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Leaving on Saturday....need help with driving directions.

Texas
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Leaving on Saturday....need help with driving directions.

We are flying into Liberia then going to Arenal the next day for a few days then heading to Flamingo Beach then to Playa Hermosa the night before we fly back. Here are the instructions I found here about the drive to Liberia:

From Liberia...take PAn Am Hwy. to Canas, take the "exit" to Tilaran...you will see an old bull fight ring at your left...take that road is the one to Tilaran...in Tilaran follow the signs to Nuevo Arenal...from there you will see the signs that will take you around the lake...all the way to La Fortuna...

Now, on our way back to the beach, we would like to view some different scenery so we looked on a map and thought about driving a different way to see more of the country from Arenal to Las Canas down to Limonal turning west to Moreno to Santa Cruz up to Belen to Playa Flamingo. Are the roads good enough to make the trip safely in a timely manner leaving Lost Iguana about noon?

Or should we return the way we came back to Liberia through Guardia to Filadelfia through Belen to Playa Flamingo?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you so much! I have received such great information on this forum.

Tampa, FL
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for San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Leaving on Saturday....need help with driving directions.

I'm not familiar with all those little towns you mentioned but if you're talking about coming back by way of Santa Cruz then I assume you mean you're thinking of turning southeast when you get back to Canas and turn off for the Nicoya Peninsula by way of the Tempesqui River Bridge. If you go that way just be forewarned that it will take you considerably longer (the better part of the day?) as the back roads of Nicoya leave something to be desired.

Still it would enable you to see parts of CR that most travelers miss. If you go that way and you find you're making better time than what I'm guessing, then you might want to make a side trip to the indian village of Guatil which is well-known for its pottery. Another possibility that would enable you to see parts of CR that you'd otherwise miss is to return from La Fortuna by way of the Los Angeles Cloud Forest, San Ramon, Esparza, Canas and back the way you came. The distance is much greater than the route you propose but when you adjust for the distances traveled over back roads, it probably wouldn't take much longer than your currently proposed route. It will be a VERY long driving day either way you go so you might want to ask around about current road conditions before you undertake such a drive (or consider stopping over for the night somewhere along the way)

Denver, Colorado
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2. Re: Leaving on Saturday....need help with driving directions.

You have a great itinerary! Don't obsess on the drive. Poor signage and busy jarring roadways will give you enough stress. The drive is great for seeing countryside and stops for meeting the beautiful people of CR. Pura Vida!

Texas
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3. Re: Leaving on Saturday....need help with driving directions.

Thanks for the warnings Prolijo. On the map (at www.mapcr.com), it gave symbols for paved roadways going south from Canas but I guess paved doesn't mean that they're in good condition. About how long will that drive take do you think? The stop in Guatil sounds very interesting.

Hoodoos, we DO look forward to enjoying the countryside and enjoying what CR has to offer. Our itinerary was planned after pouring through post after post and getting information here. This forum has been invaluable and we couldn't have planned our trip without it :-).

I think we're going to wait until we get there and ask about road conditions and see what the best route is....I can't believe it is less than a week. !Pura Vida!

St. albert,Alberta
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4. Re: Leaving on Saturday....need help with driving directions.

Gigem89............we did the drive this summer from Arenal to Las Canans, down to Limonal, and across the bridge at Puerto Moreno. From there we went as far as Nicoya and then down to Samara.

The road is paved all the way and in good conditiion.

I'm not sure what map you're using but according to mine, you should have paved roads all the way to the coast and then a short drive on gravel into Playa Flamingo.

We drove down the eastern coast of the penninsula and the only gravel roads were clearly marked with yellow on our map. We didn't have any surprises...the map was very accurate.

Even the gravel roads we did were in good condition (a little bumpy at worst)

Just head out early, give yourself lots of time and have someone watching for signs. If you need directions, the locals are so friendly and helpful. We loved the driving in CR........the scenery is incredible. Hope this helps........have a great time!

St. albert,Alberta
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5. Re: Leaving on Saturday....need help with driving directions.

Should also add we rented a 4x4 which was great, especially for the gravel sections and I'm thinking (estimation only) the trip should take about 5 hrs (give or take)

6. Re: Leaving on Saturday....need help with driving directions.

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