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Earlier this year, I wrote a post about how we were struggling with the decision to rent a car in Costa Rica during our upcoming stay at Andaz Papagayo (see Wrestling Over Car Rental Decision in Costa Rica). We had reserved a rental car through Vamos, thinking we would use it for excursions and going out to eat. Many readers who have rented cars in Costa Rica weighed in on the decision in the comments section. I was also surprised to receive several private emails on the subject from travelers with bad experiences.
Last week, I made the decision to cancel the rental car. Several factors came into play.
We’re Only There 4 Full Days
While we’re staying five nights at the resort, we will arrive late in the afternoon. So, we really only have four full days. We had already planned to enjoy the resort for two of those days (riding bikes, going to the beach club, playing tennis, kids’ club, etc.) The rental car would only be used for two days.
We Found Cheaper Excursions
Based on recommendations from past Andaz guests, I found a family-owned tour company with very reasonable prices for airport pickup and excursions. We’re using them for airport transfers (including a stop at Walmart for some groceries) and a full-day trip down the coast to visit five beaches (plus surfing lessons for my boys). For the zip lining excursion, we booked one that is only 10 minutes from the resort with free transportation. The total cost of transportation for these things is about $200 less than the rental car.
The Closest Restaurants are 90-Minutes Round-Trip
If we want to leave the peninsula for other restaurants, the closest ones are 30-45 minutes each way. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, my kids are horrible car passengers. I’m not sure the restaurant would be worth enduring the drive with my kids.
Relaxing is Priority #1
The biggest factor in canceling the rental car is that we really want this to be a relaxing vacation. Some vacations are meant for exploring (like our Australia/New Zealand trip last summer), and some are meant to be relaxing. My kids have even said, “We will have plenty of time to just chill at the beach, right?” Yes, we will prioritize that. We’re all ready for a break.
Will we regret this decision to cancel the rental car? I hope not. But, I’ll let you know the honest answer when we get back.
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.