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Car Rental Liberia Airport in Costa Rica: What You Need to Know

Wondering about renting a car from Liberia Airport in Costa Rica? 

Having a rental car is often the best way to get around Costa Rica. However, there are a few things you should know and consider before booking your vehicle rental from the Liberia Airport.

We have rented cars several times in Costa Rica and know what to look out for when making a car rental reservation.

Plus, we have had the chance to speak in detail with Adobe Rent-a-Car at the Liberia Airport. We have gone through their entire vehicle fleet and know the best cars to rent based on your travel destination and number of passengers.

So, let’s figure out if renting a car from the Liberia Airport is the right option for you, find you the perfect vehicle, familiarize you with road conditions, explain car insurance, and more. 

Adobe Rent-a-Car at Liberia Airport

car rental liberia airport

First things first. Adobe Rent-A-Car is our favorite rental car company in Costa Rica. They are a local company that prides themselves on: 

  • Excellent customer service
  • Well-maintained new vehicles
  • Being completely upfront with all prices

We had rented cars with Adobe several times. We then approached them to ask if they would be interested in partnering with Costa Rica Vibes. They have generously given us some great perks to pass on to you. 

These perks include:

  • A 10% Discount: This discount fluctuates by season and demand. It will always be at least 10% but sometimes it is actually more like 15%.
  • Free Second Driver: Adobe actually doesn’t just stop at giving you one free second driver. You can actually add multiple drivers at no extra cost. Usually, this costs an extra $4 per day.
  • Free Roof Racks to Use: These are available for free to our readers upon request.
  • Free Car Delivery/ Pick Up: Adobe is happy to drop off or pick up your car for free within 12 miles of any of their office locations.
  • 0% Deductible: This applies to Liability Protection. It is usually a 20% deductible.
  • Discounted Smartphone with Unlimited Data: This is a new plan that Adobe has started called “Trio.” You get a smartphone with unlimited data to use for your trip for only $12 per day. It is normally $14 per day. You can turn it on as a hotspot so multiple people can take advantage of it.
  • Free Booster Seat and/ or Car Seat: Adobe has three versions of seats that are free to our readers; infant car seats, baby car seats, and booster seats.
  • Discounted GPS: Usually costs $9 a day to rent a GPS unit. By booking through us you will only pay $6 per day. 
#1 Pick
Car Rental Liberia Airport in Costa Rica: What You Need to Know

Adobe Rent-a-Car

  • 10% discount for Costa Rica Vibes readers
  • Free second driver
  • 0% deductible on Liability Protection Insurance
  • Excellent customer service
  • New fleet of well-maintained vehicles

Important Factors to Consider Before Renting a Car from Liberia Airport

car rental adobe liberia airport

Here are some things you need to consider before booking a car from the Liberia Airport…

Driver’s License: Make sure you have a valid driver’s license from your home country. In Costa Rica, an international driver’s license is not mandatory, but it can be useful as an additional form of identification.

Age Restrictions: Most car rental companies in Costa Rica require drivers to be at least 23 years old. You need to be 23 years old to rent a car with Adobe. You can not rent a car with Adobe if you are over 75 years old.

Insurance Coverage: Review the insurance options provided by the rental company. We go into explaining Costa Rica car insurance further in this post.

Road Conditions and Off-Road Driving: Costa Rica offers a diverse range of landscapes, including paved roads, gravel roads, and even off-road trails in some areas. Consider your planned itinerary and choose a suitable vehicle accordingly. We get into this further in this post.

Be Aware of Deposit Fees: There is a $1,000 deposit on your car rental with Adobe. This is standard with every Costa Rica car rental company, but we have heard of some companies charging much more. We suggest paying this deposit with a credit card because it is just a hold and will be returned immediately to you when you return your car if everything is OK. You can also do this on your debit card, but it can take a few weeks after you return your car for the bank to process this and refund the $1,000 on to your account.

Costa Rica Rental Car Insurance

Unfortunately, some rental companies in Costa Rica don’t disclose the car insurance costs upfront. That means when you arrive at the rental car office you are suddenly hit with all these extra charges.

And then what are you going to do?

We don’t think that is a good business practice and neither does Adobe. 

The car rental insurance in Costa Rica is confusing, so let me explain it a bit…

When you reserve a car through Adobe, you’ll have three choices for protection. Let’s look at each one.

1. Liability Protection

This insurance covers basic damages to other people’s property up to $20,000 and provides basic coverage for injury or death of others up to $100,000, with no deductible.

It’s a legal requirement in Costa Rica. Everyone renting a car needs to get Liability Protection.

