DRIVING TO CRISTAL AZUL:

The directions provided below will guide you to the entrance of San Miguel.  Please remember before you get on the road to call us so we can "Guestimate" your arrival time.  If you have a Toyota cell phone or your own, please try to call us from San Francisco so we can be on the beach waiting for you!

Your hosts will meet you on the beach at the cantina and personally show you the road up to hidden retreat in paradise!

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT ENTER THE GATE AFTER 5PM WITHOUT A CONTROL OR A GUIDE!  THE ROAD IS A 4X4 EXPERIENCE BUT THERE ARE NOT SIGNS POINTING THE WAY TO CRISTAL AZUL!  

 

FROM LIBERIA: 4-5hrs.

If you have GPS, DO NOT ENTER CRISTAL AZUL INTO THE UNIT - YET.

 

Leaving the airport, turn right onto the main highway (RT 21) and follow signs for NICOYA:

 

Distance from Liberia to Nicoya: 77 kilometers 

Travel time from Liberia to Nicoya: 1.28 hours.

After Nicoya, continue on 21 and follow signs for JICARAL:

Distance from Nicoya to Jicaral: Approx. 51 kilometers  

Travel time from Nicoya to Jicaral: 1.5 hours.

IN JICARAL, ENTER CRISTAL AZUL INTO YOUR GPS UNIT.

Once you arrive in Jicaral at the main intersection, you are going to take a right and follow the signs for SAN FRANCISCO. (40 KM/Dirt Road).  The gast station is on the way into town on the left and the ATM is located on the right had side of the road after you take the left to leave Jicaral; BANCO NACIONAL COSTA RICA.  Jicaral is the last town with a  gas station or  ATM before you reach the beach!

Once you have left Jicaral, you are almost at Cristal Azul!  Stay on this dirt road and keep following the road signs for San Francisco/Coyote.  Once you come into San Francisco, you will see the signs for PLAYA SAN MIGUEL & PLAYA COYOTE.  This is a small town.  You will come to an intersection with a large field on your right, a large hardware store on your left, and a small market with on the far right corner; Don Rey.  Take a right here.  Do not go straight thru toward Punto Coyote.   Stay on this road for approximately twenty minutes and you will see signs for "The Pizza Tree".  Pass this and shortly after you will see a very large, out of place condominium building on the right with a large wood sign out front that says, Residencies Playa San Miguel.  (8 KM/Dirt Road).

If you want to stop to eat, I recommend "Tres Hermanas" in Limonal for a meal or the gas station has light snacks, beverages and most of the time, clean bathrooms.

 

VIA THE SJO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT & PUNTARENAS/NARANJO FERRY (5-6 Hours):  

Using the relatively new limited access toll road to the Pacific Coast, the trip to Puntarenas from the airport in San Jose is about 75 – 90 minutes compared to 2 hours to 2.5 hours on the Pan-American Highway.

You will need a small amount of Colones (2,000 colones should be enough) for the tolls.  You can get colones at the currency exchange in the baggage claim area of the airport or the rental car company may exchange colones for dollars.  

You need to be on the airport access road across from the terminal. If you rent a car you will probably be taken to the rental agency off the airport location.  Very few rental companies bring the car to the airport. If you are renting a car from one of these rental companies or coming from San Jose, you need to return to the airport on the Pan-American Highway.  Stay in the very left lane on this main highway and take the airport exit.

Follow the airport access road, until you are almost to the end.  Turn right on the very last road before the turnaround at the end of the median where you are forced to turn back to the airport terminal. If you miss this turn-off, go around the loop again.

After you have turned , you will be on a frontage/access road that parallels the highway. Follow this road without turning off it. You will come up a hill and join a main road in a small town - keep going straight. - follow this road without turning for a fair distance (estimating 5 km; about 7 minutes) as it winds through towns/neighborhoods. The road eventually makes a long turn to the left, and a park with a playground with multi-colored kids playground equipment is on the left.  Another main road forms a T-intersection with the road you are on to the right. Take the right hand turn.

Follow this road (estimating 3 km) to its end at a stop or yield sign at a traffic circle. You will be going part way round this traffic circle to the left, taking the main right hand exit that joins the new highway to Orotina & Puntarenas, the third exit on the traffic circle, and is pretty obvious that it goes down to the highway.

Follow the highway to Puntarenas. When you get to Caldera you will drive along the ocean with a long beach.  Stay in the right hand lane after this beach and watch for the right hand exit to Puntarenas.  The exit is not far from the Doubletree La Fiesta Resort which will be on your left.  The sign is hidden behind a tree and not visible until you are almost past it. If you pass it, go another 2 km to the Maxi Bodega store and gas station on your left, turn in there and then head back to the Puntarenas turn-off.

