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How The New Chilamate Vuelta Kooper Highway Will Save You Time (To/From La Fortuna/Arenal) – The Official Costa Rica Travel Blog

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This text was last up to date on March eighth, 2018

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Ricky and I’ve had a longstanding joke with a superb pal of ours (and owner of one in every of Costa Rica’s biggest white water rafting outfitters) that we must be the people to cut the ribbon on the inauguration of the brand new Chilamate Vuelta Kooper freeway when it opens. As a white water rafting guide and safety kayaker on the Pacuare River for over six years (the one Pacuare River tour information stationed in La Fortuna), Ricky travelled forwards and backwards between Arenal and the Pacuare River (i.e., the city of Siquirres) day by day, and whereas he didn’t thoughts the almost six-hour drive every day (approximately three hours to the river and another three hours back) as it offered him with ample time to talk and make buddies with hundreds of awesome individuals from numerous nations around the globe, we couldn’t assist however snort when–a number of weeks from Ricky’s retirement from his station in La Fortuna–the federal government introduced a plan to construct the Chilamate Vuelta Kooper freeway; a direct route designed to attach the La Fortuna area with locales to the east, which would considerably shorten the period of the route travelled for participation in the Pacuare River rafting tour, amongst different things.

Fascinated about rafting the Pacaure River throughout your time in Costa Rica? Don’t miss our associated weblog publish:

The Pacuare River Rafting Tour

Quick forward more than five years to in the present day, and we’re happy to have the ability to announce that the brand new Chilamate Vuelta Kooper highway is formally open! No, we weren’t at yesterday’s inauguration ceremony, however we did increase a glass at dinner final night time and toast the start of a brand new era of transportation in Costa Rica; an era that future guests will possible do not know they are a part of, however past visitors who are conversant in the previous, longer, slower, and curvier route will surely respect.


Given its current improvement, the brand new Chilamate Vuelta Kooper route shouldn’t be but totally seen on Google Maps. Nevertheless, we will inform you that at its westernmost level, the highway begins on the intersection of highway #4 and street #751, nearby the small group of Vuelta de Kooper (GPS coordinates: 10°26’21.1″N 84°20’30.8″W). At its easternmost level, the highway ends at street #126, simply before Bajos de Chilamate (GPS coordinates: 10°26’35.four″N 84°06’53.3″W). Roughly 27kms long and with a most velocity limit of 80kms per hour, the brand new Chilamate Vuelta Kooper highway takes roughly 20 minutes to drive.

Taking the Chilamate Vuelta Kooper highway route: What you’ll miss

Up to now, ground transportation between La Fortuna and Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui (or some other vacation spot further east) was led down a route that handed by means of small cities and communities including Los Chiles, Aguas Zarcas, Venencia, Rio Cuarto, San Miguel, and La Virgen. If we’re trustworthy, the route was never a nasty one; we all the time discovered greatness in small things alongside the best way each time we passed by means of. Youngsters have been all the time enjoying futbol in Los Chiles, and we came across a pleasant carniceria owner and an incredible second-hand store in Aguas Zarcas. We’ve long admired the panorama and farm fields that surround Venencia and Rio Cuarto, and we routinely stopped for fuel and occasional at the station and cafe in the heart of San Miguel. To this present day, every time we see San Miguel’s cracked central church, we keep in mind the world’s Cinchona earthquake of 2009–a pure disaster by which many Costa Ricans lost their lives, and the strongest earthquake we have now personally felt so far because it triggered the floor and walls in our La Fortuna house to move. The stretch from San Miguel down the mountain all the time offered a concoction of slow-moving transport vans, windy roads, and delightful views. Once we handed the notorious velocity bumps at La Virgin, it was clean crusing to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui and onward from there. Unfortunately, provided that the brand new Chilamate Vuelta Kooper freeway bypasses each of these notable towns, the character, culture, and communities that make up every can be missed.

