Should we rent a vehicle?

Old Mar 25th, 2004, 07:57 PM
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Should we rent a vehicle?

We are coming for a week in April. We plan to head straight to MA for 3 nights, then mosy up tp Arenal spending 1 night along the way and 2 at Arenal and our last night in SJ. I have reserved an SUV. Does anyone have suggestions on driving vs. being driven. It's just me and my husband. Any info would be appreciated.
monkeyloverssurvivor is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2004, 08:16 PM
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If you are really nervous drivers you might want to think about a driver. It is about 50-50 as far as liking to drive and not liking to drive. If you look at it as part of the adventure and know to look out for other drivers, pot holes, speed traps, etc. you will be fine. Those roads aren't all that bad.
Always allow a little extra time for getting lost. It doesn't always happen but it is not uncommon either. Do not leave your car unattended anywhere with your things in it.
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Old Mar 26th, 2004, 06:58 AM
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We were driven, but I saw good points to driving.

For driving:

1) according to another post, Costa Rica ranks second for auto fatalities in the world---and in my experience, people there, including those paid to drive, do not drive safe. If you drive yourself, you can drive defensively. Tap your horn at curves and hills b/c people pass or just plain cross over the line when they shouldn't.
2. You have more flexibility for what you are going to do in your day if you drive.
3. Plenty of tourists we talked to were driving themselves & got where they were going.
4. It will save you a lot of hiking up hills.
5. You may have difficulty communicating with drivers if you don't speak Spanish.
6. You won't have to worry quite as much about getting sweat drenched and sunburned in Manuel Antonio.

Against driving:
1. You can work on your Spanish by talking to drivers.
2. They know how to get there & the roads aren't always clearly marked.
3. I heard that rental cars have something designating them as rental cars, which makes them a target for crime.
4. You won't get quite as much exercise.
5. You do need to know how to handle hills and curves.
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Old Mar 26th, 2004, 07:04 AM
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A quick reply. We just returned from as month where we rented drivers for the first 2 weeks and then got a car (and we were with two babies) for the last two weeks. I recommend renting car. You can decide when and where you go, plus you'll be comfortable driving defensively (as mentioned above) too. I wasn't too comfortable with the drivers - even through they were both much better drivers than most I'd seen! Have a ball. It's an amazing country.
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Old Mar 26th, 2004, 05:40 PM
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We always rent and wouldn't do it any other way. We like to be free to go where we want and when we want. If we feel like talking, we talk, if we don't, we don't! After the first 2 trips of renting and driving, we got adjusted to the roads and what to expect. It isn't that bad, one just has to drive defensively, with care, using common sense!
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Old Mar 28th, 2004, 10:25 PM
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If more than 2 of you are going I would split the cost of a driver. Just got back and was lucky enough to have Oscar for Airport to Arenal $90. Monteverde to Samara $180. He can be hired by the day also. He has a newer van, seatbelts, speaks english and drives very slow and safe. Taxi's once you get where your going are not very much. I can see needing a rental car in some areas like the Mal Pais area though. Oscars e-mail [email protected]
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Old Mar 29th, 2004, 05:13 PM
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We [6 of us]just drove all over CR in a 15 passenger van. Had a great time. My daughter did most of the driving. Some of the roads are a bit nerve-wracking, but overall CR is very drivable.
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