The rental car agent who met us at the San Jose airport set up a hotspot so I could download the app on my phone before we took off, and I’m so thankful he did. (If you’re heading to Costa Rica anytime soon, don’t hesitate to rent from WildRider!) Maps.me is basically Google Maps sans internet connection; it relies 100% on your phone’s GPS positioning.
You can search for a specific destination, get walking or driving directions, save your favorite places, or cruise the map and look for somewhere to eat or sleep, all without using a drop of data or racking up a single penny in roaming charges. For MSGs (or anyone) who are frequently traveling overseas, that’s a big deal. We’ve used it in Costa Rica and El Salvador without any complaints whatsoever. I even use it in Honduras since cell service isn’t the most reliable outside the city.
According to their website, maps.me is available in every country, though I’d be curious to hear from people on other continents about how well it works for them. All you need to do is download the app and download that specific country’s maps (which, with a reliable internet connection, takes less than a minute.) Best of all, it’s completely free and the app developers even release their API to the public (meaning other developers can leverage this tech for free, too).
If that wasn’t any indication of the kind of people who run the app, check out this fun push notification they sent me the other day.
Thank you, developer gods for the spectacular app that has saved us a whole bunch of colones, lempiras, dollars, and headaches.