Taking the Chilamate Vuelta Kooper highway route: What you’ll achieve

Because the above mentioned route (Los Chiles->Aguas Zarcas->Venencia->Rio Cuarto->San Miguel->La Virgen) is roughly 87kms lengthy, opting to take the Chilamate Vuelta Kooper highway will save roughly 60kms of floor journey. Furthermore, because the previous route was one which passed by way of cities, was curvy and mountainous in sections, and was typically slowed by impassable transport vans, a drive that used to take approximately 60 minutes to finish can now be completed in virtually 1/3 of that point. Briefly, choosing to take the Chilamate Vuelta Kooper freeway will save a minimum of 40 minutes of drive time, and probably more, provided that slowdowns and delays have been widespread on the previous route. In addition, travellers who select to take the Chilamate Vuelta Kooper freeway will even achieve the comfort of driving a direct route, on a nicer/newer street, and at a better velocity.


  • In contrast to a couple of of the newer stretches of freeway in and around the San Jose area, the Chilamate Vuelta Kooper freeway is just not a toll street; there isn’t any value associated with driving on the highway.


  • We love that the new freeway consists of 20 passageways for wildlife that wish to cross the street (12 overhead passageways and eight underground passageways). Whereas we hope all animals study to cross the street safely, please be alert once you drive; look ahead to wildlife along side the street reminiscent of monkeys, sloths, turtles, canine, koatis, and extra.


  • As a part of the freeway venture’s inexperienced initiative, roughly 1,500 timber have already been planted to assist offset the roadway’s development. Another 4,500 timber have been promised and are yet to return.


Depending on where you propose to journey in Costa Rica, the development of the Chilamate Vuelta Kooper highway might or will not be an advantage to you. Proceed reading under to find out whether you need to take (or probably gained’t have to take) Costa Rica’s latest roadwork masterpiece in response to the locations you propose to go to during your trip.

For those who plan to travel to or from La Fortuna by way of Liberia, Monteverde, or any Guanacaste/Nicoya Peninsula/Central Pacific coast seashore location…

The most notable difference in drive time might be skilled by individuals who choose to journey between Costa Rica’s La Fortuna region and its Caribbean coast (together with locales encountered alongside the best way, similar to Sarapiqui, Guapiles, Siquirres, previous to reaching the coast at Limon). People who plan to visit La Fortuna from the west (i.e., from Liberia, Monteverde, or any Guanacaste seashore location) shall be unaffected by the event of the brand new freeway. Equally, people who plan to journey between La Fortuna and the Central Pacific coast or Nicoya Peninsula shall be unaffected by the development of the new freeway.

When you plan to travel to or from La Fortuna by way of San Jose…

For travel between San Jose and La Fortuna, nearly all of travellers won’t take the Chilamate Vuelta Kooper freeway. The hottest routes between these two destinations stay the route by means of San Ramon, adopted by the route by way of Ciudad Quesada. Alternatively, people who plan to depart from San Jose to go to the Poas Volcano and/or the La Paz Waterfall earlier than continuing on to La Fortuna can be greatest to take the previous route by way of San Miguel as doing so can be the quickest and most direct choice. Solely those who have a selected curiosity in travelling from San Jose to La Fortuna by way of the Braullio Carrillo Nationwide Park or the Sarapiqui region should plan to take the Chilamate Vuelta Kooper freeway.

For those who plan to journey to or from La Fortuna by way of Guapiles, Siquirres, Limon, Tortuguero, or any Caribbean coast seashore location…

Plan to take the Chilamate Vuelta Kooper highway; as described above, doing so shall be extra handy and can save you time. When you don’t plan to drive yourselves, notice that your shared shuttle service driver, your personal switch service driver, or your tour/activity driver will possible take the highway as properly. Fortuitously, taking the brand new highway will end in both later morning departure occasions in anticipation of excursions and transfer providers, and earlier afternoon/evening arrival occasions following the completion of tours and switch providers. Yay for sleeping in later whereas on vacation AND having additional time to spend at a destination (versus time spent on the street); it’s win-win either means. Though it might take transportation service suppliers and tour operators a while to modify over to the new Chilamate Vuelta Kooper highway route and update their service scheduling (i.e., their tour/service pick-up occasions and approximate exercise/service durations), relaxation assured that the brand new operation might be properly well worth the wait.

Pura vida!

How The New Chilamate Vuelta Kooper Highway Will Save You Time (To/From La Fortuna/Arenal)

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Nikki Solano

Nikki Solano is a Costa Rica skilled, writer of the Moon Costa Rica (2019) guidebook; CEO of Pura Vida! eh? Inc.; operator of the Costa Rica Travel Blog, writer of DIY Costa Rica; and a freelance author for hire.

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