Travelers between the city of Puntarenas and Playa Naranjo in the Nicoya Peninsula will have to wait three weeks for ferry service to resume. The bridge and dock ramp to access the ferry in Playa Naranjo collapsed on Sunday, forcing ferry owner Coonatramar to suspend the service.
Strong winds and a choppy sea destroyed the structures. Some 20 passengers that were on the ferry Sunday had to be transported to the dock in small boats. Nobody was injured.
Poor weather conditions on Monday prevented technical staff from the Public Works and Transport Ministry’s (MOPT) from inspecting the damage.
“They will try again today and if bad weather conditions persist they will keep trying every day,” MOPT spokesman Juan Carlos González said Tuesday.
Officials estimate that a temporary solution will be ready in up to three weeks, while permanent repairs will take at least two months.
The ferry service is used by many tourists traveling to and from hotels and beach destinations in the Nicoya Peninsula, and by residents of the communities of Jicaral, Lepanto, Cabo Blanco, San Pedro, Coyote, Canjel and Dominical.
Alternate routes to get from Puntarenas to Playa Naranjo include taking the Puntarenas-Paquera ferry and then traveling by road to Playa Naranjo. The trip on a gravel road takes up to two hours.
Another option is to do the entire trip by road through La Amistad bridge, which takes up to six hours.
For those traveling to the Nicoya peninsula from the capital, the company ARSA offers bus service.
Buses make the 275 kilometers (171 miles) trip between San José and Jicaral in about six hours at a cost of ₡4,050 ($7.50) roundtrip. The ARSA bus station is located in downtown San José on Calle 12, Ave. 7-9, next to Hotel Don Tobías. Bilingual staff are not available.