Hire driver or rental car

Jan 23rd, 2006, 07:44 AM
  #1  
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Hire driver or rental car

My family and I, kids 8 and 12, are going to CR April 14 06, for 10 days. We are going to Arenal, Monteverde and Sugar Beach hotel. I am tempted to hire drivers to get a around, so that I can gaze out the window and spend more relaxed time with family. What are the downsides to traveling this way.
trail_blaze is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 09:03 AM
  #2  
 
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My opinion is a car rental allows you to go where you want, when you want, without having to contact someone or have them staying with you. You will miss some of the sights along the way, but most of the scenic areas have places to stop and take in the experience. I have two little ones and it is nice to be able to go out and explore at our own pace. It also allowed us to go to the local markets and restaurants that were to far to walk and experience it on our own. I really don't see any downsides.
ewesthoff is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 12:40 PM
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For your trip, I would want a car.

Driving and Renting both have their own advantages. Yes you have the opp to gaze out at the surroundings with a driver and yes a driver can point out things that you may miss, but renting gives you so much freedom and flexiblity.

For Arenal and Monteverde, you could easily have a driver transfer you and easily depend on cabs and tours to get you around. But for the Sugar Beach portion, I'm thinking you will want a vehicle.

For all these areas you will want a 4X4.

There are lots of beaches to explore in the area of Sugar Beach and although we have not yet visited Sugar Beach - everything I have read leads me to believe that Sugar Beach is up a long dirt road that would make me feel a bit isolated. Not that this is bad, but with so many beach towns up and down the coast, I would want the freedom to explore.

You don't mention which airport you are arrving and departing from. If it is SJO, and Sugar Beach is your last stop, then you will need a night in or near San Jose.

dfarmer is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 01:51 PM
  #4  
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Thanks for you reply, we are planning to use Liberia airport with 3days at Monteverde 3days at Arenal and the last 4days at Sugar Beach. Would visiting during peak season make it more difficult to hire drivers, as far as reliabilty is concerned. Are these locations difficult to find without any spanish speaking background.
trail_blaze is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 02:50 PM
  #5  
 
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Those are all well-travelled spots. With a decent map, you should have no problems finding them. I agree with the others that for the length of your stay, you will appreciate the convenience and freedom a car will give. I do however, disagree about the 4WD; we have rented twice and never had aproblem with a standard sedan. Good luck and have fun!
dncee11 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 03:43 AM
  #6  
 
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In CR I rent only 4WD, the roads are bad, potholes even on the main road. To Sugar Beach you definitely need the 4WD. If you have the car, visit Playa Conchal and Playa Grande.

You can enjoy you ride, can't drive more than 40 km/hour on that roads ( except the main road), trust me.
swim is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 06:46 AM
  #7  
 
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I agree that Arenal can be done with a regular vehicle. But I want the option of the 4x4 for Monteverde, if for nothing else than peace of mind and certainly for ground clearance.

As I said - Sugar Beach is still on the to-do list, but every report I have read has mentioned the need for 4X4 here.

Sounds like a nice trip!
dfarmer is offline  
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