Saturday, February 24, 2024

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 the easiest way to expertise this lovely nation. However there are some things it’s best to know earlier than you go.

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

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

Renting a automobile and self-driving Costa Rica by yourself is the easiest way to expertise this gorgeous nation, because it actually offers you the liberty to cease at each waterfall, volcano, seaside, and nationwide park alongside the best way.

Listed here are some necessary ideas I realized 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 massive group bus excursions, by all means, go guide one. It’s a good method to see Costa Rica should you don’t have a whole lot 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 favor the journey of unbiased 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 form of traveler you might be, 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 massive city to a different, and sometimes the bus stops are positioned simply exterior 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 remember that a number of the again roads in Costa Rica may be very tough & muddy, and a few native drivers don’t comply with their very own legal guidelines. With some follow although, you’ll acquire confidence driving right here!

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

2. The place To Lease Your Automotive In Costa Rica

Driving Tips for Costa Rica
Driving in Costa Rica

Some widespread automobile rental corporations in Costa Rica embrace Enterprise, Sixt, Hertz, a neighborhood one known as Adobe Lease-a-Automotive, and plenty of extra.

However one of the best web site to guide your automobile is Uncover Automobiles. They search each native and worldwide automobile rental corporations that can assist 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 started our Costa Rican highway journey from there.

San Jose Airport: Plan to select up your automobile about 60 minutes after your flight arrives. When departing, attempt to be on the airport at the least 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 select up your automobile about half-hour after your flight arrives. When departing, attempt to be on the airport at the least 2 1/2 hours earlier than your flight leaves. Once more, due to the shuttle.

Rental Cars

Lease A Automotive In Costa Rica

Search each native and worldwide automobile rental corporations that can assist 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 exterior Costa Rica’s smaller cities. Don’t fear, I’ll share some ideas for coping with them beneath.

This is the reason I extremely suggest getting full insurance coverage protection.

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

That is the quantity they maintain in your bank card till you come the automobile in a single piece. CDW sometimes doesn’t embrace tire, cracked windshield, or undercarriage injury 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 a sudden study your bank card doesn’t truly cowl the injury — you’re screwed. I can’t let you know 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 you then gained’t have to fret about accidents in any respect!

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

Renting a automobile in Costa Rica goes to price 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 price you extra like $40-$70 USD per day.

A 4X4 campervan, or truck with a tent connected, goes to price over $100 USD per day (nonetheless you possibly can 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

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

Automated vs Guide

Automated automobiles are dearer to lease than handbook automobiles (however manuals are extra widespread in Costa Rica), and it’s essential 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-Means Leases

There’s a further charge for one-way automobile leases in Costa Rica, which may range 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 gained’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 guide a automobile with. Additionally they may cost a further charge (often $10 a day) should you’re below 25 years outdated.

6. Issues To Keep 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 another nation. Nonetheless native drivers don’t at all times comply with them. For instance, drivers could not use flip alerts or will run pink lights in the event that they assume 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 rushing ticket, please let your automobile rental firm know instantly, as you’ll should pay for it whenever you drop off the automobile on the finish of your journey.

Street Indicators In Costa Rica

The highway indicators in Costa Rica needs to be fairly self-explanatory, as they give the impression of being just like US highway indicators, simply in Spanish. You possibly can browse some widespread Costa Rican highway indicators right here.

Street Circumstances

Costa Rica’s highways are paved and in good situation, nonetheless the nation can be coated in again roads. Plenty of dust roads, and plenty of usually are not in nice form. Muddy, potholes, and so on. When you plan on driving off the crushed path in Costa Rica, I extremely suggest 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 possibly can highway journey round Costa Rica with out ever having to cross a river, however there are additionally some again roads that cross by 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 automobile into 4X4 mode, go sluggish, and take note of the route. Some rivers aren’t crossed instantly, however require you to drive up or down stream earlier than exiting. This may be on account of hidden obstacles, depth, or just one of the best 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 house nation. So sure, you possibly can drive in Costa Rica with a US driver’s license.

8. Additional 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. That means should you politely cease within the highway to let somebody cross, they’ll be confused, and the automobile behind you gained’t count on it — which may trigger an accident! That is comparable in Mexico and different elements of Central America.
  • Don’t guide a automobile with out studying the corporate evaluations. You’ll discover loads of dangerous evaluations for each firm (individuals like to complain on-line), however attempt to decide one with the LEAST dangerous evaluations.
  • You could not at all times get the make/mannequin/kind of automobile you booked. If they offer you a smaller automobile, or a handbook whenever you requested for an automated, be pushy and ask for an improve.
  • Examine your automobile totally and file video in your smartphone stating injury earlier than you permit. This can be a backup in the event that they try to cost you for injury that was already there. This can be a widespread automobile rental rip-off in Costa Rica….
  • Take note of in case your Costa Rica rental automobile takes common fuel or diesel gasoline, so that you replenish with the proper kind at fuel stations.
  • Use Google Maps in your smartphone for instructions as a substitute of renting a GPS gadget. Merely use your personal hands-free automobile mount and a good worldwide mobile phone plan.

9. Accident & Breakdown Data

In an emergency, you possibly can dial the Costa Rican Emergency Telephone 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 Street Journey!

Exploring the small villages, pristine seashores, jungle mountains, and nationwide parks of Costa Rica in a rental automobile was undoubtedly the precise alternative for us.

Self-drive highway journeys help you get off the crushed monitor to see issues most individuals miss! ★

Rental Cars

Lease A Automotive In Costa Rica

Search each native and worldwide automobile rental corporations that can assist 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 number of extra wanderlust-inducing articles that I like to recommend you learn subsequent:

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

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