To all you brave souls who are driving around for the first time in Costa Rica, here are a few tongue-in-cheek reminders which will hopefully keep you and your family safe on our roads:

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  1. There aren’t that many highways. If you’re on one, you’re probably going the right way.
  2. Don’t bother with maps. They’re often wrong, and there’s little signage anyway to confirm you’re on that particular highway.
  3. If you violate rule #2, don’t ever show your map to a Tico while asking for directions. It’ll probably be the first time he will have seen a road map in his life. He’ll stare at it quizzically for 5 minutes, before turning it upside down for another 5 minutes.
  4. Follow the other cars, unless the people inside are looking at maps.
  5. In lieu of other traffic, follow the tire marks.
  6. If the car in front of you swerves, swerve with him. There’s a reason.
  7. Stop and ask for directions. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, simply state the name of the town where you’re going as a question. When the person finishes talking, he’ll point. Follow the finger. Giving directions is a national past time, whether they know them or not. Look directly into their eyes while you’re asking. If they hesitate or look away for a second before answering, ask someone else.
  8. If you do speak Spanish, be prepared for directions based on landmarks, not street names. Something like this is common: “Turn left at Matute Gomez’s house, go 600 apples and turn right where the Higuerón tree used to be, then turn left again when you hear a barking dog.”
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  10. The road from Ciudad Colón to Puriscal is called “The Road to Puriscal”. In the other direction, it’s called “The Road to Ciudad Colón”
  11. In the Central Valley, “abajo” is general toward San Jose, and “arriba” is generally away from San Jose (unless you’re West of San Jose).
  12. When confronted with a fork in the road, the asphalt of the main road will generally be at the same level, while the secondary road will go up or down slightly.
  13. When going through small towns, it’s common to have to drive one block over to the right or left at the church to stay on the main road.
  14. If there’s a traffic light and a stop sign at an intersection, the traffic light takes precedent.
  15. Stop signs are evidently just recommendations.
  16. Yield signs are evidently placed only to assign fault after the accident.
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  18. Lines and dashes painted on the roads are evidently just ornamental.
  19. When in San Jose, think of your car as a drop of water finding its way down a window. Go with the flow.
  20. Also when in San Jose, start your car rolling three seconds before the lights turns green or the guy behind you will honk his horn.
  21. Don’t stop for pedestrians. If you do, they’ll know you’re a foreigner.
  22. Don’t drive straight. You’ll be pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving.

This humorous article was written by ‘GringoTico’ who is one of our valued VIP Members should not be taken too seriously.

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