Taxis are inexpensive by U.S. standards, so much so that they are a viable means of touring for short trips, especially if you’re traveling with two or three others. A white triangle on the front door contains the taxi’s license plate number. Taxi drivers are required by law to use their meters (marías). Many drivers don’t use them, and instead use all manner of crafty lines to charge you, the gullible tourist, extra. Insist on it being used, as Costa Rican taxi drivers are notorious for overcharging. Don’t be afraid to bargain.
Outside San José, you’ll usually find taxis around the main square of small towns. Generally, taxis will go wherever a road leads. Most taxis are radio dispatched. Jeep-taxis are common in more remote areas. Outside cities, few taxis are metered, and taxi drivers are allowed to negotiate their fare for any journey over 15 kilometers. Check rates in advance with your hotel concierge.
At press time, the government-established fares were 530 colones (about $1.06) for the first kilometer and 380 colones (about $0.77) for each additional kilometer in the metropolitan area and 420 for every kilometer in rural areas. Rates are periodically adjusted and apply 24 hours. You do not have to tip taxi drivers.