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Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

Castle Rock...
Level Contributor
90 posts
20 reviews
Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

I can see there are a couple of options for this route we'll be driving a Hundai H1 van, so no 4 wheel drive. What are your reccomendations? We have been to La Fortuna, before so its not necessary fo us to get into the mountians this time.

The Ferry looks interesting but I'm not sure what that will do to us time wise.

Also any restaurant recommendations along the way would be great.

Thanks in advance,

Jewles

Castle Rock...
Level Contributor
90 posts
20 reviews
11. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

Have done it several times, biggest issue last Feb 2013, was just dusty and washboard roads as we got close to Tamarindo. We drove an 8 passenger Hyundai van. Took under 6 hrs we stopped several times.

Edmonton Canada
Level Contributor
978 posts
68 reviews
12. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

You will be fine. Take your time, be patient on the part of the route that follows the Inter American Highway as there can be some slow trucks, and try to avoid driving after dark (about 6 PM). If you do need to drive on the highway after dark, watch for any manner of slow moving vehicles with no lights, pedestrians on the side of the road, cows etc.

Atlanta, Georgia...
2 posts
13. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

We're going to Costa Rica for the very first time. Really excited, but a little concerned about driving from San Jose airport to Puntarenas then to Tamarindo. Is it safe for just a couple? After we book, I sort of got nervous about militia and whatnot. This seems like a good place to ask. Could you give me your advice, or any recommendations on how to avoid trouble?

Canada
Level Contributor
5,341 posts
68 reviews
14. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

Militia??? Such a thing doesn't exist in Costa Rica. The drive will long but scenic and uneventful. Just don't do it after dark?

Tamarindo, Costa...
Level Contributor
1,781 posts
1 review
15. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

The last miles "wash board" road to Tamarindo is now smooth asphalt. My main concern is driving at night. Less opportunities to ask directions in case you get lost.

4 posts
16. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

which road is the washboard road is it at Belen and rt 21? When I leave San Jose Airport do I get on 27? Where do I pick up the interamerican highway is it rte 1?

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
24 reviews
17. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

The InterAmerican Highway is Rt 1. When you leave the airport, you will first get on Rt 1 and then make several turns to get on Rt 27. You will pick up Rt 1 from Rt 27 at Puntarenas. Look for signs to "Liberia." As you approach Rt 1, there will be two turns -- take the second one which will put you on Rt 1 going north. (The first one will be going south.)

As surfsponger said - there is no more "washboard road" - it's a thing of the past.

This might help: www.yourtravelmap.com

4 posts
18. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

A previous post suggested taking a detour at the Amistad Bridge. Is this a bridge near Limonal? Should I take the bridge or go to Liberia and come south on rt 21? I have a map I'm looking at?

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
24 reviews
19. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

There is no "detour at the Amistad Bridge."

To get to Tamarindo: Once you are finished with Rt 27 and are on Rt 1, follow that north to Limonal. You will turn left (there's a big gas station on the left) onto Rt 18. This will take you across the Puente de Amistad or Friendship Bridge. Follow Rt 18 until it intersects with Rt 21. Turn right (north) towards Liberia. You will eventually see signs for Tamarindo.

You can go by way of Liberia, but it's longer.

Edited: 10:48 am, January 03, 2015
4 posts
20. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

thanks so much you were very helpful

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