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Road Conditions

San Jose (20 maps)    ::   Alajuela (15 maps)    ::   Cartago (8 maps)    ::   Guanacaste (11 maps)
Heredia (10 maps)    ::   Limon (6 maps)    ::   Puntarenas (11 maps)

Even in a 4WD rental car, the route to your Hotel may be a vacation travel challenge.

Road Conditions in Costa Rica

When you vacation in Costa Rica, you will most likely rent a car when you arrive in San Jose. The highway system in the capital city of San Jose is comprised of modern multi-lane freeways that look very much like freeways in other large cities around the world.

On the way to your hotel, you will find the rules of the road are similar, but you may find driving etiquette to be somewhat different. For instance, merging and changing lanes are often accompanied by a quick honk on the horn. This is not considered rude - it is like a friendly wave, saying "Yoo-Hoo, I'm Here!"

Most vacation travel destinations in Costa Rica require you to drive out into the rural countryside. By far, the majority of roads in Costa Rica are rural dirt roads. Don't imagine a gravel road ! Dirt roads are dirt, which becomes mud in the rainy season.

While you are vacationing through Costa Rica, the best way to make sure of the road conditions along the route you intend to travel is to stop often and ask the locals for information on whether the road has problems or is passable with 4WD.

During the dry tourist season season, road conditions are generally pretty good, with creeks and rivers dry or low.  But during rainy season, flash floods have been known to wash out entire roads and bridges. If you travel during wet season, stop often to inquire about road conditions ahead, and be sure to rent a 4WD car.

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