Car Rentals with Alamo book direct with us to get free delivery and pickup

But first a note about something that confuses so many guests - car insurance.  One guest enjoyed this comment so I thought I'd share it with you viz:

  • 70% of my guests rent full/zero deduct
  • 0.01% of my guests have had serious accidents (1 in 19 years)
  • my wife insists we get full/zero deduct when we borrow a car from Alamo

You see why insurance companies have such nice and annoyingly tall buildings?

So other than wonderfully contradictory advice and bad jokes, what do you get when you rent at the Pura Vida with a confirmed Alamo booking:

  • FREE delivery at the Pura Vida breakfast table, free drop off at any Alamo office in the country
  • additional drivers at no cost, unlimited mileage, free cooler
  • 1 booster (kids under 12 or under 1 meter 45cm), 1 child seat (under 6 years) at no cost to Pura Vida guests
  • We quote the car model (not “something similar that does not look a bit like it”) and the price quoted (in US $) is what you will actually pay (no additions)
  • Throw us the keys at the end of your trip - the "Pura Vida check in"
  • and Alamo has the largest and most up to date fleet in Costa Rica (over 3700 cars now) and the most locations (over 40 locations, about 10 times even the largest rental operations) and for some reason likes us and stands behind Pura Vida guests 110% should you need them on your already all too short vacation and

Not sure what you need - never worry! Have questions? Click here -> just "Contact us now" by email. 

    Should you rent a car or not in Costa Rica?

    Well, most of our guests do rent a car (OVER 70%) and all come back safe and smiling (well almost all except for those who got nagged to death for not asking directions).

    We like the idea that the paper you sign with a car rental company has the price you will pay. There are plenty of car rental agencies to choose from in Costa Rica - we have used most of them. Our experiences have varied from a perfect 10 to "the creature from the Black Lagoon".

    Alamo Car rental has provided excellent guest experiences and consistently competitive prices. Most importantly, if they say they will bring the car at 8am, it is there. If we quote you a car model, that is the model you get - not "or similar".

    If you have concerns about a specific rental car company with prices "too good to be true" drop a question on the Tripadvisor Forum here and ask the locals what their opinion is of that company.

    Our guests usually do not have to wait at rental counters or try to muddle their way through a rental discussion in Spanish. We insist our car agency is reliable, delivers your car to the Pura Vida breakfast table (or wherever we have agreed to deliver it) and won't argue with you about normal wear and tear when you turn the car in. These are the basics of car rentals to us since our first car rental here in 1983. Should there be even the slightest issue we know how to work together to resolve it.

    THE PURA VIDA HOTEL CAR RENTAL PROGRAM FREEBIES if you book direct with the hotel only

    • free delivery & free drop off at any Alamo office in the country (they have over 40 locations, more than any other company)
    • additional driver at no additional cost AND unlimited mileage
    • a free cooler, take it with you on the trip
    • throw us the keys at the end of your trip (what we call "the Pura Vida check in" :-))
    • we quote an actual car model, you get that car model not "something similar" that turns out to be a completely different car
    • you will only have a near new car, invariably this year or last
    • if you have any issues on your trip you can call us or Alamo at any time
    • you will have the car delivered where you want it and drop it off where you want
    • nobody will be arguing with you about "normal wear and tear" when you turn in the car
    • your car rental rep should speak excellent English

    Not sure?  Just email us for your quote:


    For buzzing around town or a quick haul to the beach, try the economical Toyota Yaris 2WD. Great trunk space for an economy car too. Has automatic and manual option to save a few dollars a day. Zippy and economical.

    • 5 passenger/1500cc gasoline
    • manual or automatic/4 door
    • air bags/A/C
    • radio with MP3

    Toyota Yaris 2WD, manual or automatic, gasoline


    A nicely appointed 4 door car with a decent trunk, try the economical Toyota Corolla 2WD. Great trunk space for an economy car too. Has automatic and manual option. Roomy and economical.

    • 5 passenger/1800cc gasoline
    • manual or automatic/4 door
    • air bags/A/C
    • radio with MP3

    Toyota Corolla 2WD - automatic, gasoline


    Compact 4 door 2 wheel drive with good ground clearance and great gas mileage. Looks like a smaller RAV4, very nice and cute but only available in 2WD.

    • 5 passenger/1500cc gasoline
    • automatic 4 door
    • air bags/A/C
    • radio with MP3

    Toyota CROSS 2WD, 4 dr, manual or automatic, gasoline


    An excellent compact all wheel drive with good ground clearance and great gas mileage. Yes, and decent luggage space for 4 people if you bring soft sided luggage. The perfect on and off roader for Costa Rican roads. Not particularly fast going up hill. Manual trans or automatic and make the driving easy. This is our most popular rental.

    • 5 passenger/1400cc gasoline
    • manual or automatic/5 door
    • air bags/electric windows/A/C
    • radio with MP3

    Suzuki Vitara 4WD, 4 dr, manual or automatic, gasoline


    A mid sized, manual or automatic. Very zippy, decent gas mileage and a great 4WD for those roads across the top of Arenal and Monteverde. A bit more space than the regular Vitara for those taller folks and a bit more luggage room for 5 if you use soft sided luggage.

