drive to Ojochal on a well-paved road. This reasonably priced option is a great alternative for first-time visitors.
San Jose – Ojochal/Dominal by SUV or Private VIP Shuttle
The best route is west to the coast and then south. In January 2010 the new highway between San Jose and the west coast port of Caldera opened, reducing the overall drive to Villa Mariposa to about three and a half hours. Driving directions for the route are given below.
Another option is to reserve a private shuttle with an English speaking driver to do the driving for you. The fee for up to four people is $200 one way, with $10 more per additional passenger.
For more information see Private Transfers at www.easyridecr.com for details. With an advanced reservation at Solid Car Rental, you can have a 4X4 rental vehicle waiting for you to get around Ojochal and the local area attractions.
Driving Route: San Jose – Orotina – Jaco – Quepos – Manuel Antonio – Dominical
The new highway from San Jose to the west coast (Caldera) is now open! The other very good news is that the stretch of highway between Manuel Antonio and Domincal is now completely paved. Those improvements have shortened the trip to 3 1/2 hours!
Prior to leaving the airport make sure you have local currency and some small bills (1000 colone denomination) to pay for tolls – Five toll booths totalling 2200 colones = approx. $US 4.00. There is a money exchange next to the luggage carousel in the airport.
- From the airport, take Hwy 1 towards San Jose
- At 8mi/12km, when you see the Denny’s sign on your left, take the immediate next right exit with the small sign pointing to Escazu.
- Take the second exit (approx 1 mi/1.5km) towards Escazu. Shortly thereafter you will encounter the first of five toll plazas.
NOTE: if you miss the Denny’s turnoff, see end of page for map and alternate route to get back on track.
New San Jose – Caldera Highway
Click on map for expanded picture and toll information
- Highway takes you past Orotina. Take the exit for Jaco – you will see a sign immediately after the fifth toll booth.
- Continue past Jaco towards Quepos.
- Before you reach Quepos, the highway splits. Turn left to Dominical.
- After 40km, you’ll reach the intersection with the highway to San Isidro on your left. Stay right to Dominical, Uvita, Ojochal
- You will see a fruit stand and a Police check point. Domincal is immediately on your right when you cross the bridge. Stay on the highway.
- Stay on the highway for 31km. on your left-hand side you’ll see a plaza with an open-air restaurant and a yellow-painted gas station. Pull into the gas station and you’ll meet Mau, our wonderful property manager who will escort you up the Mountain and give you the tour of Villa Mariposa.
Alternate Route near San Jose to get back to Highway 27
– If you miss the Denny’s turnoff, continue towards San Jose. The highway will end and curve right. Continue straight past the Toyota dealership.
– In less than 1/2 mile after the car dealership is the second major intersection along the edge of the park. Turn right and you are now on the road beside Sabana Park that becomes the Highway 27 to Escazu and onwards to the coast.
When you are returning to the Airport….
– While passing through Escazu on the way back to the airport you will pass a large shopping mall and a sign for Business Depot on the right before you get to the last toll. After the last toll stay to the right, there are 3 exits immediately after that.
– Take the third exit marked Alajuela with a small sign at the exit. Stay to the right.
– On the next short stretch of highway you will be turning off on the 3rd exit. Watch for a sculpture of a globe on a pole on the left, then take exit after that on the right which will have 3 small signs on it for Alajuela and the airport: Aeropuerto. You will be back on the highway passing the Denny’s sign.
– If you miss the first turn off to Alajuela after the toll booth you can take the longer route around Sabana Park – it adds 10 minutes.
– When you reach the end of the park turn left and you will drive along another side of the park past the Toyota Dealership and then the road curves left and joins the highway to the airport.