Directions to UGA Costa Rica

UGACR campus address: 700 metros este de la Escuela de los Altos de San Luis, San Luis de Monteverde

If you will be driving to UGA Costa Rica, we recommend using GPS to help you navigate, in addition to using the directions below.

 
 

The GPS coordinates for UGA Costa Rica are: N10 16.973 W84 47.882 (Lattitude 10.28288201, Longitude -84.79803499). You can also find us using Google Maps by following this link, or look for us on foursquare. Also, be sure to check out our Maps page for more information.

 

Even if you'll be traveling by bus or hired car, you can search our coordinates using Google Earth to get an idea of the upcoming drive! You can also download a self-guided tour for a more detailed explanation of the trip to the UGA Costa Rica Campus.

 

Feliz viaje! / Happy traveling!


 

 

 

 BY HIRED CAR:

We can arrange for a vehicle and driver to pick you up and bring you here directly from either of the airports, or from wherever you are in Costa Rica. Transportation to/from the airport generally runs about $180 for up to 4 people, but please ask us for a quote (reservCR@uga.edu). 

 

BY CAR - FROM SAN JOSÉ

Take the Interamerican Highway (Route 1) west past the airport, Alajuela, San Ramón, Esparza, and then north past Puntarenas until you reach the Sardinal (Rancho Grande) turnoff on your right. **Alternatively, you can take the new toll highway (Route 27) to Caldera, and then follow signs to reach the Interamerican highway. Continue until you reach the Sardinal (Rancho Grande) turnoff on your right.**  Turn right at the Rancho Grande gas station. **Fill up here- although there is finally a gas station in Monteverde, it's best to arrive with a full tank!** From the gas station, continue 2.3 km to the small town of Sardinal - turn left at the soccer field.

 

From Sardinal, you will begin the climb into the Tilarán mountains toward Monteverde and the Continental Divide. You'll see the mountain peaks and clouds in the distance--that's where you're heading! The first part of the road, between the towns of Sardinal and Guacimal, is paved. Please be careful as you drive up this winding mountain road! You will reach a crossroads in the small town of Guacimal, at the "El Sol" restaurant - turn right. This is where the pavement ends: from here you will be on unpaved roads until you reach UGA Costa Rica.

 

From “El Sol” Restaurant follow all signs toward Monteverde and Santa Elena for 7.3 km (4.5 miles) until you reach the intersection to San Luis de Monteverde. Please see a photo below of the entrance to San Luis - but note that the two yellow posts are no longer there. You should see a sign on the right for Cafe San Luis. This is the entrance to the San Luis Valley (about 12 km before Monteverde, and 7.3 km above Guacimal, and is called "el cruce de San Luis" if you want to ask along the way).

 

Turn right, and begin your descent into the San Luis Valley. Drive over the Rio San Luis, past the village of Bajo San Luis that includes the Monteverde Coffee Beneficio (4 km). You'll pass the Bajo San Luis school and church on your left as you head uphill toward Alto San Luis and the head of the valley. At the cemetery (on your right), follow the fork to the right and continue climbing until you reach a small fenced schoolhouse on your right ("la escuela de Alto San Luis") (7.5 km from the "cruce"). Turn right onto the road after the school and continue 700 m (half a mile). You will need to stop first at the Guard House on your right hand side. The main entrance to UGACR campus (Reception, Student Union) is the second entrance on your left, with a large Univeristy of Georgia sign. Total travel time from San José: approximately 3.5 hours.

 

BY CAR - FROM LIBERIA AND NORTHWEST COSTA RICA:

Take the Interamerican Highway east past Cañas and Las Juntas until you reach the Sardinal turnoff on your left, at the large Rancho Grande gas station. Turn left. **Fill up here- although there is finally a gas station in Monteverde, it's best to arrive with a full tank!** From the gas station, continue 2.3 km to the small town of Sardinal - turn left at the soccer field.

 

From Sardinal, you will begin the climb into the Tilarán mountains toward Monteverde and the Continental Divide. You'll see the mountain peaks and clouds in the distance--that's where you're heading! The first part of the road, between the towns of Sardinal and Guacimal, is paved. Please be careful as you drive up this winding mountain road! You will reach a crossroads in the small town of Guacimal, at the "El Sol" restaurant - turn right. This is where the pavement ends: from here you will be on unpaved roads until you reach UGA Costa Rica.

