Costa Rica's new Pacific highway

Jan 21st, 2010, 10:29 AM
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Costa Rica's new Pacific highway

It was 35 years on the drawing board, but Costa Rica's new four-lane highway between San Jose and the Pacific coast will be inaugurated next Wednesday. The highway that heads west to Escazu will finally continue on for its planned 77 km (45 mi) to the port of Caldera, near Puntarenas. It'll put destinations like Jaco and Manuel Antonio closer and quicker than ever before.

It'll also be new way to get to Guanacaste. You'll now be able to get to Puntarenas in about an hour, and from there can zip up to the Pan-American Highway and continue north. That would eliminate that long, dreary stretch through the mountains between San Ramon and Puntarenas where you sometimes creep along if you get behind big trucks. The new highway will have three toll plazas, so maybe the big trucks heading north will still take the old route to avoid the tolls. Who knows?

Some cynics are saying the government rushed to complete the highway before the Feb. 7 presidential election so that it would look good for the ruling party's candidate. I think 35 years is hardly a rush.

This is exciting.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 12:47 PM
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Wow, good news!
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 01:50 PM
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Great post Jeff! Thanx but I'm really going to miss Alida's in Atenas. We actually scheduled our drs. appts. in SJ in accordance with their hours of operation Lisa
Latitude9Lisa is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 02:11 PM
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Lisa,

There is an entrance/exit right in Atenas. Easy off and on.
jbella is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 02:26 PM
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Cool thanks for posting Jeff...
qwovadis is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 03:21 PM
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Woo Hoo! This is exciting, looking forward to trying it out. Thanks, Jeff!
shillmac is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2010, 07:43 AM
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Wow!! Thanks for this, Jeff! Awesome!
Continental_Drifter is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2010, 09:55 AM
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The total toll to drive the whole length of the highway will be 2,000 colones (just under $4).
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2010, 03:38 AM
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jbella: Thanks! Good to know! After driving the Aquacate for so many years, I'm having a difficult time visualizing all this "modernization"!
Latitude9Lisa is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2010, 05:07 AM
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Can you please tellme how long it will take now to drive from Liberia to Quepos? Easy directionsif you can!!! Thanks!
DEAN45 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2010, 09:14 AM
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Liberia to Quepos won't take you on the new highway, so it shouldn't change. You would still drive from Liberia, cut off at the interchange for Puntarenas and Caldera, and then continue on through Jaco to Quepos.

What will change is that Liberia-San Jose and v.v. can now be quicker. Once you get to Caldera, you can zip right on into San Jose on the new highway in less than an hour.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Jan 24th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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There's a big photo of a section of the highway on the front page of today's La Nacion newspaper. It shows three lanes, not four. It's two lanes in one direction on an ascent, and one on the descent. I guess it's not four lanes the entire way. It still looks very nice, and it will still get you to the coast in an hour.

The article also says that they expect heavy traffic on the highway the first couple of weeks as people check it out. Once the initial curiosity wears off (and people realize it will cost them 2,000 colones to drive one way), it will be manageable. They also expect a lot of people will continue to drive the old route to not have to pay the tolls.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Jan 24th, 2010, 08:24 PM
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Thanks Jeff!

Will this help me speed up my times on any of these drives?

1. SJ to Arenal

2. Arenal to Quepos

3. Quepos to SJ

Thanks!
fonis90 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2010, 09:28 PM
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1. No. The new highway would take you way out of the way.

2. Yes. When you get to San Ramon, take the Pan-American Highway toward San Jose and take the Atenas exit, just as you always have when making that trip. Atenas also has its own exit on the new highway.

3. Yes. Quepos to Jaco, then swing north to the new highway and head due east to San Jose.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 09:02 AM
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I'm going to Manual Antonio in three weeks. I wasn't going to get a car because I didn't want to drive 3 1/2 to 4 hours from San Jose to MA. Would this new route shorten that trip and if so by how much. thanks.
caldud is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 09:41 AM
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It should cut the trip down to anout 2+1/2 hours or slightly less. For me, the attraction is that the road is a lot better and a lot safer.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 01:24 PM
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We're leaving tomorrow for SJ from MA. What is the highway # and is it clearly marked? I don't recall anything resembling a 4-lane highway on the way from Arenal to MA thru Jaco when we came through on the 26th?
Statefan is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 02:11 PM
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It's Highway 27. It's not four lanes all the way, only in sections. It opened on the Jan. 27.

Go Manuel Antonio to Jaco to Orotina. That's where you'll hit the highway. Take it east to San Jose.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 05:00 PM
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Thanks Jeff! I've got 3 maps and each of them has different #s for various highways and, of course, road signage is limited.
Statefan is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 05:24 PM
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Jeff,
I've never been to CR but I'm in the process of planning a trip in May of this year.

It sounds like this new highway might improve the drive from Monteverde to San Jose. Is that correct, and if so what is the estimated trip time for that route?
Deb15July is offline  

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