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Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais (Don't know what to expect)

Boston
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Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais (Don't know what to expect)

Ladies and Gentleman,

I was wondering if someone could supply me with some information on the drive from Liberia Airport to Mal Pais. I am arriving at 1PM with my girlfriend in 3 weeks. I have heard that it takes anywhere from 3-5 hours. I have also heard that you need to take a ferry at some point, although this suprises me since I thought you would drive inland and not along the coast. also, are there a lot of gas stations on the way down? Could someone please provide some details for us, we are really clueless as to what to expect with the drive. The only thing I do know is that once we arrive we get to stay for 9 days, so it will be well worth whatever conditions we have to face.

Thanks

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New England
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1. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais (Don't know what to expect)

First of all, you won't have to take the ferry. That applies only if you are coming from San Jose. What you will have to do is drive down the east side of the Nicoya Peninsula even though Mal Pais is on the west. There may seem to be any number of good looking lines on your map (which usually signify passable roads) but don't believe them! Remember that roads nicknamed "The Monkey Trail" are not for you. Your route should take you more or less through Filadelphia, Santa Cruz, Nicoya, Naranjo, Paquera, Cobano and on to Mal Pais. Gas stations won't be an issue. Santa Cruz and Nicoya are large towns and Paquera definitely has one, as does Cobano. Just don't push your luck by waiting til you're on empty. The roads are generally in rough condition, particularly between Naranjo and Paquera, but the stretch between Tambor and Cobano is much improved. As to time, 3 to 5 hours is probably a good estimate. It's an enjoyable drive (the scenery is great) but it can take time. Finally, if you drive in Boston you've already been well trained in Costa Rican driving tactics. Take your time, don't drink and drive, be polite and patient, make an effort to drive during daylight hours, pay attention to the road and you'll do great (and love Mal Pais).

Boston
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2. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais (Don't know what to expect)

Thanks for the information on the drive. Do you have a good suggestion on a map to use? Would you suggest just getting one from the car rental company? Driving in downtown Boston everyday has helped me learn to avoid things for sure, not worried about the potholes.

New England
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3. Re: Driving from Liberia to Mal Pais (Don't know what to expect)

http://www.mapcr.com/CostaRicaMaps.html

It seems that no map of Costa Rica is detailed enough but check out the one at the link above. If you buy the paper version it entitles you to a download of a digital, .pdf one. I use the .pdf version for the locations I'll be going to (it's divided into several regions), zoom in for the area I need and print it. It is WAY more convenient than folding and unfolding a map in the car. You can zoom and print it to any size you like (my wife and I have 50 year old eyes and that helps). Take along the paper one for backup and an overview. Since you are leaving soon it might help to know that their service is very fast and you'll be able to access the download almost immediately. That being said, if the car rental folks offer you a map (they should have some), take it. More is better!