Travel Information

Road Assistance

Road Assistance (BC)*If you purchase the optional Road Assistance, we will provide you with breakdown assistance (where available). 

Road Assistance includes:

Tow truck in case of an accident and/or mechanical problemsJumpstartLoss of key: Service to bring a copy of the key (the costs of the key has to be covered by the client)Leaving key in car: Service to open up the car 

Road Assistance excludes:

  • Negligence
  • Changing tires
  • Car rescue: 
  • Caused while driving under the influence of a drug or alcohol
  • Caused by an Unauthorized Driver
  • From beach shores
  • Estuaries
  • From rivers
  • From ocean

Addresses

Addresses in Costa Rica are usually given in terms of how many meters (north, south, east, or west) a spot is from a specific landmark (for example: churches, stores, large trees).  Street names and building numbers are not commonly used, only in downtown San José. A good hint to know which direction is located East, West, North or South. Most of catholic churches main entrances are facing West. Each block is assumed to be 100 meters long, even if some are much longer or shorter.

Road Conditions

Driving in Costa Rica can be a real challenge, but it is the best way to explore certain areas of the country. Outside of San José you´ll run into long stretches of unpaved or curvy roads, and most trips might take longer than what you´d expect. Frequent hazards in the countryside roads are potholes, landslides during the rainy season, bicycles driven without lights and cattle.  In many routes to reach natural attractions, you will find only unpaved roads that are easy to drive during the dry season (Dec. – Apr.), but quite challenging during rainy season (May.-Nov.).  We recommend to drive them with extreme caution and with 4x4 only. You must avoid driving at night through many roads, as they might be covered with  fog. Be careful with  2 lane roads that feed into one-lane bridges. Look out for potholes even in the smoothest sections of the road.  

Accident Emergency Services

911 is the nationwide number for accidents. Traffic police are scattered around the country and Costa Ricans are very good about stopping for people with car trouble. 

Gasoline

It is important to fill your tank in cities as gas stations can be few and far between. There is no self service pumps, and it is usual to tip the tendant with approximately 300 colones. Unleaded gasoline is called regular and high-octane unleaded gasoline is called super. Gas is sold by the liter and major credit cards are accepted. 

Rules of the RoadT

he highway speed limit is 90 kph (55miles) which drops to 60 kph (38 miles) in residential areas or curves and near schools to 25 kph (15 miles). Tickets for exceeding speed limits, drunk driving or driving without a valid license permit are around US$400. Other fines might be around US$100 to US$600. These amounts are approximate only and can vary as Costa Rican laws may change. Seat belts are required as well as car seats for children under 11 years. Drunk driving laws are very strict in CostaRica. In the event of a fine, file the report and pay the fine at the rent a car office when returning the vehicle. If not by the rental agreement you are fully authorizing SIXT to charge the fine amount plus an administration charge to your credit card. Do not bribe the traffic officers!

Street Signs 

¨Alto¨ means  stop and ¨ceda¨means yield. Right turns on red lights are allowed unless a sign indicates otherwise.  Regarding other street signs, ¨Peligro¨ means danger, ¨salida¨means exit, ¨despacio¨  means  slow down and ¨derrumbes¨means land slides.

 

Costa Rica is generally a safe destination but crime and thievery does exist. Please follow these simple tips and have a safer and more pleasant holiday! 

1- Always carry a photocopy of your passport, leave the original in the safety deposit box at your hotel with any other important documents and/or valuable belongings.

2- Change money only in the banks or at your hotel

3- When walking in the city, do not carry large amounts of cash or valuable jewelry. Be careful with important and expensive articles such as cameras, binoculars, mobile phones and video cameras.

4- If you use a taxi be sure to verify it complies with the established requirements, such as yellow triangles on the side doors and a taximeter in the front. If you are going out at night, ask your hotel receptionist to call a cab from a reputable company.

5-In the city, park your car in a parking lot, not on the street. Outside the city always park at well lit areas or at hotel parking lots only.

6- Never leave valuables in the car. Do not leave anything lying in sight. 

7- Always keep your car locked.

8- Before any driving, study your destination and have a planned route of travel.

9- If you are told by a passing motorist that something is wrong with your vehicle or if you notice that you are being followed, do not stop. Drive to the nearest public area and if needed ask for police assistance.

10- The signals of emergency or police vehicles are blue or red, do not stop for flashing headlights alone.

11- If you are driving and you get lost, find a public place, such as a service station, check your driving-guide or ask for directions.

12- If your vehicle is bumped from behind, do not stop on the roadway or side road. Drive to the nearest public area and call for police assistance.

13- In case of a flat tire: Go to the nearest gas station, a public place or call for special assistance. Do not accept help from strangers. Thieves try to steal valuables objects from the rental vehicle while helping to change a flat tire.