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Need Costa Rica map.. !!

i travel to costa rica a lot, and i have a Nuvi 760, i would like to download maps
of costa rica, to make it easier to driver over there. i cant find it on the website,
any possible way of downloading these map to my gps system? thanks.


  • gatorguy 224 Points
    I haven't seen any free routable maps. tho there is at least one available for purchase that I know of. It's nearly $150 tho, so I hope you go there often. :)

    If Boyd pops in here, he may know of a free one somewhere.
  • who is boyd?
  • gatorguy 224 Points
    Just another of our members who happens to be familiar with map sources.
  • poin2 0 Points
    If you look on the Internet or eBay for the "EZFind" GPS maps of Costa Rica, they say they're routable, unlike the ones from Garmin.

    Not aware of any free/open source ones that are routable, however.
  • gatorguy 224 Points
    The one I gave the link for is an EZFind map. :wink:
  • y8oungy8oung 0 Points

    Costa Rica Garmin map


    The best Costa Rica map around because you can also use it to hike, bike, surf or see contour lines.
  • y8oungy8oung 0 Points
    Costa Rica Garmin GPS Map
    These guys are the best

    They sell routable Costa Rica Garmin GPS map that you can download in minutes!

    They also have Nicaragua and Guatemala!

    Their price is so much better than car rental GPS ... they will rip you off! :P
  • Hi,

    I've found on this and other forums 2 main GPS for Costa-Rica - Navsat (EZ-Find) and this:
    The first one is 3 times more expensive. Does someone compare them? Is the Navsat is really so much better?
    Thank you in advance for replies
  • Not sure how complete it is, but you could always have a look at Openstreetmap, it's free as a bird, so worth a look.
  • Hi,

    I've found on this and other forums 2 main GPS for Costa-Rica - Navsat (EZ-Find) and this:
    The first one is 3 times more expensive. Does someone compare them? Is the Navsat is really so much better?
    Thank you in advance for replies
  • Abripl 0 Points
    Costa Rica Garmin GPS Map
    These guys are the best

    They sell routable Costa Rica Garmin GPS map that you can download in minutes!

    They also have Nicaragua and Guatemala!

    Their price is so much better than car rental GPS ... they will rip you off! :P
    I purchased the routable travel map from for Costa Rica.

    It may be OK for rural areas where roads have not changed for long time. But I would not recommend using it in city areas, especially around San Jose. The map gives directions against one way streets and turns where no turns are permitted. And about 10+% of road charting is missing or inaccurate, especially main road exits and some intersections.

    I am getting the message that EZfind map is more dependable even though they charge way too much - seems they have a monopoly for Costa Rica.

    My son has purchased a Barbados map from and was happy with it. So their Costa Rica map problem may be an exception.
  • Thank you Abpirl!
  • nemo 0 Points
    I purchased the Routable CR map from gpsTravel and found that is was not good at all. The ONLY city listed was San Jose -- No other cities were listed. One Way streets were not documented in San Jose. Drove to Uvita and the Domical area and the route was almost totally useless.
  • I also purchased the Gpstravel routable map for the garmin and it was not good at all. Traveling in the rural areas it would wander off the road and come back minutes later or tell you to turn into fields. The route from downtown SanJose to the airport took you the wrong way down one way streets. Other people we talked to used the rental car units and had no problems. It didn't recognize a city shown on it's own map. It was cheap but could lead you dangerously astray.
  • Nemo - I had this same issue as you. I was just not using my gps correctly. I emailed their support and they explained it to me in one email - you wrote -
    "ONLY city listed was San Jose -- No other cities were listed."

    It seems as if you never received the instructions on GPSTravelMaps web site on using cities, POIs and latitude and longitude. Please see-
    this is an excerpt from their web site -
    At the main screen, choose the following: Where To → Near... → A Different City → (input or select the town that you want to navigate to) → Points of Interest → (select the place that you want to search for, such as a hotel or restaurant) → Map. You can now see the POI and the map detail.

    Nemo - you wrote -
    "One Way streets were not documented in San Jose."
    I did not have a problem here.... more below.

    GPSTravelMaps releases a new update every month. Please check with them but I think they offer 6 months of free updates. That is ridiculous with how cheap this download is compared to renting the GPS . I paid a such a small fee of $49.95 and I own the map and I can view it on my pc.

    With you can also install the program on your PC and plan your routes. You can not do this when you rent a GPS. You can also collect your tracks and POIS with your GPS device then come home and overlay them on the map on the PC. You can show your friends where you traveled and show off your route like you do photos. You can not do this when you rent a GPS. I overlayed all my tracks and it was really cool to see where I traveled in Costa Rica.

