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south of jaco ? drive to volcano area

Wilmette
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south of jaco ? drive to volcano area

Plan to stay 9 days in a home south of Jaco and spend our time in Manual Antionio, Quepos, possibly Domincal. Should we drive to Arneal Volcano area? If so how long is the drive from Jaco, and then to San Jose airport. How difficult is this drive in respect to signage. Understand that getting to the San Jose airport is tricky. Would like some input. Thanks

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Jaco
Jaco
Jaco District, Costa Rica
Quepos
Quepos
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
San Jose
San Jose
San Jose Metro, Costa Rica
NY
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1. Re: south of jaco ? drive to volcano area

Getting to San Jose airport is not tricky. There are signs. Getting to Arenal is also not tricky. I would strongly suggest you bring a good driving map and plan for one of you to be the driver and the other the navigator. Once you have a map you can post here asking for directions. And before each drive ask around for road conditions / repairs going on.

Jaco to Dominical is too far for a day trip.

Jaco to Arenal is also too far for a day trip and you need to see the volcano in the evening. Several nights here would be good - plenty of activities besides the volcano.

Here are some estimates:

San Jose airport in Alajuela to Jaco - 2 hours

Jaco to Quepos / Manuel Antonio - 1 hour

Quepos to Dominical - 2 hours? (I haven't done it but heard this road is in bad shape)

Jaco to Arenal area - 4 to 5 hours

Arenal to San Jose airport in Alajuela - 3 hours

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San Jose
San Jose
San Jose Metro, Costa Rica
Jaco
Jaco
Jaco District, Costa Rica
Dominical
Dominical
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Alajuela
Alajuela
Province of Alajuela, Costa Rica
Quepos
Quepos
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
san jose
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2. Re: south of jaco ? drive to volcano area

Getting anywhere in Costa Rica is tricky , when you don t know which way to turn , ask someone and just watch which way he points his hand , trying to understand what he says can get you more confused ¡

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Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Central America
Tampa, FL
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for San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: south of jaco ? drive to volcano area

Travel10000's post sums it up pretty well, though I wouldn't say it is as untricky as it sounds (or as difficult as dosbrazos makes it sound either). Those times will be more or less good estimates most of the time, but you can never plan on such things as accidents or breakdowns that block the road and slow traffic or taking a wrong turn. So I always allow a big fudge factor whereever I go and am not surprised but somewhat satisfied when I arrive without any unforeseen delays. Unless you're on a tight schedule I wouldn't sweat the times so much or even worry that much about getting lost. (though do leave enough extra time in your plans so you don't have to drive after dark). The scenery along the way is usually worth the price of the trip anyway and getting lost just part of the adventure

Colorado
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4. Re: south of jaco ? drive to volcano area

I'm no expert, but I would like to chime in with some driving tips for CR.

Dosbrazos, you assume that Travelgirl5 doesn't speak Spanish. A person who speaks basic "traveler's Spanish" should not have any problems.

If you don't know basic stuff like izquierda (left) and derecha (right), then you better have a good sense of humor and realize you might get lost. Another key is to know how to read maps. This past week, we drove about 1,000 km's and only made a couple of wrong turns. In both cases, we quickly realized our error, asked for directions, and got back on track.

In one case we were driving toward Arenal and going very slow as we approached a rural intersection. There was a group of men standing on the side of the road. They obviously spotted us as tourists and waved their arms pointing which way to go. We didn’t even need to stop to ask.

A final bit of advice is to plan enough "buffer time" to make sure you don't get lost driving around after dark. When someone suggested it takes 2 hours to get from point A to Point B, we gave ourselves 4 or 5 hours just to be on the safe wide. (We like to stop to take pictures, and explore the little villages along the way, etc.)

Plan to drive slow and be prepared for broken down trucks and cars parked in the middle of the road, one lane bridges, chickens, dogs and goats on the road... and lots of pedestrians on foot, on bikes, and horseback on very twisty narrow roads with NO shoulders.

By-the-way, we completely avoided driving in San Jose. We stayed near the airport and arranged to have the rental car delivered to our hotel. Much easier that way.

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5. Re: south of jaco ? drive to volcano area

Unless the road south from Quepos was destroyed in the recent flooding and doesn't get reasonably repaired by the time you go, you should have no problem doing a day trip to Dominical (and even beyond to Uvita/Ballena National Park) from the Jaco area.

Stay flexible, watch the daylight hours, keep a good sense of humor, and bring a Spanish phrasebook (I like Lonely Planet's Costa Rica Spanish book -- and there's a brand new edition out) if you don't have a good command of the language and you should be fine on the road.

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Quepos
Quepos
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Dominical
Dominical
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Uvita
Uvita
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Jaco
Jaco
Jaco District, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Central America
6. Re: south of jaco ? drive to volcano area

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