My wife and I will be visiting Costa Rica in mid February for 11 days and will be arriving and departing from the airport in Liberia. This is our first visit to Costa Rica. We will be getting a rental car to permit us to get around. Our plans are to visit the following locations: Arenal Volcano, Santa Rosa National Park, Rincon de la Volcano and Potrero (beach). If getting to Rincon de la Volcano by using a tour/guide instead of on our own is a better idea (as I have read the road is a bit rough), we will do that. Questions for you: How are the roads getting to and from the locations above and what type of vehicle should we rent (sedan or 4×4)? With the mandatory car insurance that is required in Costa Rica, is there really a need to take out additional insurance when renting a car? Should we expect the weather to be relatively free of rain in February at the locations we plan to visit? Neither my wife or I speak any Spanish. Will this impact our visit or do most of the population speak English? We have found your website very helpful. Thanks.
You can check out our Road Conditions on Specific Routes post for info on the roads. La Fortuna/Arenal is 3-4 hours away from the beach towns so best done as an overnight. Our posts on Rincon de la Vieja and Santa Rosa should help you as well since they have directions. If you want to really explore Santa Rosa, a sturdy 4×4 with higher ground clearance is needed to access some trails. We can’t really give advice on if extra insurance is needed, it really depends on what you are comfortable with.
The weather should be very dry up in Guanacaste in February with high temps into the 90s.
Most hotels/restaurants in the areas you are traveling to have English speaking employees but you will still run into people who only speak Spanish. Print out our Simple Spanish post for help with that.
Don’t forget to check out our Rental Car Discount if you haven’t already…have a great trip!