Driving around costa ica

Old May 20th, 2013, 03:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Driving around costa ica


I plan to visit CR in June
I am thinking of renting a car from San Jose Airport

1) Is driving around the country easy?
2) How accurate are the GPS
3) How is the roads?
4) Do they have proper signs and lights to travel at night

stanspice is offline  
Old May 21st, 2013, 04:33 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,085
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Depends on where you are going - some roads are in great shape, others (such as Monteverde, Rio Celeste, Carate) are not so good, particularly if you go in the rainy season.

GPS is recommended if you will be driving through San Jose or off the main roads to lesser known destinations. If you are just going to the main tourist destinations such as Arenal and Manuel Antonio, I would not bother. These are the two most visited places in the country.

Signs are hit or miss - you may see some for the main destinations.

Never try to drive at night. There are many people and animals on the roads, lighting is not good. It's never recommended to travel at night. Darkness falls around 5:30 - 5:45 pm, so always try to be at your destination by then.

Sometimes we rent a car, others times we are on shuttles. Having a car gives you the flexibility and freedom to do what you want, when you want to go versus relying on public or private transportation.

It's a beautiful country - enjoy!
colibri is offline  
Old May 21st, 2013, 06:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 75
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
All good advice by Colibri. In terms of the signs, it sometimes helps to know a few of the prominent/major hotels, restaurants and attractions in your destination, so instead of looking for road signs for Manuel Antonio (most will actually be for Quepos), you can follow the signs for Kapi Kapi, Midworld and Kamuk...
Eliot_Greenspan is offline  
Old May 21st, 2013, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Driving in Costa Rica is very feasible, as distances aren't great, though it's perhaps not ideal for everyone. Roads are a mixture of good tarmac, compacted and dirt, so a 4WD is highly advisable. As Colibri said, GPS is well worth considering, they're pretty accurate, and can cut down on the uncertainty you will have to deal with - signage is not great in parts. Given the nature of the roads, lack of good signage, and sometimes poor lighting, we would advise people to avoid driving after dark if at all possible. 

My best recommendation would be to not try to cover too much ground, allow plenty of time, and be sure to pack a patient and flexible approach!


PuraAventura is offline  
Old May 21st, 2013, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 13,080
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We had a car in CR and driving was pretty easy as long as you are careful. We were on the west side of the country - SJ, El Roble, Manuel Antonio, Tamarindo. The roads over there were pretty good, although potholes are a definite problem.

We were really glad that we had a GPS - it made navigation much easier. We had a map too, which was good, but the GPS was esspecially helpful getting through SJ and also in some places along the way where signage was really lacking. We would missed some of our turns otherwise, even with 5 people in the car watching for signs.

The advice not to drive after dark is good. We were on the road after dark due to delays beyond our control. It was ok, but with narrow roads, lack of lights, animals, etc. it was less than ideal. We are used to driving on narrow, rural roads but still, we would have definitely prefered to have completed the drive in the daylight.
november_moon is offline  
Old May 21st, 2013, 01:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks all for the directions
stanspice is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2013, 10:11 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,301
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We really liked having the GPS too; it saved us from missing some turns, and ours even announced speed limit changes and things like that that we needed to be aware of.
volcanogirl is online now  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Mexico & Central America
Dec 7th, 2016 10:57 AM
Mexico & Central America
Dec 29th, 2007 06:08 PM
Mexico & Central America
Sep 9th, 2004 04:13 AM
Mexico & Central America
Oct 13th, 2003 06:40 AM
Mexico & Central America
Sep 11th, 2002 08:13 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information