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Driving to Quepos from San Jose (SJO)

Ottawa, Canada
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13 posts
4 reviews
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Driving to Quepos from San Jose (SJO)

The way I understand it is there are two accepted options for getting to Quepos from SJO.

1) Pan American Hwy to route 3, then route 135 (or 136) at La Garita south to 27 and take 27 all the way to route 34. Newer, faster toll route way.


2) Pan American Hwy to route 3 and then route 3 through the mountains all the way to San Mateo, then south to Orotina and then join 27 to 34.

My understanding is that option 1 will be an hour or more faster, but option 2 is more scenic.

Question... is it worth it for the scenery? We'll have a comfortable 4x4 to drive. Is the scenic drive that much better, and is it likely to make my better half regret agreeing to go to Costa Rica and then hit me later because we've driven over scary bridges and could have taken a new toll route?

Also - is my understanding of the routes correct?

Playa Hermosa...
Destination Expert
for Manuel Antonio, Jaco
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1,432 posts
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1. Re: Driving to Quepos from San Jose (SJO)

Your option 2 goes thru a mountainous area, coffee plantations and stunning vistas. The road is very winding, two lane highway (tough to pass) but yes, it's scenic. Some areas with no guardrails and there are some sheer dropoffs. If your traveling companion is subject to height issues and/or motion sickness, it might be a problem. Really only you can say what is best ... are you just anxious to get to your destination and get your toes in the sand or like to venture out a bit? I also would base your decision on what time of day you arrive and the time of year. Option 2 is a bit exhausting esp. after a long day of travel and tends to cloud up and mist later in the day. Just a few ideas, repost if you'd like more info, more than happy to help!

Olympia, Washington
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2. Re: Driving to Quepos from San Jose (SJO)

We just drove option number 1 yesterday and it's very scenic - you go through Jaco. The road is nice and it takes 2.5 hours. Until Jaco you weave in and out of the coast, then you drive through many mountain passes. It's gorgeous!

Rain can make even this ride difficult. We drove the opposite way last Sunday and it was difficult during the day. Drivers pass all the time, there are no guard rails at particular parts even though there is a highway.

3. Re: Driving to Quepos from San Jose (SJO)

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