    I also used this map to hike. They have a lot of hiking trials and surf locations that rental GPS units do not have. Fav surfing spot had to be Mal Pais. But shhhh... dont let everyone know!

    If you do not want to use the software on you PC, view your tracks where you traveled or pay more per day then I think the GPS from the car rental places is good for you. I just could not see myself spending $10 a day when I can download it for almost half. I am on a strict travel budget these days. Please just make sure you buy insurance for the car rental GPS unit not just the car... make sure you ask them that question. If it is stolen or damaged then you have to pay full Costa Rica price for the GPS unit and the Costa Rica GPS map. A lot of GPS receivers are stolen in Costa Rica. If yu bring your own then please lock it up in the hotel safe each night.

    I drove from San Jose to Mal Pais (via the ferry which they had in their data) to Tamarindo using the Costa RIca GPS map and it work very nicely ... even crossing rivers. If you ever get a chance then please drive form MAl Pais to Tamarindo. You must stop at Playa Avellanas - Avellanas Costa rica&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1093&bih=651
    Mal Pais to Tamarindo has to be the best route in Costa RIca. Stay on the road that higs the coast. Make sure you have a good 4x4.
    The GPS map from even has the boat ride tracks in Tamarindo that take you to go see the leatherback turtles. That was really cool to see them lay eggs at night.
    I then drove from San Jose to Jaco to Drakes Bay (through Dominical and Uvita). I spent the last two days in San Jose. The GPS map had the pedestrian only streets correct and the one ways. I would highly recommend the Irish bar Shannon's but stay away from Del Ray - it is full of prostitutes. My version of the Costa Rica GPS map had these areas mapped. It even had the route through Corcovado jungle to Drake's Bay. My map is the 2.6 version... maybe you have an older version? I would email them and ask them for an update or maybe your installation was bad? The only thing I would say the Costa Rica GPS map is missing is ranking hotels and they don't have all their phone numbers. All and all for around $50 I got my money's worth and more. I also plan on going back in November and I will ask for the updated map for free from them insted of renting the GPS. I will be driving north to Nicaragua this time. I hear their Nicaragua map is very good too.
  • dakrause 31 Points
    edited March 2011
    CenRut version 2.3 has been released:

    This free project includes Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Belize. If any corrections are needed for the map, they are welcome and encouraged.

    And help in publicizing this project would be greatly appreciated!

  • I'm just back from a 2 week trip driving through Costa Rica - San Jose to Arenal (La Fortuna) to Monteverde to Jaco then to San Jose. The Costa Rica map I used, downloaded in December 2010 and available at, was worse than useless. The precision was off enough (about 200 meters) that my Garmin almost never recognized I was driving on the correct road - so an endless stream of "recalculating" accompanied the drive. I missed more turns than I could keep track of trying to stay on the main road in rural areas as each road weaves through towns which were literally unnavigable using this software. The software mapped my travel onto farm roads and dirt tracks that dead ended rather than more mainstream gravel roads. There were services plotted that just weren't there - for instance three gas stations in Monteverde that didn't exist - FYI there IS no gas in the Monteverde area except as available in back alley garages known only to locals. And the plotted routes were not the most direct or travelled roads - crazy routes such as that which wound through neighborhoods to get from the Pan-American highway to the airport in San Jose rather than the more direct routes. One way roads were NOT marked, very disconcerting and dangerous. The better software is apparently NAVSAT - I recommend using their map or renting a GPS from one of the rental car companies.
  • I just returned from a 10 day trip in Costa Rica. I purchased a 2 week license to the NavSat map software for my Garmin Nuvi 1490 for $49. My entire experience with the NavSat software and maps was very positive.

    I initially had a bit of trouble downloading and installing it so I called their customer service using Skype. Immediately a human answered in Spanish who upon hearing my English immediately switched to perfect English. She was technically knowledgeable about the product and guided me through the download process and waited while it loaded and I confirmed that everything worked. US companies should only hope for such great customer service...never on hold...never transferred...solved my problem during the first and only call! :D

    By ordering this prior to my trip, I was able to program in all my intended destinations as my "favorites." This saved a lot of nuisance time while in Costa Rica. My 2 week license began seamlessly as soon as the GPS was turn on and it determined that I was within the boundaries of the NavSat maps.

