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Driving from Montezuma to Samara in Dry Season

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Boston...
Level Contributor
17 posts
2 reviews
Driving from Montezuma to Samara in Dry Season

Hello,

We are planning our 3rd trip back to Costa Rica for this January. I have always wanted to make the drive up the southern pacific coast of the peninsula but have thus far been convinced not to by various reviews and car rental websites. I am wondering if anyone has made this drive during the dry season and if it is difficult to cross the rivers in an 4wD SUV then. Also if it is somewhat difficult could anyone recommend a tour or guide who could take us? I am interested in visiting some empty landscapes and seeing some wild places I haven't seen yet.

Thanks

Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
Level Contributor
2,843 posts
26 reviews
1. Re: Driving from Montezuma to Samara in Dry Season

i'm interested in this as well, i'll be doing this in february. when i last drove out of montezuma, i drove up to cobano, straight across the road and it soon turned to dirt by a huge ice sub station. i had a terios and didn't need the 4wd at all on the dried mud roads. this road wasn't on the gps and only part of it was on the paper map, so we flipped a coin at each fork and kept going left and eventually reached the coast. nice drive, and a few shallow rivers to cross with no problems. just be sure to engage 4wd before entering the river and visually check depth before crossing! i guess if we would've kept going left we would've ended up in samara or nearby, but the road showed up on the gps and took us to the right.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
44,963 posts
26 reviews
2. Re: Driving from Montezuma to Samara in Dry Season

From Montezuma to Samara in the summer time...it is not a big problem...Bongo river even that is about 100meters long...is very shallow during dry season...just drive slow do not make to many or big waves and everything is going to be OK...I really do not think you need a guide...just common sense!

roadadvisor

Uvita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Uvita, Ojochal
Level Contributor
2,372 posts
39 reviews
3. Re: Driving from Montezuma to Samara in Dry Season

Great point by roadadvisor "drive slow and do not make many or big waves.." The temptation for first timers crossing shallow rivers is to try and speed trough, that can throw up water into the air filter or damage the radiator fan. Just steady and slow and no big deal...

Boston...
Level Contributor
17 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Driving from Montezuma to Samara in Dry Season

Thanks for the advice. I have crossed a small river just one time. It was hard to know from the warnings on some car rental websites. But it seems like a good adventure to go on so long as you exercise common sense! NOW... any advice on beaches or coves to not be missed along there? or maybe i should just flip coins like the first reply and see where i end up. :)

Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
Level Contributor
2,843 posts
26 reviews
5. Re: Driving from Montezuma to Samara in Dry Season

there's no shortage of deserted beaches along the way from montezuma toward cabo blanco, just a few minutes past the waterfall entrance. there's a statue of a breaching whale on the roadside, which coincidentally, we saw real humpbacks breaching out in the ocean. bring binoculars.

Puntarenas, Costa...
Level Contributor
64 posts
65 reviews
6. Re: Driving from Montezuma to Samara in Dry Season

Always check the tide when using beach road and take your time! Great trip, pack a picnic and stop on a deserted beach en route for a swim and snack or stop in one of the small towns along the way at a typical beach cantina for the freshest ceviche! I live in the area year round and as long as you use common sense you are going to have a wonderful ride! It is the best route to take!

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
3,528 posts
7. Re: Driving from Montezuma to Samara in Dry Season

I would not drive through rivers with a car rental, it would have to be really low. Remember you are responsible for any damage to the car and damages produced by driving through rivers is not covered.

Edited: 10:16 pm, October 13, 2011
Playa Guiones...
Destination Expert
for Nosara
Level Contributor
1,822 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: Driving from Montezuma to Samara in Dry Season

As mentioned by everyone, just use common sense and drive slow. I just want to add that if there is ANY question as to the route when crossing rivers, just wait until another car comes along and watch where they cross. Many of the river crossings are NOT directly across, as one might think! If you are not certain, then by all means wait! If you use these precautions, it's a wonderful drive!

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
Level Contributor
1,534 posts
15 reviews
9. Re: Driving from Montezuma to Samara in Dry Season

I love this drive! We make a point of doing this drive at least once every year! It is so beautiful first thing in the morning. The flower blossoms and jungle scents are more powerful, the bird life is amazing, and the wildlife is often more visible.

My advice for crossing rivers is to either let someone go ahead of you and see how they do and follow their route, or best yet is to stop, get out, walk the river across and make sure you follow a chosen route. Each river has it's own safe crossing, there are hidden holes that you must avoid, some areas have large rocks, some areas have gravel that is soft. Best to be sure before you take the vehicle across!

Every year, after the rainy season, each river changes and often the crossings change as well.

Slow and steady is key. Enjoy your adventure!

Anacortes...
Level Contributor
6 posts
21 reviews
10. Re: Driving from Montezuma to Samara in Dry Season

I had the same exact question. We are hoping to drive that route in February. You won't be alone!