Driving from Quepos to Tamarindo

Old Apr 18th, 2007, 08:16 PM
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Driving from Quepos to Tamarindo

Planning a Costa Rica honeymoon in June.... Any advice for us regarding travel from Tulemar in Quepos to El Jardin in Tamarindo?? We are going to have a rental car and have gotten mixed messages as far as whether or not it is a good idea to drive under the road conditions. Any directions would help as well. We are up for an adventure, but safety is, of course, a factor.
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Old Apr 19th, 2007, 02:24 AM
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guilpierre
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hi,
i am a Frecnh expat.and i am guide for VIP in this country since several yeras now.
firstable i wish the best for you and your future lady.

-via ferry at Puntarenas:around 5hours
but this depend the way you drive and if you got the ferry at et the moment you arrived in Puntarenas.

-by the bridge alsmot the same time.i'll recomened you to take the ferry is more fun.

i hope this post will help you
for more question (hotel,rent car,tour etc)just ask :[email protected]
best regards
PSorry for my spelling.i am not writting very often in englsih.
 
Old Apr 19th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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The ferry should not be a part of this route. And you can certainly manage the roads.

You drive north out of Quepos on Highway 34 to Puntarenas. Continue on north, following signs to Liberia. At the junction to Highway 18 (there is a nice restaurant/rest stop on the right and a huge gasolinera on the left). Turn left onto Highway 18, cross the Friendship Bridge, (you'll be on H. 18 about an hour or a little longer). Then turn right (north) on Highway 21 to Nicoya, Santa Cruz, following signs to Tamarindo. I wouldn't take the Tamarindo sign that you'll see near Santa Cruz, but continue on up to Belen and follow signs from there through Huacas. At this junction, there will be all kinds of beach location signs, such as Playa Flamingo, etc. May be a little further this route, but the Santa Cruz route is a rougher road, I believe, closer to the coast. In Huacas, you'll turn left and it's about 15 min or 20 on into Tamarindo. Have fun!

The drive will be about 4-5 hours.
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Old Apr 19th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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With all due respect to the previous poster, you COULD take the ferry (it's a nice ride), but then you have to drive up the east coast of the Nicoya Peninsula and that road is extremely rutted and rough--and dirt. There's no need. I believe it would take you closer to 6 hours that route.
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Old Apr 19th, 2007, 06:45 AM
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LOL! I just can't seem to get all my thoughts into one post. . .

Also, you'd have to adjust your timing for the ferry departure and lose time while queue-ing up and waiting in line with the other cars.

And, by the way, CONGRATULATIONS AND HAPPY HONEYMOONING! Great location!
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Old Apr 19th, 2007, 08:15 AM
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Take Shillmac's advice, it is an easy trip. Decent roads for about 90% of the way and about 5 hours. We did the same trip 4 years ago and I have heart that the roads have gotten even better since. When we travel in CR, we normally get a map, and follow the road from town to town along the way. They don't always mark the road names and numbers, but do give arrows pointing to the next town. So we just connect the dots, town by town. Hope that helps. Congrats.
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Old Apr 19th, 2007, 01:13 PM
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I agree the roads aren't that bad, and like ewesthoff says "connecting the dots" on the drive is a lot of fun!

By the way, Tulemar is a GREAT spot for a honeymoon...I should know, my wife & I spent ours there!
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Old Apr 19th, 2007, 06:39 PM
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Thanks for all the advice. If you have anymore tips/suggestions for our trip, please let us know...It will be our first visit to CR and we would love some insight as to what we should NOT miss out on. Suggestions on where to eat would be great, as well.
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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 02:40 PM
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I think you will like El Jardin del Eden in Tamarindo. We stayed there last August. While it is not directly on the beach, your balcony will have a view, since the hotel sits up on a hill. To get to the main street of town and the beach there is a private, gated walk from the hotel straight there.

The open air restaurant is lovely and we enjoyed the food. The breakfast buffet was ample, with lots of fruit. The restaurant has a pool with a swim-up bar and there is a larger pool next to that.

Yes, I have a place for you to eat. We would never have found it, but we were visiting our daughter who lives and works in Costa Rica. It is in the Hotel Bula Bula, which you get to by water taxi on the estuary. The restaurant is called "The Great Waltini's". I gather you can get here by road, but my daughter said it is a long way around, and everybody uses the water taxi. This has some kind of arrangement with the hotel, so I guess they made reservations and the boatman was waiting for us. It seems as if it is in the middle of nowhere.

The restaurant is open air and quite lovely, as are the grounds of the hotel. The food was excellent and the staff friendly and fun. The hotel has 10 small but beautifully decorated rooms - all around the pool. The manager took us on a tour. They evidently do a lot of weddings here. www.hotelbulabula.com.

I don't believe we paid a fare for the water taxi, just a tip.

I agree that you want to take the bridge route from Quepos. We drove from Tamarindo to Arenal and the bad roads are near Tamarindo Use Shillmac's directions.

Do have a 4-wheel drive, check the spare tire before you leave and make sure there is a working jack.

When driving and you run into the ubiquitous potholes, just slow down and slalom through them, even if it means you cross the road occasionally. One thing to watch out for...traffic police. The like to park on the other side of a hill to catch you exceeding the speed limit. So don't. They will tell you that it will be very inconvenient for you to go to (place name) to pay your fine, but they will be happy to take it for you. The amount of the fine will depend upon how much money you appear to have on you.

Our daughter was talking to us and not paying attention and she got caught on one of the lonely roads leading away from Tamarindo. She is fluent in Spanish, which helps a little, but while she was looking for her driver's license in her purse she grabbed some bills and slipped them to me. Then when the policeman told her how much the fine would be she showed them that she only had "this much money" in her purse. He took it.

We got an excellent waterproof road map from Toucan Guides...I believe we ordered it from mapscr.com. The site also has downloadable and printed color road maps, by area, but you should really have the big one. It costs $9.95 and worth every penny.

Best wishes for a wonderful honeymoon.

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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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Make sure to eat at Cantina Salsipuedes at least once while in Manuel Antonio...it's located right next door to Tulemar, great little tapas place, very friendly owners.

There's also an ATM that dispenses colones or US dollars about 100 yards from the Tuleamr entrance, so don't bother bringing a ton of cash with you as long as you have an ATM card.
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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 08:24 PM
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jtrandolph, thanks for the mention of Hotel Bula Bula. We've reserved a couple of nights there this summer and I'm so glad to hear about the excellent restaurant from several people.

By the way, on another subject (sort of), anyone who is interested might want to check out www.greatturtlerace.com

11 turtles have just left Playa Grande, tagged, and they are heading to the Galapagos. My class and I have been tracking their progress and having a great time doing it. Last check my turtle was in 3rd place! Woo Woo!

It's been a fun sight to learn more about this highly endangered species and their Playa Grande nesting ground.

Yes, the roads near Tam. are atrocious, at least they were last summer. You'd think. . .well, you'd think. Lots of money going into that area.

A few years back, they weren't so bad at all.
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Old Apr 21st, 2007, 08:47 AM
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We just love the country and visit often. Thinking of retirement there. You will hear all of the "terrible road" stories and they are all true. So what? Don't get in a hurry or you will be like a tourist! LOL. Enjoy the ride and remember the advice...."If you think you've gone to far, keep going!" Worst thing that can happen is you see new exciting things and turn around to go back!!! Congrats on the ties that bind......
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