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CR expert/local? I need detailed driving directions from airport to highway

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Hi all,
We're about to take our 5th trip to Costa Rica. We'll be arriving around noon, and then driving to Uvita. I'm hoping to arrive before dark, but it all depends on me being able to not get lost getting from the rental car place to the correct highway. Which, in all of our trips, I have never managed to do, not even with a GPS (which told us to take a left onto the highway, when there wasn't a road there (the highway was above us). In our experience, the rental car place has never been able to convey these instructions to us with the detail necessary.

Anyway, I am seeking detailed current instructions on how to get from the airport road to the highway that goes to Manual Antonio. I know it's not hard, but for some reason, we always mess up something, and we end up setting our trip back an hour, which this time, we can't afford.


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    It's still unmarked, but not difficult. Leaving the airport take the Interamerican highway north (CR1, towards Liberia). About 8-12 minutes in you'll pass a large duty free zone and Dos Pinos (milk products) factory, on your left. Just after the Dos Pinos factory, you'll pass under a small bridge. Exit immediately after this bridge (to the right) and follow the exit loop around so that you cross this bridge. Just over the bridge is a traffic circle of sorts. Down and to your right leads to the Riteve car inspection facility. Head basically straight. This will put you on a brand new, short connecting road that will lead you to the new Caldera Highway (CR27).

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    Here are detailed driving directions we send to our guests for trip from airport to Dominical. Uvita is about 10 more Km from entrance to San Martin Sur. If your GPS contradicts our directions... go with our directions. A GPS is not always that helpful in areas where there are no land marks, signs, or coordinates. Enjoy your time in Costa Rica.¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬DIRECTIONS
    Note: Km. reading may not be exact, but very close. It is best to not be driving in the dark, so leave as early as you can since road lighting and signage are not what you are used to. PLEASE CALL US FROM RENTAL CAR OFFICE ONCE YOU ARE READY TO GET ON THE ROAD SO WE CAN HAVE AN IDEA OF WHEN YOU WILL ARRIVE AT SFTS. No charge for this, as all calls in Costa Rica are local calls. Our number is: 2787-8262
    “CEDA” on a triangular sign on post or road means “Yield”

    Leaving the Hampton Inn, Fiesta Casino Shopping Center parking lot where most car rental agencies (Solid, Toyota) are located== Holiday Inn on the left and Denny's on the right, TURN RIGHT onto the access road and then an IMMEDIATE LEFT to the traffic light at General Canas Highway (Hwy 1.) Turn RIGHT at the light passing airport on your left Don’t take the exit for the airport. Stay in left lane toward San Ramon. Do not go off to right toward Alajuela. Set your trip odometer to "0." That will make all of the following distances fairly accurate. There may some road construction, so traffic could be backed up and slow. As of Sept. 14, you have to get off Hwy. 1 to the right at an Ursa gas station. It is 2 narrow asphalt lanes going in one direction with Hwy. 1 on your left. At some point it goes to 1 lane.

    If on the right road, after 2.25 kilometers you will pass high tension electrical installation station (ICE) on the right. Near Hotel Aeropuerto sign, you go back on Hwy. 1, but it may still be under construction.
    At 6.1 kilometers, on the left you will see Lanco Paint factory & Dos Pinos plant At 7 kilometers where you see a pair of bridges spanning the highway (one bridge is concrete, the other is a steel truss bridge) turn right off the road (there is a small sign for Revision Technica Vehicular) onto a ramp that circles to the right and puts you on the concrete bridge. Cross over Hwy 1 below you and continue straight for about 3-4 kilometers on a brand new road. The road is limited access: there is only one interchange before you get to the Autopista Del Sol (Rte. 27), a limited access toll road that you will follow through the coastal mountains. Follow signs to Orotina/San Jose
    • Nearing Route 27, you will come to a stop sign. Follow the ( semi) temporary green rotary and bear off to right following sign for Orotina/ Atenas
    Pay 1st toll of 360 colones. They will take $1 and give you change in colones. This is a major Hwy with passing lanes at times.

    Stay on this road toward Orotina/Caldera. Next toll booth is 600 colones

    Stay on 27 toward Tarcoles/Caldera

    Stay in center/right lane approaching 3rd & last toll. 450 colones

    .Take Jaco/Tarcoles exit about 200 yards to right after paying toll.

