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Rent Car or Hire Driver

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New York City, New...
Level Contributor
47 posts
Rent Car or Hire Driver

I've been trying to decide if I should hire a driver for our trip to CR or rent a car. We'll be traveling from SJO to Arenal to Manuel Antonio then back to SJO.

I drive in NYC so I am not easily initimidated... but here are my concerns/questions...

We arrive late in the evening (9pm) and plan to stay at a hotel near the airport and head out to Arenal first thing in the morning. Is it best to pick up the rental in the evening or would they bring the car to me at the hotel in the morning?

Two, is it easy to drive in CR? I don't want to get lost in the hills and add additional hours to my trip.

Thanks

Chris

Cahuita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Cahuita
Level Contributor
2,356 posts
14 reviews
1. Re: Rent Car or Hire Driver

GPS and map combo should prevent too many detours to remote regions of the country. If you drive in NY then Costa Rica should be a breeze, just stick with day driving. A rental should be delivered to your hotel without any problem. Your route is pretty much a frequently taken tourist one so loads of people complete it problem free daily!

Do read the information in the sidebar regarding car rental for useful tips.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
47 posts
2. Re: Rent Car or Hire Driver

What car rental agencies should I consider / avoid? I saw Wildrider recommended on the forum but they cannot accomodate my dates.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
44,953 posts
19 reviews
3. Re: Rent Car or Hire Driver

Nice way to rent a car...and they can deliver it the next day...avoid ECONOMY...and THRIFTY...you check on some not very good reviews...

You can try with ADOBE...National...AVIS...Hertz..Toyota...Budget...Alamo..

Private transfers as per your itinerary...for maybe $ 520.00 all of them ... good to up to 4 passengers!

Just do your math..nice to have a car in some destinations....

roadadvisor

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
47 posts
4. Re: Rent Car or Hire Driver

Yes... some of the quotes I am getting for rentals are high (peak season) and appear to be more then hiring a private driver/transfer...

I am staying an Campo De Silencio in Arenal and Si Como No in MA.. are these hotels far from town / restaurants? If cab fare is cheap maybe a transfer is the way to go. Especially if the tour/activities can pick us up at the hotel.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
44,953 posts
19 reviews
5. Re: Rent Car or Hire Driver

From Silencio to La Fortuna about 5 minutes...about $ 10.00 each way...

Si Como No...you have some good restaurant options...walking distance from the hotel...Cafe Milagros...Aqua Azul...Byblos Pizza...El Avion not good food but good views...

You are correct about the tour company pick up at your hotel...all of them will !

roadadvisor

nebraska
Level Contributor
556 posts
57 reviews
6. Re: Rent Car or Hire Driver

It is pretty easy to drive yourself but it's great to have a driver for the transfers too. When are you traveling? During tourist season both the rental companies and the private drivers book up fast.

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
109 posts
8 reviews
7. Re: Rent Car or Hire Driver

You will not need a car in MA. Cabs are cheap and plentiful and the bus($.50 U.S) comes along every 20 min. or so.

Costa rica
Level Contributor
87 posts
44 reviews
8. Re: Rent Car or Hire Driver

Definitely don't need a car in MA, every thing is close and is easy to find public transportation, all time.

Pura Vida ...

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
528 posts
33 reviews
9. Re: Rent Car or Hire Driver

We used Tucanlimo to pick us up from El Silencio de Campo and drive us back to SJO. I believe it was about 2 - 3 hours ride but our friendly driver kept us entertained with his jokes and gave us a lot of info about Costa Rica. We even stopped at a few places for fresh fruit and cheese. It was $160 for 2 of us. Not bad at all.

And as for in Arenal, from Silencio to town is $6-7. I'm a cheapo so I asked the taxi driver to drop us off at Burger King to save $1. La Fortuna is a small town so once you get dropped off you can basically walk to everywhere.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
16 posts
122 reviews
10. Re: Rent Car or Hire Driver

We also used Tucanlimo for all 3 legs - San Jose to El Silenico de Campo then to MA and then back to San Jose. We had the same driver all three legs & he was bombarded with questions about Costa Rica & we enjoyed not having to worry about driving. Never once wished we had a car. Maybe our driver used back roads, however, I appreciated not driving on the two lane roads in the rain from SJO to La Fortuna - seemed like a lot of turns and curves. The other two legs seemed more direct.