Dominical, Uvita & Ojochal

The drive from Costa Rica’s San Jose International Airport (Juan Santamaria International Airport) to Playa Dominical will take about 3 hours on the new, fully paved Caldera Highway. Before heading in the direction of Playa Dominical, exchange at least $5 US dollars into Costa Rican colones to pay the highway tolls. Ask the rental car agent to send you off in the right driving direction, which should be west on Route 1, past the San Jose airport. Drive defensively and be aware that the two lanes highway often merges into a single lane; “CEDA” means “Yield”.

Note: The first 13 km of the new Caldera Highway is the same road as the “old” route to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. GPS devices may or may not be updated and may still provide directions via the “old” route.

  • Once on Route 1, follow signs to San Ramon and continue straight ahead for about 10 km
  • After the second bridge crossing, get in the right lane and take the next exit (Route 3) for Jaco / Quepos / Manuel Antonio. There is also a sign here for Punta Leona and Atenas
  • Turn left at the stop sign, crossing back over Route 1
  • Follow Route 3 for about 3 km
  • Look for a large Christian church on the left and then a soccer field and make a left on the road immediately after it. You are on the road to Turrucares. There are no signs and it’s a secondary road, so don’t think you’ve made a mistake. It’s currently the best connection to the toll highway from the airport
  • Drive 3 km down the road to Turrucares. Be advised, this is somewhat of a winding road
  • Once you arrive at the highway intersection turn left BEFORE the highway. Again, there are no signs. Be careful as it’s a narrow two-way gravel access road
  • Drive 300 meters until you arrive at a roundabout
  • Make a right following the highway signs to Orotina / Atenas
  • Drive onto the highway through 2 toll booths
  • Take the next right exit to Route 34; follow signs for Jaco / Quepos. This exit forms a loop and then you bypass a roundabout to continue straight to Jaco
  • Continue on this road towards Jaco for 36 km
  • Follow Route 34 (also called Costanera) until you cross over the Tarcoles River Bridge, commonly referred to as Crocodile Bridge. Note: This is a popular tourism destination in Cosata Rica! You will notice cars parked before and after Crocodile Bridge. This is a popular look-out point to observe Costa Rica’s crocodiles lurking in and around the river!
  • Shortly after Crocodile Bridge, you will see the ocean on your right-hand side
  • Continue driving past the community of Punta Leona and Herradura
  • Continue past the strip mall with a light house and an Automercado supermarket on the right hand side of the road
  • Continue on this road and follow the signs to Jaco and Manuel Antonio. This road takes you to Playa Dominical
  • Continue straight past Jaco for about 40 minutes until you reach the Quepos airport on your left-hand side
  • Playa Dominical is about 25 minutes past the Quepos airport on this road
  • After reaching the police check point on your left continue over a small bridge to enter into Dominical, Costa Rica. PURA VIDA!

Playa Dominical, Costa Rica Map

Map of Dominical Costa Rica