Uber has definitely made a splash in recent years as an alternative to taking a traditional taxicab. Up until 2015, it was not possible to catch an Uber in Costa Rica, but due to a number of different disputes that the company had with the government, they overcame potential issues holding them back and they are now capable of providing services in this great country.
In fact, the term “Uber” is now synonymous with getting a ride to and from your destination of choice. In fact, the name of this company has penetrated the society so quickly that it is now a part of everyday speech and has breached the vernacular.
Why Would Anyone Take an Uber in Costa Rica?
Just like anywhere else in the world, it’s good to have alternative options for transportation. Sure, you can take a bus, train, or taxicab, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, but some people prefer to have an inexpensive, potentially safer alternative to get from where they’re going to where they need to be. In fact, if you’re visiting San Jose in Costa Rica, you should definitely consider using Uber as your option of choice since it seems to be the most reliable when you need to get to the airport, the mall, or you just feel like hanging out downtown.
As an aside, the taxi’s can be very shady in Costa Rica, especially if you don’t speak Spanish! Some of them even have “hot meters” that add up the fare at a lightning speed.
The Best Tips for Using Uber in Costa Rica
To make the most of this service, we’d like to provide our favorite tips to help you truly capitalize on this transportation alternative. We’ve noticed that Uber is great in some ways but not necessarily the best option in others. So we’ll tell you about our experiences and the ways we use the service to certainly make the most of it.
Our favorite tips include:
- Only use Uber in San Jose – at the moment, we mention to only use Uber in San Jose because it’s currently only available there. As the service expands in the future, it definitely may end up being a better alternative in other parts of Costa Rica as well. But for now, you can only take advantage of this service in areas including Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, and San Jose.
- Take advantage of this service at SJO Airport – we all know how airport taxis can be really expensive, right? In order to avoid paying these high fees, it’s definitely good that we now have an alternative in Uber. So call an Uber and have them drop you off or pick you up at SJO airport. But make sure they pick you up at the bus stop location, on the street down the ramp, or near departures upstairs. We recommend this because taxi drivers and Uber drivers often fight over fares and this will avoid a potential explosive situation. The taxi drivers and associated people who help them land customers are perhaps the biggest leeches in Costa Rica, not to mention they will hassle you for tips like you’ve never seen.
- Choose a landmark to get dropped off or picked up at – addresses aren’t really a thing in Costa Rica. So look on a map and choose a nearby landmark as your drop off and/or pick up location to have the best results.
It’s great that Uber is now available in Costa Rica. Hopefully they’ll be able to expand their areas of operation in the future and cover the entire country, but we’re happy that they’re covering the San Jose area for the time being.