Free android navigation for costa rica

Free android gps navigation for costa rica

costa rica gps
Nexus 5 with Open Street Maps

It is time for some more advices for costa rica. This article will explain to you how you can use your android smartphone as a full feature gps navigation device with free offline cards. Without a GPS based navigation you are lost in Costa Rica. There are barely any signs on the roads and you do not want to get lost in a shady or lonely area.

As a tourist you will probably not have data roaming in Costa Rica. So you cannot use google maps for online maps navigation. You can also rent a gps navigation with your rental car, but this costs 5 dollars a day.
costa rica android navigation app
Navigator free app with costa rica map

Mapsfactor Navigator with open Street map

A free android app you can use in combination with free and good openstreetmap maps is Mapfactor Navigator.People from all over the world collaborate at openstreetmap to create free navigation maps for everybody. I use open street map maps on regular basis and I am fully satisfied with the quality of the maps.

navigator gps costa rica
The simple, but powerful Navigator interface

Install the app

First you need to install the free app. Download it for your platform from this link. After this, start the app and at the first screen select that you whish to use free openstreetmap maps.

costa rica free gps
Select the maps you want to download.

Download the free maps

To download the maps, open the app and click on the "Map Manager" button on the bottom. After this click on "download maps". Now you have to select all maps you want to download. To download the free costa rica map, open the "America" tab, scroll down to "Costa Rica OSM". The map package for Costa Rica is very small. Currently it is only 3mb.  Check how big the map data of your home country. The map data for Germany is about 600 mb.You should also download the maps of your current location, so you can test the app and get comfortable with it.
Now press "Download now", do download the selected maps. Thats it. Your navigation is ready.

Try out Navigator App

You should now try the app and use it to navigate somewhere in your home country. It has a lot of cool features, like google search api, favorites.
costa rica gps favorites
Some favorite places in costa rica

The app even switches the color theme to dark in the night-time. You will find various tools inside the app like calculate route, simulate route, record or replay gps files an Odometer and many more.

costa rica gps app tools
Cool tools inside the app
You can also use this app as a navigation while walking jungle trails in costa rica. Sure, you do not always need directions while walking or hicking. But if you want to see where exactly you are on the current trail so you can estimate the remaining time, this app is very usefull. Openstreet map even contains the path of most jungle trails in costa rica. Even very small paths you would not have noticed are inside this app!

costa rica gps android favorites
Favorite POI Options

Use the gps history as a travel log

The app logs your journeys. This is a cool feature I recently notices when I was back from costa rica. Below you can see the odometer. 1875 kilometers does not sound much, but in costa rica all distances are travelled very slowly because of the bad road conditions.

costa rica odometer
Three weeks in costa rica

As you can see on the next picture, even short distances in costa rica need some time to travel. When you can travel on the main roads, try to do so and avoid the small side roads.
gps log costa rica
Detailled history of my travel log

The right phone holder

I use a quite cheap phone holder I bought at amazon. Most cellphone car holders are made for just this one device and you cannot fit any other devices into it, when buying a new phone. The mumbi car holder can be used with a lot of different devices.
You can see the phone holder at the first picture in horizontal mode.
Check it out at amazon.

mumbi cell phone holder at amazon


  1. Maps, GPS, Navigation & Route Finder is an unique app to fulfil all your Maps options using Google Maps, it will help you to locate and track your mobile live location on the Google Maps, finding Driving Directions, GPS Location of the mobile phone and Navigation on Maps.

  2. Gps Route Finder helps you to locate and track your mobile live location on the Google Maps, finding Driving Directions, GPS Location of the mobile phone and Navigation on Maps.