Ferry trips across Gulf of Nicoya increased for high season

Passengers crossing the Gulf of Nicoya by ferry will have the option of a romantic evening cruise.

The transport ministry said Wednesday that ferry service was being increased to 12 trips a day because of the high tourist season. Two of those trips will begin after dark.

In addition, the ferry Tambor 2 is back in service after a trip to Colombia for maintenance, the ministry said.

The more intense ferry schedule starts Friday. The ferries used to be the major link between the mainland and the southern part of the Nicoya peninsula. However, the construction of the Puente de Amistad now provides a reasonable vehicle route. For tourists, the ferry ride is a pleasant alternative to highway travel.

The Tambor 2 was removed from service Oct. 29, so ferry trips were reduced to eight a day. The División Marítima Portuaria del Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said that each of the Tambor ferries will offer six trips a day, beginning at 5 a.m. from Puntarenas Centro and 6 a.m. from Paquera on the peninsula.

Until Friday the last trip of the day will be at 5 p.m. But starting Friday and for the remainder of the high season a ferry will depart Puntarenas at 8:30 p.m. the last trip from Paquera will be at 8 p.m., said the ministry.

The seagoing ferries carry passenger cars and tractor trailers. bus passengers usually leave one vehicle in Puntarenas and board another upon landing.

The $7 million Tambor 3 went into service in 2011, and it can carry 160 vehicles and 850 passengers. The ferries are operated by Naviera Tambor S.A., which is associated with the Hotel Tambor which is south of Paquera.

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