How to Travel in Costa Rica without Any Problems

Posted by Sep12, 2013 Comments (0)

driving in costa rica

Costa Rica isn’t known for its road safety and its attention to detail whilst driving. The dirt tracks are remote and they will get you to where you want to go. For foreigners, these can be a nightmare. Although driving safety is practically non-existent with bridges without guard rails and drivers with no regard for anyone else, you can still travel well if you plan correctly.
Airport to Shaka.

Here’s some more information on what you need to know when planning a journey to travel in Costa Rica.

Getting To Your Resort  

There are great shuttle services that can pick you up at the airport or your  hotel in San Jose or Alajuela and take you to any outlying town. A lot of our guests use the shuttle service to get from either San Jose Airport or Liberia

Mapping it Out

Visitors have this bad habit of reading a map in the same way as they would back home. If they see something is 100km away they’ll assume they can do the distance in an hour or two. Things work differently in Costa Rica. The roads are in such poor condition you can expect to double the amount of time it takes to reach your destination. You usually have to stick to 40km/hour so you don’t risk having an accident.

Take Someone with You

It’s easy to get lost in this country. There are very few road signs and unless you’re adept at using a compass the chances are you’ll take the occasional wrong turn. You can employ the services of a local guide to help you get to your destination. There are people who do this commercially, but the locals will often guide you if you’re willing to give them a ride to where they want to go.

Organise Your Rental Car

Most people use rental cars to get around Costa Rica. Public transport can’t get you to many of the remote locations you’ll want to visit. Rental car agencies will charge quite a high deposit for your vehicle. the rental car companies are very easy to deal with.

We always recommend Economy rent a car in Alajuela. The staff are very friendly and accommodating. While we have never had an issue with using a credit card to secure the deposit and pay for the car at the end, a helpful hint to avoid any arousal of suspicion with your bank is to notify them prior to arriving in Costa Rica that you will be traveling and might see some larger charges from Costa Rica.

It’s also a great idea to check with your credit card company before arriving in Costa Rica to see if they offer insurance for rental cars in Costa Rica. We use
either Amex or Master Card and both provide rental car insurance in Costa Rica which can save a lot of money. Economy recognizes this and is very
courteous about it. Lots of our guests rent from them and we have not heard of any issues.

Never Travel at Night

Unless you’re an experienced driver, avoid travelling under the cover of darkness. There are no street lights and the only navigation you’ll have is via the stars and however far your headlights reach. It’s not worth the risk of getting lost or potentially crashing into someone or something.

Remember your timing, as outlined above, when you travel in Costa Rica and you’ll have no problems on the roads. If it’s a choice between driving during the day and potentially being caught outside at night, travel the next day so you can account for any unexpected delays.

Feel free to contact us to discuss your travel arrangements prior to departure.
Photo credit: drewdomkus / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Categories : adventure

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