Finally! The highway from San Jose to Caldera and Orotina is finally open (much cheering). And it’s smooth, fairly curve-free and cuts driving time to the beach by about an hour. Allalujeh! Anyone who has driven from San Jose to Guanacaste or to the Central Pacific knows how nerve-wracking and slow the drive along those mountain roads, with their hairpin curves, can be. The new highway is thankfully one level (no climbing up and down mountains) and has gentle curves. Still one-lane in many spots but there are passing lanes so things move along much faster.
From the highway’s start just west of Santa Ana in San Jose to Jaco is 1 hour and to Manuel Antonio we made it in just under 2 hours. If you are heading to Guanacaste, take the highway to Caldera and then head towards Liberia, which will lead you to the Tempisque Bridge turnoff (Flamingo, Conchal, Tamarindo) or keep on to Coco. Figure on drive times now of about 3 hours.
Be sure to have colones handy, as you’ll run into a couple of tolls along the way (have about 1000 colones for each trip). It’s been over 30 years in the making but it was worth it as this is a first-class highway.
And re-opening is the Ocotal Beach Resort which was temporarily closed for five days as they straightened out a dispute with the taxation office. Despite rumours of bankruptcy or permanent closure, the hotel re-opened February 1 so everything is back to normal. Carry on…