Thursday, November 30, 2023

10 Vital Ideas (Plus Errors To Keep away from)

Driving in Costa Rica
Ideas for Driving in Costa Rica
Costa Rica Driving Information

Prepared for an epic highway journey driving in Costa Rica? Renting a automobile is one of the best ways to expertise this lovely nation. However there are some things it is best to know earlier than you go.

So that you’ve been wanting to go to for years, and are lastly planning your individual epic highway journey to drive round Costa Rica!

For such a small nation, Costa Rica is surprisingly mountainous with winding filth roads and occasional river crossings, so my first time driving there was fairly an journey! Since then, I’ve visited the nation many instances, all the time preferring to lease a automobile.

Renting a automobile and self-driving Costa Rica by yourself is one of the best ways to expertise this beautiful nation, because it actually provides you the liberty to cease at each waterfall, volcano, seashore, and nationwide park alongside the best way.

Listed here are some essential suggestions I discovered about driving Costa Rica, so that you’re able to hit the highway and discover the Wealthy Coast on a trip you’ll always remember.

Driving In Costa Rica Information (2023)

1. Ought to You Drive In Costa Rica?

Renting a Car in Costa Rica
Get Off the Crushed Path!

Hey, should you love these large group bus excursions, by all means, go e-book one. It’s a good method to see Costa Rica should you don’t have plenty of time.

No planning, no driving, simply sit again and let another person do all of the work!

However should you’re like me, you like the journey of impartial journey.

No set schedule or timetable — driving round Costa Rica with the liberty to cease anyplace cool you discover alongside the best way.

If that’s the type of traveler you’re, renting a automobile in Costa Rica is the best way to go!

Sure, there’s a public bus system in Costa Rica too, however it’s actually solely good for getting from one large city to a different, and infrequently the bus stops are positioned simply outdoors of city, so that you’ll additionally find yourself having to take a taxi. To not point out that touring by public bus is only a slower method to get across the nation.

Simply take into account that a few of the again roads in Costa Rica may be very tough & muddy, and a few native drivers don’t observe their very own legal guidelines. With some observe although, you’ll achieve confidence driving right here!

One other good factor we loved about having a automobile was the power to retailer issues within the trunk, stopping off in Costa Rican cities with small journey backpacks quite than hauling baggage in every single place.

2. The place To Hire Your Automotive In Costa Rica

Driving Tips for Costa Rica
Driving in Costa Rica

Some frequent automobile rental firms in Costa Rica embrace Enterprise, Sixt, Hertz, a neighborhood one referred to as Adobe Hire-a-Automotive, and lots of extra.

However the most effective website to e-book your automobile is Uncover Automobiles. They search each native and worldwide automobile rental firms that will help you discover the absolute best value. That is the simplest method to lease a automobile in Costa Rica.

We rented our automobile from San Jose Airport in Alajuela, and commenced our Costa Rican highway journey from there.

San Jose Airport: Plan to choose up your automobile about 60 minutes after your flight arrives. When departing, attempt to be on the airport not less than 3 1/2 hours earlier than your flight leaves. As a result of returning your rental automobile and catching a shuttle again to the airport can take as much as half-hour.

Liberia Airport: Plan to choose up your automobile about half-hour after your flight arrives. When departing, attempt to be on the airport not less than 2 1/2 hours earlier than your flight leaves. Once more, due to the shuttle.

Rental Cars

Hire A Automotive In Costa Rica

Search each native and worldwide automobile rental firms that will help you discover a whole lot.

3. Automotive Rental Insurance coverage In Costa Rica

Among the rumors about driving in Costa Rica are true, and the roads are VERY tough in some areas. Particularly the again roads outdoors Costa Rica’s smaller cities. Don’t fear, I’ll share some suggestions for coping with them beneath.

Because of this I extremely advocate getting full insurance coverage protection.

Sometimes, rental automobiles in Costa Rica include a fundamental Collision Injury Waiver (CDW), however this isn’t precisely insurance coverage, and solely covers the automobile for as much as $1000-3000 USD value of injury.

That is the quantity they maintain in your bank card till you come back the automobile in a single piece. CDW sometimes doesn’t embrace tire, cracked windshield, or undercarriage harm both.

When you can usually get monetary savings reserving your automobile with a good journey bank card that features automobile rental insurance coverage, you REALLY should learn the high-quality print, as a result of many individuals wrongly assume their card covers them in Costa Rica.

When you get in a wreck driving in Costa Rica, declined full protection, and also you all of the sudden be taught your bank card doesn’t really cowl the harm — you’re screwed. I can’t inform you what number of journey horror tales I’ve heard like this…

It’s why I often pre-book full protection on-line. It’s cheaper than on the counter — and then you definitely received’t have to fret about accidents in any respect!

4. How A lot Does In Price To Hire A Automotive In Costa Rica?

Renting a automobile in Costa Rica goes to value you round $25-$40 USD a day, relying on the kind of automobile you get. Our 4-door sedan was about $25 per day. A four-wheel drive SUV will value you extra like $40-$70 USD per day.

A 4X4 campervan, or truck with a tent connected, goes to value over $100 USD per day (nevertheless you may sleep in it too!)

I like to recommend renting a automobile with an precise trunk (no hatchbacks) to cover your baggage from prying eyes. It helps to forestall break-ins if thieves can’t see your stuff.

Fuel Costs

At present, gasoline prices about $4.75 USD per gallon ($1.25 per liter) in Costa Rica. Diesel automobiles will usually prevent some cash on gasoline, and diesel gasoline prices about $4.20 per gallon. It’s rather more costly than within the gasoline in the USA!

