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Costa Rica Driving

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Baltimore, Maryland
posts: 3
reviews: 21
Costa Rica Driving

I will be flying in to San Jose late August. Need to get to Arenel. I usually drive in most countires.

they really try to discourage one from driving . Has any one had experience driving in August?

Barrie, Canada
posts: 2,457
reviews: 47
1. Re: Costa Rica Driving

The drive you ate describing is. Easy as long as it I'd done in daylight. The sun sets about 5"30

Baltimore, Maryland
posts: 3
reviews: 21
2. Re: Costa Rica Driving

Thanks for your reply . Have you done it? Sy trouble crossing marsh or mud? Are the roads at least like driving on a rural road in the USA?

Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 8,528
reviews: 58
3. Re: Costa Rica Driving

You will be driving on paved roads only. No mud (if not for a landslide) and no marsh. Any type of vehicle will do it. The road is two lane, with several one lane bridges. It goes up the hills so it is windy. Driving during the daylight and preferably in the morning, it is an easy drive.

San Jose
posts: 231
reviews: 57
4. Re: Costa Rica Driving

I recommend you to buy a prepaid Kolbi sim card with Internet and use Waze. Also you can download IGO for Costa Rica. With that tools, you will have the confidence that you are in the right track.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 44,923
reviews: 3
5. Re: Costa Rica Driving

I drive that route almost in a daily basis...with all kind of vehicles...buses...mini vans ...sedans...SUV...Motorcycle...and let me tell you in my well 40 somenthing years driving that route...maybe now is the best that I have had ever seen it...take the San Ramon way...scenic road ...nice curvy roads...great condition...from SJO to La Fortuna about 3 hours...minutes more minutes less...

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADSIE!


posts: 103
reviews: 2
6. Re: Costa Rica Driving

I agree. Some form of GPS and good map would've be really helpful. Car rental map and road signs alone didn't quite cut it. There were places where map didn't seem to match the roads and signage isn't like it is in the states. Otherwise that drive wasn't bad.

La Fortuna de San...
posts: 1,996
reviews: 116
7. Re: Costa Rica Driving

I get requests for this document that I created all the time so I finally posted it-here's a link to the DRIVING TIPS FOR CR that should be of help to any newcomers who will be renting a car and especially those who know no Spanish! Here you go: thevillahermosa.com/images/VH_Driving_Tips_f…

Enjoy your time here!

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 44,923
reviews: 3
8. Re: Costa Rica Driving

In a few remote areas as the South of the country as OSA maybe some gas stations ared more than a 1 hour away...but generally speaking gas stations are everywhere most of the time no more than 40 minutes away form the next...so please just do not worry and as anywhere else...keep your tank with enough fule at least a 1-4 of a tank...well also depends the type of vehicle you may be driving!


posts: 251
reviews: 26
9. Re: Costa Rica Driving

No problem driving in Costa Rica, we drove all over the country in 2010. It might be worth getting a GPS, we didn’t and got lost quite a lot, I remember a town called Athene between Arenal and the airport in San Jose, where we got lost badly, there aren’t many roadsigns in Costa Rica towns. But we found our way eventually by asking, people are very helpful, even if you don’t speak Spanish. Another thing to look out for is that overtaking on the inside seems to be the rule not the exception. Generally though, everyone drives well, the roads are good, and we enjoyed it a lot, the landscapes are to die for!


Atlanta, Georgia...
posts: 1
reviews: 12
10. Re: Costa Rica Driving

We drove a small 4x4. It was fine. I would agree--driving is best kept to daytime. Just watch for blind corners where speeding Tica buses seem to just seem to fly out at you. Also, lots of one-lane bridges--mind the yield signs when passing through them!!!

Absolutely get a GPS--especially if you go on some scenic routes, there are comically few road signs to guide you. We rented from Poas Car Rental. Great service (via phone to arrange and with an at location drop off), some of the best prices we found for a Point-to-Point rental (ie not roundtrip), and a "no surprises" rental pricing focus gets all the details out there.

Edited: 11:54 pm, August 17, 2013