We are having an amazing time in Costa Rica and I want to make clear that this post is not at all against Costa Rica (it could happen anywhere) but looking for advice.
We are currently staying near Puerto Viejo and we were driving our rental and got waved off the road by police. Mind you we speak very little Spanish which is our fault, but we are trying! We only had picture copies of our passports with us so the first police man told us we needed to get out of the car. We unbuckled our seatbelts before he said he was going to take our car and we needed to walk. We said it wasn't our car to give and didn't get out. He went and talked to another policeman who came over to us and asked about ID and my boyfriend (who was driving) gave him his US license. This man told us that it would be a €99,000 or $200 fee for both of us not wearing our seatbelts (in Spanish) I tried to tell him we were wearing our seatbelts and just took them off because the previous man, but either because of language or him not caring he didn't listen and asked if we wanted to pay there or at the bank. We said at the bank. He wrote a ticket for driver not wearing seatbelt, which I assure you we both ALWAYS wear our seatbelts, for essentially $200. I am wondering if it is possible to fight this ticket or what our options are. We had actually been on our way to return the car so we don't have it anymore, thankfully. We are on a tight budget and do not really have the extra money to just pay this to get rid of it. Funnily, in a bad way we passed by this area half hour later and another Jimny with tourists was pulled over with a distraught looking driver. There are bad cops out there in all countries and I believe we ran into our first in paradise, I just don't know how to fix it, especially with limited Spanish. Any advice is greatly appreciated.