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4X4 Vehicle - Really Necessary?

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Kailua, Hawaii
Level Contributor
663 posts
1 review
4X4 Vehicle - Really Necessary?

We are coming to the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area the first week in December. Our hostess has recommended that we rent a car with 4 wheel drive, saying that the road from the villa where we are staying (just south of Quepos) to the beach is steep and gravel.

I was brought up and learned to drive in New England, in the 40s and 50s, with some pretty tough winters, with plenty of snow. I'm a competent driver of station wagons to MotorHomes.

Am I really going to have a problem with a 2 wheel drive rental car if I don't go "off-road"?

Quepos, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
16 posts
3 reviews
1. Re: 4X4 Vehicle - Really Necessary?

Hi HankDfrmSD,

I grew up in New England too so I share your skills. Chances are if the villa warned you about the road they are on, it might be a problem (maybe not impossible but tough). I have had to back down a few steep gravel hills because my rental-car tires were really bald and wouldn't catch (even in the dry season). Other than that though, the main roads in and around MA and Quepos are nicely paved.

Hope that helps,


San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
45,028 posts
30 reviews
2. Re: 4X4 Vehicle - Really Necessary?

Dear Hank..

I did grew up here in Costa Rica...and if a nice villa owner in Manuel Antonio, Quepos, Uvita, Dominical , etc...is recommending a 4x4 YOU NEED A 4x4...

MOst of the time...very short rides to go from main road to the villas...but hard to imposible some of them without 4x4...

Very often we drive people out of villas there and we send our Toyotas Prados 4x4...really the only way to get In and Out of some villas!

Do not take chances...for you and others safety!


Manuel Antonio...
Level Contributor
788 posts
58 reviews
3. Re: 4X4 Vehicle - Really Necessary?

Roadadvisor and Matt are right.....if they told you to rent a 4x4....then you should do it......some private villas are located on pretty steep hills...on dirt and gravel roads......taxis won't even go to some of them......especially with rains......our main roads are just fine.....the side roads can be difficult.

Tulemar Dave

Manuel Antonio
Destination Expert
for Manuel Antonio National Park
Level Contributor
2,171 posts
4. Re: 4X4 Vehicle - Really Necessary?

I agree with the others. It may not necessarily be that it is steep or difficult, but if its rainy or there is algae it can be slippery. In those cases, 4WD is very handy. Enjoy!

5. Re: 4X4 Vehicle - Really Necessary?

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