The price you’re given when you book your car through our website already includes the cost of Liability Protection (you’ll see it checked in your rental car booking).

This is one reason why we recommend Adobe for car rentals in Costa Rica. Unlike many other car rental companies here, Adobe includes Liability Protection in their quote.

2. Car Protection Insurance

This insurance covers:

  • Damage to the car from accidents, collisions, and rollovers
  • Total or partial theft of the rental car

Car Protection is also required by Costa Rican law. So, when you rent a car with Adobe, you need to select Car Protection.

However, If you have a letter from your credit card company stating that you are covered for car protection in Costa Rica you will not need to pay for the Car Protection insurance if you rent with Adobe.

Total Protection Insurance

This is the most comprehensive car protection offered. It covers a tow truck, roadside assistance, damage to things like windows and tires, and provides up to 4 million dollars in coverage for injury or death of others.

While not mandatory by Costa Rican law, Total Protection is a good option if you want to ensure you’re fully covered in case of an accident.

If you’re unsure about insurance, it’s best to reach out to Adobe directly (we at Costa Rica Vibes are not insurance experts). You can email them at info(at)adobecar(dot)com, message them on WhatsApp at +506 8494-5956 (Monday to Friday, 8 am-5 pm Central Time), or if you’re in the US or Canada, you can call their toll-free number Monday to Friday from 8 am-5 pm Central Time at: +1 (855) 861-1250.

If you opt to rent your car with another rental car company, please make sure that all costs and fees are included before reserving.

I really don’t want you to show up to Costa Rica and have a negative start to your vacation when you discover that the insurance costs weren’t factored in ahead of time.

How to Book Your Rental Car

The rental car process with Adobe is pretty straightforward. 

Step 1: Head on over to our car rental booking page

Step 2: Select your pick-up place (you likely want Aeropuerto Liberia [LIR]), drop-off place, pick-up time, drop-off time

Step 3: Select which car you would like

Step 4: Select any extras you would like to add on to your reservation. This is where you can select insurance, add a cell phone etc. 

Note: Don’t stress too much about this. You can always add on insurance or take off insurance when you pick up your car as needed.

Step 5: Receive your car rental booking confirmation

And that’s it!


Sometimes Adobe may contact you to ask for a credit card to put on file. This is just to have something on record. If you need to cancel your car rental you can do say at any time through your confirmation email at no charge. 

Should I Rent a Car in Costa Rica? 

road la fortuna

We think that typically having a rental car is the best way to get around in Costa Rica. 

There are a few reasons for this.

  • Having a car will give you more flexibility in exploring off the beaten path destinations
  • Having a car will allow you to plan day trips on your own without depending on guided tours
  • Renting a car can often be cheaper than booking private shuttles and day tours

However, there are exceptions to this.  We don’t suggest renting a car if:

  • You are staying at a resort and don’t plan to take any day trips on your own
  • If you are a solo traveler it might be more affordable and easier to depend on tours and shuttles
  • If the thought of driving in a foreign country stresses you out too much
  • If you are on a very tight budget it will probably be better to take the public bus. Just note the buses aren’t the most comfortable, they can be unreliable, and travel times can be long due to having to switch multiple buses.

Which Car Should I Rent from Liberia Airport?

hyundai tucsan adobe car rental

Most of the roads in the Guanacaste Region are paved, but it is still usually best to rent an SUV. This will give you added driving clearance and will be more comfortable on hilly roads.

Our top car suggestion from Adobe is the Hyundai Tucson 4WD. This vehicle can comfortably fit 4 people and 4 suitcases. We suggest it because it is a mid-range vehicle as far as price goes, is comfortable, and has 4-wheel drive.

If you would prefer a slightly larger vehicle, Adobe has the Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4X4 in their fleet. This SUV comfortably fits 5 people and 6 suitcases.

You most likely won’t need the 4-wheel drive, but you really never know in this country! It never hurts to have it.

Note: We suggest asking for an exact location of your hotel or vacation rental. It is not unusual for accommodations to be on steep unpaved side streets. It is helpful to know what type of vehicle is necessary for where you are staying.

Arriving at Liberia Airport and Picking up Your Rental Car

car rental liberia airport

More and more flight routes are going to Liberia Airport in the city of Liberia. In our opinion, it is a great place to fly into and can be used as the perfect jumping-off point to tons of Guanacaste Region adventures.

After going through border control and picking up your luggage you will exit the airport. Upon exiting you will see an employee from Adobe waiting with a sign.

Approach them and they will guide you to the awaiting Adobe shuttle which will take you a few minutes away to the Adobe Liberia Airport office.

