Getting Around Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small country—about the size of West Virginia—and the roads between major cities are generally good. That said, driving around the country can take longer than you think, especially in the rainy season. Road conditions are constantly changing due to weather, construction, or mud-slides. 

Given the challenges of driving, it's easiest to hire a private transfer or use a shared shuttle to get around.  These services will pick you up directly at your hotel, and take you to your next destination, and you can leave the driving to someone else.

If you do want to drive, we highly recommend a 4WD. In metropolitan areas (and the immediate surrounds), highways have well-marked signage in Spanish and are mostly paved with painted lines.  As you venture into rural areas, you'll encounter potholes and dirt roads—this is true between Arenal to Monteverde, for example, a common travel route.

Don't attempt to drive at night, and make sure you have a GPS available.  Read through our Driving in Costa Rica FAQ for more tips.

For the off the beaten path locations, or to save time, Costa Rica has a good system of inexpensive flights between key locations.
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Aerial shot of coast line in Costa Rica
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