Now Reading
5 Reasons to Rent a Car When Traveling in Costa Rica

5 Reasons to Rent a Car When Traveling in Costa Rica

horses playing on a beach

To Rent a Car or Not to Rent?

There are numerous reasons to rent a car, and that depends on your budget primarily and which country you are traveling to. Personally, depending on which country, I believe in renting. I love having the freedom of having a car to go wherever and when I please.

That sense of freedom can save you money in the long run. Of course, that depends on which country you are traveling in. For all intents and purposes, this article is specifically focused on the reasons to rent a car in Costa Rica. Lonely Planet named this country #6 on its “best place to travel for 2020“.

The Nitty Gritty of Transportation in Costa Rica

I have found getting around Costa Rica can get quite pricey. For example, a shuttle bus from Liberia International Airport to Nosara (the yoga and surf capital of CR) starts around 50 USD per person.

Research the rates of travel guides to get an idea of the cost to each excursion and local attractions. Keep in mind the estimated travel time and hours indicated on the itinerary. Check out this site for exciting tourist attraction ideas and ballpark prices.

Does Renting a Car Add Up?

If you do your math, you must take into consideration how many places you plan to visit. Keep in mind that your calculations should include trips to the local villages, tourist attractions, or off-the-beaten-path adventures.

waterfall in Costa Rica a reason to rent a car
Go ahead, take the plunge, swim, and float as long as you want. Renting a car gives you that freedom.

Let’s say then that you and your posse would like to explore the local waterfalls (especially for swimming in) it would be much more cost-effective to rent a car—hands down.

Costa Rica is such a great laid back place to drive, except for San Jose (the capital city), where you may need to a bit more on the ball. It is known to have a lot of traffic and fast drivers. It is not the place for a nervous driver. However, outside of San Jose, it’s a joy. You must be cautious of the potholes and sometimes absent street signs.

I recommend a GPS for getting around, as it can be easy to get lost. But that is part of the journey. Just be sure to get to your destination before dark. Driving in the evening can be very hazardous and should be avoided.

The Reasons to Rent a Car Seem to Add Up

You can drive to many of the waterfalls, jump in for a dip and not worry about missing your tour shuttle back. All in all, if you choose the right rental car place, it can be the most rewarding decision ever.

We found the best kept secret beach! A must visit in the Nicoya Penninsula is the pristine Playa Barrigona. You just may see Mel Gibson splashing about in the waves. His mansion is on the hill overlooking the sea. Word’s out that his Costa Rican Paradise is up for sale, for only $30 Million. To find Playa Barrigona, For preservation sake, please keep it hush.

The Secret Way to Playa Barrigona: Take rout 160. It’s in between Playa Gionnes and Samara. If you are driving from Samara en route to Nosara you will see a tree with a bunch of garbage near it, and that is where you turn to get to Playa Barrigona.

Thanks, Matt (from the USA, he has been living in CR for 6 years with his wife) for sharing the secret!

reasons to rent a car is to go off-roading
Off the beaten path in Costa Rica, we are exploring the National Reserves near Nicoya. Go ahead, park the car and go for a dip!

Stop Whenever and Go Wherever

As a traveler (I am not a tourist), driving in Costa Rica was such a liberating feeling to be able to stop where and whenever I wanted.

How many times do you remember seeing that photo op but sadly realize there is no opportunity when you are in a passenger bus and the likes (in my case, dislikes).

Choose the Right Rental Car Place

It’s good to book in advance for most traveling details, such as accommodation and flights. Knowing the right place to rent goes on the recommendations by other travelers and your due diligent research.

reasons to rent a car is to drive country roads
The beauty of having wheels is you have unbridled freedom to explore. Be smart, and be brave!

In my experience, I worked where frequent travel was necessary. I needed to book my flights and rental cars. As you may know, company/brand loyalty can give you valuable perks.

I have been renting with Enterprise for years, and as a result, they have kept me coming back by the little perks they give me. Usually, they have very competitive prices and sweet, sweet upgrades.

So when I was in Costa Rica, Enterprise came out on top in terms of price and the fact that I had a relationship with them. Showing client appreciation goes a long way (for cell phone providers in Canada; loyalty means nothing).

In conclusion, the only reasons NOT to rent a car are budget restraints, staying in one or two places, if you find driving in unfamiliar places is stressful, or you don’t want the deal with the responsibility of renting.

By the way, I advise visiting Costa Rica during the rainy season, the prices drop immensely, fewer tourists, and it’s so green and lush. Taking a walk in the warm rain is very liberating and refreshing from the sun’s heat. Happy travels!

© 2023 Best Kept MTL, all rights reserved.
Scroll To Top