    Their list of "points of interest" was also very complete including most of the restaurants, rafting, canyoning and canopy tours I used. The maps were very complete and accurate guiding me on the back mud and rock roads up to El Castillio near Mt. Arenal, the highways and back streets of San Jose. It was nice having my own GPS and being familiar with its human interface rather than renting one and relearning a new system. :D
  • I just returned from my third trip from Costa Rica last week. I used the Costa Rica GPS map by on my last two trips and Navsat on my first trip. I found the GPS map very useful and very affordable. The Navsat map worked well on my first trip, but was the much more expensive option. (The second time I went back, offered me 50% off coupon). I could not justify paying the $10- 12 a day for renting the GPS Navsat map for my trip - I traveled over 1,000 miles! Between the hotels, SUV rental etc my cost were piling up. It was nice to know that the map is so affordable. (I hear was started by two passionate guys who love to travel. I checked out their facebook page and could see the owners traveling all around Costa Rica mapping out points of interest and roads. I know Navsat has a huge building in San Jose. GO check it out. The section in San Jose is called the South San Jose due to all the technology companies popping up there - Oracle etc...) Maybe that is why is so affordable versus the Navsat map? My trip included San Jose, Monteverde, Arenal, Playa Flamingo, Tamarindo, Playa Avellana, Playa Samara, Playa Miguel, Playa Mal Pais, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Dominical, San Isidro, Volcano Poas and finally La Paz Gardens. I basically traveled 1,000 miles using the GPS map by and found it very useful. I would NEVER have been able to cover so much ground if I did not use the GPS map by and it was so affordable to be able to have a GPS map everyday. has POIs in the most remote locations. I had many interesting talks in Sodas in the most remote location in Costa Rica. When you travel to Costa Rica, do not be shy, venture out and visit a Soda and chat with a local or two. was so useful to me when I was exploring and surfing in remote locations. When I travel, I like to go off the grid. I was on the "Mountain of Death" route one night. I have to say the GPS 3-D view saved my behind!

    Here are my points in regards to VS. Navsat.
    Navsat cost $10 - 12 a day to rent was a one time flat fee and my second update a year later was 50% off.
    No FREE updates from Navsat. offers 4 months of free updates and huge discounts for loyal customers who travel back to Costa Rica. I was offered a 50% discount on my second trip to Costa Rica.
    When renting the Navsat GPS map, if you lose or the GPS device is stolen while you are in Costa Rica then your credit card is charge $200. Call your credit card company and ask if you have insurance to cover such an incident.
    Navsat does not have hiking trails. I used the hiking trails on GPS map to hike Manuel Antonio. I change the settings from auto to pedestrian.
    You can not view your trip after you get home with Navsat. My friends and family were so impressed that I could show them where I traveled using the GPS map by
    You do not own the GPS map if you rent from Navsat. You own the GPS map from and they send 50% offers to their maps. They also sell maps of all of Central America and other places in the world. (I used Nicaragua and Panama maps in the past.)
    Navsat does have the have the same amount of road and POI coverage as
    I could plan my route out on the PC before my trip using the GPS map from You can not do this if you rent a GPS map from Navsat.
    Both companies were missing one of my hotels. When I emailed about this issue, they added the hotel and sent me an update via email a few days later. Navsat sent me a canned response but no update was sent. I am sure they added it, but I like the personal touch by
    I have to say I was also swayed by the huge discount that they gave me for being a loyal customer. Also the orginal purchase I made was like 50% cheaper then Navsat map.

    One person on here said the map by - "for instance three gas stations in Monteverde that didn't exist". This is interesting. On facebook page they talk about this from their recent mapping trip through Costa Rica. A local had to tell where to purchase diesel because those three gas stations were closed down. They had to go to a back road then to someone's local garage. They grabbed this POI for future customers to use. I am sure Navsat has this local gas station too. You may want to send an email. They will send you the updated GPS map asap. Those three gas stations will no longer be on the map. But the local one is! How cool is that?

    So my conclusion between the two Costa Rica GPS maps is this -
    If you can afford the higher price, don't need to view the GPS map on your PC or Mac before your trip and after, you don't want free updates and do not want to save money on future map updates then go with Navsat at the car rental company check in. (just make sure you do not have the GPS device stolen. You will be charge around $200 or more - GPS devices in Costa Rica cost a lot more then in the states or europe.)

    Both GPS devices contain about the same amount of road data and POIs
    (point of interest) data except the has more surfing locations and hiking trails. Both companies will add in any data that is missing if you make them aware of it. sends free updates via your email ASAP if you tell make them aware of a data issue. Navsat uses canned responses.

