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CR map recommendations (1 Viewer)

seasgaich

Well-known member
Hello,

Following a recent suggestion on BF, we have bought a copy of Barrett Lawson's Bird-finding guide.

Even after a few days' browsing through the guide, we now feel that we need a good map to help us pinpoint sites and see options or tours in their country-wide context.

We would welcome all suggestions in this regard.

Gary and Rosemary Aitken,
Inverness,
UK
 

gdhunter

Well-known member

Peter C.

...just zis guy, you know?
I haven't seen either of Steve's or Gary's recommended maps, so I can't comment on their relative merits; but I have always found the "International Travel Maps & Books" maps (http://www.itmb.ca/catalogue.php) to be the best available here. I've used them in for travel in CR, Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico. Not sure about their availability outside of the U.S. and Canada, though.
 

tapaculo

Mildly Obsessed
Lawson has many maps and makes a great effort to give meaningful directions, but you are exactly right: "we need a good map to help us pinpoint sites and see options or tours in their country-wide context". I had both the National Geographic map and the CostaRicaGuide.com map (before I somehow lost it), and they both seemed accurate and equally good.

It's a shock when you look at how close are sites in different regions, but keep in mind how slow travel is. Based on just one trip, I'd say, estimate what you think it would take at slow speed and multiply that by 4. Lawson gives typical times, but it can be worse.

I think you know this but, no map is adequate for much of the driving, if only because road signs are a rarity, so a GPS seems essential when you get there.
 

lewis20126

Well-known member
Is there a road atlas available in country?

I have the "Here Maps" (Nokia) on my phone which may be the best bet.

cheers, alan
 

gdhunter

Well-known member
It's a shock when you look at how close are sites in different regions, but keep in mind how slow travel is. Based on just one trip, I'd say, estimate what you think it would take at slow speed and multiply that by 4. Lawson gives typical times, but it can be worse.

And don't factor in a quick return to San Jose from Carara late Sunday Afternoon!

Gary H
 

gdhunter

Well-known member
I have always found the "International Travel Maps & Books" maps (http://www.itmb.ca/catalogue.php) to be the best available here.

I have the 2003 version of the ITM folding road map and the 2009 version of the ITM Costa Rica & Panama Travel Atlas, and they've proven an invaluable supplement to the subsequently published version of the MapCR waterproof folding road map I mentioned in an earlier post. Any one of the three would probably hold up to scrutiny equally well, which is not to say they are invariably accurate! I suspect that anyone who claims to have navigated CR flawlessly & smoothly based on map-guided travel is speaking late in the evening after having consumed maybe four Imperials.

Gary H
 

Birdingcraft

Well-known member
Those maps are good but since almost no roads in Costa Rica have signs, I have found navigation devices and apps easier to use for getting around. Might be some free ones now too.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
maps.me (in my case for ios (ipad mini)) has served me well in other places - it is not free but cheap. Here where I live the maps downloaded (each map download is free) with this app are more accurate than the printed maps available. Does not have any vocal reading out of directions but gives a blue line for you to follow. I have used these maps in Mexico and California and soon in Ecuador.

Niels
 

jwtingle

Well-known member
I used both the Waterproof Travel Map and the National Geographic maps and both are fine. I used the Waterproof map the most.

I also used Google maps on my iphone. I can't emphasize just how bad it is for the unpaved back roads. One bridge it led us to was a foot bridge. Another bridge terminated in a locked and guarded gate at a sugar plantation. The guard wasn't happy. Other roads were shown but didn't exist. Many existed but weren't shown.

I also used the CenRut maps on a hand-held Garmin. The version I downloaded was badly out of data and missing many main roads and lots of back roads. I see on their web page that they updated the data set in February. It might be better. It was very easy to upload.

http://www.cenrut.org/adw/over.htm
 

seasgaich

Well-known member
CR map

I have been using an earlier version of the Costa Rica Waterproof Travel Map offered at http://mapcr.com/ & have found it quite satisfactory. The newest version is currently offered in the U.S. by Amazon for just under $11 USD (http://www.amazon.com/Waterproof-Travel-Map-Costa-Rica/dp/097637336X)

Gary H

Hello Gary,

Good stuff! We have had a brief look at the product on Amazon, and it may well be this that we buy so that we can plan well in advance of our actual trip, fast becoming a 2017 probability.

Thank you very much.
Gary and Rosemary
 

seasgaich

Well-known member
CR map

I have been staisfied with this map from National Geographic:
http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/...adventure-world-maps/costa-rica-adventure-map
It has been on five trips there and it still without a tear. It has a zoomed detail of San Jose but no other locations.

Steve

Hello Steve,

Thank you for your reply.

Our desire for a map is, firstly, to help us plan at home for what is beginning to look like a probable 2017 visit. We have had a look at your Nat Geo suggestion, which certainly seems detailed enough and of an appropriate scale to help us cover all potential options.

