Is there Uber in Costa Rica?

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Costa Rica Living, Costa Rica Politics, Costa Rica Service Providers, Vacation in Costa Rica

Is there Uber in Costa Rica?

Uber in Costa Rica

Back in early 2016, Uber arrived in Costa Rica. There were huge protests from the taxi drivers and even some violence against some of the Uber drivers. Since then, it has calmed down, but there is still a lot of resistance from the taxi community. Here is what I have found.

As of this writing Uber ONLY exists in San Jose, not at the beaches, so if you are visiting Guanacaste, it won’t make a difference. Use the local red taxis. They are everywhere, very safe, very friendly and very reasonable. For two dollars you can get around town.

I have tried Uber in San Jose and have had mixed results. Some of the vehicles are beautiful, as you would find in North America. Others need some serious work. So, when I am in the city, and use Uber, I always try to order the upgraded Uber car, in hopes of getting one that is newer, nicer and in better condition. Also, it depends on where you plan on going. Most of the Uber drivers are new, and not that familiar with all the side roads. There are no street signs, many one way avenues, and some “not so nice” parts of town.

The old taxi drivers know the short cuts. They know how to cut through back roads and neighborhoods to avoid the massive traffic jams that clog the city. So many times, I just go with the local taxis, especially if I am going to a remote part of town, or an out of the way location.

Make your own choice.

If you are going to drive around the country, the best GPS app to use is WAZE. Everyone uses it here, so all the main locations are already plugged into the app and easy to find. Most car rental companies will also rent you a GPS for a very reasonable fee, just ask.

Costa Rica Army Abolished in 1948

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Costa Rica Living, Costa Rica Politics, EX PATS in Costa Rica, Newsletters

The Costa Rica army ceased to exist on December 1st, 1948.  On that momentous day, it was formally written into the constitution that Costa Rica would no longer have a military.  We are incredibly happy to live in a country that made the wise decision 67 years ago to abolish all it’s military forces and instead spend the windfall on public works and education.

Costa Rica Army not since 1948

The result is a well educated, peaceful country with a solid base to move forward in what has increasingly become a violence plagued world.

Why do you think the country has been voted over and over the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ and the informal slogan for the entire nation is ‘Pura Vida!’

Pura Vida

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that “for decades, Costa Rica has been a worldwide example in rejecting unnecessary military expenditures. Instead, the country bravely invested in health and universal education. The result has been less inequality and greater social peace. ”

The image of a military parade with thousands of soldiers displaying their weapons and equipment is unknown to Costa Rica.

Costa Ricans have never seen a war tank or a warplane on their territory. Costa Ricans will always aspire to carry schoolbooks rather than a rifle.

Costa Rica Frequently Asked Questions

Costa Rica abolished the death penalty in 1877 and has continued over the years to follow it’s ideals reflected in the present day proposal for the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that Costa Rica, with a group of like-minded nations, has put forward. The Treaty has been ratified by 50 nations.

So lift your glass and help us celebrate 67 years since the Costa Rica army was abolished!


Check out the Full Op Ed Column in the Tico Times written one year ago by Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel A. González Sanz.

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Tank Tops Flip Flops Newsletter edition no. 82

September 2023
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