    On a side note, also donates free Haiti gps maps to anyone who is helping the people of Haiti. The web site is also powered by solar energy. I know this is the tree huger in me coming out, but I like to support companies that give back and are socially aware - especially after you see the frail eco system in Costa Rica. I did a research on google for Navsat donates, but I can't seem to find their charities. I am sure they do donate but I can not find them.

    Either way, I think you win when renting a GPS map while in Costa Rica. Both GPS maps help you to explore this amazing country without having to do silly tour buses. I always say - rent an SUV , GPS and make your own path! (Please do not drive on the beaches - turtle eggs are buried).

    ~Ginger and Peter
  • When I lived in Costa Rica, I used the free maps from this site:

    They were pretty good at the time and they're always updated. Plus you can add your own POIs to the Open Street Map project if you're interested. :)
  • dakrause 31 Points uses the data from OpenStreetMaps, refines it(broken nodes, etc etc) and adds a bunch more data on top of it.

    The refined data should show up in OSM eventually.

  • I travel Costa Rica a lot. I probably put on 1,500 kilometers on my 4x4 about 6 times a year. I use the GPS map by the guys from . These guys are the best! I met these guys while traveling Costa Rica. They were doing their usually mapping - driving around collecting road data and walking by foot collecting POI data. I had a long talk with them while we were staying in the same place - Mal Pais Surf Camp in Mal Pais. Apparently they graduated Rowan University with degrees in Geography and decided to start mapping Costa Rica after their first travels in Costa Rica. They could not find a decent GPS map of Costa Rica, so they decided to build their own. They gave me the map and updates for free in return that I just film my travels around Costa Rica and post my videos on Youtube. I have used this map from San Jose, Monteverde, Arenal, Tamarindo to Mal Pais, Jaco, Domincal, Osa Peninsula, San Isdro and many other places. It has helped me explore touristy areas and so many cool non touristy areas. I have to say it is very accurate from the one way streets in San Jose to the back road from Tamarindo to Mal Pais. Well I hope the videos show you how the GPS map has helped me.
    If any of you have questions about COsta Rica then send me a private message. Heck maybe we will even meet up in Costa Rica! To see all my videos -
  • lskohn 80 Points
    :shock: Good grief! I have never seen a thread with so many first-post reviews! I'm new here (obviously from the post count) and came to get more info on the NAVSAT/ choice for Costa Rica maps, given the back-and-forth and dubious reviews I've seen on other boards.

    But I'm flummoxed by this first-post phenomenon. The reviews (here and elsewhere) are SOOO contradictory, they can't all be right.

    Is there ANYONE who is independent of the two companies, who has actually tried both, and can report impartially and credibly on the relative merits of each?

    I'm looking for maps for the Garmin nuvi 765T. TIA.
  • Iskohn,
    I am Michael Burr of I am the co-owner.
    We sell Garmin GPS maps. We also own which sells GPS map apps for smartphones - iPhone and Android.

    I agree with you - all this information (and dated) is overwhelming.

    Here are some facts about the Costa Rica GPS map -

    Why buy from

    On my last data collection trip to map the road network and collect POIs (Points of Interest) of Costa Rica, I actually had 3 GPS units on my windshield screen

    I can tell you that 2 out of the three GPS maps worked well. Yes, I am saying our competition worked well. But one of the GPS maps did not (not performed well and was quiet dangerous. It was missing one ways, POIs and roads were classed wrong.

    What is the difference between and renting a GPS device in Costa Rica.
    1. Price - Car Rental - $10 - $12 a day plus tax. If the unit is lost, stolen or damaged it can cost up to $300 to replace. Check the car rental insurance will cover it. Costa Rica GPS Map is much cheaper then renting. Why are we cheaper? We are not a huge corporation. We started as two guys who are passionate about traveling. We were frustrated by the lack of GPS maps in developing countries. We continue to be a smaller organization with the same goal - provide quality GPS maps to the public so that they can explore new countries like locals!

    2. You can not view your travels on your PC when you arrive home with a car rental unit. It would be like taking pictures and not bringing them home with you. With the GPS map you can view your Costa Rica travel on a map on your computer. Talk about a nice souvenir.

    3. After you buy the Costa Rica GPS map form, it is sent to your email account in minutes.

    Again, I am not hear to be a cheerleader but to answer the question lskohn posted. The answer is - it comes down to personal preference and budget. Out of the three I tested, I would only use two of them. I will not mention the one I would not. I think you folks are smart enough to know nothing in life is free.

