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Best route from San Jose to Dominical

Jackson, New Jersey
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Best route from San Jose to Dominical

We are staying at The Adventure Inn Hotel in San Jose and from there will be traveling to Dominical. Specifically the Jolly Roger Restaurant/Bar where we will be meeting our guides. The guides directions have us going to and through Jaco and Quepos. In looking at our map of CR it seems a more direct route would be through the mountains on what looks like a highway, CA2. Do you know why they might be directing us the other way? Any tips on the best route would be appreciated!

Playa Hermosa...
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1. Re: Best route from San Jose to Dominical

The Adventure Inn is located on the west side of San Jose (the city). From there, you will take the toll road #27 (Autopista del Sol) and the Costanera straight down the coast to Dominical. The other route which you mentioned would have you traveling clear across San Jose proper (nightmare right there) and along a more mountainous route, often very foggy and quite winding. Use the route the guides provided and you will be fine.

Jackson, New Jersey
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2. Re: Best route from San Jose to Dominical

Thank you so much! We figured there had a be a reason for not suggesting the mountainous route!

Jackson, New Jersey
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3. Re: Best route from San Jose to Dominical

Oh, do you know approximately how long that trip would be? Our guide mentioned 4-5 hours in good conditions and no stops but I thought I read somewhere else between 3-4 hours? Is the signage pretty good? This is our 3rd trip to CR so we know roads are not always perfect or well marked! But we do know to travel during the daylight hours! :)

Playa Hermosa...
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for Manuel Antonio, Jaco
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4. Re: Best route from San Jose to Dominical

It's between 3.5 - 4 hours, truly. Just make sure to go Autopista Del Sol (#27). I think it's a bit tricky to get on the Autopista but once you're on it, you're good til you get off at the exit marked for Tarcoles/Jaco. Then it's a general two lane road south. This road will not take you INTO Jaco nor Quepos, just passing the outskirts. Just outside of Quepos, look for the sign directing you to the left for Dominical and again another straight shot. If I were you, I'd count on 4 hours but things like rain, traffic, road work can slow things down. Don't press yourself into speeding or a tight situation due to not planning enough time. Safe travels!

Canada
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5. Re: Best route from San Jose to Dominical

The Pan American highway is a beautiful drive, but yes, getting through San Jose is a pain in the butt.

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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6. Re: Best route from San Jose to Dominical

I would say the drive is more like 4-5 hours, for first timers. Already navigating the streets from the airport (Adventure Inn is about 15 min away from the airport) to the entry point for Caldera Highway is not so easy, even with a GPS. Once on the Caldera it is easy sailing all the way to Dominical. And why 4-5 hours? Because as a first timer you will respect all and every speed limit sign, you will not have guts to overtake slow driving trucks when on Costanera Sur, you will drive slowly to enjoy the scenery, and you will stop at the Tarcoles bridge, to have a pit stop and to look for the huge crocs.

As for driving through the mountains (PanAm Hwy) leave it for your return trip, when you will already have a couple of kilometres under your belt.

When approaching the airport, take the road left when it forks in front of a hill. You will think going right is proper way, but you will end up in a maze of Alajuela's one-way streets, and wasted another 30 min to get out. Keep left, it will look like you are driving into the airport but the road bears right just before it.

Also, plot your approach to the Caldera Hwy on a paper map (or take a print out from Google Maps) as GPS can be misleading sometimes.

Edited: 5:30 pm, September 06, 2015
Kansas City
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7. Re: Best route from San Jose to Dominical

I don't really know why they'd route you that way. Best way would be to go out 27 to Puntarenas. You'd then get on 23 south with connects to 27 south, then 34. They're all main roads and both Jaco, Quepos and Domincal are on them. I just drove the route 3 days ago. Coming back it took only a couple hours from the Hotel Parador in Quepos to the San Jose airport. Going out was another matter, as the fishermen were striking that day, leaving us stranded in traffic, 2 miles from our hotel destination, for 4 HOURS.

Canada
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8. Re: Best route from San Jose to Dominical

27 to 34 IS what was Recommended!

Slovenia
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9. Re: Best route from San Jose to Dominical

Maybe to put info together: Road 27 is also called Caldera Hwy. Road 34 is also called Costanera Sur.

Strikes do happen in Costa Rica, and if they do, you can easily miss your connection flight!

Jackson, New Jersey
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10. Re: Best route from San Jose to Dominical

Good to know this!! Thanks so much! :)