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Guide to Living and Teaching in Costa Rica

September 24, 2013

Transportation

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Getting around Costa Rica can be both some of the most memorable and most frustrating experiences in your time here. While fun, accessible and inexpensive, getting around the country can be an adventure.

Public bus is by far the easiest – and cheapest – mode of transportation. Bus fares in San José are on average about 300 colones, or about 60 cents USD. A fare to either the east or west coast, depending on the destination, costs between $3 and $9. While a very effective mode of transportation, getting a hold of schedules – and drivers that abide by them – and finding the commonly unmarked bus stops takes some getting used to.

Taxis are plentiful and clearly marked; all taxis in Costa Rica have to be red by law. While more expensive than neighbouring countries, the starting fare in a taxi currently is 570 colones, or just over USD $1.

Renting a car is an option for a temporary stay as it is convenient and there are many reliable international rental companies. Buying a car would be an option for extended stay purposes but it will be an investment. Due to high import taxes the cost of even used cars of five years old or more will be more than USD $10,000.

Traffic in San José is a major issue as well. Make sure to allow extra time no matter what time of day it is. Road quality is another big issue throughout the country. Pot holes, unpaved roads and other deficiencies make travel both entertaining and time consuming.

There is a joke in Costa Rica that says it takes four hours to get anywhere, no matter if you are just in rush hour in the city or driving coast to coast. While not completely true, it’s close.


The ELT News guide to living and teaching English in Costa Rica was compiled by Andrew Woodbury.



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