For any traveler, renting a car is probably one of the best ways to see all that a country has to offer. A great approach to absorbing the local culture and seeing the real Costa Rica is to travel around by car
. Giving you the freedom and the independence to go around on your own and at your own pace, renting a car also lets you visit those off the beaten track locations which offer a peaceful escape from the more crowded tourist destinations.
If you are interested in renting a car in Costa Rica, a good idea is to get one in San Jose
. The capital as well as the main transport hub of the country, San Jose is used by many tourists as a base camp when exploring Costa Rica because of its central location. With both the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts no more than a three hour drive away, San Jose is an ideal location from where to begin your journey into this gorgeous biodiverse country.
At the moment there are tons of car rental agencies in San Jose
which means that finding a rental car should not be a problem. However, during peak travel season (December to April) it is a good idea to book and reserve your car in advance. Along with the many domestic car rental agencies, a number of international car rental companies can also be found in San Jose. Hertz, Avis, Europcar and Budget Rent A Car are some of the many international rental agencies found here.
Most of the car rental agencies have a rental office in or near the Juan Santamaria International Airport
to cater to travelers who are just arriving into San Jose. If you like, you can also find many rental agency offices the downtown area and near the Paseo Colon on the west end of town. Family cars, sedans, station wagons, SUVs and four wheel (4x4) drives are all available for rent in San Jose.
Map of San Jose
Many hotels also arrange your rental car bookings for you and a number of agencies deliver your vehicle directly to your hotel. Do make sure you inspect the vehicle thoroughly before it is handed to you so as to avoid any insurance hassles. Most cars are rented out for between $35 and $85 per day, with four wheel drives being the most expensive rental cars.
A word of warning, avoid driving in San Jose
itself as the city is pretty congested with plenty of traffic jams.