Costa Rica 2014: How Driving Here is Different Than Driving in Canada


Or: “When in Costa Rica, Do Like the Costa Ricans.”

When we arrived in Liberia, Costa Rica on July 9th, we rented an 11 passenger van to get our team from place to place as we minister all around the Guanacaste Province. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned about driving in Costa Rica:

1. Road signs are suggestions. For example, a stop sign means “stop if you want too, or at least mostly stop, but again, only if you want to.” There are no hard fast rules here.

2. “Velocidad Maxima” = speed limits are also suggestions. For example, if the sign says 40, that means, “Go 40 if you want to, but 60 is better. 80 is okay too.”

3. When you are driving in a 60 zone, and someone in front of you is doing 70, he is the slow driver and so you should pass him.

4. Double yellow lines on the highway (“do not cross” in Canada) are also suggestions. A better definition here would be, “Do not pass on the double solid yellow line unless there are no cars coming, or you really want to, or it is relatively safe to do so.”

5. All of the roadways are shared by pedestrians, multitudes of bicyclists, and often dogs, as well. When two cars are barrelling down the highway from opposite directions on a narrow two-lane road, don’t assume that the pedestrians, cyclists or animals will move out of the way. Your job is to avoid them. There are no points for killing cyclists in Costa Rica. p.s. we have thus far safely avoided causing any form of road kill.

Finally, a note to the parents of some of our youth on this trip: Your children are precious cargo and I would never take any unnecessary risks or put them in danger!

Thanks for your continued prayers! Today is our one day off… we are going to the beach this morning, and then I am taking our four teens zip-lining, while the ‘old-timers’ hang out at the beach &/or do some souvenir shopping in Playas del Coco.


About Chris Jordan

Husband. Father. Author. Pastor. High School Bible Teacher. Follower of Jesus. And I enjoy a good cup of coffee!
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