Trip Distant: 96 Kilometers
Trip Time: 1.5 Hours
Terrain: Highway & Dirt Roads
Recommended Vehicle: 4WD or AWD
Address: M25H+8F Bajo Los Cartagos, Alajuela Province, Guatuso, Costa Rica
My first experience driving in another country came this summer during a trip to Costa Rica. I was only staying in Liberia for 3 full days, so my time was very limited. I had to jump out of my comfort zone of being a tourist to really capitalize on my time there. Renting a car and taking sightseeing into my own hands was a good place to start. In this article I will be sharing driving tips and directions on how to get from Liberia To Rio Celeste in 1 and a half hours.
Costa Rica Terrain and Weather Research
Out of all the tips I have about driving in Costa Rica, this is the most important and goes hand in hand with picking out a quality car rental. Do your research on the type of terrain and weather you’ll be driving in. This should apply to all car rental planning in other countries.
Most highways in Costa Rica are paved but often times dirt roads lead you to destinations such as Rio Celeste. All of the dirt roads I drove on to get to Rio Celeste had a fair amount of potholes, rocks and uneven terrain. Getting a rental car that has 4×4 driving is an absolute must. With the unpredictable weather of jungles, you need to rent a car that can handle these types of conditions. Otherwise you can find yourself in trouble real quick.
If you don’t plan on going too far off the beaten path you’re probably ok renting a standard vehicle. In this case though, driving from Liberia to Rio Celeste requires a more heavy duty vehicle.
Choosing What To Rent & Where To Rent From
We’ve already established that you should be renting a vehicle that includes 4×4 wheel driving capabilities. Choosing where to rent from is the next step. It’s worth noting that 99% of all car rental locations are within a mile or two of the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR). They also provide shuttle pick up and drop off, which is amazing!
During this trip, I decided to rent from Adobe Rent a Car. They definitely aren’t the only car rental provider in the area but they are 100% Costa Rican owned, from ownership to its employees. If you’re all about giving back to the local economy when traveling, this is a great opportunity to do so. I had such an amazing experience renting with Adobe and highly recommend them.
Driving Directions From Liberia To Rio Celeste
If you have GPS, the drive is going to be a breeze. I opted to live on the edge and navigated my way old school by map. Directions are fairly simple.
Start by driving South on Route 1 for approximately 76 kilometers (1 hour). Once you reach Route 6, take a left and head North. The turnoff for Route 6 is kind of confusing. You exit Route 1 and end up taking a left under Route 1. Follow Route 6 for approximately 20 kilometers (30 minutes).
Even though this road is paved, beware of very large potholes on Route 6. After 20 kilometers you’ll reach a small town called Bijagua. You’ll begin seeing signs for Rio Celeste. Your next turn is hard to spot. You’ll hang a right just after a small shopping center and before the local hardware store. This is where the adventure starts to get real exciting. Alas, the pothole filled dirt roads I referred to earlier.
Getting to the Tenorio Volcano National Park and trailhead to Rio Celeste is pretty easy once you reach this road. You’ll drive on this road for roughly 15 minutes and you’ll come to a fork in the road, stay right and that will take you straight to the Tenorio Volcano National park and trailhead. After another 15 minutes of driving you’ve reached your destination, one of the most beautiful rivers in the world, Rio Celeste.