    I will add more later about GPSTravelMaps, but in the meantime please see -

    Feel free to email me with your question, concerns and comments - yes it is my personal email account -

    If you have or you will be purchasing our GPS maps in the future then Imy family and I thank you!

    Pura Vida,
    Michael Burr - Garmin GPS maps - iPhone and Android
  • Tim 1466 Points

    Thanks for actually acknowledging that you are the co-owner of the company and are affiliated with the website and product you mention. However I find it difficult to believe that a few other people posting in this thread (MichelleMaps, Ginger_compass, wanderlust1974, y8oung, Michael Travel) are not also you or affiliated with your company. Especially since most of them posted from the same IP address block!

    lskohn - I suspect this is why you see such conflicting information. I have more than serious doubts that a lot of it is actually real.
  • I am part of the Cenrut project and I firmly believe (I can't believe I'm going to say this) that NAVSATCR publishes what is currently the best GPS map of Costa Rica.
  • Just returned from 3 weeks in Costa Rica.
    Drove the entire country.
    Do Not Buy the map from
    It is seriously dangerous.
    Driving in Costa Rica should not be taken lightly. It is not for Sunday drivers. Do your research.
  • The Cenrut project (of which I am a part) just published a POI file of the recently installed Speed Cameras in Costa Rica.

    To download the file, please click this link:

    Inside the zip file you will find a .gpi file, which should be copied to the "GARMIN / POI" folder in your Garmin. The GPS unit will then make an audible announcement 300 meters before each Speed Camera.

    Note: Please send us data to help keep improving the Cenrut project.

    (I've okayed this post. -Tim)
  • The link on the above post does not seem to be working. Let's try again:

    The Cenrut project (of which I am a part) just published a POI file of the recently installed Speed Cameras in Costa Rica.

    To download the file, please click this link:

    Inside the zip file you will find a .gpi file, which should be copied to the "GARMIN / POI" folder in your Garmin. The GPS unit will then make an audible announcement 300 meters before each Speed Camera.
  • Tim 1466 Points
    Please see our link guidelines I'd emailed you before regarding link shortening services and "live" links. :)
  • Sorry, my bad. At risk of beating a dead horse, the Cenrut file is available through this link:

    Inside the zip file you will find a .gpi file, which should be copied to the "GARMIN / POI" folder in your Garmin. The GPS unit will then make an audible announcement 300 meters before each of the Speed Cameras recently installed in Costa Rica.
  • norak 0 Points
    Hi there Robert,
    I'm planning on renting a car for a week and a half in Costa Rica and was looking for GPS info here, but I wanted to talk with you about your experience to potentially reconsider or modify my plans based on your post, which was alarming.
    Are you available for a phone call? Or any other thoughts you can offer on this thread are appreciated.
    Thank you!
  • Has anyone figured out how to use routing with cenrut? I have loaded the data into mapsource and onto my GPS but I can only do direct line routing. Is routing possible???
  • Yes, first post. But no axe to grind and nothing to sell. Just questions to ask.

    I just purchased a Garmin GPSmap 62S (a handheld unit, not a car-mounted unit). We want it for hiking mostly, and auto assistance secondarily. (We use TomToms at home. Excellent products, but no CR maps.)

    My question: does the Navsat EZFind map or the map work on the Garmin GPSmap 62S?

    Question 2: do they both work well?

    I do have one report from a contact in CR who works for neither company who strongly recommends the Navsat map, but (language differences?) I am not confident that it will work on the handheld GPS.

    Anyone who has personal experience who can help me?


  • Boyd 1853 Points
    Any Garmin compatible map should work on the 62s. I don't know anything about Costa Rica, but since the Cenrut map is free, why not just download it and see if you like it?
  • Thanks Boyd. I will give that a try.

    I won't know if the free map is adequate until I get to C.R., though. But, if necessary, I can always buy the premium one and download it when in C.R.

    Thanks again,

  • Anyone have experience with the Garmin supplied "City Navigator NT" software for South and Central Ameria in regards usefulness for Costa Rica? I recieved this software plus a Nuvi40LM (which is preloaded with N. America). I had used a rental car company provided Nuvi on my last trip to Costa Rica and it worked very well, but of course I have no idea what software they were using, I'm hoping it was this Garmin software I have. Haven't seen anyone mention this software in this thread though...
  • dakrause 31 Points
    Here is an english overview of Cenrut:

    A new version will be out soon. Enjoy!
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    Anyone have experience with the Garmin supplied "City Navigator NT" software for South and Central Ameria in regards usefulness for Costa Rica?
    You can view the City Navigator South America map yourself here:
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