We will be visiting Costa Rica in a few weeks, and am questioning if we should rent a SUV 4×4 or just do hired drivers. Our concern is how rainy it can be in September and therefore what the roads may be like. What is your recommendation for 2 people? I have read your blog on renting a car in Costa Rica, and have discussed with friends who have visited Costa Rica, but they didn’t travel during the rainy season, so I’m getting mixed reviews.
We will be staying in Arenal for 4 nights (staying at one of the more remote hotels) then Manuel Antonio for 3 nights. We would like to visit Monteverde one of the days we are in Arenal.
Another option we have considered is to do the tours that include transportation, one from san jose to Arenal and include some of the highlights once there, and then from Arenal to Manuel Antonio. What would you recommend?
Not sure if you’ve figured this out yet but the roads between San Jose and La Fortuna & La Fortuna and Manuel Antonio are paved. As long as there aren’t any damaging storms, these roads should be in fine condition, even with rain. A day trip to Monteverde from La Fortuna is not recommended. It is best to stay there for at least a night or two since it is a very long drive and that road is dirt for much of the way. You can read our Driving to Monteverde post for a better idea. If you really are uncomfortable driving, you can easily shuttle between those destinations and get around locally with either taxis or the local bus. La Fortuna is a little more spread out though, but you could always rent a car for a day or two from the rental office in town. Be sure to use our discount if you do. Hope you have a nice trip 🙂