BY CAR from San José (~ 3,5 hours)
From the International Airport in Alajuela you need to take the Highway #1, or Interamericana Road #1.
After crossing the towns of San Ramón, Esparza, Barranca and San Gerardo, you will get to an intersection in Limonal. Once there, you'll see a Shell Gas Station on your left hand: turn left and continue on until you get to the city of Santa Cruz.
On your arrival in Santa Cruz, you'll get to an intersection where you can spot on the left hand a building which says "National Bank of Costa Rica", and on the right hand a Gas Station.
Continue straight on, cross a bridge and then turn left and take the road that goes towards the coast. You'll surely spot signs indicating Tamarindo beach, together with other beaches.
Follow this road until you get to the intersection with the small town named "27 de Abril", then turn left, then turn right.
Take the main road untile you get to the town of Paradiso. Once in Paradiso you'll see a soccer field: turn right and follow signs to Playa Avellanas beach, you'll reach Hotel Mauna Loa, where we'll be very glad to attend you!
In the Useful links
section, you'll find a list of rent-a-cars you can call for booking. Please remember that during high season (from Christmas to Easter), prices are generally sensibly higher than during the rest of the year.
It's safer to rent an off-road vehicle 4 x 4 since Costa Rican roads are generally a bit rough.
During almost all of your trip towards Avellanas you will be using the interamerican (or panamerican) highway. It's not literally a real highway, since it hasn't a traffic island, and it's crossed by secondary roads. Anyway, it's usually in good conditions. Please drive safe during your trip, for the Interamericana highway normally has heavy traffic and is heavyly patrolled by Costa Rican police.
If you loose yourself, don't be afraid to ask Costa Ricans people for informations: they are usually friendly and helpful.
Please also remember that when you reach the town of Santa Cruz, you could:
refuel with gasoline or diesel
buy goods in a minimarket
go to the post office and send postcards
change your money in colones, at the Banco Naciónal de Costa Rica (National Bank ok Costa Rica)
Finally, a recomendation: every time that you stop to refuel, it's a good idea to ask the attendant for an oil and water check. By doing so you'll reduce the risk to have inconveniences.
For further informations about roads and their conditions, you can visit the website of Costa Rican highway police (in Spanish): http://www.transito.go.cr
In order to aid you in following our directions, you can download our maps of Costa Rica:
map with road indications (~ 1,71 Mb)
giant map of whole Costa Rica (~ 5,05 Mb)