Gary and Rosemary
 

seasgaich

Well-known member
CR maps

I haven't seen either of Steve's or Gary's recommended maps, so I can't comment on their relative merits; but I have always found the "International Travel Maps & Books" maps (http://www.itmb.ca/catalogue.php) to be the best available here. I've used them in for travel in CR, Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico. Not sure about their availability outside of the U.S. and Canada, though.

Hello Peter,

Much obliged to you for a considered reply.

I have had a brief look at your suggestion, one of several recommendations, and it may be the one that we opt for. Having obtained Barrett Lawson's guide, we really felt that we needed to see his many routes and sites in a more regional/country-wide context. A map like the one you suggest could well be the answer, and its scale strikes me as quite generous.

Once again, thanks for your help.
Gary
 

seasgaich

Well-known member
CR maps and real-scale roads!

Lawson has many maps and makes a great effort to give meaningful directions, but you are exactly right: "we need a good map to help us pinpoint sites and see options or tours in their country-wide context". I had both the National Geographic map and the CostaRicaGuide.com map (before I somehow lost it), and they both seemed accurate and equally good.

It's a shock when you look at how close are sites in different regions, but keep in mind how slow travel is. Based on just one trip, I'd say, estimate what you think it would take at slow speed and multiply that by 4. Lawson gives typical times, but it can be worse.

I think you know this but, no map is adequate for much of the driving, if only because road signs are a rarity, so a GPS seems essential when you get there.

Hello there,

Thanks for your considered reply.

My travel in the Americas has been limited to one extended holiday in Tierra del Fuego/Titicaca/Machu Picchu/Paracas/Cañon de Colca. Based in northern Scotland, my travels have tended to be elsewhere in Europe, with a bit of India and Mount Kilimanjaro tossed in, to say nothing of back home. The 'mañana' mentality took a bit of getting used to, but nevertheless I did get used to twiddling thumbs while precious hours slipped by.

However, I am grateful for the timely warnings on the state (or even presence!) of roads (and signs) that you and others on the forum have stressed. We are inclining towards making more use of public transport than I had first imagined, although I'd like to think that we might manage some driving too.

Early days in the planning process, but once again, many thanks.
Gary and Rosemary
 

dakrause

Member
Yes, Cenrut 3.0 is significantly improved in Costa Rica.

jwtingle, did you tell Cenrut of the problem so that they(we) may correct it? I honestly do not understand people who complain but do nothing to improve the situation. PLEASE tell me where you were and any issues you had.

My contact info is on the Cenrut English page. My name is David and my email is: dakrause(at)hotmail(dot)com
 

seasgaich

Well-known member
CR maps and real-scale roads!

Is there a road atlas available in country?

I have the "Here Maps" (Nokia) on my phone which may be the best bet.

cheers, alan

Hello Alan,

Phone and iPad apps are options we may incline towards once we get a better idea of what we want to aim for, and it is the preliminary planning at home, roughly 2 years in advance of actually visiting CR, that we are looking at just at the moment, using Barrett Lawson as a guide.

Thanks,
Gary and Rosemary
 

seasgaich

Well-known member
CR maps

And don't factor in a quick return to San Jose from Carara late Sunday Afternoon!

Gary H

Hello Gary,

Another timely reminder! We hope to avoid any mad rushing about at the last minute.

One thing that really irks me is how, at the tail-end of most holidays, much of the final day is, in my opinion, frittered away either getting to or messing about at the airport. It would be nice to think that, depending upon the time of our return flight, we have time for perhaps a short local ramble. Airports are a painful, anodyne but necessary feature of a holiday like this, but if we can vary our last day, that would be welcome.

Then again, perhaps not! If you have any suggestions, fire away.

Thanks,
Gary
 

seasgaich

Well-known member
CRmaps

I have the 2003 version of the ITM folding road map and the 2009 version of the ITM Costa Rica & Panama Travel Atlas, and they've proven an invaluable supplement to the subsequently published version of the MapCR waterproof folding road map I mentioned in an earlier post. Any one of the three would probably hold up to scrutiny equally well, which is not to say they are invariably accurate! I suspect that anyone who claims to have navigated CR flawlessly & smoothly based on map-guided travel is speaking late in the evening after having consumed maybe four Imperials.

Gary H

Hello again, Gary,

Sod the maps. I fancy some of those Imperials!

…perhaps like the one that got away, they make the birds wax large in the imagination.

Gary
 

seasgaich

Well-known member
CR maps

Those maps are good but since almost no roads in Costa Rica have signs, I have found navigation devices and apps easier to use for getting around. Might be some free ones now too.

Hello Patrick,

Your comments are much appreciated, as ever.

At this early stage (at least relatively so, as early 2017 will be the soonest that we can make our trip), we want to get a good idea of how Barrett Lawson's route/site options fit into a regional and country context. Spreading out a map on the floor and pinpointing or tracing things will induce much drooling!

Once we get nearer the actual trip, we can envisage apps as playing their role too.

Many thanks again.
Gary and Rosemary
 
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