You have a decision to make before you start the drive. Some people are nervous driving and at least one person recommends that you NOT drive the route, especially the last 10km, at night the first time you come. Personally, my first time I did most of the trip after dark including the end part, but I have experience in driving in many countries around the world including many cities in the US and Quebec Canada, so perhaps that is a factor. If you are nervous, you might want to stay in Liberia if you arrive in the afternoon. Remember – you are close to the equator, so it gets dark at around 5:20 – 6:00pm all year ’round. And unlike up North, it gets dark quicker after Sunset; in general, the further away from the equator you are, the longer you have light ‘after’ sunset. If you are not – just don’t push it until you gain a feel for driving in Costa Rica – drive slower especially on the last section (when you turn right after the gas station towards Prados del Sol instead of going to Samara.)
When you are ready, let’s assume you are starting from the Liberia airport:
Starting from the Daniel Oduber Quirós (Liberia) International airport. You have at least 2 choices. This set of instructions gives you the shortest and fastest way to get from the Liberia airport to the Prados del Sol units, between Samara and Nosara.
But if you are early enough in the day and you want to see a stunning waterfall, follow these instructions.(If you do, you’ll go past the Walmart on your left as you are getting into Liberia)
Note that most of the car rental companies are SW of the Airport, so you are probably already heading that way.
If you want to make a quick stop at Walmart for Sunscreen, Stop Itch and any other “You can’t take this in your carry on baggage” items – go the opposite direction (go towards the city of Liberia), do your shopping, have a meal at one of the many restaurants, then head back towards the airport to get you in the correct direction.
Start by heading SW on highway 21. This is going away from Liberia, not towards Liberia.
Continue down on Highway 21, headed in the direction of Santa Cruz.
Continue down Highway 21 through Santa Cruz.
The following map shows the path 'through' Santa Cruz. Note that you want to follow highway number 21 and not go straight (turn) onto highway 150.
You will then get to Nicoya, there will be a KFC restaurant on the NE corner, you will turn ahead of the KFC, see the 2 maps for Nicoya - one that shows the intersection that you turn into Nicoya, and then one that shows your path through Nicoya. Note that you are also now getting off of Highway 21 and you will now be on Highway 150. It's a major intersection, and your visual guide is that you are turning South (right) just before the KFC.
The map above ends with you turning towards Nicoya, then going through Nicoya. See the Nicoya to Prados del Sol page for details turning into Nicoya and from there to Prados del Sol.