The Liberia Airport is small, so most rental car companies are located off-site.

liberia airport adobe shuttle

At the nearby Adobe office you can get the keys to your rental vehicle, check the vehicle with an employee, and be on your way to enjoy your Costa Rica vacation. 

It’s a really smooth process from start to finish!

From the Adobe rental car office you can be to Playa Hermosa or Playas del Coco in under a 30-minute drive.

🚘 Check Availability and Rental Car Rates From Adobe 🚗

Note: The sun sets every day around 5:30pm. The roads in the area are not that bad. If you plan to stay in Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa, or the Papagayo Peninsula you should have no problems driving after dark.

If you are planning to drive further away you may want to spend one night near the airport and head out the next morning to your destination.

You can find out more in our guide to Liberia Airport hotels.

Having Your Rental Car Delivered

The beach towns near the Liberia Airport are filled with tons of wonderful resorts and vacation rentals. Sometimes it is nice to enjoy a few days of pure relaxation and then spend a few days exploring.

If this is your plan, you really won’t need a rental car for the entire time.

Instead, we suggest renting a car for a few days and having Adobe deliver the car to your hotel, resort, or vacation rental.

Adobe is happy to deliver your car to you for free within 12 miles of any of their offices. If you are further than 12 miles away, they may charge a small delivery fee.

Just indicate in your reservation where you will be staying so the Adobe employees know how to deliver your vehicle.

Note: If you do this, we suggest taking a taxi from the Liberia Airport to your hotel. You can get a taxi price quote from our favorite family of Costa Rican taxi drivers here.

Nearby Places We Suggest Visiting with Your Rental Car 

One of the best things about renting a car is that it gives you more flexibility to explore. 

If you are staying near the airport in one of the breach towns (like Playa Hermosa, Papagayo, or Playas del Coco) a few of our favorite things to do with a rental car are:

Go Beach-Hopping

A few of our favorite beaches within a 40-minute drive of the airport include; Playa Hermosa, Playa Panama, the beaches on Papagayo Peninsula, and Playa Penca (just south of Playa Hermosa).

Keep in mind that all beaches in Costa Rica are free and need to have public access. There is usually at least. place to pull off your car, but you may have to pay a few dollars for an attendant to watch your vehicle.

Visit Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

This is an impressive waterfall that you can hike to the top of and also swim under. It’s a great place for families and you could easily bring a picnic and spend several hours here. 

It will take about 40 minutes to drive to Llanos de Cortez Waterfall from the Liberia Airport area.

Take a Day Trip to Palo Verde National Park

Palo Verde is a flay land national park that is great for bird watching. From the Liberia Airport it will take about an hour to drive here.

You can find out more in our guide to Palo Verde National Park.

Take a Day Trip to Rincon de la Vieja

Rincon de la Vieja is a volcano national park. This place is great for hiking, but is also known for being a fun adventure destination.

Check out our Rincon de la Vieja Guide for more info on planning your visit.

Visit all the Beach Towns

There are so many nice beach towns to check out within an hour to two hour drive of Liberia Airport.

A few of our favorites are; Las Catalinas, Playa Flamingo, and Tamarindo.

You could easily visit all of these in one day.

We suggest making your way along the coast and stopping at each town as well as at any beaches you find.

Hike at Santa Rosa National Park

We like this park because it is not as popular as a lot of the other national parks in Costa Rica. In other words, you won’t have to contend with tons of other tourists.

With its diverse ecosystems, from dry tropical forests to pristine beaches, you can enjoy nice trails and the possibility of seeing wildlife.

Driving in the Guanacaste Region

Driving in the Guanacaste Region of Costa Rica is usually not too difficult. Most main roads are well paved and the traffic typically isn’t too crazy unlike near the San Jose Airport.

This area is also home to the nicest highway in the country (Route 1) which goes from Liberia to the south. If you go to La Fortuna or Monteverde you will likely take route 1.

Some of the other roads in the region can be curvy. If you are prone to motion sickness we suggest bringing some motion sickness pills. Personally, I always get sick as a passenger in Costa Rica.

Returning Your Rental Car and Departing from Liberia Airport

When returning your rental car at the end of your trip, ensure a smooth process by following these steps:

  1. Allow Sufficient Time: Plan to arrive at the rental car return area at least two to three hours before your flight departure time to allow for any unexpected delays.
  2. Inspect the Vehicle: Conduct a thorough inspection of the rental car for any damages before returning it. Take photos or videos as proof, if necessary.
  3. Return Process: Return your car to the Adobe office near the Liberia Airport (here is the location on Google Maps). Park the vehicle in the designated area and hand over the keys to the rental staff. They will process your return, finalize any outstanding payments or refunds, and provide you with a receipt. They will then transport you on their private shuttle the few-minute drive to the Liberia Airport.


