Retiring in Costa Rica by  Christopher Howard – Taxis and buses, are very affordable in Costa Rica when compared to prices in the Unites States. So, retirees who don’t have automobiles can save a lot of money by using the country’s inexpensive transportation system.


Costa Rica has over 7,000 taxis, and they can be found almost everywhere. They are red and have a yellow triangle on the door which indicates the town or city where they are based. Be aware that there are many informal taxis which are called porteadores or piratas. They are easy to spot because they are regular automobiles that do not resemble the official red taxis. It is advisable not to use this type of service because of safety reasons.

Now there are two new innovations to make taxi travel easier for everyone. The first is an application that you can use to call a taxi. Digital is part a global network called Saytaxi that currently operates in countries like the U.S., Canada, Europe, Dubai and Malaysia. The application has built in safety features. The taxi’s permit number is shown as well as the model and year of the cab, a photo of the driver and the estimated arrival time. Furthermore, if you need a taxi for a person with a wheelchair the system will identify a special vehicle and send it to where the person is waiting.

This application is available through Google’s Play Store, the Apple App Store as well as versions for Windows and Blackberry.

Another development is an application that lets you know if a taxi’s meter is rigged. Taxiando and Taxímetro are two free applications that were recently developed to monitor a taxi’s meter or marías, as it is called here. All you need is a intelligent cell phone to take advantage of this service. Both of the apps have a GPS that records the number of kilometers the taxi has traveled, the time traveled and the amount the passenger should pay.

By the way, if you feel that you have been overcharged by a taxi driver you may call 800-273737 to file report. However, you will need the taxis’ license plate to do this.

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