Moving Ass From point A to point B


In considering whether or not to rent a vehicle and drive  while visiting Costa Rica, I consulted my travel guide resources. Here’s what they had to say (in part):

  • National Geographic:  “Many Tico drivers are inconsiderate and reckless – there is a high auto fatality rate  “
  • Fodor’s:  “…indeed, this is not the ideal place to drive; in San Jose traffic is bad and car theft is rampant, in rural areas roads are often unpaved or potholed – and tires aren’t usually covered by the basic insurance.”
  • Pauline Frommer: “Signs and road names would be nice, but that’s not the Costa Rican way”  and “Costa Rica has one of the worst automobile fatality rates in the world.  Before you panic too much know that its stats are about on par with those of the United States.”

OK, all interesting information.  Having been a driver in the US all of my adult life, and having survived thus far, I feel fairly confident about my abilities to traverse the automotive system in my country.  That being said, I mostly drive where the area and roads are familiar and I am accustomed to the basic formalities of street signage, paved roads and addresses.  Moving into a different system, where I am unfamiliar AND don’t speak the language or know the customs does give me pause for thought.  Fortunately, there are several other options for domestic transportation.

  • The public bus system – reportedly reliable, extensive and inexpensive.  From one end of the country to the other for less than $10.
  • Taxi – Reasonably priced and readily available in most tourist areas
  • Domestic airlines – a bit more pricy, but maybe worth it when time is short and the road is long (and potentially unreliable)
  • Private shuttle: about 4 times the cost of public buses, but a bit more comfortable (read cushioned seats and AC)
  • Private Van:  For a larger group (4 or more), possibly less than the shuttle and your group is the only one on board, so it’s possible t0 make stops for photos, lunch, bathroom breaks, etc. Plus pick up time is at your discretion.

Bottom line:  Will likely try all of these and may rent a car too!  We plan to visit a variety of urban and rural locations and I think that one size will not fit all.  However we move from point A to point B (and C, D, E etc), I’m guessing it will be an experience which may warrant further discussion when the time comes.


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