Drive yourself

If you have a GPS unit in your rental car our coordinates are:

N 09.27152 latitude and W83.88162 longitude

There are two options from San Jose, the coastal route and the mountain route.

From San Jose via Cerro de la Muerte

For the mountain route take the Inter-American Highway #2 south to San Isidro del General. You will leave San Jose heading east to Cartago, once you get to the entrance to Cartago you want to follow the signs to San Isidro del General or Panama. This will take you over the Cerro de la Muerte, the highest point on the Pan-American Highway 3200m (10,400 feet). This road is completely paved and in pretty good shape. You do want to be careful though; this road can be very rainy and foggy. It is used by a lot of the trucks headed to Panama. Take a jacket; it gets cold up there. It will take you approximately 3 hours to get to San Isidro depending on traffic and fog.

When you reach San Isidro watch for a McDonald’s on a corner on the right, turn right at that corner and drive through town. After you are almost entirely through the town the road will veer to the right and continue 37 kilometers on a winding, mountainous road to an intersection where you meet the coastal highway. To the left is the bridge over the Baru River. There is a police check point at the bridge. At this junction turn right onto the coastal highway heading towards Quepos. Hacienda Barú is 2.5 Km up this road. You will find our entrance immediately after the Gas Station on the left. Look for our sign.  The whole journey takes between 4 and 5 hours.

From the Airport (SJO) or anywhere in the San Jose area via Jaco & Quepos (the coastal route)

Ask the rental car agency or the hotel where you are staying how to get to highway 27 going toward Orotina. This is a toll road, and you will have to stop several times at the toll stations. The tolls vary from a little over a dollar to a little under a dollar (400 to 700 Costa Rican colones.) Just past Orotina you have to turn off of highway 27 and take highway 34. Follow the signs to Jaco, Parrita, Quepos and Dominical.  When you get to Quepos, don’t go into town. Continue on highway 34 toward Dominical. A couple of kilometers past the first Quepos exit, you will see a large hospital on your left. The Hacienda Baru turn-off is 32.5 kilometers straight ahead from that point. You will be on a brand new paved highway. When you see a bridge with a sign that says, “Rio Hatillo Viejo,” you are 2.2 kilometers from the Hacienda Baru entrance. Watch for our sign on the right. Turn right at the sign and go 100 meters on a gravel driveway to our reception office. If you get to a gas station you have missed the turn-off and need to go back about 100 meters. The entire drive will take about three hours.

If you are driving to Hacienda Baru from Guanacaste,  Arenal or Monteverde.

You will want to follow the Pan-American Highway to the town of Puntarenas, be careful not to turn right into the town.  Follow the signs to Jaco and Quepos. It should take you approximately one hour to get to Jaco and another hour to get to Quepos. When you get to Quepos, don’t go into town. Continue on the coastal highway toward Dominical. A couple of kilometers past the first Quepos exit, you will see a large hospital on your left. The Hacienda Baru turn-off is 32.5 kilometers straight ahead from that point.. You will be on a brand new paved highway. When you see a bridge with a sign that says, “Rio Hatillo Viejo,” you are 2.2 kilometers from the Hacienda Baru entrance. Watch for our sign on the right. Turn right at the sign and go 100 meters on a gravel driveway to our reception office. If you get to a gas station you have missed the turn-off and need to go back about 100 meters.

If you are driving from Quepos

From the town of Quepos you will want to ask for directions to the hospital or the airstrip. From the hospital, the Hacienda Baru turn-off is 32.5 kilometers straight ahead. You will be on a brand new paved highway. When you see a bridge with a sign that says, “Rio Hatillo Viejo,” you are 2.2 kilometers from the Hacienda Baru entrance. Watch for our sign on the right. Turn right at the sign and go 100 meters on a gravel driveway to our reception office. If you get to a gas station you have missed the turn-off and need to go back about 100 meters.

If you are driving from Uvita or the Southern Zone

If you are coming from Uvita or the southern zone you will want to take the coastal highway to Dominical. Don’t go into Dominical, rather continue straight ahead and cross the bridge over the Baru River. Continue straight ahead toward Quepos. Hacienda Baru is 2.5 Km after the bridge on the road to Quepos. You will find our entrance immediately after the Gas Station on the left.

A Word on Driving in Costa Rica

The key to driving in Costa Rica is to be cautious and aware. Here are a few simple rules that will help you navigate safely.

1-    When you pick up your rental vehicle, check it over carefully. Make sure the tires are in acceptable condition. Unacceptable tires is one of the most frequent problems that guests who rent cars come up against. Also make sure that the person from the rental car company notes any bumps, scratches or dings on the car. Make sure that you are 100% clear what sort of insurance you have purchased and that you know what your deductible is. Make sure you have their contact information should you need to get back in touch with them prior to turning in the car.

2-    If you get a flat tire soon after parking somewhere, try not to pull over on the side of the road to change the tire. If you can, try to make it to a gas station or to a place where there are other cars and people.

3-    Costa Ricans are generally safe and courteous drivers, but a few are extremely bad drivers. Don’t be surprised to see people pass on blind curves and to try to pass long lines of cars and then expect you to open up a space for them when a semi is barreling down the road in their direction.

4-    If someone is tailgating you, just slow down and move to the right and let them pass.

5-    Always put your luggage in the trunk and don’t leave anything of value on the dash board or in the seats. Carry your credit cards, cash and passports on your person at all times when in transit. Once you arrive at Hacienda Baru you can store these valuables in your room safe.

6-    NEVER leave your vehicle unattended. There are usually guards at the road side restaurants, pay them to watch your car. No more than 500 colons or $1 are necessary for this service.

7-    Costa Rica recently put into effect a new traffic law which stipulates fines as high as $500 for speeding, not wearing your seat belt, and other common offenses. For this reason, it is more important than ever to abide by all traffic laws.

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