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“good ride, great guys and very helpfull”
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Overview
Camper van -
5 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 3
Alajuela, Province of Alajuela

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 36 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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Kristobel...
Sheffield
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“A rather unfortunate trip with two breakdowns”
Reviewed April 3, 2017 for a stay in March 2017
1
person found this review helpful

Our flight was over 2 hours late and getting out of the airport was a major struggle; the bags were late and the exit was very crowded. Eventually we made contact with the Costa Rider representative (Frank) who advised that it was too late to make the journey on to La Fortuna where we had booked accommodation. He felt that driving all that way in the dark was too risky. At short notice, he kindly found us a hotel in San Jose.
The van itself was much older than we expected and he admitted that it was at least 10 years old; a mechanic later suggested to us that it was manufactured in 1998. It was not at all like the gleaming one on the web site. As he drove us through heavy traffic to the accommodation it stalled a couple of times. We sorted out the paperwork at the hotel and it all took a lot of his time up, for which we were grateful. He took our suitcases away for storage in a taxi.
We set off the next day and found that the satnav, for which we were paying $5 a day did not work and was not a TomTom. We were given our money back but had been relying on it. I consider that the hire charge for it was unfairly high.
The track up to the Eco Lodge at La Fortuna proved challenging because the van did not have enough power. The vans are rear wheel drive vehicles not four-wheel drive and whilst the front tyres were fairly new, the back ones were near the end of their life. On the second or third day of staying at the Eco Lodge the ABS light came on so our host agreed to accompany us to a garage. The garage spoke to the Costa Rider people and agreed that the van was ok to continue with. The next day it was only firing on two cylinders so we returned it to the garage and Costa Rider agreed to send a replacement. It arrived two days later, after it had been returned to Costa Rider by another customer.
Unfortunately, after a further week that one also gave problems owing to serious over-heating. This time a replacement arrived that same night. The first van was manual, the second automatic but you had to pass through auto and into second before it would engage auto correctly and the reversing light did not work. The third van was manual but the handbrake did not work, the gears were difficult to engage and the pump to supply water to the sink did not work.
We were told that our experience was very unusual, which indeed it must have been, because the company would not still be in business otherwise. I suspect that maybe the second two vans were not checked as thoroughly as normal, because the haste to get us re-supplied and that, being towards the end of the season the whole fleet may have been due for a service.
We only camped for about two nights and the bed was comfortable, the van convenient and there was a lot of wildlife to wake up to. However, after the breakdowns we were a bit wary of going anywhere too far away from civilisation. The two blokes running the outfit Frank and Florian were very nice and helpful and they did reimburse our extra taxi expenses. If hiring from this company I would advise double checking that everything works before taking delivery and taking a spin round the block with you driving so that you can check that it runs ok. They did indicate that they were considering buying two more vans. To be honest I was rather grateful to hand it back and if going to Costa Rica again I would hire a 4x4 instead.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sindri D
2 reviews
“good ride, great guys and very helpfull”
Reviewed March 31, 2017 for a stay in February 2017

Little bit hard to find them even with the map, but the said they are working on it. But the car was comfortable. It was little bit heavy and bit slow to take of but once you are moving everything is great. We could go any where we wanted except drive on the beach it was to heavy and we got stuck we should have known that :) would be a little better to have 4x4 but you can't have everything.
But it was great and it was really fun to be able to drive around and stay where ever we wanted and those guys where super helpful. Definitely recommending them.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Odyssey70...
1 review
“The best way to enjoy Costa Rica is with a Costa rider Hyundai camper van”
Reviewed March 29, 2017 for a stay in February 2017

Two of us spent a month in a CostaRider Hyundai van travelling around Costa Rica. the vehicle is discrete, strong and comfortable. We could have spent another month travelling. The onboard modem was incredibly useful as was the ioverlander app. A great trip. Thank you CostaRider.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robbie M
Fayence, France
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent”
Reviewed January 4, 2016 for a stay in December 2015
2
people found this review helpful

Both Franck and Florian were a great help with planning this trip. We had the van for about 2 weeks and travelled from La Fortuna to Monteverde and down to Drake Bay with many stops on the way. Having the freedom of the camper was fantastic as it let us stay longer where we liked and continue through places that appealed to us less. The only down side is it was quite warm in the camper at night as you cannot run the air-con without the engine! That said, my wife and I would definitely do it again.

How easy was it to book the property? How easy was key pickup/access to the property?
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Kitchen & utensils Service
Liked best: freedom
Liked least: hot nights
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Timdelato...
Challenge, CA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The best way to see Costa Rica”
Reviewed July 28, 2015 for a stay in July 2015
4
people found this review helpful

We rented a van from Costarider for nearly a month and would highly recommend it for people who enjoy the freedom and flexibility a camper van offers!

We camped for free the entire time, many times on beautiful beaches we had all to ourselves. We were completely self-sufficient with our van and were able to avoid many of the tourist traps and experience a more authentic, peaceful Costa Rica.

