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Liberia airport to Playa Negra

Derry, New Hampshire
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Liberia airport to Playa Negra

We are visiting Costa Rica for the first time in Feb of 2014. We are flying into Liberia and staying in Playa Negra. Is it best to rent a car, take a taxi, or is there public transportation? If we rent a car, how are the roads around the coast? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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1. Re: Liberia airport to Playa Negra

When flying in, don't drive there at night. Stay at hilton garden inn. You will get lost- roads can be confusing. Directions are based on landmarks here, not street names.

Rent a 4x4. You will regret it if you don't. A Hyundai or Montero is good enough.

You will also appreciate the freedom to roam wherever you want.

We rented with Adobe, the local company.

Also, know that whatever you get quoted before getting here is a hook-in (usually half of what it really will come out to be). Accept and anticipate that this is how it works and you won't be frustrated.

We ended up paying 500 for an 8 day rental which is not bad at all.

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2. Re: Liberia airport to Playa Negra

When flying in, don't drive there at night. Stay at hilton garden inn. You will get lost- roads can be confusing. Directions are based on landmarks here, not street names.

Rent a 4x4. You will regret it if you don't. A Hyundai or Montero is good enough.

You will also appreciate the freedom to roam wherever you want.

We rented with Adobe, the local company.

Also, know that whatever you get quoted before getting here is a hook-in (usually half of what it really will come out to be). Accept and anticipate that this is how it works and you won't be frustrated.

We ended up paying 500 for an 8 day rental which is not bad at all.

As for the roads you will see a mix of single lane asphalt and dirt roads. In some cases you may need to pass through a stream (not bad at all).

Expect slow moving vehicles, trucks and motorcycles that you will need to pass. Passing is much more polite here than in US.

Costa Rica
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3. Re: Liberia airport to Playa Negra

Renting a car is your best bet since Playa Negra is a bit isolated and I'm not sure the public bus even goes there.

There are several excellent companies near the airport in Liberia -- Vamos, Solid, Adobe, Budget, Alamo, National, Toyota. If you book with a company that has a USA presence, be sure to book with the Costa Rican agency directly. There is a mandatory - by law - liability insurance that you must pay, no matter what other insurance you have. Don't book through any 3rd party such as Orbitz.

As for driving - if you can drive in New Hampshire, you can drive in Costa Rica! A small SUV with 4WD is ideal. You won't use the 4WD probably at all - but the extra clearance and sturdiness of a SUV will be appreciated. And please....... don't drive through ANY rivers! It's really not necessary and if you do, your rental car insurance is void.

Avoid driving long distances after dark - if your flight is late, then plan on spending the night somewhere near the airport. The Hilton Garden Inn is there, but I would prefer to stay in the much less expensive Rincon del Llano which is a very nice Costa Rican hotel and not an expensive "cookie cutter" hotel. It's just under 2 hours to Playa Negra from the airport and it's dark by 6 pm. Figure 45 minutes to get out of the airport and 30 minutes to rent your car.

Playa Negra is beautiful and the surfing there is excellent. You are also not far from Tamarindo for a choice of (60+) restaurants and nightlife and shopping.

Enjoy your visit!

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