ON THE ROAD
- Gas Stations are scarce in Costa Rica. Check your gas gauge when you pick up your rental car (some do not fill the tank) and be sure that you have a full tank when you leave the San Jose or airport area. In Dominical, the gas station just north of the Coast Road/San Isidro Road intersection is the only station between Dominical and Quepos to the north and San Isidro to the east. There is also a gas station on the Costanera Sur located in the village of Uvita to the south.
- Pedestrians and Animals use or cross the highways everywhere. Even where the speed limit is 80 kilometers/hour, pedestrians, bus riders, cyclists are to be found on the highways, so caution is urged. The area of the Inter-American Highway where vision is often obscured by mists and fog is called the "Cerro de la Muerta" for the simple reason that many pedestrians who try to cross the highways do not make it.
- Night Driving on the highway should be avoided for the same reason. Additionally, in the mountains, domestic and wild animals often choose to sleep on the paved highway because it has retained heat from the afternoon sun. This condition is not prevalent along the coast highway, but caution is urged whenever vision is limited.
- Passing Slower Traffic is a national sport in Costa Rica. Many large trucks and busses, along with an assortment of ancient vehicles (usually pickup trucks) travel the highways at speeds well below the posted limit, especially in the mountains. The mountain roads and highways provide very limited opportunity for passing and caution should be used. Exercise caution in your own passing strategy and be constantly aware of local drivers, most of whom are averse to following slow-moving traffic. This applies to cars, trucks and busses. Defensive driving is a must.
If you plan a lot of cooking during your stay at the Villa, stock up with provisions before you reach Dominical. Ask for a 'Super Mercado".
Selection and quality are highest in San Jose, specifically lettuces, baby vegetables, non-seasonal and exotic fruits, whole grain breads, higher quality meats, and imported liquors and wines. If you stay overnight in the capital, ask your hotel for the most convenient super market on the way out of town. If you leave directly from the airport, the car rental agency may be your best bet for directions.
San Isidro de El General
You can find plenty of basic items, meats and vegetables in San Isidro. The Corona supermarket and MegaSuper market offer the widest range of products familiar to gringos. As you travel through San Isidro toward Dominical, watch for the Supermercado Coopeagri on the right. The central vegetable market (in the bus terminal), a pharmacy and two bakeries can be found in the block before the Supermercado. There are a number of stands selling fresh fruit and vegetable on the road between San Isidro and Dominical.
Just north of the town of Jaco, on the right side of the highway, is a new
shopping center incorporating a large lighthouse structure. The center
includes an AM Automercado, the closest thing to an upscale American
supermarket you will find in Costa Rica. Many items imported from Europe and
the United States can be found here.
There are a number of grocery stores in the town. Coffee lovers should stop at Café Milagro, across from the beach in the northern portion of the town. The coffee is roasted on-site and fresh beans (there is a grinder at the Villa) and ground coffee are available. The staff speaks English and can direct you to nearby supermarkets.
The markets in the Plaza Pacifica and in Dominical
are more convenience stores than a supermarket, so selection is limited.
There is a bank with an ATM in the Plaza Pacifica and a liquor store and a
pharmacy in the Pueblo Del Rio center.
Further down the Costanera, about 8 kilometers south of the Villa, is the
town of Uvita. Uvita contains grocery stores, three or four banks, a
pharmacy and other stores. An additional drive of 10 kilometers south of
Uvita brings you to a shopping center with a store featuring wines, cheeses
and other foods imported from the U.S. and Europe.
We hope these notes are helpful and we look forward to seeing you soon!
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