Hello! My husband and I will be traveling to Costa Rica with our three young sons — 5 years, 3 years, and 1 year — and my husband’s mother from Dec. 24 to Dec. 31. We knew it would be a busy time, but we are beginning to think we were crazy for booking our trip for that week! Because we are a group of six, we want to rent a large enough vehicle to fit all of us. We have looked at maybe a dozen rental car companies, but it appears not a single van/large SUV is available. Do you have any suggestions for us? I would love to rent with Adobe through your site to get the discount, but of course they don’t have large vehicles available. We’re considering renting two smaller vehicles instead. Do you have thoughts on that?
Finally, I am wondering about the need for 4×4. I have read your answers to other questions on this forum, but I’m having a bit of trouble keeping track of where the roads require 4×4 and where they don’t. We are flying into Liberia. We have not booked lodging yet but are thinking of staying in or near Samara for a few days and then driving to the Arenal/La Fortuna area (or possibly staying around Monteverde instead). We would stay there for a few days and then return to Liberia. Do we need 4×4?
Thank you so much for your thoughts! I have been finding so much helpful information on your site! I was thrilled to find it!
I just did a quick search too and it didn’t turn up any vans. Two rentals is probably your best option at this point but you could make a note on your reservation that you would like a van instead if one becomes available. If you’d like to save money by not going with a 4×4 (vans aren’t 4×4 by the way) you could easily get around in a couple of hyundai creta 4×2 SUVs. The road to Monteverde from Guanacaste should be in pretty good shape at that time of year and that vehicle has higher clearance. You can read our post about that drive here. If you’d rather play it safe, you could go to La Fortuna/Arenal instead since it is all paved between there and Samara in any kind of car. For more about the roads, see our Road Conditions post. Hope this helps you plan, have a great time.
Thanks so much! Just today we found a large SUV that should work for us. I appreciate the info on road conditions too. I will check out your road conditions post in more detail.