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DIRECTIONS & GOOGLE MAP LINK
On your first night, your hotel should be easy to find. Pura Vida Hotel is about 4 Kilometers from the International airport. Click here for a GOOGLE MAP from SJO area to the Pura Vida Hotel from the airport to the Pura Vida Hotel. Note that Google has no idea of distances in a country with no road names and few directions (see notes below on GOOGLE maps) . . .
OK so we don't really have addresses or mail here but some people insist so this might be it . . . for an address in Spanish that works locally see below "ARRIVALS BY TAXI":
Pura Vida Hotel, PO Box 1703-4050 Tuetal de Alajuela, Costa Rica
Phone: 506-2430-2630 or 506-2430-2630
ARRIVALS FROM (SJO) INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT:
We have A FREE AIRPORT PICKUP for International arrivals. For local SANSA or Nature Air flight arrivals you should find your own taxi - the SANSA terminal is 10 minutes from the hotel and Nature Air in Pavas is about 40 minutes.
IF YOU NEED A FREE TAXI FROM THE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Let us know your flight details ahead of your trip. As you exit customs you will pass through glass doors to the open air. TURN LEFT. 20 feet to the left of the exit will be a taxi/ticket booth. Ask them for a taxi to Pura Vida Hotel in Tuetal (there is more than one Pura Vida - give the airport taxi service our phone number - 2430-2929 if they are not certain). Tell them "HOTEL PAYS" - do not agree to pay the taxi driver. We will reimburse your taxi fare on arrival with the licensed ORANGE airport taxi (do not be distracted by unlicensed taxis or porters directing you to pirate taxis).
**Editor notes: this info works for 99.95% of our guests . . . we shall be discreetly quiet about the remaining 0.05% who arrive lost and grumpy and need a bottle of our excellent Chilean Sirah to recover their composition. Also, after a grueling flight, should you inadvertently stumble into a pirate taxi in the airport confusion and the driver claims your hotel was burned to the ground and he has a better option for the night, it is most likely not true as nearly nothing burns in the neo-tropics.
NOTE: we do not advise renting a car at night - if you are renting ask the car company to deliver to the hotel the next morning - if you need help with car rentals email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
ARRIVALS BY TAXI OR TOURIST VAN:
Say the following in the best Spanish accent you can muster "1500 metros al norte de la fabrica Punto Rojo en Alajuela, al cruce de la carretera de Tuetal Norte y Tuetal Sur en el Hotel Pura Vida." If you hate speaking in tongues, hand the taxi driver this page and point HERE.
ARRIVALS BY RENTACAR
If arriving from the west coast - point your vehicle at the International airport, follow the sign right after the airport exit which says "Alajuela 2 KM". NOTE : this is not the exit next to the Holiday Inn/car rental - it is 1km west of there.
Drive straight through the middle of Alajuela going NORTH (and the 1 way section of town), past the Juan Santamaria square, past the Cathedral square (can't miss it, it's the one with a Cathedral). If you find a blockage maneuver around it by counting streets till you get back on the correct road going North (blockages in town are somewhat common events). Continue past the court house (where the road becomes 2 way again). 200 meters past the court house, turn left at "Ruta de las Hortensias" concrete sign on left and immediately bear right up the hill. Drive 1km to the hotel.
NOTE: for back seat drivers or male drivers who refuse to ask for directions: If you are still going in circles after doing this for 20 minutes, stop the first red taxi you find and ask them to lead you to the Pura Vida in TUETAL - it will cost maybe $4, will minimize nagging and is certain to optimize good vibes in the confines of a rentacar.
MAP FROM PURA VIDA TO HWY27 and vice versa
This is the most likely way you will get to or from the Pacific Coast. This map is accurate from Pura Vida to HWY 27 but not so much the other way around.
ARRIVALS BY INTERPLANETARY TRANSPORT & GPS ADDRESS
Beam your astral navigator to Alajuela, (about 25 KM from San Jose, close to the International Airport) - set your GPS to 10 01 50" N and 84 13' 33" W - you can land your ship near the old Avocado tree, just south of the star fruit tree. Two notes: please do not alarm the guests with a noisy landing and remember Costa Rica is a peaceful country so leave your star weapons and galactic googleblasters on board.
STREET NAMES & ROAD SIGNS & BEING LOST
One of the great charms of Costa Rica, no doubt supported by low local taxes, are a significant lack of street names, road signs etc. And true, our street has no name and we get no mail to almost anywhere in Costa Rica. GOT LOST? Hail a red cab and show them this page - you are probably very close.
A NOTE ABOUT GOOGLE MAPS
The GOOGLE map to the hotel contains a charming mapping anomaly . . . the purple line that purportedly shows how you might drive to the hotel would require a vehicle something like this. This also explains why the purple GOOGLE road takes twice as long as my directions/map above. Fording rivers, cutting across highways and plowing through buildings just takes longer. Did you hear about the dispute between Niacaragua and Costa Rica? Nicaragua stole an island and claimed that's what the Google map said. Same thing - the Google map problem in a country with few road signs and no road names. I love the neo-tropics :-)