If you come to Costa Rica, chances are you are going to land at the international airport of in the capital city of San José. This is the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). Locally called Chepe, this city is cosmopolitan in South American standards. It is home to a temperate climate and one of the country’s most outstanding museums – the Museo de Jade (the Jade Museum). For those who stay here, local transport and/or taxis are popular modes of getting around. But, for those who want to explore the region beyond, a car hire from a company such as Solid Car Rental is the answer.
Concerns Facing Tourists and Other Foreign Drivers in Costa Rica
Flexibility and independence are the major reasons people opt for a car hire. No matter what country they are in, they like to feel they have more-than-a-little control over where they go and when on their vacation. In Costa Rica, if you want to wander off that well-trodden path, a rental car makes it feasible. However, when renting with places such as San José in mind, you have to make certain you and your companions remain safe and are within the law. Below are some basic facts about driving in Costa Rica.
- Licenses: If you already have a driver’s license from your home country, you can drive legally in Costa Rica. However, as soon as your visa expires, you cannot drive. You must either renew your visa or get a Costa Rican driver’s license.
- Road Conditions: Costa Rica has many narrow mountainous roads and unpaved terrain.
Addresses and Street names: If you are expecting to locate a certain restaurant in San José or a museum in Liberia through its street name and number, forget it.
- Fines: Traffic fines when levied are hefty. Try to avoid them. With the traffic jams and narrow roads, you may not be able to do so but you can do your best.
- Traffic Jams: Yes, there are traffic jams in Costa Rica. Consider those that occur in the rush hour of many major cities or those that occur around the San José airport. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to get through them safely. To help improve your patience, you might want to bring a good book or your tablet.
- Crime: Like any other country, crimes do occur. Tourists, as is true around the globe, are often considered easy and justifiable targets. To thwart the street criminals in places such as San José, do not put temptation in their way. You can avoid theft by not leaving valuables or other objects on the car hire seat beside an open window. An arm may appear at one of those traffic jams mentioned above and remove it before you can do anything. In fact, never leave a car window open. Doing so is an open invitation to a certain kind of thief.
Is a Car Hire Risk Worth It?
If you plan to stay only in the busy city of San José, you may well not want to rent a car. If, however, you want to explore the city, you need to consider your options carefully. While, it is true, driving in Costa Rica may present you with some challenges, at the same time, the ability to explore an entire country makes the risks associated with a car hire from a reputable company such as Solid Car Rental minimal.