    BEAR AROUND to RIGHT and follow signs to Jaco and Quepos. (cloverleaf type exit UNDER the highway.) There will be a (rotary, roundabout) where you will proceed around and then straight through on to the other side. DO NOT TAKE immediate right toward Puntarenas and Caldera. If on the right road, (Hwy. 34), you will see a Coca Cola sign and signs to Quepos, Tarcoles and Jaco on your right.¬¬

    At 67.7 km. you will see Restaurant Eco Crocodrilo just before a bridge over the Tarcoles River. There is now a restaurant on the right side, Nambi. I saw several Scarlet Macaws (Lapas in Spanish) fly overhead while there. Clean bathrooms too!! There are lots of big crocodiles on the banks of the river. It is best to drive over bridge to far side to stop and walk back to bridge to see crocodiles. Be sure to keep an eye on your car as thieves do prey on tourists.

    A few kilometers later you will get your first view of the Pacific Ocean on the right.

    You will see an AutoMercado Supermarket on the right in Herradura Plaza on the way to Los Suenos Marriott Resort. Stop if you wish, but we have 3 smaller markets (local) in Uvita/Dominical area. There are nice public restrooms in this shopping center. Someone watch the car with luggage inside...

    You will see several turnoffs on the right toward Jaco. If you DO stop to eat, keep you car in sight at all times

    You will pass through busy downtown Parrita. .

    At 157.6 km, you will come to a “Y” in the road. You will see a sign with Quepos, Manuel Antonio bearing off to the right and with Dominical off to the left or straight—go toward Dominical. Maxi-Pali on your left (mini-Wal-Mart)
    Next, you will pass a hospital on your left. STAY IN RIGHT LANE, AS LEFT IS A TURNING LANE. NEXT YOU PASS QUEPOS AIRPORT ON LEFT.
    At this point you are about 25 minutes from Dominical and 35 minutes from Shelter From the Storm.

    You may notice Hacienda Baru SIGN on your right and then a gas station. Two and a half kilometers later you will see a police check point on your left , just before you cross over the Baru River. They will not stop you.
    From that bridge, you are about 7 km from Shelter From the Storm. You do not go through the town of Dominical. It is off to your right after you cross the bridge.

    Just after you pass km marker 151 on the right, slow down, because in about 200 meters, you will see a BUS STOP on your LEFT. That is at the entrance to San Martin Sur. The rust colored bus stop has a wooden fish carved on front and a ceramic fish on the far side. We do NOT have a sign on Hwy. 34 (the main road, also known as Costanera.)

    TURN LEFT, stop, shift into 4WD and proceed up the hill for 500 meters until you see PINK COLUMNS ON YOUR LEFT where our 1st Shelter from the Storm sign is located. TURN LEFT.

    Follow that road up around to the right (this could be the worst part of the road due to people who do not use 4WD.) Stay to the right of the next SFTS sign (30 meters) and even though you cannot see past the hood of your car; believe me, there is a road there. Follow the bend in the road to the left (watch for oncoming cars) and you will be headed downhill passing our neighbor’s green gate on your left and then onto our paved drive. Welcome, Bienvenidos to SFTS. Our house is the first one on the left and Monkey House is on the right. For Monkey House parking:
    Pull left into our driveway and back up to the doors underneath the Monkey House, so you will have a straight shot driving up and out later.
    For La Cuesta and Las Rocas: Continue down driveway to the covered parking garage on your left, passing the Rancho/Pool area on your left and Villa La Cuesta on your right. If you are staying in Villa La Cuesta, you might want to stop outside of the entrance to La Cuesta, put the brakes on with driver in car and let others take luggage into La Cuesta, rather than carrying them uphill from the parking lot. La Cuesta means slope in Spanish.
    The steps down to Villa Las Rocas are between the pool area and the parking garage--to your left if you are facing the parking garage. Follow steps down and around to Las Rocas Arriba (upstairs unit) and then down to the left to bottom for Las Rocas ABAJO (lower unit)
    You walk up the driveway from the parking lot ¬to get to La Cuesta. Be careful walking on tiles if they or your shoes are wet. Keys will be in the door if we are not here. Doors may also be open to take advantage of the breezes.
    Welcome to Shelter from the Storm. Come in, relax, and please read the Information Book.

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