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Car Rental or Public Transport

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Chesapeake, Virginia
posts: 167
reviews: 92
Car Rental or Public Transport

My husband and I are leaving for Costa Rica on May 11th. We will be in the La Fortuna area for 6 nights with a Groupon that includes round-trip transportation to the airport in San Jose. I've also booked five nights in Quepos, and an additional 3 nights in Alajuela. I thought it made the most sense to rent a car for the MA/Alajuela portion of the trip, but am starting to have second thoughts. Our hotel (Parador) does run a shuttle to Manuel Antonio during the day and I doubt we'd be doing much driving as any tours we wanted to take have pick-up available; cab fare runs about $5 each way into town. When we go to Alajuela the one thing we want to see is the Poas Volcano but I don't know if we should rent a car for the whole time to see that.

So, looking for suggestions. I do want to stop at the Tarcoles Bridge so looks like we would definitely need to get a private driver in one direction for sure. Can someone give me some advice on (a) how much this runs and (b) some good referrals. Also, if you were in my position would you go for the rental for the whole time or something else...and if something else, what?


Cahuita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Cahuita
posts: 1,830
reviews: 7
1. Re: Car Rental or Public Transport

If you already have some of the transport options covered, then why not relax and have a driver cover the rest? Is your transport in Arenal covered? This is the one area where it is useful to have a car as things are spread out somewhat. Tucan Limos get great reviews as private driver options.

Manuel Antonio
Destination Expert
for Manuel Antonio National Park
posts: 2,110
2. Re: Car Rental or Public Transport

Much depends on where you are staying in Alajuela whether it is better to have a car or pay to go to Poas from your hotel. Prices for a private driver from MA to SJ airport area ranges from $160 to $200, then it is more to go further to Poas. If you are staying in Poas, you may just want to have the car and make the drive yourself if you are up to the challenge. Either way, most all tour vans, private drivers and rental cars make a stop at the Tarcoles Bridge to see the crocs, so that might not be a big issue. As far as having a car in MA, the price for a taxi from Parador is more in the $8 range, as that hotel is at the very end of a long side road. However, as mentioned the tours include transport, they have several restaurants on property and there is a lovely beach you can walk to from the hotel if you do not want to take the shuttle to the park, so a car is not an absolute necessity when there. Enjoy!

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,171
3. Re: Car Rental or Public Transport

Agree...nice to have a car but also you can do it without it...for Poas maybe you can take a tour...from your Alajuela hotel...no nice to have your car seating at the hotel parking lot...


4. Re: Car Rental or Public Transport

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Removed on: 2:18 am, May 09, 2014