ALL ABOUT DRIVING IN COSTA RICA
When visiting Costa Rica, renting your own car can be a great way to explore the country and a rewarding experience. The spectacular sights and surroundings that can be discovered when driving through Costa Rica are infinite. Here you can drive to magnificent volcanos, hidden waterfalls, thermal springs, and deserted beaches. The opportunities and views are endless. Having a car means that you have the freedom and flexibility to explore at your leisure.
However, the roads and the drivers in Costa Rica can take some getting used to. The rules of the road are pretty similar to the US, they drive on the right hand side of the road, roads are marked with double yellow lines where passing is not allowed and single yellow lines where passing is allowed. The speed limits are listed in kilometers and most of the road signs will be in Spanish
Always use caution when driving on Costa Rican roads, exercise patience and practice defensive driving to remain safe on the roads. There are many unpaved roads all around the country especially in the mountain areas and small country roads. Potholes here are HUGE and can severely damage your car! There can be rivers to cross, one-way bridges, diverse terrain, and animals. Also, try to avoid driving at night, there is hardly any street lights in the remote areas of the country, no guardrails on curvy mountain roads and animals on the roads.
Renting a car can give you the freedom and flexibility when you`re traveling. It is recommended for independent travelers and it`s ideal for those in a rather exploring mood, who want to experience more of genuine Costa Rica. Costa Rica is roughly the size of West Virginia, but the roads are definitely not the same quality as the United States. Driving in Costa Rica; as many Central American countries; can often be more strenuous than what you`re used to at home. The country`s unique geography - of mountains, volcanoes, valleys, plains, and coasts - has made for a challenging road system: roads are riddled with potholes, rural intersections are unmarked, no addresses, no numbering systems, and with the exception of a portion of San Jose, the streets do not run perpendicular to one another. Costa Ricans use reference points such as buildings, restaurants, churches or bridges, and distances are given in meters. Please note: We do not recommend driving in Costa Rica at night due to the nature of the roads and never leave your personal belongings in an unattended rental vehicle.
But don`t let these issues overshadow the reason why you rent a car in the first place: to have the freedom, to encounter new places and experience genuine Costa Rica along the way. Just know what to expect beforehand, make careful choices and use common sense and the journey will be without a hitch. If you are heading out of the city, a 4×4 is highly recommended. The vehicles we offer are adapted to Costa Rican roads, and they are all 4x4`s. A Costa Rica roadmap will be provided for you when you pick up the car. For detailed driving instructions ask the car rental representative when you pick up your vehicle and hotel front desk staff from point to point. The cars we offer come with a pre-paid cell phone. And for a small fee, you can upgrade your service to include a GPS.