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San Jose to Puerto Viejo on East Coast - Alternative Routes

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Manitoba, Canada
posts: 142
reviews: 18
San Jose to Puerto Viejo on East Coast - Alternative Routes

Will be using a private driver to take us from San Jose to Puerto Viejo in January. I'd like to receive some feedback regarding two alternative routes:

1. Highway 32 or

2 South east through Cartago, Turrialba and Siquirres.

How long are the drives in hours? How do the highways differ? How does traffic volume differ? Do Cartago and Turrialba offer much to see or should we just drive through them. We will not be doing an overnight on either route.

7 replies to this topic
Puerto Viejo de...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
posts: 1,490
reviews: 3
1. Re: San Jose to Puerto Viejo on East Coast - Alternative Routes

The 32 will take about 4 hours and via Turrialba probably an hour (and a half) longer. The 32 goes through Braulio Garillo, the cloud forest and the Turrialba way goes through sugar cane and some coffee plantations.

It may be an idea to do one route one way and the other one on the way back.

Puerto Viejo, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
posts: 1,384
reviews: 28
2. Re: San Jose to Puerto Viejo on East Coast - Alternative Routes

Last I heard, the road is open. It opened yesterday.

Manitoba, Canada
posts: 142
reviews: 18
3. Re: San Jose to Puerto Viejo on East Coast - Alternative Routes

GeckoesLodge: Thanks for the information.

Colinsito; Thanks for the posting. I wonder if you have any information pertaining to the questions I asked as I consider this alternate route to Puerto Viejo.

I hope to hear from others too.

Canada
posts: 338
reviews: 16
4. Re: San Jose to Puerto Viejo on East Coast - Alternative Routes

We just did both of these routes this week. Route 32 is a pretty standard highway, we found much of it painfully slow because of the many, many trucks heading to the port in Limon. It is really pretty through Braulio Carillo national park but slow, slow, slow.

On the way back to SJO we took the southern route through Turrialba and Cartago, it's very pretty, lots of nicely kept homes and lovely neighborhoods, small farms and then into coffee and sugar cane. It's a single lane road and very twisty/turny but we really enjoyed it. It took maybe 1 hour longer but was worth it.

It would be worth it to go one way on each route as they both have nice views to offer.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 38,865
5. Re: San Jose to Puerto Viejo on East Coast - Alternative Routes

The way by Turrialba nice but longer and slow...the best is take 32 all the way..

By the way road 32 was partially open yesterday night at 8 PM...it will be nice and fix by the end of December...but from now it is just fine a little slow but fine...I just drove by with one of my buses...no problem what so ever ...evey body at the tour group I was driving was very happy ...thanks God!

roadadivsor

Barrie, Canada
posts: 1,503
reviews: 25
6. Re: San Jose to Puerto Viejo on East Coast - Alternative Routes

Cartago and Turrialba both have plenty to offer even without an overnight stay in the area.

Cartago is a beautiful and walkable city with attractions such as the Bastilica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles, the Ruins and Central Park and the Central Market (which I think is better than the one in San Jose) If you like Orchids, Lancaster Gardens, located between Cartago and Paraiso is a great place to stop. My favourite would be to explore route 244, which is a nice little loop around the amazing Orosi Valley.

While Turrialba is famous for rafting, other great options are Catie tripadvisor.es/Attraction_Review-g309234-d53… or the Guayabo National Monument, or how about a coffee tour. I like the Golden Bean tour. http://www.goldenbean.net/coffee_tour.aspx

By the way, the drive along route 10 from Paraiso to Turrialba is one of the most scenic in the country as yu wind through the rolling hills at the base of Turrialba Volcano

Edited: 6:30 pm, October 05, 2013
Puerto Viejo de...
posts: 382
reviews: 8
7. Re: San Jose to Puerto Viejo on East Coast - Alternative Routes

I love the ride through Turrialba and Cartago - much more scenic and nice to drive! I think going one way down and then the other up, is the perfect solution - given the weather is good. If you book a private van, they will use the N32 as it is less expensive. However, for a little extra they will take you the longer way incl. some nice stops. CanaTici summed it up well and I fully agree, adding the Orosi Valley makes it a great day!

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