Driving Times and Migrating Creatures

Times are hugely approximate depending on weather, migrating animals and drivers who randomly stop to say "Pura Vida" to friends. We are told that there are rules of the road but nobody seems to know what they are. So "why does it take so much time to get anywhere?". And we might pose a second question which is "why is that a good thing?". It is true that the "go slow" initiative in Monteverde deliberately does not repair the roads up where the cloud forest lives. The assumption is that since everyone who comes to Costa Rica stops up there anyway why make good roads that make it any easier. Good roads will lead to fast cars, more bad driving, frightened school kids walking home in the afternoon and so on. What is the point?

There is a lovely road that leads from the hotel out the La Garita road with Costa Ricas finest viveros (plant nurseries) along past the coffee plantations on a windy road with little pulperias every few kilometers. The road continues right through Grecia by the big church and on up an up to Sarchi towns (both of them) with the colorful painted bridges and the beautiful ox carts in town. Many people don't go much further but if they did they'd be rewarded with a continuation of the picturesque road all the way to Zarcero and the delightful topiaries in the main church square. Now alternately they could make a huge road bypass all of that? Let's hope we never really fix the roads, eh?

Some Important Driving Tips:

  • Ask directions frequently if in doubt (pointing & English do work)
  • There is radar - slow down for signs that say 60 or 40 - there could be radar or children or both and the fines are huge
  • Use your horn regularly to warn (everybody does, and it is important)
  • Keep your speed down (especially on rural roads)
  • Park your car where it will be watched (pay 300 colones)
  • Never ever leave anything of value in your car
  • Gas stations are not always round the bend - keep your tank topped up
  • Be particularly wary at night (for pedestrians and livestock) - actually do not drive at night if you want your passengers to stay sane
  • Treat mountain roads with extra caution (fog, floods, and landslides)
  • Watch out for branches or boulders at the roadside - a broken-down car is ahead
  • Slow down when you see signs for speed bumps (ram your brakes on when you miss the sign)
  • Give everyone else on the road plenty of room

... Enjoy your stay by driving carefully.

Driving Times From Here to There

Yes... you can drive to this village too...

Atenas 1 Hour
Cahuita 4 Hours
Cartago 1 Hr 10 Min
Golfito 9 Hours
Grecia 30 Mins
Heredia 25 Mins
Jaco 2 Hours
Liberia 3 Hr 30 Min
Limon 3 Hr 30 Min
Monteverde 3 Hr 30 Min
Nicoya (via Liberia) 4 Hours
Nosara/Samara
(via Tempisque)
6 Hours
Playas del Coco 4 Hours
Puntarenas 1 Hr 30 Min
Quepos/ManuelAntonio 3 Hr 30 Min
Tamarindo 4 Hours
Volcan Irazu 2 Hr 30 Min
Volcan Poas 1 Hour

© 2009- The Pura Vida Hotel, Alajuela, Costa Rica · Minutes from the SJO International Airport
Phone: +506-2430-2929 · Emergency: +506-8878-3899 · Email: info@puravidahotel.com · CONTACT US