Note: If you have a very early morning flight we suggest returning your car the night before and staying at the Hilton Garden Inn. It is located directly across the street from the airport. There is a free shuttle that runs between the hotel and the airport. 

Things to Consider When Driving in Costa Rica

car rental liberia airport costa rica
  • GPS or Navigation: We suggest the free app Waze for driving directions in Costa Rica. It is the most widely used
  • Gas Stations: All gas stations in Costa Rica are full-service. This means you should not get out of your car when you pull up to a gas pump. An attendant will fill your gas for you.
  • Language: While many Costa Ricans speak English, having a basic understanding of Spanish can be helpful, especially when interacting with locals in rural areas. We like the free app Google Translate for this.
  • Parking: Be aware that at some places you will have to pay for parking. Usually, a local person will be collecting a few dollars to watch your car while you enjoy an activity.
  • Safety: Don’t leave anything of value in your car. Petty theft is known to happen here and one of the most common types of theft is breaking into unattended cars with valuables in them.
  • Local Traffic Customs: Get familiar with some of the local traffic customs and norms. We have a complete guide to driving directions that can help with this.
  • Tolls: There are tolls in the country, but they are all located near San Jose. It is possible to pay tolls in US dollars or colones.
  • Weather and Road Conditions: Keep an eye on weather forecasts and road conditions, especially during the rainy season. Some roads may become challenging to navigate due to flooding or landslides, so having alternative routes in mind can be useful.
  • Emergency Contact Information: If you rent your car with Adobe they will give you a packet with info of what to do in the case of an accident. You should always immediately notify Adobe if something happens. Additionally, in Costa Rica 9-1-1 is the emergency phone number.
#1 Pick
Car Rental Liberia Airport in Costa Rica: What You Need to Know

Adobe Rent-a-Car

  • 10% discount for Costa Rica Vibes readers
  • Free second driver
  • 0% deductible on Liability Protection Insurance
  • Excellent customer service
  • New fleet of well-maintained vehicles

Conclusion: Car Rental Liberia Airport Costa Rica

In conclusion, having a rental car to get around in Costa Rica is almost always a good idea. We think that renting a car from the Liberia Airport from Adobe Rent-a-Car is a smooth experience that will allow you to get the most out of your time in Costa Rica.

However, we understand that renting a car in a foreign country can be a bit intimidating. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We are always happy to help you out!

Don’t forget to check out our:

Complete Guide to Landing an Departing for Liberia Airport – This will give you all the details you need to know about the airport

Guide to the 27 Best Liberia Airport Hotels – This will give you all the details you need on where to spend the night after you arrive in Costa Rica or before you fly out of the country

San Jose Airport or Liberia Airport Guide – Get all the details on which airport is best for your vacation

FAQ: Renting a Car and Driving in Costa Rica – Find out everything you need to know to be prepared to get on the road.

Car Rental Scams in Costa Rica – What to watch out for and our experience being scammed

Costa Rica Transportation Guide – How to get around the country with ease

Costa Rica Travel Details: What You Need to Know

🚗 Should I rent a car in Costa Rica?

Having a rental car will give you the most flexibility when traveling in Costa Rica. This will also allow you to take fun day trips on your own.

🏄🏽 How can I book things to do?

We find that Viator tends to have the most comprehensive selection of activities with secure booking and good cancellation policies.

🍍 I’m overwhelmed with planning. Can you help?

Of course! I suggest joining our Facebook group for specific questions and head to our Start Here Page to get started planning.

✈️ What is the best way to book a flight?

Usually, we have the best luck finding great prices with Skyscanner. Check for flights to both San Jose Airport (SJO) and Liberia Airport (LIR).

🛏️ What is the best way to book my Costa Rica hotels?

We highly suggest Booking.com for hotel bookings and typically use VRBO for Costa Rica vacation rentals.

🗣️What is the main language in Costa Rica?

The main language in Costa Rica is Spanish. Most people working in tourism speak at least some English.

💰 What is the currency in Costa Rica?

The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colón (CRC). However, the US dollar is widely accepted in most tourist areas

📞 What is the best way to stay connected?

An eSIM from Airalo is the easiest way to get 4G data while traveling in Costa Rica.

🌴 Is Costa Rica safe?

Generally, Costa Rica is considered safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s best to use caution and be aware of your surroundings.

🛂 Do you need a passport to go to Costa Rica?

Yes, Costa Rica is its own country. You will need a passport to visit.