Choosing a city
Driving in Costa Rica
Driving a car in Costa Rica can be an experience on its own. Although it is one of the safest destinations in the region, we suggest to follow these tips if you are going to rent a car and be driving in Costa Rica.
- If you are visiting Costa Rica, you may drive on the drivers license issued by your home country, as long as your visa has not expired. Once expired, you may not drive legally unless you have applied and received a Costa Rican drivers license.
- In Costa Rica, there are hardly any directional signs, no street signs, often no street lights, no addresses, and no numbering systems and except for San Jose you will see the streets do not run perpendicular to each other.
- The road is not always as well-maintained as you might be used to. Potholes in the road are a serious danger here, which may cause damage to your car. Moreover, occasionally manhole covers are missing, leaving giant gaps on the sides of the road.
- People drive like idiots. You may want to adapt, while keeping caution, especially in rush hour.
- In the city, park your car in a guarded park place. Do not leave any valuable belongings out in the open.
- Be very careful; traffic lanes often simply end with a very short notice or no notice at all, even on high speed highways. Bridges are generally a one way path and often have no guardrails.
- Do not pick up anyone hitchhiking. It could be a scam to steal your belongings. Never stop, especially along highways that are not busy or poorly lit.
- If anyone gestures to you to pull over for any damage to the car or a flat tire, don't do it. Instead, go to the nearest gas station or commercial center and call the company that rented you the vehicle, or call 9-1-1 for help.
At Universal de Idiomas, we can advise you on the appropriate car for your destination and find a rental company that suits your needs. Need more tips for save driving in Costa Rica? Take one of our brochures at the reception.