    • 5 passenger/2000cc gasoline
    • manual or automatic/5 door
    • air bags/electric windows/A/C
    • radio with MP3

    Grand Vitara 4WD, 4 dr, manual or automatic, gasoline

    Toyota RAV4 4WD, 4 dr automatic, gasoline


    The biggest 4WD - seats for 7. We have done a lot of off road travel in both of these models in Costa Rica - the Prado is a real winner in off road situations.  NOTE: despite what other car companies may say, 6 or 7 persons in these full size SUV's is an issue with your luggage. Also available the Toyota Sequoia - even bigger, the luxo-barge but priced like a ride on Blue Origin!

    • 7 passenger (not with luggage)/3000cc turbo diesel
    • automatic/5 door
    • air bags/electric windows/A/C
    • radio with MP3

    Toyota Landcruiser Prado 4WD -automatic, diesel


    When you have the need to transport a small army of kids or relatives, the Toyota Hiace is the best deal - for about the same price as the Fortuner. It is however 2WD so ask us about your route and we can advise how it will work. Also there is no automatic option for this van.

    • 12 passenger/5 rows of seats
    • 3000cc turbo diesel/automatic
    • airbags/electric windows/A/C
    • radio with MP3

    Toyota Hiace 2WD Van 12 passenger, manual, diesel


    Not to be too blunt about it but IT DON'T often WORK :-)) in a so-called 7 passenger SUV despite what other car rental companies may say. Ask us if you have this quandary. We have ideas.

    With 6 passengers, space for some stacked floppy luggage in the 7th seat or if 7 pax room for 4 barbie dolls and some Malbec.


    Be aware all car rentals in Costa Rica require a deposit on your credit card. Some companies may put a large deposit that blocks your credit card but not Alamo. Alamo has essentially 2 options - if you decline CDW and do your rental coverage on your credit card then the deposit will be $500. If you take full insurance the deposit is just $100. The only exception is the Toyota Sequoia at $1000 and $500.

    Yes we have real time GPS here

    And fabulous bridges

    Ask us if you need a 4WD or 2WD


    • For all quotes in Costa Rica make sure they include the mandatory basic insurance (a government requirement for all rentals). The insurance can be reduced a little if you take CDW (Collision Damage waiver) coverage on your credit card. Check with your card company if your credit card covers CDW in Costa Rica. If you get a quote from the internet (e.g. Expedia) and the price is too good to be true, they forgot to include the mandatory insurance.
    • The English speaking agent delivering the car can help you with any insurance options, cell phone or GPS - let us know ahead of time if you want the GPS which is $7 a day. We have excellent maps at the hotel for purchase in addition to the free Alamo map.
    • No you do not need an "international license", just your own drivers license and be over 21 years old and have a passport and credit card.
    • If you want to do a one way rental just let us know where you'd like to leave the car. By arrangement with Alamo, our guests have no drop off charge if they leave the car at an Alamo office or at the Pura Vida Hotel or anywhere in the area.
    • Check with your credit card company before arriving in Costa Rica about any car coverage you expect in other countries that may not work in Costa Rica.

    Just email us for your quote.


    Summary (read only this bit if you don't want your head to spin or are a more detailed person than I)

      • Mandatory insurance includes collision with a deductible of $1,200 and third party liability with a deductible of 20% of damages. Optional “Zero Deductible” policies cover pretty much everything with no out of pocket expenses!

    Basic Mandatory Protection

      • CDW (Collision Damage Waiver .. damages caused to the rented vehicle) entitles renter to a maximum deductible of $1,200 to $3,000 depending on car type.
      • LDW (Liability Damage Waiver .. damages caused to third party property) entitles renter to a minimum deductible of $300 or 20% of the total value of all damages.
      • Car Theft has a fixed total deductible of US$5.000 for their regular fleet, and US$10.000 for their Premium fleet.

    Special CDW Protection

      • CDW (Collision Damage Waiver .. damages caused to the rented vehicle) entitles renter to a maximum deductible of US$1000. LDW and Car Theft protection remain the same.

    Declined CDW Protection

      • If you want to use a credit card’s insurance program you have to show the credit card on the day of the rental (good idea to confirm with your card company exactly what the coverage includes and the claim process). LDW coverage will still be charged.  Customer assumes all damages so deductible is not an issue.

    Zero Deductible CDW, LDW Protection, Theft & Accessories

      • Optional, additional protection can be purchased in combination with the basic mandatory protection and entitles renter to zero deductible for CDW, LDW, car theft and accessories theft/damage (i.e. tires, rims, antenna, car radio, lateral glasses, windshield).

    Nota Bene: If you want to decline CDW, the only option Alamo offers is to accept TPL (Third Party Liability).

    Here endeth the fine print sermon. You REALLY don't need to remember any of this gaboonf. You can decide on the optional insurance items as the car is delivered to you at the breakfast table or wherever you choose to take the car.  But if you think ahead you may (WILL) save some time when getting the car.

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