Will there be anyone who has gone by road up to Cariari and then taken the boat to Tortuguero ,and be able to advise me about that trip ? also is it not possible to drive ourselves to Osa Peninsula ?
Appreciate if any one can asnwer me.
We ended up taking the boat from Moin when we were there. The boat trip was half the fun of visiting Tortuguero to be quite honest It was about 4 hours.
To Osa Peninsula, we took a local bus most of the way, so you should be able to drive it too if you prefer. But to actually really get out on the peninsula, I'm pretty sure boat is the only way to go. Again, this was a fantastic place (and boat ride).
I got a few more questions from the original poster over PM, which I thought I'd answer here!
Q: did you have to book the boat from Moin (by the way I see a place spelt Millon and not Moin ; may be that is how it is pronounced or is that the correct name ?) to Tortuguero ?
A: Okay, had to have a closer look at this. I didn't recall Moin from my trip but saw it in my blog entry. On checking though, that's where we were dropped off on the way back, or more precisely, where we took the bus from to Puerto Viejo (further south). The place we actually took the boat from is Puerto Limon. You can see on this map how the boat goes too. It follows that narrow canal most of the way. There's a bit where it crosses over some sea, but it goes back into a canal (that doesn't seem to show properly on the map).
Q: or are the boats freely available ?
A: I think you'd be okay just showing up at the beginning point. Don't expect much, this is how it looked back in December 02. I remember there were quite a few boats there.
Q: if you had to reserve seats for the boat ride, then where did you do it ?
A: We had reserved our spots in San Jose. I can't remember the name of the little travel agency we used, but it was run by a dutch woman and had been recommended to us back in the Netherlands. I'm sure most agencies in SJ will be able to sort this out though if you want.
Q: Is Moin past Cariari ?
A: I'm not really sure where Cariari is and can't seem to find it on the map either. But it seems from this link that it is further south, yes.
Q: As for the bus ride to Osa , where did you take the boat ride from ?
A: We took it from San Jose.
Q: then again, did you have to reserve seats ?
A: No, for all the trips on public buses (which this was), we just showed up at the bus station and bought our tickets. Very cheap, just watch your luggage!
Q: Would we need a 4 WD for these trips?
A: Not for getting to Osa Peninsula (at least not to get to the part where we took the boat from). I don't think you can get to Tortuguero by any other means than boat. For other parts of Costa Rica like Puerto Viejo, depending on the season, most likely.