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BottomlandBrew
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2010
20428 posts
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Renting a car in Costa Rica
Our tentative itinerary is San Jose Airport > La Fortuna/Arenal > Manuel Antonio > Back to San Jose Airport. I've rented a car in Mexico before, but the roads we were on there were pretty good and orderly, all things considered.

Anyone have good experiences with a particular rental company or have any issues driving around the country?


speckledawg
Mississippi St. Fan
Somewhere Salty
Member since Nov 2016
2137 posts

re: Renting a car in Costa Rica
I can't remember which company I used, but he roads were mostly better than what I'm used to in MS/LA...seriously. The highway from SJO to Manuel Antonio was amazing. Only time it was a rough was going to Arenal for the last few miles, but that was just because it was gravel. Never had any issues. We drove a good bit and had a blast doing it (had the same itinerary as you).

FYI, they will require you to pay some extra insurance BS that's a little costly. Telling them that your CC covers insurance won't do the job.
This post was edited on 2/12 at 4:35 pm


Gaston
LSU Fan
Dirty Coast
Member since Aug 2008
30604 posts

re: Renting a car in Costa Rica
We asked for fricked up one...after them walking us around a new one and maticulously points out the small scratches...we were like yea..no, do you have one you care a little less about? Asked for the insurance where, “if we just bring the steering wheel back we’re covered”. We beat the ever living shite out of that thing. Drive it from coast to coast and back to Monetezuma. If y’all rent one seriously consider driving down there to see the waterfalls just out of town. Unreal. Ferry back to Punteranus then down to Manuel Antonio.


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LaLadyinTx
LSU Fan
Cypress, TX
Member since Nov 2018
75 posts

re: Renting a car in Costa Rica
I have rented from Vamos and had a great experience. We flew into Liberia instead of San Jose, but the car company is the same in either place. We had no issues with the roads except for the really bumpy road to the Arenal Observatory Lodge, where we stayed. You will mostly be driving on either 4 lane or 2 lane nicely paved roads. Just pay close attention to the road signs and you will be fine. The insurance is a little weird. There is a basic CDW one that everyone must get and there's another one that provides additional coverage. If you know your credit card provides it, you can possible get a letter from them and avoid this fee or you can pay a deposit on your credit card that they basically hold (it's the old kind of machine, that makes the imprint) and tear up when you return the car in good condition. Just do some reading on the insurance and figure out which one is the right one for you. It was easier driving in Costa Rica (except for the one road and I hear it can also be bad going to Monteverde) than both Belize and Mexico. There is so much to see and do around Arenal/LaFortuna. We did zip lines, hiking, nature trail (Bogarin Trail...almost always see sloths!), rappelling down a waterfall, hot springs...Loved it. There is still much we didn't do. It was one of my favorite vacations. We did the beach at Tamaraindo instead of Manuel Antonio since we flew into Liberia.
This post was edited on 2/12 at 5:52 pm


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Trout Bandit
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Dec 2012
8295 posts

re: Renting a car in Costa Rica
I've rented from Adobe a couple of times and haven't had any issues. Like the previous poster said, you will have to get extra insurance that costs significantly more than the rental rate. I've stayed in Guanacaste mostly and the roads are fine.


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BottomlandBrew
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2010
20428 posts
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re: Renting a car in Costa Rica
quote:

but he roads were mostly better than what I'm used to in MS/LA...seriously


So if I've lived in New Orleans, I should be okay?

Thanks for the advice, y'all.


Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
68071 posts
 Online 

re: Renting a car in Costa Rica
Rented from Vamos. It was great!

I drove that route.

I do have to say...it is very nerve wracking at times especially in San Jose.


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speckledawg
Mississippi St. Fan
Somewhere Salty
Member since Nov 2016
2137 posts

re: Renting a car in Costa Rica
quote:

So if I've lived in New Orleans, I should be okay?


You'll feel like you're on the Autobahn compared to that.


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Tigris
Montana Fan
Fernando Poo
Member since Jul 2005
10059 posts

re: Renting a car in Costa Rica
The rental companies are more or less the same. Be prepared to pay a ton for insurance.

Roads are decent, not great (aside from the road from San Jose down to the coast which is great). Costa Rica has very little in the way of road signs or street name signs. Plan your routes in advance. It's been a while but I bought a card for my Garmin and had the routes planned. Waze or Google Maps probably have made that obsolete. Renting a car beats the hell out of hiring a tour company.


Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
68071 posts
 Online 

re: Renting a car in Costa Rica
quote:

Be prepared to pay a ton for insurance.


Get a specific letter from your insurance company and you are good to go. Look it up.


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