Nosara to Jacó – Quepos – Manuel Antonio. The Road explained.
On this article, I am going to explain to you the choices you have for going to Jaco, Quepos or Manuel Antonio from Nosara, conditions of the road to the central Pacific beaches, trip time, why to visit those places and much more. As a Costa Rican, I have spent many days vacation on those beaches.
For going from Nosara to Jacó, Quepos or Manuel Antonio, there is only one real option, and it is by the only road, either driving your own or rented vehicle or on a Private Shuttle, and will take from four to five and a half hours, in a partially bad road, partially crowded road. Flying is not a possibility since you have to fly all the way to San Jose, and then back to Quepos. Much less if you go to Jaco.
The condition of the different parts of the road, the route, and your options to rest and sightseeing will be explained no the next paragraphs.
First, you go out of Guiones and take a right southeast on route 160 until you get to Barco Quebrado, this route is dusty and bumpy. Here you take a left up to the Samara-Nosara crossroad. The road is paved but with holes.
On Nosara-Samara crossroad, you take a left Northeast on route 150 until you pass Nicoya. This is a wavy and winding road. Passing Nicoya you get to the main road of Guanacaste, route 21, and you take a right southeast to Pueblo Viejo de Nicoya, the crossroad to Puente de la Amistad. This is a paved, good, two-lane road.
There you take a left northeast on route 18, passing the Amistad Bridge and continue to Limonal, the intersection with the route 01. This is a good paved two-lane road. Here you can stop for a snack and refreshments. For now, you have been driving two hours to two and a half hours.
After snacks and refreshments, you continue and take a right on route 01 going southeast all the way to Barranca. On Barranca, you take a right on route 23 southeast and then south, parallel to the coast, until you get to Caldera.
On Caldera, you keep going east on route 27 to Pozón, where is the intersection with the Costanera or route 34. On this crossing, you take a right going south on route 34 or Costanera until you arrive at Bridge over Tarcoles River. There you should stop to watch the crocodiles, and maybe to buy a souvenir, it is an amazing experience. Generally, traffic is slow over there, you should be patient. Again road continues paved and in good condition.
Right next to the Tarcoles, you have on your left the Carara National Park, You continue south over Route 34 La Costanera until you arrive at Jacó, which is a town on your right, with a big entrance four-lane road. For now, you will have driven four to four and a half hours.
If you continue on route 34 one hour or one and a half hour more, passing Esterillos and Parrita, you arrive in Quepos on your right. If you continue through Quepos, at the end of the town, before the Marina, you take a left and get route 618 over the mountain, you get to Manuel Antonio. In the end, you will find the entrance to the worldwide famous Manuel Antonio National Park. This is a wavy and winding road, and at least half an hour more.
Why Coming to Jacó Beach, The Surfing Connection.
Jaco is a whole city, with tall apartment buildings, banks, businesses, supermarkets, everything. It was not always like that. Tourism has increased a lot, several years ago, it was a quiet, small, regular beach town, Now it is a Party City, with dozens of Bars, restaurants, and clubs, in contrast to Nosara which is more a quiet town.
On Jaco Beach, you can find ATV tours, Sportfishing, Canyoning, Rappel and Canopy, Rafting, Waterfall Tours, Crocodile Safari, Surf Safaries, Hiking on Carara National Park, Tour to Tortuga Island, and more.
But Jaco is known worldwide for its surfing experience. Jaco Beach is the Surfing center of Costa Rica. There are dozens of surf shops. The beach is ideal for surfing with many points, but what is great about Jaco, is that you will find very close, several good famous surf beaches, like Playa Hermosa, Esterillos, Bejuco Beach and the Barranca River mouth.
This is the connection with Nosara, both are surfers towns, only that Nosara is a sleepy town and Jaco is a Party animal town, full of activities, and full of tourists looking for action.
Why Coming to Quepos, The Sportfishing Center Of Costa Rica.
Even when in Quepos there are enough and good surf spots, Quepos is really famous for its sportfishing industry. There are a permanent Roosterfish population and many other fish nearby. You can capture Sailfish, and going out, Marlin or Mahi Mahi.
They even host an IGFA world championship tournament every year, so the town has all the luxury hotels, bars, restaurants, clubs, and of course, the marina with all the boats.
You can also go sailing and do some snorkeling, or going on an ATV tour, or go hiking, or kayaking, and of course visit the nearby most visited national park of Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio.
Manuel Antonio Nal Park, Almost 500K Tourist a Year Can´t Be Wrong
Manuel Antonio National Park is the most visited park in Costa Rica. although it is the smallest national park in the country. Almost 500000 visitors a year. That makes it difficult to get in some times.
It is so visited, that the administration has to permit only so many tourists to lower the impact on the environment. Remember that the principal goal of the park is the protection of the environment, and in reality, Manuel Antonio National Park is not an amusement park. Nevertheless, I can recognize that visit Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most amazing experiences in terms of contact with wild animals.
The park is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, and it is home for several species of monkeys, iguanas, sloths and raccoons, on its pristine Rain Forest. The park is also famous for its picture-perfect beaches. You can hire a tour guide for the park, with a telescope for animals and birth watching, and they give you an explanation on the park and its history. They know where to find the animals. Remember that you can not feed the animals, it is against the law. Keep your things close to you, monkeys take your things very easily in search of food.
Around the park, you can find from luxuries hotels to humble hostels, bars and restaurants, and many activities.
Frequently Ask Questions
It´s Jaco Safe? I got a problem with Jaco. I know the place since I was a kid, we as a family went there for vacation, and as a young man in college, I use to go all the time with my friends. So I have seen the changes in the town, some are good, some are bad. My problem is that I have seen a lot of the bad things growing, off course, this is the vision of a small town person. If you are used to big cities, you will not find any problem with Jaco.
Like any other city, if you restrain yourself, if you moderate your party, you will not have any issues in Jaco. There is everything but the kitchen sink. So, mostly depends on you, and your good sense, to keep yourself safe. On the hotels, you will not have any problems at all.