Coastal areas in the central and north Pacific are suitable for smaller cars, as are most places between the Caribbean coast and the northern lowlands.
The roads surrounding the Arenal Volcano are appropriate for this type of car as well.
These cars have two-wheel drive and are not suitable for rough roads.
Compact cars are the smallest, most economical option.
Vans tend to get low gas mileage and like full-size SUVs, have a greater chance of tipping due to their size.
All rented cars come with basic features, including air conditioning, power steering, power windows/locks, dual airbags, and a CD player/radio.
Many of these roads have potholes and stream crossings, and require vehicles with large clearance—so it’s nearly impossible to travel these routes without an SUV.
There are both compact and full-size SUV options available.
There are other things to consider as well, including traffic laws, the price of gasoline, and driving time.
Some of the benefits of having your own wheels are obvious: you can dictate the course of your day, your week or your whole trip, and not be confined to shuttle times or bus schedules.