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Best SUV for 5 Adults

Utah
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21 posts
33 reviews
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Best SUV for 5 Adults

Our group of five adults will be going to Costa Rica in a few months. Our SUV options are the Prado or the Fortuner - does anyone have experience renting either of these cars? We have a four hour drive from SJO to our house in Uvita (where a 4x4 is recommended). We will have 5 suitcases, and ideally would like to pick up groceries along the way in a major supermarket. What SUV would best suit our needs? And since I'm asking, any supermarket recommendations from SJO to Uvita? Thanks for your help.

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Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Central America
Juan Santamaria Intl Airport
Juan Santamaria Intl...
San Jose, Costa Rica
Uvita
Uvita
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
nebraska
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1. Re: Best SUV for 5 Adults

I would pick the Fortuner but the Prada is ok also. You still might want to try and pack the smaller suitcases if possible. There is a nice Automercado in Playa Hermosa for groceries.

Do not leave your car unattended when you stop at the grocery store or at the Tarcoles bridge if you stop to see the crocs.

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Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Manuel Antonio
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Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
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2. Re: Best SUV for 5 Adults

As for the SUV for 5 adults and baggage, just make sure you get at least a midsize SUV and get one with some power. If you go up the mountain roads in Uvita with 5 adults you're going to need some power. I don't like the really large SUVs as many of the roads in Costa Rica are a tight fit.

Going directly from SJO to Uvita, you'll probably be going via the 27 and then the Costanera Sur. As you get close to Orotina, shortly before the intersection with the Costanera Sur, you'll see a lot of open-air roadside markets selling fresh fruit, honey, snacks, treats, souvenirs, and other items. There are also quite a few roadside restaurants and "sodas" if you want to stop for a bite to eat. There are several of these markets and restaurants scattered along the roadside all the way to Jacó.

In Herradura, just before Jacó, there is a strip mall with an Auto Mercado, a Costa Rican grocery chain that looks just like a Kroger or Ralph's back in the USA. Auto Mercado has pretty much the full gamut of groceries, including a lot of imports from the USA. If you want peanut butter, you had better stop at Auto Mercado. Auto Mercado is on the more expensive side of grocery shopping in Costa Rica.

In Jacó, there is a Maxi Pali. It's a little bit like a Costco, but you don't need a membership. You'll see a few U.S. imports, but mostly expect the food items to be typical of Costa Rican manufacture or style. There are groceries in Dominical and Uvita, but it's best to stock up in Jacó on the way there.

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Costa Rica
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Dominical
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nebraska
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3. Re: Best SUV for 5 Adults

Oops. I meant Auto Mercado at Playa Herradura. crsunblast is correct in the description of Maxi Pali. There is also a Mega Super but both of them do not offer as much of the US type products as Auto Mercado. Plus the Lighthouse strip mall at Herradura has the best public restooms I have seen in Costa Rica!

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Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Manuel Antonio
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Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Herradura
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Donegal;PA
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4. Re: Best SUV for 5 Adults

We had a Nissan Pathfinder rented from Dollar for 5 adults and lots of suitcases on our trip last year.

Utah
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33 reviews
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5. Re: Best SUV for 5 Adults

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I think we will go with the Fortuner, especially seeing pictures of the Prado - the seats take up a lot of valuable trunk space.

And thanks for the grocery store recommendations - it sounds like we have a few options on our way to Uvita. Is anyone familiar with the grocery stores in Uvita? Are they sufficient for picking up the necessities - meals and alcohol?

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Uvita
Uvita
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
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6. Re: Best SUV for 5 Adults

I drive a PRADO and in your case that will do it…no problem….

Yes the stores in UVITA are OK…by the main gas satin is a liquor store..nice market next door to Bancao de Costa Rica

roadadvisor

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Uvita
Uvita
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
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San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: Best SUV for 5 Adults

Yes. There is a BM grocery in Uvita, as well as several smaller mini-supers.

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Uvita
Uvita
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
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8. Re: Best SUV for 5 Adults

Maybe consider to buy some liquor at Duty Free at arrival at SJO…nice way to save money…Wine is kind of expensive in our country…at least god wine…

roadadvisor

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9. Re: Best SUV for 5 Adults

I've rented the fortuner and it was a great vehicle for five people. It had plenty of room, handled well, had ground clearance for a few bad roads we found, and easily fit our bags. I really had no complaints with the fortuner, but the Prado does look like a good vehicle too.

10. Re: Best SUV for 5 Adults

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