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Costa Rica Transportation by Car

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Feel the wind in your hair. If you love a good road trip—seeing amazing sights out your window, stopping wherever you want, discovering treasured hideaways—then you should definitely rent a car and drive around Costa Rica. It is a trove of exotic experiences!

No rickety rides. All the big car rental companies can be found in Costa Rica: Thrifty, Dollar, Budget and Alamo as well as Toyota Rent a Car. For those who fly into San Jose, cars are easy to pick up right at the international airport. But many companies also have satellite locations throughout the country.

Getting the car is the easy part. Navigating your way through the wild landscape can offer up some challenges. First of all, most of Costa Rica's roads are unpaved and riddled with potholes.

A river runs through it. Rivers twist and bend throughout the entire country of Costa Rica so drivers must sometimes cross them. When rivers swell, they become unbelievably powerful and can easily sweep away a car.

Ticos rarely have an issue. They know the roads, they know the water levels. But frankly, tourists lose rentals in rivers all the time. That's why Costa Rican car rental insurance is so high.

Which way to go? Navigating can also be troubling. Roads are often unmarked and directions tend to rely on landmarks rather than signs. To compound the problem, the culture in Costa Rica is to be helpful, so locals will sometimes offer advice even if they aren't right.

Advice: Get a map from the rental place and don't drive at night when dark, winding roads could lead you off track.

Go anywhere your heart desires! With a rental car you can drive to see the Arenal Volcano and spend a day zip-lining in the cloud forest of Monteverde. Then go to the Nicoya Peninsula and surf in the Pacific Ocean. Slip down to the remote Osa Peninsula where you just might spot a jaguar. Or head over to do some sea turtle work on a Caribbean beach.

With some forethought, patience and flexibility you will have nothing but fun!


About Costa Rica
Costa Rican Currency
Health & Safety
Hotels & Eco-Lodges
Map of Costa Rica
Best Things to Do
Famous Attractions
National Parks
Nature and Wildlife
Costa Rica Fast Facts

Hit the road for an eco-adventure you'll never forget! Drive Costa Rica.