Notes on Driving in Costa Rica
Trip Start Jul 10, 2013
18Trip End Aug 02, 2013
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With the exception of the highway near San Jose, the roads that we travelled on were paved by someone with some serious ADD. A section of road would be paved, this would be followed by a section of gravel road (Saskatchewan's gravel roads look like freeways in comparison), followed by another section of pavement, followed by more gravel.
The road up to Monteverde was 45 minutes of rutted, gravel track - not really wide enough for two vehicles. By the time we had arrived at the top I was willing to pay a helicopter to come and take me down.
2.) The appropriate distance between two vehicles is one foot
Maybe two if the vehicle in front is carrying gas.
3.) The driving on the right rule is highly flexible.
In fact, it seems preferable to take all corners from the left side of the road - especially if you're going up hill and it's a blind turn.
4.) The maximum speed in Costa Rica is 40 km/hr.
That's why it takes an hour to go 25km. There are no straight roads.
5.) The signs that indicate distance to a destination are merely suggestions.
Today on our way to our hotel we passed a sign indicating that San Jose was 92 km away. We drove for another several minutes only to pass another sign indicating again that San Jose was 92 km away. This seems to be pretty standard. Sometimes places actually get father away!
6.) All bridges only have enough road for one vehicle.
The first one there wins! Actually there are directions about which direction is to yield but crossing always feels like a lottery.
We took shuttles throughout Costa Rica rather than driving ourselves. This seemed to be a particularly First World choice. However, I'm glad we did.