A few things you might like to know about the vans:

#1 - The vans include a 12v refrigerator (you should probably buy ice if you plan on camping in one location for more than 1 day as it will drain the battery if the van isn’t being driven), a 12v fan for keeping you cooler at night (it is quite strong and very helpful), a 5 gallon water container that you can refill at gas stations to use for dishes (we also used it for drinking water and had no problems), and about a 10-12 gallon roof tank that is used for the shower. The tank is painted black, so the water warms up nicely.

#2 - They include all kitchen utensils you would need except we had to buy a larger knife for cutting bread, mangos, papayas, etc… I wish I had purchased a cheap machete for opening all the free coconuts you’ll drive past on the road. :) They do not provide a can opener. A rag for cleaning up dirty spills & things might be nice to bring too.

#3 - The van got between 18-23 mpg for us.

#4 - We brought magnetic mosquito nets that we could place around the windows of the van to help keep air moving when we went to sleep at night. They were VERY helpful. Mosquitos were horrible in many places but the nets worked very well and helped keep us cooler. Some locations by the beach had noseeums which were smaller than our nets and they ate us to pieces.

#5 - The ioverlander app and website is truly indispensable. It helped us find many incredible places to stay for free.

#6 - It’s worth it to pay the $20 for a sim card and 2gb of data when you come here. Cell signal is almost everywhere in this country and being able to research things instantly when trying to decide what we wanted to do next or look at google maps was super helpful.

#7 - We definitely roughed it. We camped every night in the van. Showering from the van is not an easy thing to do. Many places have free outdoor showers or showers you can pay for. You may want to consider getting a nice place to sleep every once and a while to make the trip more bearable if it is just too difficult. The heat, humidity, sand, and travel definitely took their toll on some days.

Costarider is a small company and took good care of us when we had problems with the van. I really like what they’ve done with the vans and without them, our CostaRica vacation would have been very different. We are very glad we rented from them.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
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Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savinay C
1 review
“Great idea: really flexible and fun.”
Reviewed April 1, 2015 for a stay in March 2015

I needed to be in San José for work on the weekend, so I came in on Monday grabbed this camper van for a few nights. I took it to Jacó and then on the ferry to the Nicoya Peninsula (Santa Teresa), and it was perfect. Park on the sand at the beach, walk wherever you need, and spend the next night in a different city. So much flexibility.

The bed was comfortable enough, the curtains were helpful, and most of the amenities were sparse, but efficient and easy to use. The shower was a little weak at times, but the flexibility of being able to go wherever I wanted to made it all worth it.

The van even handled the tremendously bumpy and pothole-filled "roads" of Malpais/Santa Teresa, so I'm pretty confident it can go most places in Costa Rica. I'll be doing this again I'm sure.

Traveling group: Solo
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eMoney15
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“CAMPERVANS are your keys to the trip of a lifetime!”
Reviewed December 2, 2014 for a stay in October 2014
2
people found this review helpful

My girlfriend and I traveled to Costa Rica back towards the end of September for two weeks. Prior to leaving, we did a lot of research on hostels and transportation options and found many options to be pricey – well, until I found out about Costa Rider.
These guys converted vans (very impressive) into a campervan that included a table, queen size sleeping area, sink (with running water), stove, refrigerator, and a water reservoir for showers. This opened our trip itinerary wide open, literally giving us the keys to the country.

The van is nice, but I would definitely suggest mixing up the sleeping options by staying a few nights at hostels or hotels. We found many places during the down time of the season ranging from $30 to $50 a night for a couple. We spent roughly 50% of our time in hostels/motels.

Our trip started in San Jose and traveled north to La Fortuna (we highly recommend the Essence Arenal hostel) and around to the cloud forest in Monte Verde. From there we traveled all the way (only 4-5 hour drive) to Playa Negro (south of Limon), Puerto Viejo (anyone know about the huge sloth sanctuary?!), and into Playa Punta Uva where we hiked trails in the Manzanillo National Park. We then attempted to go to the Tortuguero National Park but the trips were limited due to off-season for tourism, so we headed back to La Fortuna to hike their National Forest near Arenal Volcano.

Overall, the vehicle handled well. There are some blind spots, so be cautious of all of your surroundings when making turns and backing up. Also, the cabin can make you a little claustrophobic, so make sure you have alternative options for sleeping for the days where crashing out where you park seems a little much. Also, these guys thought of EVERYTHING when it comes to preparation. They included eating utensils, a mat for showering, a laundry bag, sheets for the bed, map of best places to stay/visit/driving reccomendations, and so much more. We were so impressed by how thorough the owners really were in creating this idea.

Also, returning the vehicle, we had some damages. They were very fair in making sure they were their costs were covered without slamming us with additional costs. I can’t say enough about the company, the individuals who run it, and the experience we had. Setting reservations took a little trusting, as I didn’t receive official confirmation of the reservations until I asked and they experienced some issues with their credit card machine once we arrived there, but were completely accommodating in making other arrangements in paying the bill.

I rate these guys a 5-star, 10-star, however many stars it takes to get these guys on the map! Great job fellows, you gave us the trip of a lifetime! Website information is below.

En.costarider-campervan.com

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
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Service
Liked best: The freedom to venture anywhere in the country without spending all of my money!
Liked least: All of the rocky roads!
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Adults2
Children0
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