We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

Castle Rock...
Level Contributor
76 posts
20 reviews
Save Topic
Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

I can see there are a couple of options for this route we'll be driving a Hundai H1 van, so no 4 wheel drive. What are your reccomendations? We have been to La Fortuna, before so its not necessary fo us to get into the mountians this time.

The Ferry looks interesting but I'm not sure what that will do to us time wise.

Also any restaurant recommendations along the way would be great.

Thanks in advance,

Jewles

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
46,813 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

Dear Jewles...

First at all you do not need a 4x4 to drive from San Jose to Tamarindo..AT ALL!

The ferry way in my case is totally out of the question...WAY to much driving without a reason...waste of time and fuel..

The best way for you guys...from San Jose take road 27...you can get in by La Sabana by National Gymnasium..that is road 27...try to have some colones to pay the toolls...or single in USD...drive all the way passing Caldera...and at the end of that road...passing Barranca exit...you will see the road signs to Pan Am Hwy...just take the trun around anyway is the only way...

Now you are in Pan Am Hwy...just follow signs to Limonal...no far from the entrance of Pan Am Hwy...about 25 minutes is a good place to have somenthing to eat...EL CABALLO BLANCO...you will see plenty signs telling you that you are getting close to the place...great food...the best PAcific Ceviche...humm cold and nice...rice and chicken is spectacular...huge orders...maybe half orders are good enough...

Then one with a full stomach...drive to Limonal...take the Amistad bridge detour...drive all the way to Nicoya...then take the road to San ta Cruz...and follow signs to Tamarindo...the last 12 kms are dusty...but not a big deal...

Buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!

roadadvisor

Castle Rock...
Level Contributor
76 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

Luis,

Thats exactley what i needed, thank you so much for your excellent local widsom.

Jewles

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
46,813 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

My dear AMIGA....

You are more than WELCOME...please do not hesitate to ask any question here at the forum at any time...a lot of nice people willing to naswer all your questions!

roadadvisor

Edited: 05 December 2012, 15:45
Castle Rock...
Level Contributor
76 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

Dear Luis,

Can you give me an etimate on the travel time to El Ceballo Blanco, from the airport in San Jose?

And an estimate on the overall time to get from the airport in San Jose to Tamarindo. Yourtravelmap.com is saying 6.0 hours, Goolge Maps says 3 1/2.

Thank You in advance,

Jewles

Playa Conchal...
Level Contributor
2,051 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

You're looking at around a 5 hour journey.

Tamarindo, Costa...
Level Contributor
747 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

Note: After you go over the bridge at the end of Sta Cruz there is a sign almost immediately for Tamarindo. That back road albeit shorter distance wise is very often in bad condition (many thanks to the Muni of Sta Cruz). I would skip that turn and go further up the road to Belen, where you'll see a 2nd turn off for Tamarindo. That route is all paved and a much smoother ride.

Appleton, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
3 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

We are thinking we would like to take in some sites along the way. We are fine with adding some additional hours and maybe an overnight to see more of Costa Rica. Thought is we would fly into San Jose spend the night and take a city tour the next day. Then proceed on towards Tamarindo where we have booked an apartment for a month.

Tamarindo, Costa...
Level Contributor
490 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

The city tour of San Jose is a really good idea--you get to see the National Theater and the museum where you learn the history of the Costa Rican people. And then you will probably want to leave, because simply, San Jose is a metropolitan city and there so much beautiful Costa Rica to see outside of there.

Road Advisor gave you some good directions to get to Tamarindo from San Jose. Our 2 cents: after you cross the bridge and drive about 10 minutes to the dead end you will see a gas station. Right next door is a teeny tiny soda, and the food there is very good.

guanacaste
Level Contributor
3,093 posts
48 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

Try Rice & shrimp at Caballo Blanco !!!!

Chicago
1 post
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Driving San Jose to Tamarindo

Looking at making the same trip in a month and have read lots of horror stories that driving can be difficult. As a good driver but only an English speaker think i'll be fine?