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Escorted or Fly and Drive ?

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Escorted or Fly and Drive ?

Looking for advice on doing an escorted or Fly & Drive through Gate 1 travel. We do not speak spanish. Can handle some adventure but want to have a good time with a family of four.

Is the escorted tours extra cost worth it, too restrictive on what you want to do that day, etc? Are we better of spending the money on the attractions? Money is less of a concern than overall "fun" and ability to see the sites.

How bad is driving there, too much hassle?

I did read that a 4x4 with GPS is a must.

Bushmaster Adventures Costa Rica
Sightseeing Tours, Boat Tours, Eco Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Manakin Travel
Sightseeing Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Day Trips
Central American Tours
Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips
Atlanta, GA
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307 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Escorted or Fly and Drive ?

Speaking Spanish isn't a deal breaker...Attempting is always appreciated but you should be able to get around without issue. You don't need a 4x4 unless you're going way off the beaten path somewhere, or in and out of Monteverde (you can do Monteverde without, but some people prefer). GPS is a good idea, especially if you're going for the first time. I love driving around and randomly stopping at places that look cool to me. Sometimes the traffic is a hassle...especially getting stuck behind a big truck and not being able to pass, but I prefer it to taking a bus. Others will disagree and say they're not comfortable, its really a personal decision and how out there you want to go and what you want to see. Escorted vs. FIT is more of a personality issue. I've personally never had a bad guide in CR, and I think a guide brings a lot to the table in terms of enhancing the experience and giving you information you might not have had otherwise. But you're going to be in a group with a bunch of people you don't know, and that's not a situation that everyone enjoys. If you're hitting major tourist areas like Arenal, Manuel Antonio, etc. there are plenty of tours and activities that include guides, so it boils down to do you like being part of a group tour or not.

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Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
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30 reviews
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2. Re: Escorted or Fly and Drive ?

i would definitely go the diy route. the type of car you should rent will be dependent on your final itinerary. like gringa said, if it includes monteverde or the south nicoya peninsula you should consider a 4x4, not so much for the 4wd, but mostly for the extra ground clearance and better suspension for a more comfortable ride. you can save money by switching cars for the dirt road portion of your trip, then switching back to a sedan, it's easily doable but again the logistics are dependent on your itinerary and if the car company you choose allows one way rentals. gps will take a lot of the work out of finding your way around. costa rica is notorious for not having signs at important junctions.

3. Re: Escorted or Fly and Drive ?

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