Road Signs (or lack thereoff)

Reading the Signs – Driving in Costa Rica Let us help ease your fears about driving in Costa Rica!  You may be worried that you won’t understand the road signs, although most are pretty self-explanatory as they have symbols or pictures!  Here are a few of the most common to help you on your way: Alto – (stop) this bright red hexagonal sign is posted at intersections to advise you that you are obligated to stop and wait for the road to be clear before pulling out.   You may find that Tico drivers tend to pause rather than stop! Ceda El Paso – (give way) the sign means that you must yield.  You will see the sign at intersections.  You will also see this sign on one sign of a narrow bridge or other places, such as tunnels where traffic is reduced to one line to indicate which side has the right of way. No Hay Paso – (no entry) normally for dead end streets or in cities, it may indicate a one way street. Desvio – (detour) the signs will probably be on card with a marker as the usual route is closed! Calle/Carretera en Mal Estado – (road in bad condition) as this sign could easily be posted on ninety percent of Costa Rican roads; you can assume that if you do see it, the road must be really bad as most roads don’t carry such a warning! Other vocabulary you may need: Velocidad – (velocity) speed.  Remember this is in kilometers per hour and not miles!  There are 1.6 kilometers to a mile. Peligro – (danger) even if you don’t understand the rest of what the sign says; if it contains the word peligro or peligroso – Slow down! Cuidado – (careful) as with the word above, who cares if you don’t understand the rest of the sign – this should be enough to tell you to reduce speed until you find out! For more in information about driving in Costa Rica we recommend this article

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