A fun fact
of Costa Rica is, that street numbers or names are rarely used; which is why
trying to get to a specific address might not be as fun at all.
are often times given with a point of reference, which might not even exist
For example: from the old birch in Tibás, 150 meters north and 25
Forms of transport
Costa Rica is a rather small country, it can get quite difficult to get to one
place to another; fortunately there is a series of options that make it much
easier: internal flight, rental cars, busses, trains and boats are some of the
most common forms of transport
the most common type of transportation for nationals and tourists, because of
their astounding regularity and the fact that they reach even the most off
track places on the map. Although busses are not the fastest way to travel,
they are the cheapest way to do so; most places can be reached from San José
for about US$15.
where your destination might be located, you most probably will have to take
one first bus from San José; there are many terminals, which are distributed
around the city center according to their destinations. Tickets can be bought
days before the departure to assure a seat. Whenever the duration of the
journey exceeds 4 hours the bus will make a stop on the way. Big luggage pieces
will be stored in the bus´s trunk; you will get a receipt, which you later need
to show to get your luggage back.
you take into the seating area of the bus, including your passport, money or
other valuable objects, you should keep very close to yourself (on the floor in
between your feet or on your lap; otherwise it might disappear very quickly,
In order to
rent a car in Costa Rica as a foreigner you need to be at least 25 years old;
your regular driver´s license from home is absolutely enough for this purpose,
since it is valid for 3 months after your arrival in Costa Rica.
yourself for some serious potholes; those are very common on main streets. You
should also be prepared for the Ticos´ chaotic style of driving, who don´t take
traffic regulations too serious.
areas, such as Península de Osa, it
is very common to be forced to cross a small river without a bridge to continue
your way. Unfortunately, street signs in Costa Rica are neither very new nor
very well done, but with the help of a navigation system, you should be able to
get anywhere without a problem.
A tip you
need to keep in mind is keeping your rental car safe, since everything you
leave inside your car is highly desired by thieves. Remember to never leave valuables
(even sweaters, jackets, empty bags, shoes, etc.) in sight; those are best
stored in the trunk of the car, whenever it is covered up. Electronics should
also never be left inside the car!
you are on your way in San José (or any other city within the Central Valley)
you need to be careful whenever you are at a traffic light or in traffic jam;
thieves are very importunate and might break a car window to take something
in mind that pedestrians often use the streets to walk; so drive carefully even
on remote roads.
Taxis are a
common way of transportation among residents, since they are relatively cheap
and faster than walking or taking the bus inside the city. It is also wise to
take a taxi after dark, as they take you from door to door (bus stops in San
José are mainly in rather dangerous areas of the city.
several airlines that offer national flight, which mainly depart the small Tobías Bolaños Airport in San José. As
long as you are ok with turbulence and small airplanes, this could be a good
alternative for you to travel through Costa Rica, since it is very time-saving.
Other forms of transport
places, boats may be the only form of transport available for you to get to
your destination; do not get scared off by this fact!
bike in Costa Rica is not to be recommended: neither does the country have an
adequate infrastructure (Cartago is the first city to have a ciclovía), nor is the geographic reality
of it appropriate for relaxed biking tours.
A few years
ago an inter-city train, which connect Cartago and Heredia with San José and
simplify travelling from east to west (and the other way around) within San
José, has been reinstalled. Just keep in mind that trains may be overfilled during
in any other country in the world, there are certain areas in Costa Rica´s
cities that should rather not be visited. Unfortunately, as in other
Latin-American countries, there is crime and you need to know how to handle.
tourists´ confidentiality is often times taken advantage of, which is why we
will widely advise you about things you should or should not do during your
frequently assume that Yellow Fever and Malaria are widely spread diseases, but
those have been eradicated for a long time. There are no specific vaccinations
necessary to enter Costa Rica. Nevertheless, you should be equipped with insect
spray to protect yourself from bug bites, since Dengue Fever may be common
during rainy season. If you are planning to travel to the rain forest, it is
important that you always listen to your local tourist and/or park guide, as
they know their way around the area and there are always important instructions
you need to follow.