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Driving the Nicoya Peninsula in August

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Jul 29th, 2013, 12:34 PM
  #1
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Driving the Nicoya Peninsula in August

Hello,

I will be in Costa Rica in a couple weeks, and for the second leg of my journey, I will be driving from Liberia to Mal Pais/Santa Teresa area to visit a friend of mine that lives there. I have reserved a Toyota 4Runner 4x4 for the trip, but have been a little more concerned lately about what the conditions will be like. I am, and have been told to expect rough, muddy roads, and possibly some river crossings?? I will be taking the HWY 21 through Santa Cruz and then onto Hwy160 through Cobano and onto Mal Pais. So my Questions are here...

1. Is this the best route to take for the best roads that can be had for this time of year?
2. Will the vehicle I have rented be adequate for this trip?
3. What extra equipment should I have in my vehicle for the conditions?
4. Am I really crazy to do this, alone, during the rainy season?
Dustinq is offline  
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Jul 30th, 2013, 04:54 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Although you are travelling in the rainy season, you will be visiting before the wettest months of September and October, when the rains can be very persistent and heavy. We tend to find that roads in these parts are usually manageable in August, though would always recommend you take up to date local advice as to the exact best routing. The Toyota you have hired should be an adequate vehicle, you'd definitely want to have a good phone, rain gear, and decent maps, directions (signage can be poor), possibly a GPS.

Travelling off-season can bring great rewards, so no, I wouldn't say you were crazy! As long as you go with a flexible and patient attitude, I'm sure you'll have a great time.

All the best for your trip,

Dave
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Aug 1st, 2013, 11:10 AM
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Check the tires when you get the 4X4. Sometimes the cars in CR are a bit worn. I have driven down the coast from Liberia to Playa Guiones.. the river crossings have been replaced by bridges and the road is paved to Pariso.. near Junquillal. The route you are taking should be fine. Take some food and water incase you get stuck.. have a cell phone that works in CR. WHen crossing rivers... GO SLOW... we had to help someone that drowned their engine thinking you go fast so as not to lose momentum... Keep moving forward, but slowly. You should be fine.. Have a wonderful trip... jealous!
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Aug 5th, 2013, 09:32 PM
  #4
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@PuraAventura Dave @Rnman

Thank You for the advise. The vehicle I have does have a GPS and I will have a working phone in case of emergencies. I will plan on getting good detailed maps once I'm there, and make sure the tires are in worthy condition. I am familiar with 4x4 driving and do believe in "Slow progress is better than no progress." Looking forward to an adventure! Thank you again for the words of advice and encouragement! Only 6 days away from "Launch"

Any Idea on the average travel time for this trip? Would 5-6 hours be a sound judgment?

Cheers!
Dustinq is offline  
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Aug 6th, 2013, 05:22 AM
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While it's hard to be too accurate, particularly in the rainier months, I would say that 5-6 hours would be estimating on the side of caution. If you're lucky, it could be a lot less!

Have a wonderful trip! And keep in touch with us when you're back!

Dave
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Sep 21st, 2013, 11:14 PM
  #6
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@PuraAdventure Dave @Rnman

WOW!! What an amazing trip that was!! By far THE best road trip I've done thus far. The advise that you gave me was spot on. I was glad to have a 4x4, the roads were muddy and washed out in some places... Partly because my return back, I pushed back a month because I fell in love with the place sooo much. That, and I almost didn't come back. But what a beautiful drive it was. The country side and the mountains are breathtaking, not to mention all the very friendly people I met along the way in little road side shops and villages. It took me 6 hours total, but I stopped for food and pictures all along the way... I probably could have made it in about 4 hours without the longer stops. I got some amazing shots, and am now in the process of compiling all the video I took on my GoPro of the drive. I will say that, it is a "Heads up" drive... With all the motorbikes, pedestrians/cyclist, and animals in the road, you MUST pay attention. But I will never forget my journey. Thank you soo much to the both of you, complete strangers, for providing me with such great words of encouragement and wisdom!!! I hope one day I can be of advise to you in return. All the best Mates!!

Cheers!
Dustin Q.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 08:12 PM
  #7
 
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Just a quick note for anyone else planning a similar trip - car insurance on a rental is void if you drive through a river, even when that river is part of the road - so choose your route with care! So glad to hear that your ride was so wonderful, Dustin!
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