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Advice about driving to Nosara

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Brooklyn, New York
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Advice about driving to Nosara

We just returned from our first time to Nosara and it was an awesome trip, but we had a bit of an adventure driving there from San Jose that I thought I would share with my fellow travellers in hopes you will avoid our follies :)

We were a group of four couples and rented two Suziki Grand Vitara SUVs from Service Car Rental. Aside from the fact that they were an hour and half late meeting us with the rental cars, everything was fine. The cars were great, everything cost what they said it would in the quote, friendly service. We got the GPS and unfortunately got on the road later than we had hoped.

We departed the San Jose Area around 2 pm and were about an hour from Nosara at 7 pm when the GPS told us to make a left onto a dirt road. We had read a bit about this drive and assumed this was the "dirt road". Boy were we wrong! Apparently it is the dry season road. At first we thought it was awesome offroading in Costa Rica, until we got one of the SUVs stuck in about two feet of mud/water. Fortunately the exhaust and engine were not underwater, but try as we might, we could not push the car out. We had no rope to try and pull it out so we drove one car back out to the road we had turned off of and waited. Lucky for us, who should drive by, but an expat named Michael with his wife and a beast of an '86 Dodge Raider (and a tow rope). He happily pulled us out of there and about an hour later, we were back on our way. THANKS MICHAEL!

We were extremely fortunate, but wanted to share with anybody else travelling there for the first time to be careful about blindly following the GPS. Also, due to our late start, it was pitch black at this time, so make sure you get an early start from San Jose.

PS - Nosara is amazing. We stayed in Playa Guiones, just up the road from Harbor Reef, and it was wonderful.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Advice about driving to Nosara

Thank you...great post...yes great idea...do not drive in some secondary roads at night...almost a rule..

Good for Michael...and his Dodge!

roadadvisor

Playa Guiones...
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2. Re: Advice about driving to Nosara

So sorry about your bad luck ..... and happy things went well after that! This is not the first time I've heard a horrible story about a GPS giving wrong directions. There was a couple girls that had one last year and they lost their car completely, and everything in it at the start of their vacation, all due to bad GPS. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of other travelers!

Brooklyn, New York
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3. Re: Advice about driving to Nosara

Allylam, wow...that's too bad about those girls. We really lucked out. I don't think the directions were "wrong". From what I understand, you can get to Nosara using that road, but it's only passable in the dry season.

The thing that amazed me was that the GPS warned us about every school and narrow bridge we approached, but as we approached this road, it only said 4x4 or ATV required. We figured since we had 4x4 SUVs we would be OK, but clearly not. You would think with all the warnings the GPS gives, it could direct people to the proper route given the time of year :)

La Fortuna de San...
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4. Re: Advice about driving to Nosara

I live here and use the GPS all the time. I just went to Playa Pan de Azucar and the GPS took me some CRAZY way and I should have consulted my GPS along with the map! We did 3 water crossings (3 cars filled with 5 people each) and luckily we didn't get stuck but I live here so I felt responsible and was super nervous since this was not the way I'd intended to go. I think the best advice anybody can get from this posting is 1) get a GPS but 2) have a good map so you actually have some sense of where you're going! I always feel that when I have my GPS that it gibes me some piece of mind that I won't get "too" lost but it doesn't always know what YOU are up for and what you're not. :-) Thanks for your post!!!

Wendy, La Fortuna, CR

San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: Advice about driving to Nosara

One short question...was the software at the GPS by NAVSAT?

I own some Garmins for our cars...and just in few ocassions I did experience some kind of trouble...I really do not have any problem getting to almost any where in my country since I have had been driving here for well over 45 years...but I love to compare routes with the GPS...and with the NAVSAT mapping almost zero problems!

roadadvisor

Brooklyn, New York
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29 posts
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6. Re: Advice about driving to Nosara

roadadvisor,

I'm not sure who provided the software for the GPS. Another interesting thing was that as we were leaving Nosara, we did not use the GPS. We had it on, but it did not find satellites until we got close to Nicoya. Once it clicked on, it told us to make a u-turn for about 10 minutes. I think it was trying to take us back on that dirt road! Maybe it was possessed or something ;)

Villa, good advice - the GPS in conjunction with the map is the way to go. I think the GPS totally lulled us into a false sense of security, but at least no one was hurt and nothing was damaged. We'll be more prepared next time!

7. Re: Advice about driving to Nosara

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