Off the beaten trail in Costa Rica
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Feb 24, 2013 7:17 AM Last Post By: steve486435
Feb 15, 2013 6:25 PM
Off the beaten trail in Costa RicaI thought I'd post this for those of you who are interested in seeing some back country not traveled by many tourists. I was in San Isidro de El General the other day and decided to drive back to Ojochal by a different route. Instead of going back via Dominical, we took the Carretera Interamericana south. It's difficult to describe the turn off that we took because it's poorly marked but I'll do my best. A little while after the carretera turns back from four lane to two lane south of San Isidro, there's a road that turns off to the right. There's a large yellow building to the left and a small store on the right. The best thing to do is stop in at the store and ask if this road will take you to Pejiballe de Perez Zeledon. The asphalt on this road is new and in excellent condition, with much of the drive to Pejiballe on the crest of a mountain with great views on both sides. We stopped at a bar in Pejiballe and asked which road would take us to the coast. The bar owner told us ( in spanish) to cross the bridge and turn right 3kms later, then claw our way up the dirt road, a very good description.
I'd like to mention that the drive from this point on shouldn't be attempted without a heavy 4x4 and someone driving with plenty of off road experience. Spanish is also a must because there are a few forks in the road without signs, and you will have to stop and ask for directions. It's also a good idea to be on this road no later than 1pm, because you wouldn't want to be driving on it after dark. Two 4x4s would be better in case of problems.
There were four of us in the car with a 25 kilo bag of chicken feed, a large bag of dog food, and 6 cases of ceramic tiles, so plenty of weight for traction.
I have to say that I've been on many interesting drives in Costa Rica, but this is by far the most picturesque and adventurous. The road went way up to the top where we were driving in the clouds, and on some very narrow stretches with streams to cross, broken culverts, and soft shoulders. You're right on the very edge of a huge drop below, not for the faint of heart or lousy driver. The road dipped back down in the valley and back up over a second mountain. Once we crossed over it and got below the clouds, the view was incredible. You could see the ocean and Isla Garza ahead, and the town of Ojochal to the right far below. At this point the road gets very steep and more treacherous till you reach Tres Rios where it levels out a bit and eventually to the town of Coronado on the Costanera.
If you take the drive in the opposite direction, the road is just north of the new bowling alley in Coronado on the Costanera. Probably better taking the direction that I took though, because of the steep grade near Tres Rios would be a difficult climb and you would be missing many of the ocean views behind you.
Feb 15, 2013 10:11 PM
1When will the edit function return?...
Wanted to add that I know you're going to read this LB1. I wasn't hauling chicken feed and driving on back roads with your car. It was freshly washed, vacuumed, and sitting in the shade with two guard dogs watching over it. I think one of them peed on the back tire.
Drove my friends car that day.
Feb 16, 2013 3:44 AM
Feb 16, 2013 6:47 AM
Feb 16, 2013 7:59 AM
4One of my passengers was a first timer to Costa Rica and was in a barely controlled state of panic on this road. I offered to drive closer to the edge for better pics and told her that she should unclip her seat belt. Chances of survival would be greater if thrown from the car should we go over the side. Safety first I always say.
Feb 16, 2013 10:44 AM
Feb 18, 2013 8:15 AM
Feb 22, 2013 10:36 PM
7Forgot to mention that it's a really good idea to have proper music and a really good stereo when driving on this road ...
Pink Floyd Meddle...goosebumps amigos! It's my all time favorite album and perfect for this road.
One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces...
Feb 22, 2013 11:04 PM
8Wish I could have edited to replace this as the ultimate mountain driving music...
oh well..depends very much on passengers but highly recommend for my car.
Feb 23, 2013 5:08 AM
Feb 24, 2013 7:17 AM
Islita AreaBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$303.00 per night
(2 star Hotel)
From US$50.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$68.76 per night