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Driving conditions in CR -- are they really that bad??

Driving conditions in CR -- are they really that bad??

Old Aug 11th, 2002, 06:37 AM
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Driving conditions in CR -- are they really that bad??

My fiance and I are going to CR at the end of April through early May. We are driving from San Jose to Arenal, and from Arenal to Tamarindo. I have read about roads that wash out, terrible driving conditions, etc. Can someone tell us what to expect driving to/from the locations I mentioned above, in the season we are going? Thanks!!
Old Aug 11th, 2002, 12:37 PM
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Hi Kam:
You shouldn't have any trouble at this time of year. Roads can be rough during the green season but they should be dry in April. Just watch for potholes, speed traps and take your time. Drive during the day and don't leave anything in your car when you are not in it. The car rental companies supply maps and directions.
Good Luck!
Old Aug 11th, 2002, 05:28 PM
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Kam: Are you the one who lives in the SF Bay Area? Our likes and dislikes seem to be similar--if you want, you can email me at the above address and I can chat with you in more detail about our recent Costa Rica trip.
Old Aug 14th, 2002, 08:29 AM
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Kam is correct, the roads are not that bad, always passable but by our standards there are many potholes. Just take it slow, don't be in a hurry. The distances involved seem short but it just takes longer to drive them. The only really bad roads I have seen are around Lake Arenal and between Quepos and Dominical. But even these we were able to make in a regular sedan, not 4WD. Just very slow!
Old Aug 18th, 2002, 11:45 AM
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drove over 2,000km last march from liberia to arenal via back road through Tilaran into the hills above SanJose. From there i drove overCartago Mountain area and down to pacific coast at Dominical. Up to Punttarenas accross via ferry to Nicoya and down to Nosara on Osa Peninsula then back to Liberia over two weeks. Some gravel sections but they are putting a lot of money into roads. They are poor drivers. Lots of road side crosses. Not cheap to rent.
Old Aug 19th, 2002, 07:49 AM
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Agree with all previous posters. Roads are generally poor by US standards but if you take it slow and easy you should have no problems. We did the drive from SJ to Arenal and then to Tamarindo in August of last year.
The roads have potholes, are narrow and winding (especially in mountain areas around Arenal), you'll have some sections with no pavement. We had a 4x4 last year and we liked it for extra clearance and height you get. It was really not necessary otherwise. The signage was poor most of the time but one helpful hint is to look out for and go by hotel signs which quite often tell you the direction where to turn and the distance or at least confirm that you are on the right road (don't only look for the hotel where you are staying but check your guidebook for other hotels in the town you're going to or through and familiarize yourself with their names; we found the hotel signs helpful on many occassions).
Don't drive after dark (6pm), don't leave valuables in the car.
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