Speed Limits and Types of Road

Understand the different speed limits and types of road in Costa Rica...

There are many different types of roads in Costa Rica, including urban roads, motorways and toll roads. Different speed limits apply to each. Minimum as well as maximum speed limits are in force on motorways.

Speed limits are usually signposted, but where national limits apply the following speed limits should be observed:

  • Urban roads - 40 Km/ph
  • Inner city roads - 20 Km/ph
  • In front of schools, doctors' surgeries, churches and other public buildings - 25 Km/h
  • Single lane carriageways - 60 Km/ph
  • Motorways (autopistas) and expressways (autovias) - maximum speed limit 100 Km/h, minimum speed limit 40 Km/h.

Driving at speeds over 120 Km/h attracts the largest possible fine (multa), equivalent to a high-ranking civil servant's monthly salary. Speeding at over 150 Km/h can result in a prison sentence.

Toll Roads (Peajes)

Toll roads in Costa Rica are operated by the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad (CONAVI). They are relatively inexpensive and range from 50 to 1,875 colones, depending on the vehicle.

  • Information on toll roads can be found on the CONAVI website: Click here (in Spanish)

The only toll road that is not operated by CONAVI is the San Jose-Caldera route, which is operated by Autopistas del Sol.

A "quick pass" that allows drivers to pass through the toll booths on the Autopista Del Sol without stopping can be purchased from HSBC banks.

Restricted Days

Restricted traffic measures have been in force on and off in San José for a number of years. Restricción Vehicular prevents cars entering a special zone in the center of the city on a certain day according to the last digit of their license plate.

Plate numbers and restricted days can be found below:

  • 1-2 Monday
  • 3-4 Tuesday
  • 5-6 Wednesday
  • 7-8 Thursday
  • 9-0 Friday

The policy is constantly being reviewed and updated. Further details can be found on the MOPT website: Click here (in Spanish)

Road Signs

The road and traffic signs used in Costs Rica are shown on the Transport Police website (in Spanish).