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Different Ways of Travelling in Costa Rica

Aug 19, 2008
You have several options of traveling in Costa Rica open to you when you decide to visit this Central American country. One way is to rent a car to drive yourself around. The advantage of taking this route is that you can abide by your own schedule and stop when and where you want. Outside of the major city of San Jose, this is a very convenient way of traveling around the country. However, in the city, it is not advisable to rent a car because of the difficulty of finding available parking and the many traffic jams that occur on the streets.

If you decide to rent a car, you do have to be aware that even though the speed limit says 60 mph you won't be able to travel at this speed because of the poor road conditions. The roads are also very narrow and many of them wind their way up steep mountain slopes. You may get stuck behind a truck that is moving very slowly and you have no room to pull out and pass. If you are on your own, the cost of renting a car is quite expensive, but if you have two or more people with you who can share the cost, it is a cheap way of traveling in this country.

Theft is rampant in Costa Rica so you do have to be careful where you park your car, even during the daytime. You should really arrange for someone to stay with the car at all times or hire someone to watch it for you. You should never decide to leave the car in a parking lot overnight. You also need to know that there is a different code when it comes to driving in Costa Rica. A Stop sign actually means to slow down and very few drivers do come to a complete stop when they encounter such a sign on the city streets.

You can use bus service that originates from either San Jose or Alajuela airports. The buses do not have route numbers and are named according to the origin of the route. You will have to actually visit the station in order to obtain bus tickets, as they do not accept credit cards or take online reservations. This means that you will need to have cash on you to obtain the tickets you want. You may also have to pay an additional fee if you have oversize or excess luggage, so it is best to arrive at the station early to give yourself enough time. The buses are also crowded.

Taxis offer another option for getting around the city or the countryside. They are reasonably priced, but you should ask for the cost of the fare before you get in the taxi. If not, you could be facing a hefty fare when you arrive at your destination. Be careful to only used licensed taxis because there are many unlicensed taxis, called piratas or pirate cabs, who are know to really gouge tourists and charge exorbitant fares. The official taxis are red with yellow triangles on the sides. There are no official off-hours times for taxis in Costa Rica, so you need to be aware that the drivers are not allowed to charge you excess fees if you travel at a late hour.

Outside the cities, you can also avail of taxis to take you around the countryside. The taxis used in these locations are four-wheel drive vehicles that can manage the rough roads. The drivers know all the locations and can act as guides for you as well.

If you are really energetic and don't want to get caught in long lines of traffic, rent a bicycle and cycle your way around the country.
About the Author
For more information on travelling in Costa Rica,activities in Costa Rica and backpacking through Costa Rica visit http://www.Costa-RicaTravel.com
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