Getting Around in Costa Rica Costa Rica Travel Guide
Getting around in Costa Rica is an assured adventure for the first time traveler to Latin America, while roads and transportation services are in much better condition than in the late 90’s and way better than most Central and South American countries, we created a brief guide so that you’ll know what to expect and decide which is the best form of transportation during your holiday.
Renting a car in Costa Rica gives you the advantage of travelling where and when you want, stopping at any given point to admire the magnificent scenarios. But it there is a downside, while there has been a huge investment by the government to renew the road infrastructure, getting around on your own can be complicated, especially given the fact there are no clear street address. As long as you don’t hurry, ask for directions and pay attention to the few signs you’ll find on the way you should easily get to your destination. Once you leave the main cities everything is easier, there is one main road for each coast so once you are on it there is no way you’ll get lost.
There are three kinds of Taxis in Costa Rica: airport taxis, red taxis and unregulated taxis. Airport taxis are highly regulated and you can differentiate them from the rest because they are light orange, they are only allowed to take passengers from the airport to their destinations, their rates are fixed and you should prepay them from the official booth inside the airport after you pick up your luggage. From the airport on, during your stay, you should only get in official red taxis. Since anybody can buy a red car and make it seem like a cab you should always check they have the taxi sign on the roof, yellow triangles on the doors, a taximeter (locally called maria) and their official permit which is usually attached on the dash. When you take a red taxi always make sure they activate the taximeter once you get in. Unregulated taxis are private cars used for public transportation, while there are a few legit companies offering a quality service to some hotels and in some beaches where red taxis don’t provide a service, you should never get in any of these cars unless it was recommended by your hotel front desk. Apart from the few legit companies this cabs will overcharge for their service, in most cases are uninsured apart from not fulfilling quality and safety standards.
Private and Semi Private Transportation
If you don’t feel like driving in a country you don’t know we can book for you both private and semi-private transportations from and to any location in Costa Rica. Private minibuses with drivers are a bit more expensive for shorter transfers than an official taxis and way cheaper for longer trips to the beaches and volcanoes, additionally the comfort and peace of mind of having a person that knows Costa Rica’s road like the palm of their hands is priceless.
Semi private transportations are an affordable option to reach the main points of interest throughout Costa Rica, travelling in midsized buses with preset routes and schedules. In most cases the trip has to be reserved and prepaid in advance, through us or your hotel front desk.
Perfect for the tight budget tourists, public buses can get you everywhere in Costa Rica for a few dollars. In majority of cases not the most comfortable ride, public buses to the beaches and other attractions leave from chaotic centrally located stops downtown San Jose, departure times and prices are constantly changed. Feel free to ask us and we’ll be more than happy to try and find them out for the your planned dates.