Which road from San Jose area to Uvita?

Old May 22nd, 2011, 02:55 PM
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Which road from San Jose area to Uvita?

My husband and I are planning a trip at the end of June for 8 days. First day in San Jose or vicinity then off to Rancho Pacifico in Uvita for 7 nights. We will rent a car for the whole trip for flexibility/adventure. We get in at noon on the first day and trying to decide where to spend that first night. I thought Poas because it's close, looks nice, however, not on the way to Uvita.Even though from what I've read we won't be able to see volcano that first day I thought we could get a good look the next morning then get on the road. Does anyone have any suggestions for a different 1st night?
Also, which road would be the most scenic and/or fastest to get to Uvita?
Thanks!
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 03:37 AM
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mapcr.com

might head for hotelvillacaletas.com

beautiful on your way from $140/nt sidestep.com for me

backyardhotel.com nice also beachy not as spectacular

The coast road always prettier and safer than playing

tag mountain rain/fog with giant gas trucks

on the aptly named Cerro De La Muerte...

So go the coast road way nicer safer for me...
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 09:23 AM
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If your interesting in having a contrast to the ecosystems of the beaches, I would suggest taking Cerro De La Muerte to see the amazing ecosystem of the cloudforest. It is very very different from the beach ecosystem. Many of the roadside restaurants have lookout decks where you can enjoy the foggy view of plants and the abundance of birds.

You might even consider spending your first night in the very small and charming mountain town town of San Gerardo de Dota, there are several lodging choices here, and you can take an early morning walk looking for the resplendent quetzal.

This road is not as bad as qwovadis says, especially if you take your time and just enjoy it. I take it often from southern costa rica to San Jose on bus and enjoy the mountain scenery.

You might find this website helpful when looking at your roadtrip: http://www.yourtravelmap.com/

Pura Vida,
Ballardo
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Old May 27th, 2011, 01:21 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions. I hadn't heard of San Gerardo de Dota but it sounds really cool and different than the beach thing and on the way to Uvita. We can take the Pacific coast highway on the way back.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 10:15 AM
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Savegre Lodge one of my favorites if you are into birds book a tour with Marino Chacon. www.savegre.co.cr
Didn't participate but word has that the massages are excellent.
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Old Jun 1st, 2011, 12:02 PM
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The road through the mountains is longer, and you have to drive through downtown San Jose to get to it. I would take the coast road. We did it a week ago to go to Oxygen Jungle Villas, right next to Rancho Pacifico. It's an easy drive. Poas isn't on the way to the road to Uvita, it's about 45 minutes out of the way. If you want to go there, you might want to try Poas Volcano Lodge, which is totally revamped after the earthquake destroyed the original building. Otherwise, Vista del Valle, about 25 minutes from the airport, is pretty and relaxing, and has excellent food in it's outdoor restaurant overlooking a nature preserve.
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Old Jun 1st, 2011, 02:27 PM
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You do not have to drive thru downtown San Jose. You take the freeway and detour toward Cartago. Get better directions from someone in Costa Rica that won't send you thru downtown San Jose.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2011, 07:37 AM
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Mlgb,
How hard is it to get through the San Jose area, now? Is the signage good?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2011, 08:35 AM
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No the signage isn't good anywhere !!! There is a freeway with a bypass around the center of San Jose and then you take Interamericana Sur. But you need to know what look for on the turnoffs, don't expect good signage.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2011, 09:04 AM
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Hi again Shooie, the bypass road is called Circunvalacion (Rt 39) and the mountain road is called Interamericana Sur (Rt 2). NObody uses the route numbers, just the names.

When I was there in November, there was not a connector lane from 39 to 2 southboud. You needed to get off the freeway (there is a globe on a pole) and take a connecting road to rejoin 2. The maps are not correct, but Toucan maps is still pretty good. If I'm remembering correctly I needed to get off at Zapote to connect.

Maybe a local can give the detailed directions I tossed mine.

Here is the Toucan Map link for San Jose

http://www.mapcr.com/PDF/SanJoseMap.pdf

You may also want to keep handy this website for road conditions
http://www.transito.go.cr/estadorutas/index.html
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 06:16 AM
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Shooie:
How long did it take to get from San Jose to Oxygen?
It's hard to gauge actual drive times from online maps.
Thanks
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Old Nov 29th, 2011, 11:13 AM
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We are also going to be going from San Jose area to Uvita...I want to use the Pan-American Hwy thru the mountains. Our flight in is at 12:00 noon. Do you think we should chance driving up the mtn. the day we land or wait until morning? Can you recommend somewhere to stay that is south of SJ?
thank you
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Old Nov 29th, 2011, 11:52 AM
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There is lots of good advice here. We have driven the Cerro de la Muerte both ways a few times (including once with an infant) and highly recommend it. If you're not in a rush to get somewhere and want to see the diversity of ecosystems that CR has to offer, it's a great way to do that. We have stayed at El Toucanet in Copey a couple of times (bit more than halfway to Uvita) and can't say enough good things about it. The drive is not always easy but the views are exquisite. It takes a few hours if you don't get lost in San Jose (we always seem to). In terms of fog I think you'd be ok in the early afternoon - probably depends on the time of year you go though. We've never found the fog or trucks to be a major issue on that road, despite the name. You want to try to arrive before 6pm which is the sun goes down. If you go to El Toucanet ask Gary to set up the hot tub for you - a unique experience. And of course, take the Quetzel walk.
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Old Dec 6th, 2011, 11:49 AM
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we just got back from rancho pacifico. make sure you get an SUV with enough of an engine to get you up the very steep and rocky path (2km that lasts forever) to get up to the resort. It is a very difficult climb esp. if it is raining and it is very dangerous. The staff at RP make it seem like it's nothing but if you don't have the right car, it can be a nightmare and do NOT attempt to drive it at night. You need daylight to get there if you have never been there before. I know this doesn't help you on the route but having just returned from RP I wish someone would have told us what the road was going to be like to get there. Enjoy your trip.
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