Driving in costa rica

Guidelines for driving in our country

Welcome to our country Costa Rica, in Central America.

Thank you for visiting Costa Rica. We would like to offer these simple guidelines to help you enjoy a safe stay with us. Like any other country in the world, Costa Rica faces the challenge of keeping citizens and visitors safe. Avoid inconvenience and problems by following these general recommendations:

Always carry a photocopy of your passport showing your photograph and the date you entered the country. If you stay near the beaches, leave the original in your hotel safe.Keep your plane tickets, important documents, cash and traveler’s checks in the hotel safe. Write the numbers of your traveler’s checks in a separate place.

Is highly recommended change your money in a bank office or at your hotel, never on the street or other unsafe place. In the country we have a large chain of bank offices and ATM kiosks. There are three mayor government owned banks, these are Banco Nacional, Banco de Costa Rica and Banco Popular, they have offices everywhere in the country wide, serving from Monday troght Saturday, usually open from 9 am to 5 pm. In addition there are private banks with the same services and other facilities for the public. One of these are BAC Credomatic, Scotiabank, Banco Davivienda and more..

Do not wear valuable jewelry and only carry the amount of money you will need for each day. Save the valuable objects you carry, such as cameras, mobile phone and car’s keys. Also put your wallet in the front pocket and carry your bag transversely. If you are going out at night, have the hotel receptionist call you a taxi.


It is important to become familiar with driving rules and regulations, road conditions and areas that should be avoided. Plan your route in advance and check your maps when necessary. Remember to take your driver’s license, passport and car rental agreement with you at all times.

Our car rental agency recommends that you book in advance to provide a better service when you take the vehicle to the place of rental.


Baby seats and booster seats are available in all locations at a starting cost of $ 2.99 per day. In Costa Rica we have new traffic regulations and these seats are mandatory for children under 12 years of age.


Basic cell phones are available in all locations, the fee starts at $ 5 per day, including free local incoming and outgoing calls. People who are outside of Costa Rica can call the mobile phone toll free, you can call Costa Rica for an additional international charge per minute, depending on the country of destination. The minimum rental period for the cell phone must be at least 5 days.


Additional accessories such as GPS are convenient for easy access to your destinations in Costa Rica. Service Car Rental uses the friendliest GPS on the market like Garmin, with a complete map of Costa Rica. GPS is convenient for driving in our country, streets and avenues are not common and people have to use reference points as a reference for directions. At this point, we can say that GPS is a good additional service that you can add to your rental car in Costa Rica. . The rate starts at $ 5 per day during the low season.


Please review the following summary of Costa Rica’s traffic laws. Obey these rules at all times. Avoid accidents when driving with care and defense, that is, expecting the unexpected. Since March 1, 2010, Costa Rica has a new traffic law and traffic fines have a high cost for all drivers. For example, spending a red light costs around $ 600 US dollars, not using child safety seats or booster seats for children under 12 and accelerating around $ 650 per ticket.

  • Unless otherwise indicated, the minimum speed on roads is 40 kilometers per hour (k.p.h.). The speed limit varies and is published by the road.
  • On roads and secondary roads, the speed limit is 60 k.p.h., unless otherwise indicated.
  • In urban areas, the speed limit is 40 k.p.h., unless otherwise indicated.
  • Around the school zones and in front of hospitals and clinics, the speed limit is 25 k.p.h.
  • Driving on beaches is strictly prohibited everywhere, except when there is no other road connecting two cities.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited. The law allows police officers to conduct alcohol tests on drivers.
  • The law requires all car passengers to wear a seat belt, also Booster seats, baby seats, baby seats and child seats are required.
  • Stop if a police officer tells you to do so. Police officers can ask you to stop if there is an accident ahead, a checkpoint or if you are breaking the law by not carrying a license plate or exceeding the speed limit, for example.
  • Your personal documents and vehicle registration documents are privately owned and can not be held by police officers for any reason.
  • If you are involved in an accident, always wait until a police officer arrives. Do not move your vehicle. The officer will prepare a report. You can also report the accident by calling 911 or 800-800-8000.
  • Under no circumstances give money to traffic police or other police officers.
  • If a police officer insists on stopping or holding your documents for no apparent reason, ask them to accompany you to the nearest police station to solve the problem.
  • If you believe that a traffic police officer or other police officer acted inappropriately or has questions about your behavior, call 2257-7798, ext. 2506 or 911 and ask to be forwarded to the nearest police station.
  • Drive with confidence and stay alert. Do not stop for people who signal and never stop for hitchhikers.
  • Do not drive or park your car in areas with poor lighting. Never leave your car on the street; Always park it in a secure parking lot. Do not leave any belongings in the car where they can be seen by passersby.
  • Keep your car doors locked at all times. If you are driving in downtown San Jose, keep the windows closed.
  • Check your car and make sure you bring the proper documents before you start driving. If you are given a ticket, pay for it at the nearest state bank and present a copy of the receipt to the car rental agency when you return the car.
  • Taxis are red with the plate number painted in the center of a yellow triangle on both doors. The airport taxis are orange. Taxi drivers must carry a visible identification in the cabin, including their name and photograph. And they should use their meters for trips of 12 kilometers or less. For longer trips, the rate is negotiated in advance.


Follow the safety advice posted within the parks. To ensure a safe and pleasant visit, walk the marked trails.

It is best to explore the trails in groups of two or more.

Do not touch the plants or try to pet the animals.

On the beach:

Find out which parts of the coast are safe and which are not. The warnings are published on some beaches. If you can not find signs, ask for information about tides and hangovers at your hotel’s lifeguards or surfers.

If you feel taken to the sea, keep calm. Do not try to swim directly to the shore. Instead, swim parallel to the shore to the breaking waves and allow them to help you return to the beach.

Finally, each person leaving Costa Rica must pay a tax.

These recommendations are designed to make your experience in Costa Rica safe and comfortable.

Discover the natural beauty and diversity that has made Costa Rica one of the most important tourist destinations in the world.

Have a good trip and come back soon.

In case of emergency call 911.

Learn more about the nature of Costa Rica .