We had such a wonderful time with our campervan, or as we called
We got to experience Costa Rica in a whole different way. We also got to meet a lot of friendly locals and we felt very safe the entire time.
The campervan is very comfortable and reliable.I wish we had had longer than 2 weeks to experience more of this beautiful country.Florian and company were very professional and friendly. This was certainly a trip of a lifetime!
We booked a camper December 2016 for about 10 days and it was great! We were able to drive around the country from coast to coast and saw a lot of Costa Rica!
Florian was easy to deal with, especially when we ran into vehicle issues. Luckily we got a replacement van within the day.
We are planning on going to Costa Rica again in September and will be booking again! =)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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