 

From “El Sol” Restaurant follow all signs toward Monteverde and Santa Elena for 7.3 km (4.5 miles) until you reach the intersection to San Luis de Monteverde. Please see a photo below of the entrance to San Luis - but note that the two yellow posts are no longer there. You should see a sign on the right for Cafe San Luis. This is the entrance to the San Luis Valley (about 12 km before Monteverde, and 7.3 km above Guacimal, and is called "el cruce de San Luis" if you want to ask along the way).

 

Turn right, and begin your descent into the San Luis Valley. Drive over the Rio San Luis, past the village of Bajo San Luis that includes the Monteverde Coffee Beneficio (4 km). You'll pass the Bajo San Luis school and church on your left as you head uphill toward Alto San Luis and the head of the valley. At the cemetery (on your right), follow the fork to the right and continue climbing until you reach a small fenced schoolhouse on your right ("la escuela de Alto San Luis") (7.5 km from the "cruce"). Turn right onto the road after the school and continue 700 m (half a mile). You will need to stop first at the Guard House on your right hand side. The main entrance to UGACR campus (Reception, Student Union) is the second entrance on your left, with a large Univeristy of Georgia sign. Total travel time from Liberia: approximately 3.5 hours.

 

BY CAR - FROM ARENAL / LA FORTUNA:

Follow all signs from Arenal to Monteverde. You will pass through the large town of Tilarán (gas station), and many small towns including Quebrada Grande, El Dos, Turín, Los Tornos, and Cañitas, finally arriving in Santa Elena (the main town in the Monteverde area). Follow directions (below) from Santa Elena. Total travel time from Arenal/La Fortuna to UGACR is highly variable, depending on road conditions, vehicle type, and weather- allow at least 4 hours (not including stops) if you are driving from Arenal.

 

BY CAR - FROM SANTA ELENA:

From the center of Santa Elena, follow all signs toward the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. When the paved road ends, you'll know you've reached the village of Monteverde. You will pass the Bat Jungle, Cheese Factory, and Friends School on your left, and then La Colina Lodge and Hotel Fonda Vela on your right. After you pass Hotel Fonda Vela, take the next right turn, which is the road to San Luis. TURN RIGHT. (This is about 2km BEFORE the Monteverde Reserve. If you get to the Monteverde Reserve, you have gone too far!)

 

Continue on the dirt road about 1km, and you will begin a steep descent down a paved cement road. This is "La Trocha de San Luis." Enjoy the spectacular view of the Gulf of Nicoya! Once you reach the bottom,  continue another ~1km until you reach a small intersection. On your left, there is a small lime-green corner store (Pulperia de San Luis). TURN LEFT. (If you pass the San Luis Elementary School- Escuela de los Altos de San Luis- on your left, you have gone too far.) After turning left at the Pulperia, continue 700 m (half a mile). You will need to stop first at the Guard House on your right hand side. The main entrance to UGACR campus (Reception, Student Union) is the second entrance on your left, with a large Univeristy of Georgia sign. Total drive time from Santa Elena: Approximately 25 minutes.

 

BY BUS:

There are two direct buses daily from San José to Monteverde, leaving at 6:30am and 2:30pm. We recommend the early bus, in order to travel during daylight hours and thus see more along the way. Buses leave on the same schedule (6:30am and 2:30pm) from Monteverde to San José. The buses leave from "Terminal 7-10" in San José, close to a district known as "Barrio Mexico". It's a new, three-story bus station, painted orange and gray. Taxi drivers usually know the place, or can find out where it is. Keep a close watch on all your belongings while waiting for the bus, as well as during the trip, as people frequently have luggage or valuables stolen on this route or while waiting at the bus station. Once you arrive in Santa Elena, you can get a taxi in front of the bus stop. The taxi ride to San Luis costs about US $16.00. Tell the taxi driver to bring you to "UGA Ecolodge San Luis."

 

 PHOTOS: (1) TURNOFF TO SAN LUIS (Note: Yellow posts are no longer there!!)  (2) SIGN FOR BELLBIRD BIOLOGICAL CORRIDOR.