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Worst excuse for roads on the planet Earth

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Dallas, TX
posts: 293
reviews: 29
Worst excuse for roads on the planet Earth

Without question, the roads in Santa Teresa Costa Rica have earned the distinction of being the worst roads on the planet Earth.

I realize that the rainy season has just come to an end but the roads in Santa Teresa could not possibally be worse. It is absolutely impossible.

Bridges washed out, holes in the middle of the road that can swallow vehicles, mud from hell, dogs out number people, dirt bikes passing you from either side of your vehicle, people walking in the middle of the road that won't move out of the way.

We stayed at Villas Hermosas and traveled back and forth to Santa Teresa to visit the restaurants on a daily basis. One night there was a dog that was run over by a vehicle that was dying in the middle of the road.

One day there was a jerk carrying his surfboard that refused to get out of the way that scraped his surfboard along our vehicle. That ended in a verbal outrage that perhaps showed both our ignorance. Literally this guy wouldn't get out of the middle of the road.

The minute the sun comes out the roads turn to dust. You have to wipe down a table to eat in at restaurant. You sit in a restaurant and smell the fumes of delivery vehicles as you try to enjoy a meal.

I can not imagine the damage that this road does to vehicles and tires. People say that if they put in decent roads that "the area will be overrun by tourists" and that the locals "do not want roads."

I can only tell you that as a two time visitor of Santa Teresa that has spent a lot of money on vacations to this area that I will not go back until they build some bridges, install sidewalks and put in some decent roads.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 5,927
reviews: 36
1. Re: Worst excuse for roads on the planet Earth

Thanks for that frank report.

I admit I have not been over that way in a few years but I believe what you are saying. Some of the more off the beaten path areas of the country tend to be overlooked.

Glad you took a minute to warn folks of the conditions out that way. Luckily, many areas of the country have great roads but certainly not all.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 38,865
2. Re: Worst excuse for roads on the planet Earth

Dear Mahalo

Thank you for your candid report...we just finish one of the worst rainy season in years...one thing that most costaricans know...is that at the end of the rainy season...any road...at any where in our country can and will be in terrible condition...so sorry...Mother Earth..send more water than we need ...nothing we can do...

Maybe we are not going to see you for a while...since I do not think we have the money to install sidewalks...or bridges or build some decent roads...SORRY! .

Some day we will...I will let you know!

roadadvisor

Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
posts: 2,566
reviews: 25
3. Re: Worst excuse for roads on the planet Earth

Dirt roads, laid back people, dogs and a slower pace is exactly why I like rural costa rica. Sta teresa/mal pais is a very well known surf area so you have to expect an even more laid back and casual attitude than most other places. If you need a surf town with a paved road and sidewalks then check tamarindo but it doesn't have a quarter of the character that the south nicoya pen does.

Costa Rica
posts: 17,677
reviews: 24
4. Re: Worst excuse for roads on the planet Earth

I have to say, Mahalo - you went there twice!

Really, I appreciate your candid report and I can understand your outrage. Some places in Costa Rica need more "tranquilo" than others!

I am usually turned off by surfers from North America who go to a beach and then think they are "special" and don't have to be civilized in the least. Laid-back is one thing but crude and rude is something else again.

The road thing is a never-ending story (at least not in our lifetimes) so I wouldn't count on anything changing. This debate goes on in other locations also, not just Santa Teresa.

Lucky for you - there are lots and lots of beaches to choose from in Costa Rica.

Atlanta
Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
posts: 3,666
reviews: 111
5. Re: Worst excuse for roads on the planet Earth

One of my first visits to CR was to Santa Teresa/Mal Pais and we did the trip by land and ferry. I would see posts where people claimed the roads were just fine in CR, no worse then what you see here in the States. I thought those people were crazy, but they must have just visited the main areas of CR back then. The roads have come a long long way over the past 7 years, but not in the area you are talking about. Maybe you should try a visit to Jaco. The roads to Jaco and in Jaco are excellent now.

Costa Rica
posts: 17,677
reviews: 24
6. Re: Worst excuse for roads on the planet Earth

Mahalo - Now I have to say this: The title of your post always makes me laugh every time I see it. Thanks for that.

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,377
reviews: 10
7. Re: Worst excuse for roads on the planet Earth

I totally agree with you! You could not have said it better!

The roads here are horrid! The surfers can be very obnoxious, the pedestrians seem to think they own the roads (we too have had verbal exchanges with many ... as well as moto and quad drivers who are generally out of control as far as rules of the road go). It literally takes a good hour of stressful driving to travel 15 K. .... at times. This year, the roads are better than past really bad years! The road in Santa Teresa was graded a few weeks ago and then we had a huge storm that set everything back to being bad again! I can't even begin to tell you how many times the muni. has tried to repair the roads! They just don't understand what paved is in relation to North American paved roads! Even logging roads in Canada are better than main roads down here! Until we get road engineers here that know what they are doing, the same scenario will play out year after year. Mahalo, you missed the worst road...it was north of Hermosa, to Manzanillo and then back to Cobano.....I can't even begin to describe it! If you enjoy 4x4ing....you will soon get to detest it because you can't go anywhere without it and getting any higher than 2nd gear is something of a novelty! It really is no fun and does thousands of dollars of damage to vehicles that need to pass a serious inspection test every year in order to get insurance! All we can do is give our head a shake and be sure we are not dreaming!

The crazy thing is that as soon as we cross to the province of Guanacaste, we find wonderful, groomed dirt roads.....who knows why!!!

Someone, anyone, please bring road building knowledge to the area!!!! That is our wish-list!!!!

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,377
reviews: 10
8. Re: Worst excuse for roads on the planet Earth

Mahalo, did you at least find a place that served you turkey and all the fixings for Thanksgiving Dinner?

Dallas, TX
posts: 293
reviews: 29
9. Re: Worst excuse for roads on the planet Earth

We stayed at Villas Hermosas and Tara is very helpful in helping you with anything that you might want. She booked us into Florblanca for the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner.

The cost on that was $45 per person before they added on 13% tax and the 10% service fee so we felt the price was a little out of line.

We settled for Ambrosia for something fresh from the sea and were well pleased with that.

When we got back to San Jose we visited a restaurant called Jalapeno's Central that is now very high on our list of "must do" places. Your review of that restaurant is spot on.

We had a great trip to Costa Rica and always appreciate your advice and opinion. Thanks Fish!

Mahalo

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,377
reviews: 10
10. Re: Worst excuse for roads on the planet Earth

I would have settled for a dinner at Ambrosia if I had the choice!

Jalapeno's is one of our favorite 'haunts' in Alajuela (as well as our 'home away from homes', Vida Tropical, which Norm and his wife manage...but mostly Isabel)! Norm puts out a good plate of Tex-Mex! Glad you enjoyed both recommendations!

Sorry about the roads....we will let you know if there is any improvement in the future! Thanks for visiting ... even if it was a bit rough! (we love our local chiropractor!)