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Thread: Costa Rica question/advice

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    Default Costa Rica question/advice

    My girlfriend (a serious birdnerd ) just hit me with a nice surprise I had mentioned to her this time last year about wanting to photograph a quetzal so we are headed to Costa Rica next month! She has us flying into San Jose and booked the first 5 nights at Paraiso Quetzal lodge then we have 3 days at Rancho Naturalista.

    My question is should we rent a vehicle on our own or just pay the lodges to pick us up? We have traveled quite a bit but neither of us speak Spanish. Will we be able to find these places and how safe is it to travel around there on our own. Thanks for any advice.

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    Avian Moderator Randy Stout's Avatar
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    Joe:

    Send a PM to Doug Brown (moderator). He has extensive experience in Costa Rica and can advise you.

    Randy
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    "Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy" Sir Isaac Newton

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    BPN Member Isaac Grant's Avatar
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    I've been to Costa Rica twice. Drove around both times and found everywhere I wanted to go without problem. Road signs are in Spanish and English. Staff at rent a car places speak english as well. You may find a few in the countyside that don't but I think you would be fine. Last time I went was with my wife and two young boys. Didn't have any issues anywhere at all. I would always want to have my own vehicle to get around and explore other places as well. You may find that you want to expand your horizons a bit and shoot in different areas, etc. Sounds like a great time. Enjoy.

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    Looking on the map, it is quite some distance, renting car there is not a problem, there are a lot of good companies which speak in English at the rental desk, just don't forget to take GPS so that no additional phone charges for roaming would apply.

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    Driving is not too bad... just came back from 2 weeks there with a drive from San Jose to the OSA. My suggestion is rent from Toyota. They are near the airport (along with many others) but they didn't try and add all the extra insurance fees and the like the other one we used did. It's a common practice - but - if your CC has complete coverage for ALL damage you should be fine. I also printed out my CCard's verbiage on coverage in case they said they needed documentation. Finally, either take a GPS with maps of CR or just rent theirs. They charge too much for it - but it's very helpful. Felt like I had time traveled to 1950 - as all gas stations are full-service! :)

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