Riding in a 4x4 down to the river.

Renting a Car in Costa Rica?

Think about this before Renting a Car in Costa Rica

We always get asked if renting a car is the right thing to do in Costa Rica? Will the car get broken into? Are the roads safe? Will there be places to park? How bad is traffic?

The one reason I tell people they shouldn’t rent a car has nothing to do with the questions above. In short, roads can get a little sketchy, it probably won’t get broken into but don’t leave your camera on the seat, and traffic is worse than you can imagine in San Jose. If you are ok with these reasons you shouldn’t have a problem.

Why do you really want to Rent a Car?

Many feel comfortable renting a car, and many more do it because their adventure-ego goes into overdrive, and they don’t need any help in a foreign country.

People often think they get more out of renting a car because they can “explore” on their own, but how much value does that have compared to exploring with a drive and guide.

There might be benefits to renting a car, but this article is simply on what you miss when not going with a driver and/or guide.

Did you think about what you would miss?

I have said multiple times that our adventure company is a link between meeting amazing people and mixing it with beautiful scenery and some adventure. I truly believe that hanging out with the locals in Costa Rica makes this country what it is. The places and adventures are just a bonus.

When you rent your own car, you might have micro encounters with the locals but nothing like immediately having a backstage pass to all stops and places you visit along the way.

Traveling with a local guide and driver on your family adventure with the right company is like treating your kids to the ultimate Funcle anyone could ask for.

Value of a “Good” Driver & Guide

Drivers and guides make stops along the way feel more like walking into the bar Cheers, where you are treated like family. You get to experience the authentic Costa Rican your entire trip, and believe me when I say it will be the highlight of your trip.

I also want to be clear that there are drivers and guides that don’t have the same passion for their work as others. It is important to choose the right company but you probably have a good chance of picking some good ones in Costa Rica.

Many will have to rent cars for whatever reason, and some might argue it for financial reasons, but the value of putting a small group together for an adventure trip allows you to break up the cost and the value you end up getting is night and day to driving around Costa Rica in your private bubble.

Get the VIP adventure pass when visiting Costa Rica by traveling with the POC! Your experts in Costa Rica Adventure trips. 




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POC Camp

The POC camp is an extension of the POC lodge and while the POC Lodge is located with vast views of the Pacuare River Canyon the POC Camp is down on the river’s edge. While it might not have the view of the POC Lodge it sits on one of the calmest sections of the river making the POC Camp home to one of the river Pacuare’s best spots for taking a swim and relaxing on the river’s edge.

POCsito is a favorite among so many of our guests. It is a glamping experience with some of the important comforts of home.

POC Lodge

Started in 2011 is the POC lodge. If you haven’t figured it out by now POC lodge is our own lodge and what we like to call the “baby” of the P.O.C. Adventure Company. We wanted a lodge on our favorite part of Costa Rica which is the Pacuare River and with the help of locally harvested supplies and labor, the POC Lodge was born.


This is a 180-acre property that runs over 1 mile of the Pacuare River. Our goal has always been to offer as much comfort as possible without steering too far away from our roots of just roughing it on the river’s edge. Our lodge has hot water, a splash of luxury in the rooms, and 5-Star service and attention to our guests.

Our favorite part about the lodge is that we built a short hike up from the river’s edge. We know we have the best views of the Pacuare River canyon and unfortunately pictures don’t even do it justice.

Arenal Paraiso, Arenal

Have you ever wanted to stay the night at the base of an active volcano? Well here is your chance. The Arenal Paraiso is located at the base of the Arenal Volcano with breath-taking views of the perfectly cone-shaped volcano.

Here at Arenal Paraiso’s, you will enjoy the beautiful property which offers much more than just a view. The property has numerous bungalows that offer a splash of luxury while surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. After a day of adventure, you will love making your way back to relax or hang out in the pool at Arenal Paraiso.

Shawandha, Caribbean 

Located at the edge of the white sandy beaches of Costa Rica sits the Shawandha lodge.  A perfect blend of eco-style luxury along with the sounds of the ocean and vibrant ambiance of the rainforest.

Shawandha lodge is set up with individual bungalows made out of local wood. You will be sure to wake up to the sound of the local residents such as the howler monkeys and green macaws. After your day of adventure, you will have a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful swimming pool at the Shawandha Lodge.

Hotel Villa Florencia, Turrialba

Located in the valley of Turrialba surrounded by sugar-cane plantations and views of the smoking Turrialba Volcano sits an old plantation home that has been renovated into a beautiful small hotel named Villa Florencia.

This is a great hotel with a beautiful pool and plenty of space to take long morning or afternoon hikes. The Villa Florencia hotel is a chance to enjoy luxury while feeling like you stook back in time. While you are in the valley don’t forget to look up as the Turrialba Volcano can often be seen doing small eruptions from across the valley.

Casa Turire, Turrialba

Casa Turire has been one of our favorites since we started. The grounds are some of the lushest you will find anywhere in Costa Rica. Casa Turire sits in the valley of Turrialba surrounded by mountains and the beautiful Turrialba Volcano. The most amazing part about Casa Turire other than its great restaurant and home-made sugar cane ice cream is that it sits on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Angostura offering great morning hikes, birding, or SUPing around the lake.