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Driving Montaverde to Montezuma/Mal Pais

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Montclair, New...
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Driving Montaverde to Montezuma/Mal Pais

Hello! We are working on a 7 night trip to Costa Rica flying in and out of LIR in June. Our rough plan is to spend the first two nights in Monteverde and then drive route 18 to route 21 down to Mal Pais (and then back that way up to Samara or Tamarindo to finish out the trip).

We have gone from Tamarindo to Montezuma via route 21 before and while bumpy it was a fine drive, but this time it will be rainy season and our plan takes us across the La Amistad Bridge. One hotel in Mal Pais said not to plan to cross any big rivers. Is this route a bad idea? Can anyone shed some light? We aren't interested in taking the ferry. Thanks!

Dearborn, Michigan
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1. Re: Driving Montaverde to Montezuma/Mal Pais

That's the super long bridge at the North end of the gulf of Nicoya, right? I would think that should be fine. I'm not an engineer or anything, but it's a huge bridge.

I've driven down from Liberia to Montezuma on the inside of the peninsula in late August before, I'm not recommending it, but it's doable. I had a tiny little car, I'm not even sure if it was a 4x4.

FYI, same trip: The bridge to get from Tamarindo to Liberia (10 minutes from the airport) was closed once due to LOTS of rain and I missed my flight. And that's the only way across when there is lots of rain...


La Fortuna de San...
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2. Re: Driving Montaverde to Montezuma/Mal Pais

You will be fine from Monteverde to Mal Pais on Rt.21 to Rt.160. There are bridges on all rivers that could be problematic.

When you go to Samara, take Rt.160 to Rt.21 until you reach Nicoya and then turn left on Rt.150 to the beach. You should not take the coastal route as you would have to cross rivers.

Santa Teresa, Costa...
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for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
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3. Re: Driving Montaverde to Montezuma/Mal Pais

I suggest you finish up your trip closer to LIR than Samara. If you are going from Mal Pais up to Samara, you are crossing the peninsula twice, once to get on the main road up the east side of the peninsula because the beach route is impassible at this time of the year (due to rains and height of rivers you would be fording), then you go back across the peninsula from Nicoya to Samara. If you leave Samara to go to LIR, you will back-track to Nicoya and head up to LIR.

If you leave Mal Pais and go up to Coco or Flamingo, or Tamarindo (but you have been here in the past), you will be closer to fly out and you won't have such a long drive the day you are leaving.

4. Re: Driving Montaverde to Montezuma/Mal Pais

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