Directions from the Airport to the San Jose / Caldera Highway
Note: This road looks very dangerous due to falling rocks and slippery roads during heavy downpours. Please use extreme caution and under no conditions drive at night. The worst traffic is Sunday afternoon as the San Jose locals head home. Expect 2-3 hour delays.
The tolls were 300 c (colones), then 460 c, then 610, and last 460 c. The drive was from Jaco to La Sabana Park at the end of the toll road. (which is 15 km past the airport) It took one hour from the on ramp from the Inter-American highway. Between Jaco and the highway there were two police speed traps. The speed limit in this area is mostly 80 kph, but it drops to 60 kph in every little neighborhood along the way, 40 kph if there is a school.
The point is plan ahead so not to hurry, drive slow, and enjoy driving in a beautiful tropical country.
Leaving the airport you want to head West, but you first have to exit the side road and get on the main road headed toward San Mateo. You will pass by the airport on your left and then drive 17 km (divide by ten, then multiply by six to change it to miles) on a straight road that occasionally goes from two lanes to one lane, scary when three tractor trailers have you boxed in.
Then you will see a Big Green sign for Atenas, Jaco, and Quepos, an exit on the right. Take it and STOP at the stop sign. All caps since this spot has lots of accidents. Make a left and drive six kilometers on a curvy, one lane each way road, where you come across two great restaurants - Fiesta de Maiz on the right, and Fiesta del Pollo on the left. This also is a good spot since there isn't much else all the way to Orotina, whichever route you take.
After about six kilometers you see a Supermarket called "La Gareta" on the right. You will also see a soccer field on the left. At that point you want to make a left. You will see school "Escuela Bonita" as you make the turn. The sign would say to Turrucares.
Then you drive this curvy road for four more kilometers, and it will curve to the left. Then start looking for another place to turn left to head towards the entrance to the toll road. You will approach a driving rotunda and you want to make the first right to head toward Caldera and Orotina.
From there it is 30 minutes to Orotina and another 30 minutes to Jaco (unless you stop to see the crocodiles under the long bridge) or another 20 minutes to Boca Barranca. From Boca Barranca, it's another 15 minutes to get to the Puntarenas port where the ferry service is. You just follow the signs to Puntarenas and once you are headed towards town, follow the straight road all the way to the end. When you reach land's end, make a right and you will see the line to get on the ferry on the left side of the road.