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Montezuma to Samara in January with car

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Lincoln, Nebraska
posts: 15
reviews: 2
Montezuma to Samara in January with car

We have the first part of our trip booked. We are going to Arenal and then Montezuma. We would very much like to head over to Samara but are not sure whether a regular car would make it going the paquera to naranjo route through Nicoya. We are only going to be able to stay 2 nights in Samara so I would hate to have a 6 hour treacherous drive. Any advice would be great

Vancouver, BC
posts: 516
reviews: 8
1. Re: Montezuma to Samara in January with car

Hey Lincoln,

We too are heading from Arenal to Montezuma and then Samara and wondered what route we'd be able to take from Montezuma to Samara. I've heard that Dec/Jan it is usually ok to take the coastal route but that the best thing to do is ask when you're wanting to leave for the updated road/river conditions.

Are you driving also from Arenal to Montezuma? We will be and figured it will be a very long driving day!!

Lincoln, Nebraska
posts: 15
reviews: 2
2. Re: Montezuma to Samara in January with car

Hey BC,

Great minds think alike,ha

Yeah, It could be a long day from La Fortuna to Montezuma. Hoping its as easy as 2.5 hrs to ferry. Relax on ferry then take our time getting to montezuma.Maybe stopping at Tambor to swim.

I am more concerned with the drive to Samara. We are 3 families traveling with 3 cars. Im hoping not to get anyone over their comfort level driving, or spending way too long in the car and burning everyone out.Im hoping its 4 hours tops.If its seems brutal we may just opt to go over to Saint theresa instead.

Vancouver, BC
posts: 516
reviews: 8
3. Re: Montezuma to Samara in January with car

Lincoln,

Have you had a look at www.yourtravelmap.com? Great tool to get approx driving times....it maps the route from Arenal to Montezuma over the bridge - not the ferry - and gives it about 6.5 hrs total driving time. We're 1st time visitors so not sure if this is actually the "best" route or it's better via the ferry. We haven't really planned our driving routes as of yet.

Also shows the route from Montezuma to Samara via the coast (Santa Teresa/Punta Islita) and gives it 4 hrs. Incase you haven't already, you can have a look at Youtube and see videos of what parts of the drive might look like via the coast.

Enjoy the planning!

lwbc

Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
posts: 2,606
reviews: 26
4. Re: Montezuma to Samara in January with car

i did the drive from montezuma to samara earlier this year along the "coastal" route, it took about 2.5 hours, maybe a little less. i would not recommend this in a regular car, no matter what time of year as the road between 'zuma and near coyote is extremely lumpy with really steep sections best done in an suv. also there are a few river crossings and no insurance covers your rental when crossing rivers.

the drive from naranjo to paquera is quite punishing. if you have anyone in your group prone to whining you may want to reconsider. the drive from paquera to 'zuma is paved nearly the entire way (paquera - cobano) with the last 20min on a dirt road smooth enough for a regular car. if you rent even the smallest suv, like a suzuki jimny or the slightly larger daihatsu terios you'll get a much better ride than a regular car and you should be okay on the 'zuma - samara road.

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,392
reviews: 10
5. Re: Montezuma to Samara in January with car

Do not take the coastal route in a car....4x4 only!!! Be careful fording the Rio Bongo....it can be deep and you may get swept!

Personally, I would rent a 4x4, not for the 4x4 option, but for the added clearance in the undercarriage. The dirt roads are rough and with a car load of people and luggage, you are certain to dent an oil pan or do something to the underbelly of the vehicle. A 4x4 gives a bit more clearance and adds a bit of safety factor and less damage that you may have to pay for when you return the rental. But, that's your call....

Lincoln, Nebraska
posts: 15
reviews: 2
6. Re: Montezuma to Samara in January with car

Thanks for all the info. There is no way I would take the coastal route,that's way beyond my comfort level.

Being a budget traveler I was hoping not to get an SUV just because its a couple hundred bucks more for our 9 days.

From what I understand paquera to naranjo is the worst section. I'm guessing people drive it all the time with regular cars. If we just take it slow we should be okay and not damage the car.Im hoping. Let me know if I am wrong though.

How is the road after Naranjo? Im pretty sure the road from Nicoya to Samara is good

Thanks again

Samara
posts: 252
reviews: 22
7. Re: Montezuma to Samara in January with car

Hi,

People drive the route from Samara - Nicoya - Naranjo - Paquera - Montezuma every day. It should not be a problem for the moderate driver with moderate kills and families do it with no concerns at all. Just use common sense and your caravan will be fine :)

The trip should take about 4 hrs, 4.5 hrs if you stop to take photographs :)

If you are very concerned, you can take the ferry from Paquera to Puntarenas and drive over the Friendship Bridge but that will add a few hours to your trip.

The road from Nicoya to Samara is perfectly paved and should take about 40 minutes. The road from Naranjo to Nicoya is also paved.

Have fun!

Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
posts: 2,606
reviews: 26
8. Re: Montezuma to Samara in January with car

the coastal road isn't challenging at all, it's just realy lumpy in sections and a regular car will bottom out, possibly damaging the undercariage. even a small suv has a lot more ground clearance than a sedan and can easily negotiate the lumps and bumps. it's a beautiful drive where the next view is better than the last.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,183
9. Re: Montezuma to Samara in January with car

Now days the road is in good shape some bridges work around Jicaral...not big deal...any car will do it...of course commons sense...

The Coastal road is a NO NO...you will be taking a chance...wet car will not be pay by the insurance...

roadadvisor

boston, ma
posts: 83
reviews: 1
10. Re: Montezuma to Samara in January with car

agree with sonnysullivan...

Last year we went to Santa Teresa (near Montezuma) via Liberia to Naranjo to Paquera. Not a bad ride just long. Took the coastal road from Teresa to Samara - absolutley amazing ride. No worse than the Naranjo-Paquera route on the interior, but far more picturesque. That being said, as the posters above stated, you do need a 4x4. The portion of the trip where you drop out from the forrest for the 2-3 mile drive on north on the beach is unforgetable, and well worth the extra $ if you can swing it!!