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is a 4X4 vehicle necessary for driving in San Jose/Limon?

Toronto, Canada
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is a 4X4 vehicle necessary for driving in San Jose/Limon?

We are renting a vehicle in January to drive from San Jose to the Sloth sanctuary which is located about 30km south of Limon near Penhurst and Cahuita. Will a 4X4 be required on these roads or would we be ok with a compact car or sedan (Toyota Corolla).. we are concerned about how low the car is to the ground if there are significant potholes etc.

Puerto Viejo de...
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1. Re: is a 4X4 vehicle necessary for driving in San Jose/Limon?

No need for 4x4 but do realise that it will be a minimum 4 hour drive.

Slovenia
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2. Re: is a 4X4 vehicle necessary for driving in San Jose/Limon?

A regular car is ok as it is all paved. That is 4 hours each way.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: is a 4X4 vehicle necessary for driving in San Jose/Limon?

Thank you! We can save some money and gas by renting a smaller vehicle. We were already aware of the transit time & are staying at the Sloth sanctuary.

Cahuita, Costa Rica
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4. Re: is a 4X4 vehicle necessary for driving in San Jose/Limon?

Have a great time. Do check on the condition of Route 32 before leaving San Jose as occasional landslides can close the road through the Zurqui Tunnel. Otherwise the drive is straightforward with some spectacular views and as others have stated, perfectly manageable in a sedan. Do pop down to Cahuita and see the sloths in the National Park too if you have the time.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: is a 4X4 vehicle necessary for driving in San Jose/Limon?

We are hoping to see the Cahuita national park also, thank you. We are a bit concerned about the safety of the area - are there any safe places to stop for food enroute? I read on another forum post that the only safe place is a casino with armed guards which I find a tad alarming.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: is a 4X4 vehicle necessary for driving in San Jose/Limon?

Safety is fine outside of Limon, you can shop in Hone Creek if need be. Do keep eye for RT 32 Road closures the next few weeks as they make planned repairs and will be altering the access to the road with closures in a timed manner.

Costa Rica
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7. Re: is a 4X4 vehicle necessary for driving in San Jose/Limon?

"...I read on another forum post that the only safe place is a casino with armed guards which I find a tad alarming...."

I don't know who wrote that or where you read it, but that's just ridiculous. I don't think there are any casinos on that route besides.

Yes, there are some popular tourist spots that have had problems with the "snatch and run" type of thieves who take stuff from cars. But the best advice is to choose your place carefully, park as close as possible to your table (many restaurants are open-air) and don't leave anything of value in your car. It's a good idea to have a small backpack where you can keep your camera, binoculars, passport, etc with you all the time.

There are repairs scheduled for Rt 32, so just be aware that it might take you a bit longer to get there. The best advice for driving in Costa Rica is: Slow down.

Puerto Viejo de...
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8. Re: is a 4X4 vehicle necessary for driving in San Jose/Limon?

Why do you suggest shopping in Hone Creek Solohobo, unless you think they need a hardware store or a Pali supermarket? It is further down from Cahuita and there is no reason to go there if Cahuita and the sloth sanctuary are the places MagnumOpus are planning to visit. Hattie, there actually is a casino, in Guapiles I think it is (good to see you back by the way!). Between The end of Braullio and Siquires are plenty of places to stop and although I have not heard of any problems, it is always good to keep the car in sight.

Costa Rica
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9. Re: is a 4X4 vehicle necessary for driving in San Jose/Limon?

Oh, Geckoes Lodge, a casino in Guapiles? Who woulda thunk it......

Puerto Viejo de...
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10. Re: is a 4X4 vehicle necessary for driving in San Jose/Limon?

I know Hattie and next door one can get greasy fried chicken!