Once on the Puntarenas road, follow it for a long way. The peninsula of Puntarenas is very long and narrow.  You will pass a Shell gas station, then the cathedral, then the stadium.  You will see signs on your right for the ferries.

Turn right at the sign for the ferries to Playa Naranjo and Paquera.  Follow the street to the end, then turn left.  This is a very small street with not much on it along the back of the waterfront. If cars are lined up on the right-hand side, pull in at the back of the line. Otherwise, proceed to the stop sign at the intersection where the ferries are on the right side and park at the stop sign. 

The ticket booth is directly across the street from this stop sign. Keep in mind the ticket agent likely speaks no English, and you will want tickets for "Uno Liviano" (one vehicle) and "XX Personas" (XX people - Adultos for Adults, Ninos for children). You will need a ticket for every adult, even the driver since the vehicle is separate. When loading, the driver alone can be in the car with the vehicle and personal ticket.  The other people will have to walk on with their tickets.

Please note: Buy tickets only at ticket booth – there are sometimes people trying to sell tickets which are much more expensive!

BE SURE YOU ARE BUYING TICKETS FOR THE PLAYA NARANJO FERRY!

ONCE ON THE OTHER SIDE IN PLAYA NARANJO: 

Exit the ferry and go to the end of the road, approx. 1/4 mile, and take a right at the stop sign.  Drive the approx. 9 km to JICARAL.

ONCE IN JICARAL, ENTER CRISTAL AZUL INTO YOUR GPS UNIT.

At the main intersection, you are going to take LEFT and follow the signs for SAN FRANCISCO. (40 KM/Dirt Road).  Approx. 100 meters after you take the left you will see a Banco Nacional de Costa Rica on your right hand side.  THIS IS THE LAST ATM BEFORE YOU REACH THE BEACH AND YOU ARE STILL ONE HOUR AWAY!  

 

Once you have left Jicaral, you are almost at Cristal Azul!  Stay on this dirt road and keep following the road signs for San Francisco/Coyote.  Once you come into San Francisco, you will see the signs for PLAYA SAN MIGUEL & PLAYA COYOTE.  This is a small town.  You will come to an intersection with a large field on your right, a large hardware store on your left, and a small market with on the far right corner; Don Rey.  Take a right here.  Do not go straight thru toward Punto Coyote.   Stay on this road for approximately twenty minutes and you will see signs for "The Pizza Tree".  Pass this and shortly after you will see a very large, out of place condominium building on the right with a large wood sign out front that says, Residencies Playa San Miguel.  (8 KM/Dirt Road)

 

 

VIA MONTEVERDE/ARENAL (5-6 HOURS):

DO NOT ENTER CRISTAL AZUL INTO YOUR GPS UNTIL YOU REACH JICARAL!

Get on the International Highway and head towards Limonal where you will pick up Rt. 18 and cross the Puente Amistad to get onto the Nicoya Peninsula.

At the end of Rt. 18, which is basically a "connector", you will take a Left onto Rt. 21 and follow signs to PLAYA NARANJO/JICARAL, (J is pronounced like an H in Spanish).

Before you reach Playa Naranjo you will enter JICARAL.  

You will pass a gas station on the left and a large church on the right.  

At next intersection, the only intersection, take a right and follow signs to SAN FRANCISCO/PLAYA COYOTE. Approx 100 meters from this intersection is THE LAST ATM BEFORE YOU REACH THE BEACH!

THIS IS THE CLOSEST ATM TO CRISTAL AZUL AND YOU HAVE ANOTHER HOUR TO GO!  

In San Francisco you will take a right and the only intersection and continue to PLAYA SAN MIGUEL. 

Once in San Miguel you will pass The Pizza Tree and then a little further ahead is a large condo building, (the only one you will see en route). Take your next left, there is a tree loaded with signs for local businesses and our place.  At the end of the road is a small cantina on the left where we will meet you, or be waiting for you if you have cell service.

The ride can take a good half day so it is best to leave early.  You want to be here with plenty of daylight especially if the weather takes a turn and we get a storm.  You are not going through any major cities en route and are basically following three paved roads and one dirt road to reach us.  Once in Jicaral you can enter us into the GPS if you get one.  Otherwise, you will be routed via Samara which is a huge mistake and could cause an overnight in Samara if the river is running high.

If you want to stop to eat, I recommend "Tres Hermanas" in Limonal for a meal or the gas station has light snacks, beverages and most of the time, clean bathrooms.