Automated vs Guide

Automated automobiles are dearer to lease than handbook automobiles (however manuals are extra frequent in Costa Rica), and you need to specify what kind you need when reserving. When you’ve by no means pushed a handbook automobile earlier than, don’t begin in Costa Rica! It’s safer to get an automated.

One-Method Leases

There’s an extra price for one-way automobile leases in Costa Rica, which might fluctuate by firm. For instance, if you wish to drop off the automobile in a special metropolis than the place you began from. However as a result of the nation is so small, you most likely received’t want to do that.

5. Age Necessities For Renting A Automotive

The minimal age for driving in Costa Rica is between 21-25 years outdated, relying on the corporate you e-book a automobile with. Additionally they may cost an extra price (often $10 a day) should you’re underneath 25 years outdated.

6. Issues To Bear in mind Whereas Driving In Costa Rica

Crossing a River in Costa Rica
River Crossing

Driving legal guidelines in Costa Rica are just like driving legal guidelines in every other nation. Nonetheless native drivers don’t all the time observe them. For instance, drivers could not use flip indicators or will run pink lights in the event that they suppose they will get away with it.

Pace Limits In Costa Rica

Pace limits in Costa Rica are quoted in kilometers per hour. The utmost pace on most highways is 120 km/h (about 74 miles per hour). On secondary roads, the restrict is often 60km/h (37 miles per hour), and round cities & cities it’s 40km/h (25 miles per hour).

When you occur to get a dashing ticket, please let your automobile rental firm know instantly, as you’ll must pay for it if you drop off the automobile on the finish of your journey.

Highway Indicators In Costa Rica

The highway indicators in Costa Rica needs to be fairly self-explanatory, as they appear just like US highway indicators, simply in Spanish. You may browse some frequent Costa Rican highway indicators right here.

Highway Situations

Costa Rica’s highways are paved and in good situation, nevertheless the nation can also be lined in again roads. A lot of filth roads, and lots of usually are not in nice form. Muddy, potholes, and so forth. When you plan on driving off the crushed path in Costa Rica, I extremely advocate renting a four-wheel drive SUV. Some bridges are solely single lane, requiring one automobile to attend for the opposite to cross earlier than continuing.

River Crossings

You may highway journey round Costa Rica with out ever having to cross a river, however there are additionally some again roads that cross by way of rivers. Particularly throughout the moist/wet season, and within the Nicoya Peninsula, Drake Bay and Osa Peninsula areas. When you’ve by no means crossed a river earlier than, please watch another person go first!

Put your car into 4X4 mode, go gradual, and take note of the route. Some rivers aren’t crossed immediately, however require you to drive up or down stream earlier than exiting. This may be as a result of hidden obstacles, depth, or just the most effective entry/exit factors.

7. Worldwide Driver’s License

No, you don’t want an worldwide driver’s license to drive in Costa Rica or lease a automobile there. Simply deliver your passport, bank card, and your driver’s license from your property nation. So sure, you may drive in Costa Rica with a US driver’s license.

8. Further Recommendation For Renting A Automotive & Driving In Costa Rica

  • Lock your doorways whereas driving in Costa Rica, and by no means depart valuables seen in your automobile.
  • Pedestrians don’t actually have right-of-way in Costa Rica. Which means should you politely cease within the highway to let somebody cross, they’ll be confused, and the automobile behind you received’t anticipate it — which might trigger an accident! That is comparable in Mexico and different elements of Central America.
  • Don’t e-book a automobile with out studying the corporate critiques. You’ll discover loads of unhealthy critiques for each firm (individuals like to complain on-line), however attempt to choose one with the LEAST unhealthy critiques.
  • It’s possible you’ll not all the time get the make/mannequin/kind of automobile you booked. If they offer you a smaller automobile, or a handbook if you requested for an automated, be pushy and ask for an improve.
  • Examine your automobile totally and document video in your smartphone declaring harm earlier than you permit. This can be a backup in the event that they try and cost you for harm that was already there. This can be a frequent automobile rental rip-off in Costa Rica….
  • Take note of in case your Costa Rica rental automobile takes common gasoline or diesel gasoline, so that you replenish with the proper kind at gasoline stations.
  • Use Google Maps in your smartphone for instructions as an alternative of renting a GPS system. Merely use your individual hands-free automobile mount and a good worldwide mobile phone plan.

9. Accident & Breakdown Info

In an emergency, you may dial the Costa Rican Emergency Cellphone Quantity which is 911, similar to in the USA. They’ve an English talking line too.

Nonetheless in case your automobile merely breaks down, and nobody is injured, its most likely higher to name your Costa Rican automobile rental firm’s personal emergency roadside help quantity positioned on the rental settlement.

Get pleasure from Your Costa Rica Highway Journey!

Exploring the small villages, pristine seashores, jungle mountains, and nationwide parks of Costa Rica in a rental automobile was positively the fitting selection for us.

Self-drive highway journeys mean you can get off the crushed observe to see issues most individuals miss! ★

Rental Cars

Hire A Automotive In Costa Rica

Search each native and worldwide automobile rental firms that will help you discover a whole lot.


I hope you loved my information for driving in Costa Rica! Hopefully you discovered it helpful. Listed here are a couple of extra wanderlust-inducing articles that I like to recommend you learn subsequent:

Have any questions on driving by way of Costa Rica? What about different recommendations? Be part of the dialog on Fb, Instagram, or Twitter to share!

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