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Hecti Jul 27th, 2007 07:02 AM

From Quepos to Monteverde, CR
From Quepos to Monteverde

How long does it take to drive from Quepos to Monteverde? I am wondering if I need a 4X4 or could a regular rental car make that trip. Do I need special driving skills for this trip? Is the road very bad or dangerous?

We would like to visit the Butterfly Garden and the Ecological Farm. I am considering the Hotel DeLucia Inn. Has anyone stayed there to give comments or suggest any other hotel in the area for two nights?

Thanks for your help.

roadadvisor Jul 27th, 2007 08:14 AM

Hi do not need a 4x4...but if you like to have that extra always nice...with a regular may hit some rocks...but drive slow...a few days of our VIP costumers...with some back problems...requested one of our Mercedez Benz vehicles...I drove the car there without a problem...

Skills?? Just common sense... any road...just keep your eyes open!!

From Quepos to Monteverde about 5 hours...maybe even less...

R.A Luis

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in paradise!!

Pat_Hewitt Jul 27th, 2007 10:29 AM

I'm sorry, but I must respectfully disagree.

We are in Monteverde several times a year, and have been going for almost twenty years. We would never consider going there without 4WD. It is not a situation where you are going to be stuck in the mud up to your axles. But it is a rugged road, and definitely bumpy. You need a 4X4 or van just for ground clearance. Once you get to the Santa Elena / Monteverde area, there are a few paved roads. But more often than not, the roads are potholed and bumpy.

We do occasionally pass "city" cars on the road, but they are usually driving extremely slow. I can't imagine how long it takes them to climb the mountain! These are usually the tourists that are wearing their beach clothes, and don't have a clue about the weather in Monteverde. Hey, you are going to the tropics. Who thinks about bringing a fleece to Costa Rica? :-) We always wonder who planned their trip.

We actually recommend a 4WD to all of our customers, even if their itinerary keeps them on paved roads. Once you reach your destination, you may want to explore. But when you leave the main roads, the conditions can deteriorate quickly. Also, if you run into a problem on the main road (bridge out, truck overturned, etc) the "detours" can be very creative. You will be glad that you have 4WD under you.

And no, you really don't need any special driving skills. Just good common sense.

Oh yes, one last word advice for those of you driving up to Monteverde. My wife suggests that the ladies wear sports bras. Something I guess us guys don't think about.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer more advice.

Warm Regards,
Pat Hewitt
(Travel professional)

roadadvisor Jul 28th, 2007 09:33 AM

In my many many years as a driver I have no idea how many times I drove to Monteverde...I drove 55 paxs buses, trucks, motorcycles, vans, 4 doors Mercedez, 4 doors Volvos, etc...and never ever had a problem...

I drove last month my personal car a Mercedez Benz convertible...with the worst clearence from the road...I hit some rocks...but I made it...if a car like that can make it...any car will...Monteverde is not the just a terrible road...

My first time there was 40 years ago...I drove a Toyota 4x4...almost the only vehicle to climb the hills...

If you do not trust your driving skills...or do not know anything about driving in Costa Rica...of course you NEED a 4x4...a good driver will make it up there with any kind of car...of course with a regular car has to be slow...but I guarantee you that I will go up there in regular car faster than some drivers with a 4x4...with bra or without bra!!

I have no idea how many thousands of people I drove in my life to Monteverde... I have no see many cars with mechanical problems on my way up or down!! In my last 38 years!!

Just to give you some idea...most of tour buses and vans are not 4x4...and in a daily basis I have no idea how many Toyota Hiace or Hiunday vans go up and down there!!

Some americans drivers are not qualify to drive in our roads...or they try to make every thing so maybe you hire them...for me as a costarican I can tell and share with you what I learn from my granparents and my parents...not what I learned in twenty years!!

When I see those big horrible abusive itineraries I always wonder who plan that ripp off vacation!!

Just rent the car you feel good with...use some common sense...and enjoy the country.

In Costa Rica not every body owns a 4x4...


Pat_Hewitt Jul 28th, 2007 12:45 PM

Like I said I "respectfully" disagree. I didn't intend to create an issue. I was just expressing an opinion, not seeking conflict.

