Green Season Driving in Costa Rica

White 4x4 Crossing River

Visiting Costa Rica in the Green Season has many advantages over its High Season.  For one, the prices for accommodation, car rental and tours are all lower.  The surf is up on the Pacific Coast and the country is simply bursting with flora as flowers bloom, trees blossom and ferns uncurl.

However, there is rain.  Not the all day, cold and miserable rain like Seattle, but it’s the tropical downpours that you see in Hollywood movies.  The good news is that these afternoon rains are pretty predictable and although it may rain hard, a couple of hours of rain is soothing as you nap in a hammock or sip a cold beer after a morning of sun-drenched activity.

Driving in Green Season isn’t hard; it’s just different.  With a bit of forward planning and common sense, your vacation driving will be a pleasure.

As the rain tends to be an afternoon event, plan your journeys for the mornings and try to arrive at your destination before the rain begins.  Should you find yourself driving during a heavy downpour, pull over to the side of the road and wait for it to ease up.  When visibility is clear again, restart your journey.

I realize that what I’m about to say sounds like a no-brainer, but people somehow forget to listen.

Don’t drive through a river, stream or even a puddle.

What looks to be shallow from a distance can sometimes be as deep as a Florida sinkhole once you’re driving through it.  Remember that driving through a river pretty much voids your car rental insurance too — and that’s expensive, especially if you’ve seen the YouTube videos of people’s cars floating away…


There are roads that are intersected by rivers, but these are for the
dry season — when the river is reduced to a trickle.

Use alternative routes in the Green Season.

When you are driving in a city or built-up area, watch out for the manhole covers.  During heavy rains, the water pressure can force these to fly up like oversized Frisbees.  They can cause A LOT of damage to your car.  If the lid doesn’t get you, the huge hole might!

Keep updated on road conditions.  Landslides or flooding can cause road closure when rain has been particularly heavy, so ask for news of traffic updates from your hotel and your car rental company before heading off for the day.

Enjoy the roads, which incidentally have much less traffic than in High Season, which means less delays, less lines and less overall stress!  It’s good to go in the off-season.  🙂

 

Please leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear your questions and/or feedback!

P.S.  Thanks to Andrew for allowing me to guest post on his site. 🙂