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Car rental versus private transfer

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Naples, Florida
posts: 402
reviews: 37
Car rental versus private transfer

Looking to book my clients at Tabacon for their honeymoon in August. The transfers to and from Tabacon from SJO seem very high. Should I feel comfortable in advising them to rent a car while there? Are there any hidden costs (we were surprised by a 400.00 upcharge in Ireland that we weren't aware of) I need to know of, and how safe is it for two twentysomethings to get around with a good map?

posts: 553
reviews: 57
1. Re: Car rental versus private transfer

I appreciate that you are doing this research for your clients and while most people here just travel on their own, it is good to see an agent caring enough to check the details. Regarding the car rental, check the Top questions in the column on the right in blue. The costs aren't hidden but there is an additional mandatory insurance that sometimes isn't disclosed up. I think it's about $17 per day. If they get a GPS, it's about $10 per day.

It is important to consider the time of day that they are arriving. They do not want to be driving at night and it gets dark by 6pm. Is Tabacon is the only place they are going?

Naples, Florida
posts: 402
reviews: 37
2. Re: Car rental versus private transfer

Thanks Joyce. I usually only use the forums for my own private travel..howvere, I like to treat my clients as if they were my children lol, in this case anyway, young honeymooners old enough to be my kids. I know perfection isn't always possible, however I don't want them to worry about anything!! At first I advised them against renting a car until I saw the prices on transfers. Its cheaper to rent a car and park it for 5 days then pay for the transfers!

On our personal vacation to Ireland, at the Dublin airport, our car rental was 300.00 for 10 days...unlimited miles...however if you didn't have a World Master Card or Diners Club (thought they were obsolete) you had to pay 400.00 for their insurance. (I could see why after driving on the left hand side of the road...) however we hadn't budgeted for that and was quite a shock, so now I research to death!

Tabacon is the only place they are going...They are very interested in excursions this trip, however if they do rent a car, I may have them stay at Marriott Los Suenos so they can see the beach (We live near the beach so it isn't real important to go to the coast)

Thank you Joyce for your quick response!!

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 4,100
reviews: 124
3. Re: Car rental versus private transfer

If they want to do a lot of excursions, most tours will pick them up and drop them back off at their hotel. Sunset Tours and Desafio are two groups that we like. I'd expect a shuttle from SJO to the La Fortuna/Arenal area to run around $140 or so. Rental car was about $60 a day for us on our last trip. A lot of time we don't rent a car; we just book the private driver through our hotel and then use taxis once we're in town. The area is spread out so taxis can add up but may still be cheaper than the car. I second Joyce on getting the GPS - very helpful. I've always felt safe in that area. Interbus is a popular shuttle service if you want to look into it.

La Fortuna de San...
posts: 1,996
reviews: 116
4. Re: Car rental versus private transfer

A good "compromise" is to have them picked up by a private driver from the airport to Tabacon. Once they're in La Fortuna, having a rental car gives them a lot of freedom to go explore! If they are going to do a bunch of tours, then a rental car is not necessary. If they are more independent and want to go explore on their own, they can rent a car quite inexpensively in town (I like Alamo-right on the main road). This option provides them with no stress trying to find their way from the airport after a long day of travel. If they end up going to the beach, get them a private driver from Fortuna to there and then they can hang out on the beach. This makes for a very relaxing and stress free time. :-) Hope this helps!!!

Naples, Florida
posts: 402
reviews: 37
5. Re: Car rental versus private transfer

Thank you for all of your friendly responses!

We're looking into the tours right now and weighing the pros and cons. The price I was quoted for round trip transfers was over 500. RT from SJO. Rental car was around 300.00 plus insurance. They are on a budget but want to do a little zipling and volcano tour, and of course relax in the Hot Springs.

I want to book a trip for myself very badly after all of this research, so all of your kind responses are working for me as well!

posts: 80
6. Re: Car rental versus private transfer

We just left San Jose -- back to Texas -- We want to go back already.

Anyway -- we stayed at TRYP this time while doing dental work and found it to be a great location with easy access to El Centro etc.

We actually booked a bus from the terminal near Cola for about $5 to get to La Fortuna as we were just going to wing it once we arrived. We decided to leave though as our President was to arrive in CR and we couldn't risk getting stranded this time...

Is there a bus terminal near the airport that would have this available as well?

7. Re: Car rental versus private transfer

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