I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
I’m NOT an expert (an "expert" 2 ME knows 101%-NOT me). I believe in sharin info•helping where I can! And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise. At least you have some basic info to get you started.
Better yet - do you have extra time on your hands & looking for a volunteer project? Since this blog is a labor of love & RARELY does anyone share a donation (even though MANY have said how much it's helped them), I could REALLY use help updating info. Spanish speakers ESPECIALLY welcome since my VicLish can be somewhat limited at times!!

Has my blog helped in any way? Helped find something•brought more EASE? More exposure or business?
I welcome you to show YOUR appreciation for my efforts!
(see below other ways to show your appreciation)
The easiest way is with PAYPAL - Attn: LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com
(you do NOT need to have a PayPal account to do this - just a credit or debit card)
Do YOU have/know of a Business•Event•News•Place•Things 4 Sale•Rent to add? Email:


• APPLE LAPTOP - Do you have a Laptop you're not using? Mine recently broke so I'm using a lender. Must be new enough to run current Skypes & have an SDCard slot.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

GPS - a MUST HAVE in Costa Rica & Sites listing Coordinates for Driving•Touring around Costa Rica

Coming to visit Costa Rica?  It's CRUCIAL to know ahead of time that Costa Rica is NOT an easy country to drive in!! 

Personally I LOVE driving!!  I find it therapeutic!!  I've driven 110 mph on the German Autobaun!!  I've driven through tiny villages in Italia with no stop signs.  I hardly ever saw an accident in those places and I felt TOTALLY confident driving.  In Costa Rica - there's NO WAY IN HELL that I'll ever own a car as the first week, I'd probably have an ulcer AND kill someone - and if it was a motorcyclist - I'd probably have a clear conscious as MOST that I've seen seem to have a Death Wish with the way they drive (more on that later - but just start observing accidents you see.  The majority I've seen and have known people of having - BY FAR - involved a motorcycle!!).

So what's up with why I'm not keen on driving in Costa Rica??

First off, Costa Rican's have ONLY been a "Car Society" for about 20-25 years and one where to get a driver license, one just needs to go in and take a written (in Spanish) and driving test but they are NOT required to have taken and passed any form of Drivers Education courses to actually teach them HOW to drive properly.  So in essence, you have the blind leading the blind.

So if you're coming for a visit and INSIST on driving yourself (do NOT call me if you have problems!!!  I give you the option of hiring a Driver to have more EASE and a more AMAZING vacation!!!) - be WISE and either rent the GPS that the car company has (average price I see for that is around $10 per day.  WELL worth the investment in your SANITY!!).

If you're moving to Costa Rica or living here - SERIOUSLY HEAR ME!!! 

"WHY do I need a GPS?" you ask??

Costa Rica is a country with:
so EVERYTHING is given by "Directions" - often which are NOT detailed let alone logical!!!  Example - this is very common - "500 meters West and 75 meters North of the Oak Tree (or the white house = or whatever!!)".  Well, #1 - the oak tree got cut down 10 years ago and #2 - that can NOT translate very well into those GPS's)

•   NO STREET SIGNS practically (I've seen less than a handful of cities with street signs.  "WHY??" - mainly because they make them in metal [vs painting them on sides of buildings as I'D do IF I ran the world] and metal has a nice $$$ Value to them so they can be sold!!])

•   VERY FEW HIGHWAY SIGNS (and IF they do have them, they're often RIGHT THERE AT the exit [and sometimes soooo small you'll miss it.  Pre-warning signs - I'd bet they're NON EXISTENT 98.9% of the time!!)
So for the sake of your sanity, your relationship/marriage, anyone that drives with, you added to the increase chances of accidents that WILL happen - GET and USE A FRICKEN GPS!!!!!!!!!!

WhatEVER you do - do
NOT NOT bring or use software that is NOT purchased from NavSat IN Costa Rica!!!!!!!!!!   I can tell you, the people I've known that have brought those have ALL said it was ONLY accurate 40-60% of the time.

I found this GREAT site - 
Costa Rica GPS Wiki
It has a collection of Costa Rican GPS waypoints, tracks and useful location information.  It's GREAT for locals and tourists alike!!

Either RENT one locally (which range from $8-$10/day and WELL worth you not having to go through the hell we call driving in Costa Rica [without "addresses"])


What I'D do is:
PRE-purchase any Garmin GPS from the Nuvi series (other Garmin models are also compatible, if they have an SD card reader.  NON-compatible devices are TomTom, Magellan, NavTeq, among others).
THIS is the one you need to be compatible with the best software for Costa Rica that you get IN Costa Rica.  I’ve seen it on Craig’s List/eBay for as low as $70.
THEN come to Costa Rica and add the $89 EzFind map (or one of the shorter/limited ones below). 
10 Day Limited Version:  $49
30 Day Limited Version:  $69
FULL/Unlimited Version:  $89/year
Updates (1 year with the Full/Unlimited Version ONLY):  $39
(NOTE:  They need up to 36 hours to email it to you so do before you go [make sure to send them your GPS Unit Number and the dates you’ll be in Costa Rica].  EzFind does NOT work with Garmin Nuvi 3700 series)

Fred has found http://GPSTravelMaps.com/costarica.php pretty accurate in the Central Valley.

Micheal uses the WAZE "App"lication on his SmartPhone (he said Google Maps can show you where the cops are??????  Hmmmmmm!)

Here's a story on CostaRicaHappy.com blog about their experience using WAZE



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