Driving in Costa Rica.

  1. Be alert! Obstacles and obstructions can be very common when driving in Costa Rica. It is very frequent to see pedestrians, animals, traffic jams, pot holes and other drivers either stopped or on the wrong side of the road.
  2. Driving in the city – San Jose and Alajuela are very populated areas. Driving in these areas you will experience a large amount of traffic and frequent traffic jams. If you are planning to drive during any rush hours you could be stuck in traffic for more than an hour. So be sure to plan for this.
  3. Rural areas – Driving outside of towns while the traffic is dramatically less, there are other concerns to worry about. You will see lots of people walking in the roads and obstacles in the road so please be careful.
  4. Do not speed – Traffic tickets in Costa Rica can be very expensive. Also these tickets must be dealt with before you will legally be allowed to leave the country.
  5. Always carry your passport with you – If you are carrying a copy of your passport you must have both your photo page and a copy of the page showing your last entry into the country.

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  6. Keep your valuables out of sight– Leaving your valuables in the open is risky. Especially when parking your car for long periods of time can increase the possibility of theft.
  7. Gas Prices – Gas can be priced over $5.00 per gallon, and in the country you can expect a large distance between stations. Nearly all gas stations will have a attendant to pump your gas. So. you will not even need to get out of your car. Also the “super” gas is only a few cents more and will allow you to drive up hills more effectively.
  8. Driving at night is dangerous – Many of the roads in Costa Rica are unlit and unpainted. Which means driving can be extremely hazardous at night. Also there are many potholes which are increasingly hard to spot in the dark.
  9. One way streets – Costa Rica is full of them, and not all are very well marked, so take extra care when driving in the cities.
  10. Bridges – Narrow Bridges are very common in Costa Rica as well. Take extra care when approaching them because there will only be room for one car. It is best to wait until the path is completely clear because even if you can avoid a wreck. Also you may not be able to back out of the bridge if there are too many cars behind you.

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