You are correct, I have only been going for twenty years and planning itineraries for North Americans for almost as long. I don't have your vast lifetime of experience as a driver.

I also said "But it is a rugged road, and definitely bumpy. You need a 4X4 or van just for ground clearance", and you agreed that it is a "terrible road." All of the tour companies drive vans with good ground clearance. If you are not driving a van, than a 4WD is recommended.

Or course, any car can get up the mountain. A "city" car is going to have to take it much slower. This could add hours to an already long drive. So a 4WD vehicle is a good idea. I welcome anyone else that has made this drive to weigh in with their opinion.

I don't think getting a 4WD is a "rip off". In most cases, a 4WD is only a few dollars more per day. Not a huge expense when you consider the inherent expense of an International trip.

Sorry if I ruffled any feathers.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer more advice.

Warm Regards,
Pat Hewitt
(Travel Professional)

Suzie2 Jul 28th, 2007 01:43 PM

Roadadvisor you must have a lot of ff miles from flying back and forth from Boston where you were living to do the driving in CR.

I wholeheartedly agree with Pat. We were just up there a few weeks ago. I was with a group of students learning Dendrology from Dr Jimenez of Monteverde. We were in a large van and we had to stop because we kept bottoming out. Fortunately the fellow who owns Villa Verde and the concession at Monteverde came by and took a few of us in his car the rest of the way so the van could make it up. The van wasn't even that full as we were 10 people in a van that could have held a few other people. The road even seemed pretty good compared to times I had traveled up there previously. I'm sure a regular car could make it up but it wouldn't be any fun doing it and I would hate to look under it when I was done.

roadadvisor Jul 28th, 2007 02:41 PM

Well some people really get hurt when I express my costarican opinion... driving for me is a great hobbie...and of course I make money out of I did as a profesional travel agent and a flight attendant... I rather be a driver in my country than working at the edge of the law like some people in my country!!
Well I did a lot of miles in my life...considering that Pan Am was the largest airline in the least I answer travel questions to people visiting my country...not writing about my farm and my chickens like some people in this forum...I have no idea why when people buy a cheap lot in nowhere in Costa Rica they become overnight experts and tropical house builders!!

Of course I have thousands of miles...flying around the world!!

I started visiting places in my country when I was as early as 5 years old with my father and grandfather , just for information, was the founder of the public transportation in Costa Rica. I use to travel all over with him..and then with my father and now in my own..while I was in USA working as a flight attendant and then later as a professional travel agent...I was in contact and driving many of our costumers..legally...since I am Costarican...not like many others... I just spend my time driving people or just staying at my farm!!

Sorry if I hurt some experts...give me a break!!

roadadvisor Jul 28th, 2007 04:41 PM

The road to Monteverde is a highway now...if we take in consideration how it was 40 years ago... my father tough me to respect those hills...and I still have a lot of respect for them...when I read that some American drivers are driving vans full of innocent tourist I always wonder how many years they have been holding the C2 driver license...just for information ...any body in Costa Rica driving a van with a capacity of up to 14 paxs...need and most have a C2 driver license...that is the one to drive commercial buses/public transportation...some irresponsable people will drive vans without that license!! I read here all the time about professional travel agents driving vans in Costa Rica I always wonder if they are qualify to do that..?? in my case any time any body ask for my legal status as a driver I can proudly show my C2 issued on March five...1976!! 30 years legal experience driving vans, buses, etc.

Next time ask your costarican professional driver to show the C2!!

Note: some mini vans hold private plates ...with that plate a C-2 is not require ...any van with a B on the plate require a C2...but for me is not the B on the plate is the responsability to drive with all the papers in order!! To break a mini van full of people going down hill is not like breaking with a regular car...

tully Jul 29th, 2007 05:06 AM

It would be nice if posters here can offer differing opinions without being personally attacked, it is petty & childish.

roadadvisor Jul 29th, 2007 08:19 AM

I totally agree with getting old reading that lady suzie2 attacking everybody...In my case I just answer the attacks...hard to deal with people with enormous egos and limited knowledge of my country!!


tully Jul 29th, 2007 08:34 AM

Was not referring to Suzie.

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