How do we drive?
Costa Rican’s don’t drive so good from an American’s perspective and that is putting it kindly. When I first arrived in Costa Rica I was scared to death to get in a car, let alone drive one. It seemed the buses had no rearview mirrors and use their size to get wherever they want in traffic and you’d better watch out because they WILL hit you.
Taxi drivers aren’t much better but don’t use their vehicle as a weapon against you if you don’t let them in.
Motorcyclists are by far the worst ones on the roads in Costa Rica. They drive between lanes of cars and make their own lane, they cut in front of you without looking to see how close you are to hitting them. I see at least one motorcycle down per week, sometimes with fatalities. They have absolutely no sense whatsoever and I truly believe they all have a death wish. At least they are required by law to wear helmets and they all do, otherwise we would surely see more motorcycle deaths than we do now.
Then we have Mr/Ms. Costa Rica’s that simply don’t know how to drive. I’m not sure the test that you have to take to get a license here as I got mine just because I passed a medical test and had a license in the U.S. I’m told you must take a driving test but I’d be curious to know what exactly that entails (and what kind of driver is giving it) because there are more people that don’t know how to drive than do but are still on the road.
A good example would be…When you start to pull out from an intersection, we are taught in the U.S. to look both ways before crossing and make sure there are no cars coming….not in Costa Rica….people pull out with cars coming in both directions gambling that someone will stop and sometimes they don’t but most times they actually do. It’s all a big game of chicken on the roads here and the biggest car/truck/bus wins.
So if your thinking of renting a car when you come down to check the place out, you might want to give that a little more thought and rely on someone else that is acclimated to Costa Rican driving like Guardian Angels or a taxi service.