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10 Essential Suggestions (Plus Errors To Keep away from)


Driving in Costa Rica
Suggestions for Driving in Costa Rica
Costa Rica Driving Information

Prepared for an epic street journey driving in Costa Rica? Renting a automotive is one of the simplest 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 personal epic street journey to drive round Costa Rica!

For such a small nation, Costa Rica is surprisingly mountainous with winding grime 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 automotive.

Renting a automotive and self-driving Costa Rica by yourself is one of the simplest ways to expertise this gorgeous nation, because it really provides you the liberty to cease at each waterfall, volcano, seashore, and nationwide park alongside the way in which.

Listed here are some necessary suggestions I realized about driving Costa Rica, so that you’re able to hit the street 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, when you love these large group bus excursions, by all means, go e-book one. It’s a good option to see Costa Rica when you don’t have a number of time.

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

However when you’re like me, you like 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 way in which.

If that’s the type of traveler you might be, renting a automotive in Costa Rica is the way in which to go!

Sure, there’s a public bus system in Costa Rica too, nevertheless it’s actually solely good for getting from one large city to a different, and sometimes the bus stops are situated 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 option to get across the nation.

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

One other good factor we loved about having a automotive was the power to retailer issues within the trunk, stopping off in Costa Rican cities with small journey backpacks somewhat than hauling baggage in all places.

2. The place To Hire Your Automobile In Costa Rica

Driving Tips for Costa Rica
Driving in Costa Rica

Some frequent automotive rental firms in Costa Rica embody Enterprise, Sixt, Hertz, an area one known as Adobe Hire-a-Automobile, and plenty of extra.

However the most effective web site to e-book your automotive is Uncover Vehicles. They search each native and worldwide automotive rental firms that can assist you discover the absolute best value. That is the simplest option to lease a automotive in Costa Rica.

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

San Jose Airport: Plan to choose up your automotive 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 automotive and catching a shuttle again to the airport can take as much as half-hour.

Liberia Airport: Plan to choose up your automotive 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

Hire A Automobile In Costa Rica

Search each native and worldwide automotive rental firms that can assist you discover a whole lot.

3. Automobile Rental Insurance coverage In Costa Rica

A number of 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 under.

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

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

That is the quantity they maintain in your bank card till you come back the automotive in a single piece. CDW usually doesn’t embody tire, cracked windshield, or undercarriage injury both.

Whilst you can usually lower your expenses reserving your automotive with a good journey bank card that features automotive rental insurance coverage, you REALLY should learn the positive print, as a result of many individuals wrongly assume their card covers them in Costa Rica.

If you happen to get in a wreck driving in Costa Rica, declined full protection, and also you abruptly 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 normally pre-book full protection on-line. It’s cheaper than on the counter — and then you definately gained’t have to fret about accidents in any respect!

4. How A lot Does In Value To Hire A Automobile In Costa Rica?

Renting a automotive in Costa Rica goes to price you round $25-$40 USD a day, relying on the kind of automotive 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’ll be able to sleep in it too!)

I like to recommend renting a automotive with an precise trunk (no hatchbacks) to cover your baggage from prying eyes. It helps to stop 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 vehicles will usually prevent some cash on gasoline, and diesel gas prices about $4.20 per gallon. It’s far more costly than within the gasoline in the USA!

Automated vs Handbook

Automated vehicles are costlier to lease than guide vehicles (however manuals are extra frequent in Costa Rica), and you should specify what kind you need when reserving. If you happen to’ve by no means pushed a guide automotive earlier than, don’t begin in Costa Rica! It’s safer to get an automated.

One-Method Leases

There’s an extra payment for one-way automotive leases in Costa Rica, which may range by firm. For instance, if you wish to drop off the automotive in a unique metropolis than the place you began from. However as a result of the nation is so small, you in all probability gained’t want to do that.

5. Age Necessities For Renting A Automobile

The minimal age for driving in Costa Rica is between 21-25 years outdated, relying on the corporate you e-book a automotive with. Additionally they would possibly cost an extra payment (normally $10 a day) when you’re beneath 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 much like driving legal guidelines in another nation. Nonetheless native drivers don’t all the time observe 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.

Velocity Limits In Costa Rica

Velocity 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 normally 60km/h (37 miles per hour), and round cities & cities it’s 40km/h (25 miles per hour).

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

Highway Indicators In Costa Rica

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

Highway Situations

Costa Rica’s highways are paved and in good situation, nonetheless the nation can be lined in again roads. A lot of grime roads, and plenty of usually are not in nice form. Muddy, potholes, and so on. If you happen to 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 automotive to attend for the opposite to cross earlier than continuing.

River Crossings

You possibly can street journey round Costa Rica with out ever having to cross a river, however there are additionally some again roads that move by means of rivers. Particularly throughout the moist/wet season, and within the Nicoya Peninsula, Drake Bay and Osa Peninsula areas. If you happen to’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 immediately, however require you to drive up or down stream earlier than exiting. This may be attributable to 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 automotive there. Simply carry your passport, bank card, and your driver’s license from your own home nation. So sure, you’ll be able to drive in Costa Rica with a US driver’s license.

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

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

9. Accident & Breakdown Info

In an emergency, you’ll be able to dial the Costa Rican Emergency Telephone Quantity which is 911, identical to in the USA. They’ve an English talking line too.

Nonetheless in case your automotive merely breaks down, and nobody is injured, its in all probability higher to name your Costa Rican automotive rental firm’s personal emergency roadside help quantity situated on the rental settlement.

Take pleasure in Your Costa Rica Highway Journey!

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

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

Rental Cars

Hire A Automobile In Costa Rica

Search each native and worldwide automotive rental firms that can assist you discover a whole lot.

READ MORE COSTA RICA TRAVEL TIPS

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 means of Costa Rica? What about different recommendations? Be a part of the dialog on Fb, Instagram, or Twitter to share!





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