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Another option for getting around Costa Rica without a car is by using the national taxi service. Look for the official red taxis, which are nationally registered and insured. Taking a “taxi pirata,” or pirate taxi is not recommended as you never know if the driver is insured or even trustworthy.  In general, taxis are great for getting around town but can be quite expensive for traveling long distances.


Uber has been operating in San José and the Central Valley for several years now and is significantly cheaper than taking a national taxi. Unfortunately, the company is not officially recognized and Uber driver’s are technically offering an illegal service. Nonetheless, it’s the preferred choice for hired transportation nationwide. Don’t expect your uber driver to pick you up or drop you off at the airport as the driver risks getting a hefty fine from the numerous traffic police stationed there for precisely that purpose. You can, however be dropped off on the street outside of the airport entrance and walk in (or vice versa for pick ups). That is, if you don’t mind walking with your luggage. If you use Uber in your home country the app should function in Costa Rica too. Some of the country’s smaller or remote towns do not have uber or the national taxi service unless you schedule the drive ahead of time. 

Private Driver

If you’ve got the cash and the notion, hiring a private driver is akin to having your own 24/7 tour guide. Ask your hotel concierge if they have a driver they work with and trust. There are several private high-end services for more discerning travelers. Most can be hired by the day, trip, or even the duration of your stay.

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