Driving in Costa Rica
|Costa Rica is a very small country and most tourist destinations are within a few hours drive of San José. Not only will you drive through beautiful countryside, but some small, out-of-the-way places will only be discovered by car. The adventure lover will appreciate the freedom to explore.
We do not recommend renting a car during the time you are in San José. Traffic and parking can be difficult and finding your way around is almost impossible as most buildings don't have addresses. Taxis are not only relatively cheap, but the drivers know where everything is. We suggest you pick up your rental car (or have it delivered) on the day you will be leaving San José for the provinces. Driving outside of San José is considerably less frentic.
Driving over the mountains to either coast at night, especially your first night in town is not recommended. During the day you will have the problems of potholes, cars passing where they shouldn't and being stuck behind a banana truck doing 5 mph. However, if you allow plenty of time and drive with care you shouldn't have any difficulty. So many tourists rent cars, that at times none of the 40 car rental agencies have one available. Very few tourist have problems, although there are some real horror stories.
|When Driving in Costa Rica|
|Four Wheel Drive|
|Since the road conditions are constantly changing, it is difficult to advise when you need 4-wheel drive. During the dry season, most tourist destinations can be reached without it, however we do advise 4-wheel drive for the following areas: