Taxis in costa rica

Licensed taxis are red except for the orange airport vehicles. Take an unlicensed taxi at your own risk. Meters, called marias, are required for distances of up to 7.5 miles (12 km). Before you get in, don't be embarrassed to ask the driver if his matia works or to look below the front dash to see if it's on. The meter will start with a minimum charge; From 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. , 20 percent is added to the fee. If you phone for a taxi, the driver can start the meter where he got the call. A driver who does not use the maria can be fined. To file a complaint at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, be sure to get the taxi number and driver registration number and note the time. * Drivers are generally courteous, though some will refuse to take you if they consider the distance too short or the traffic too fierce. Don't be surprised if this happens to you at the taxi stand on Avenida 2 in front of Gran Hotel Costa Rica. It gets my vote for the greatest percentage of surly drivers.

You can hire a taxi to go practically anywhere there is some kind of road. In outlying areas, taxis are often four-wheel- drive jeep types. The fare for hired trips is based on distance and time, more if the trip is over bad roads. If you don't want to arrange it yourself, ask your hotel to call, ascertain the fare, and reserve the taxi. The advantage is that the driver will stop wherever you want to take a picture or have an extra moment to soak up the scenery; the disadvantage is that he may not speak English. (Airport drivers usually speak some English, but their rates are higher.) See Appendix B: Travel & Environmental Contacts for San Jose taxi telephone numbers.

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