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Is GPS any good in CR?

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posts: 20
Is GPS any good in CR?

Thinking of doing a self-drive trip for 10 days going three or four places (SJ to Arenal to Monteverde to MA, for example).

I have heard some mentioned lack of road signs in many places. I have a Garmin StreetPilot 2610, a really nice GPS toy when used in the US. I need to purchase a seperate Central/South American map for about $150. Is it worth it? Would it be as useful as in the US?

Please share your experience.

Thanks, Robert

Costa Rica
posts: 24
1. Re: Is GPS any good in CR?

A friend of mine from Europe used one last year while he was here, and he had a lot of fun with his GPS unit (I think he had a PalmOne with the GPS kit attached). He travelled around the country by bus/small plane and was able to keep tabs on his location at all times. He climbed the Cerro Chirripo and did some extensive hikes down in Osa Penisnula, and he said the GPS came in very handy then.

Another friend uses his Garmin when he flies his plane around the country, and for him it's indispensable.

But for most of the driving you say you'll be doing a GPS would be a fun toy to have but probably overkill. The road signs have gotten somewhat better here, and if you have a good sense of where north/south is, most of the directions people will give you will be easy to follow (100 meters north of Burger King, 50 meters west, yellow house/white gate... :-). SJ to Arenal to Monteverde to Manuel Antonio is a straightforward enough route...

posts: 20
2. Re: Is GPS any good in CR?


Thanks for your response.

I sent an inquiry to Garmin which replied that while it might be somewhat helpful in term of orientation the map is not nearly as detailed as in the US. They don't think it will be all that helpful.