Costa Rica Driving
If you plan on doing some land navigation in Costa Rica, either if you are driving yourself or taking a shuttle, please make note of these very important items. Consider that Costa Rica is a very small country; most destinations are between 2 and 6 hours away from San Jose. Driving in Costa Rica can be a bit tricky, most buildings and locations do not have the regular addresses you are used to get. While most of the tourist areas are easy to drive by, the hardest thing is driving in San Jose. Costa Rica is quite different when it comes to driving laws and traffic, so read carefully this small guide.
We highly recommend the use of shuttles or private transfers. Bad conditions in the roads, weird addresses and directions can easily be avoid by having someone from the area and who knows everything to take you to places, is safer and much more fun. Ask our travel advisor for shuttle choices available. When picking out your rental car, keep in mind that, some locations are in secluded places and some roads not only are not in the best conditions but may not even be pavement. We recommend renting a 4 wheel drive, so you can enjoy your vacation without worrying about transportation. The main areas that have difficult roads are: Monteverde, The Peninsula of Nicoya, south of Playa Samara, Golfito and the Peninsula de Osa. In case you are driving to Costa Rica, be always careful and check our safety guide. Latin American countries in the way are all very different from one another but you can get across by keeping in mind those safety tips.
The requirements to drive in Costa Rica are few but necessary. If you choose to drive on your trip you will need:
In case of an accident, call 911 and please remain inside your car until the Traffic Police (Traffic enforcement in Costa Rica is handled by the Transit Police ("Transitos")) and the insurance company (INS) arrive. Third-party coverage is mandatory in Costa Rica, check with our travel advisors in how to get this insurance before your arrival. Fines are not to be collected on the spot.