There are a couple of questions I get asked all the time by travelers about driving in Costa Rica: What is it like to drive in Costa Rica? Are there any special rules? Well this is what you get: roads with more pot holes than actual road, a bunch of reckless and careless drivers, and vehicles that should not be permitted ten miles of a road.
I am not saying this for you to get discouraged, but you need to be prepared. If you are going to be driving in Costa Rica it’s all about accepting and mastering these conditions. All you need to do is to be very careful.
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IMPORTANT TIP: This might sound extremely obvious but in a country like this one you can’t, under any circumstances, take your eyes off the road and you should always be buckled up.
The reason for it is that there will be cars with no brake lights, no headlights, or enough emission fumes to suffocate an elephant. This is especially true in the smaller towns. Also, many locals don’t believe in putting their direction signals and they have a tendency to stop in the middle of a busy road to chat with a friend on the side of the road, or an oncoming car with a friend of theirs. This is a country where patience is a Virtue!
So, What are the Road Rules?
None, as far as Ticos are concerned. However, don’t tell this to the transit police (MOPT) who pretend to instate them. Cars pass one another at astronomical speeds around curves and double yellow lines, motorcycles drive as though they are part of a video game and are immortal by cutting off cars and seeing how small of a gap they can squeeze through, and stopping for stop signs has yet to become a thing to do.
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So the best advice to give you: Stay super alert, on your toes, and enjoy the crazy roller coaster called roads of Costa Rica.