03 August, 2011

Driving Costa Rica Tips and Resources

If you will be driving in Costa Rica, we highly recommend:

Web Sites -

View these Costa Rica driving videos -

GPS Maps - A must have for driving or hiking - Do not leave in your vehicle.
  • Costa Rica GPS map - Gamin devices - digital download in minutes to your email account. Comes with line by line PDF and video instructions on how to install to your Garmin GPS device. SD GPS map card can be delivered to your front door - US and international. 2- 5 business days domestic and 5 - 10 days international. Can plan routes on your computer before your trip. Can see your trip after you return on your PC. Turn by turn directions in any language. Compatible with all Garmin units. Cost - Very economical - much cheaper then renting. Free 4 months updates included. Good quality data- one ways, hotels, restaurants etc.
  • At the car rental agency - Cost - $10 - $12 USD a day plus Costa Rica taxes when you return the GPS device. Ask for the cost to replace GPS device if lost or stolen. Turn by turn directions. Ask if the device is in Spanish or your native language. Most likely you can change the language in the settings on the device. Can not preplan routes on PC. Can not view your trip on the PC when you arrive home. Good quality data - one ways, hotels, restaurants etc.
  • iPhone Costa Rica GPS map - Kaart Data has just released version 4 Costa Rica GPS map app. Inexpensive enough for everyone in your party to purchase. Bring your car phone charger. Works with iOS 4 and greater. Good quality data - one ways, hotels, restaurants etc. Cost - An amazing price for a GPS app. Does not need a data plan. The Costa Rica GPS map app sits on your iPhone. 3mb of data cost about $19 in Costa Rica.

Paper Map -
  • Even if you have a GPS map, you should always have a waterproof paper map of Costa Rica. A paper map never runs out of battery life! But a GPS is the preferred choice. I have used the same waterproof paper map on three different trips to Costa Rica. Once the SUV was flooded. Having a waterproof paper map was key that day.

Here are some forums discussing driving in Costa Rica -

Drivers License - you do not need a Costa Rica drivers license to rent a vehicle in Costa Rica.

Police - do not bribe.

Driving on Beaches in Costa Rica

Car Rental Agencies - insist on good tires, car jack, spare and inspect the 4x4 functionality.

Car rental insurance in Costa Rica explained.

How to change a flat tire video - there is NO triple A in Costa Rica. You will have to change the flat yourself.

Sunscreen - this may sound silly, but add sunscreen to your left arm if you will be doing a lot of driving. We have personally burned one arm after a long days drive.

Dogs - Don't hit the dogs and be careful at night while driving. There are many dogs wandering the streets and even laying in the middle of the highways.

Food - bring some Cliff bars or protein bars to keep everyone's sugar levels level. But no fear, in Costa Rica there are Soda's almost everywhere. Soda's according to the Costa Rica guide to eat - "ubiquitous in Costa Rica, sodas are usually a combination of a family run restaurant, and a convenience store that sometimes doubles as a bar or disco after the sun goes down. Prices for a full meal including a beverage generally range from US$3 to about US$6 and the quality can be quite variable".

Crocodile Viewing video - Rio Tarcoles Crocodile Bridge location.

Please leave your comments below. Please let us know if you think we should add more information to this posting.

Pura Vida,

1 comment:

Costa Rica Car Rental said...

Is very important to know that insurance on rental cars is mandatory in Costa Rica.