San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

TRAVEL ALERT: Rainy season showers wash out roads across Costa Rica

Heavy rains this year in September and October have done a number one the country’s roadways, closing several major highways. As drivers navigate congestion and detours, some Ticos have taken their complaints to social media.

Thursday, the National Roadway Council (CONAVI) reported that a flash flood caused by heavy rains washed away a bridge at kilometer 80 of route 32, near Parismina. The bridge over the Parismina River will be closed for at least two days, and possibly as many as five days, as crews work to erect a temporary bridge known as a Bailey bridge by Sunday.

MOPT directed drivers to use route 10 between Turrialba and Siquirres as a San José-Limón detour.

CONAVI reported that rains and landslides have closed four major routes across the country, including a landslide at km 58 of Route 142, between Tilarán and La Fortuna, near Arenal Volcano. Drivers can use route 4 toward Upala, exit on to route 6 and continue to Cañas over the Corobicí River.

A bridge is out on Route 926 over the Cataratas River, between San Carlos and La Fortuna de San Carlos, Alajuela.

Another bridge remains closed along route 150 between Nicoya and Sámara.  



Driver frustration has reached a peak over collapsed roads this season, especially the closure of one section of Route 39, also known as Circunvalación, along the south side of San José. The washed-out highway has become known locally simply as “the Hole,” el hueco.

Irritated commuters posted a clock that ticks away the time the major highway, which normally serves 60,000 drivers every day, remains under repair as a way to hold the MOPT and CONAVI accountable. 

Twitterati have coined the hashtag #ElHuecoCR to share news and gripe about the downed bridge, sporting the slogan, “We’ll see if it’s true.”

There has been some respite lately though. The bridge connecting many tourists to La Paz Waterfall some five kilometers from Vara Blanca, Alajuela, was reopened with a Bailey bridge on Sept. 30, reported the daily La Nación. On Sept. 16, a flash flood wiped out the erstwhile temporary bridge that had been there for nearly a decade.

Beach goers should take note that the Puntarenas-Paquera ferry is operating on a temporary schedule during the month of October for maintenance. The boats ferry tourists from the mainland to the southern Nicoya Peninsula where the beach towns of Malpaís, Santa Teresa, and Montezuma are located. 

Ferry times

During the month of October 2013, the Puntarenas-Paquera ferry, connecting the mainland with the southern Nicoya Peninsula, will observe a temporary maintenance schedule. Photo courtesy MOPT

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