Home » Cars » Car Rental in Costa Rica » Car Rental in San Jose, Costa Rica

Car Rental in San Jose, Costa Rica

The search above is provided by DiscoverCars.com, World's Best Car Rental Booking Website of 2022.

If you want to be sure to get the best possible deal, we recommend checking also QEEQ.COM, one of the fastest-growing online car rental platforms worldwide, listing over 7 million rental cars in around 200 countries.

Why renting a car in San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, is a bustling urban center with a unique blend of modern amenities and rich cultural heritage. From its vibrant street markets to its historic landmarks, there is so much to explore in this city.


One of the key reasons why you might need to rent a car in San Jose is for tourism. With a rental car, you can easily visit popular attractions such as the National Theater, the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, and the beautiful La Sabana Metropolitan Park. Additionally, having a car gives you the flexibility to venture out of the city and explore the stunning natural landscapes and wildlife reserves that Costa Rica is known for.


If you are visiting San Jose for business purposes, renting a car can be incredibly convenient. It allows you to navigate the city on your own schedule, attend meetings in different locations, and make a good impression on potential business partners or clients.

Overall, renting a car in San Jose, Costa Rica provides the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time in this vibrant city. Whether you are here for leisure or business, having a car at your disposal can greatly enhance your experience.

Driving in San Jose, Costa Rica

Local Traffic Rules and Customs

When driving in San Jose, Costa Rica, it’s important to be aware of the local traffic rules and customs. The speed limits are enforced, and it’s common for traffic police to conduct random checks. Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers, and driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited.

Parking Tips and Costs

Parking in San Jose can be a challenge, especially in the city center. There are public parking lots available, but they can be quite expensive. Street parking is also an option, but pay attention to any parking restrictions and always make sure to pay for parking where required. It’s advisable to use secure parking facilities to avoid any potential issues.

Tips for Driving in San Jose

When driving in San Jose, it’s important to be patient and alert. Traffic can be heavy, especially during peak hours, so allow extra time to reach your destination. Be cautious of pedestrians and cyclists, and be prepared for the occasional unexpected maneuver from other drivers. Familiarize yourself with the city’s layout and plan your routes in advance to avoid getting lost.

By following these tips and being mindful of local traffic rules and customs, you can have a safe and enjoyable driving experience in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Beautiful Things to See around San Jose

1. La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Located just an hour’s drive from San Jose, the La Paz Waterfall Gardens is a must-see attraction for nature lovers. This beautiful eco-park features lush rainforests, stunning waterfalls, and a variety of wildlife such as butterflies, birds, and big cats. Visitors can also enjoy hiking trails, bird watching, and a butterfly observatory.

2. Poas Volcano National Park

Situated about an hour and a half from San Jose, Poas Volcano National Park is home to one of the world’s largest active craters. Visitors can take a short hike to the edge of the crater and witness the bubbling turquoise waters below. The park also boasts lush cloud forests, hiking trails, and a variety of flora and fauna.

3. Irazu Volcano National Park

Less than two hours from San Jose, Irazu Volcano National Park offers visitors the chance to explore the country’s highest volcano. The park features hiking trails, stunning views of the crater, and unique landscapes filled with volcanic rocks and ash. On a clear day, visitors can see both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans from the summit.

4. Cartago

Just a short drive from San Jose, the historic city of Cartago is home to the beautiful Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels. This stunning church, built in the 17th century, is a popular pilgrimage site and features beautiful architecture and religious artifacts. Visitors can also explore the city’s charming streets, local markets, and traditional Costa Rican cuisine.

5. Orosi Valley

Located about an hour from San Jose, the Orosi Valley is a picturesque region known for its lush coffee plantations, hot springs, and stunning mountain views. Visitors can take a scenic drive through the valley, visit the colonial town of Orosi, and relax in the natural hot springs surrounded by beautiful scenery.

These are just a few of the many beautiful attractions that are easily accessible from San Jose with a rental car. Whether you’re interested in nature, history, or stunning landscapes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the surrounding areas of San Jose.

Affordable Car Hire in San Jose

You can browse all the city locations below, sorted alphabetically. Use Ctrl+F (or Cmd+F on a Mac) to quickly find the one you want to explore.

Other Cities in Costa Rica Where You can Rent a Car for Cheap

Back to all Costa Rica Car Hire