“They drive on the left here, like the British, although most rental cars are left-hand drive, because they were imported from the USA and not from the UK, and they are rented by Americans, not the British. The locals prefer to import cars that no longer pass roadworthiness tests in Japan, for a few thousand dollars. These are right-hand drives and seem to keep going forever. The locals – like the inhabitants of other, similar islands – cannot drive at all. They turn without indicating (or in the opposite direction to the direction they indicate). That's why we should always stay a fair distance behind them, because they often drive without brake lights, holding a mobile phone to their ear, and can turn right or left at any time. Or, with a quick honk of the horn, they slam on the brakes to pick up a local standing by the side of the road. Indeed, they may use the handbrake for this, which can be unpleasant for the tourist following, who is used to indicators, brake lights, and preliminary slowing down from the driver in front of him. This honking, unofficial ‘taxi’ will take a local standing on the sidewalk to his destination a few kilometers away for a couple of dollars. And if tourists are walking on the sidewalk, cars traveling in the same direction will also honk at them, because there is no public transportation on the island. For this reason, it is better to use the sidewalk on the side of oncoming traffic. Of course, foreigners don’t know why they are getting honked at, and worry that they have broken the rules. This can be particularly disturbing if a tourist is passing by with a rental car at the same time that the ‘taxis’ are honking at a pedestrian.
Bicycles can be rented at all hotels – and there are also scooter rental companies – but due to the aforementioned local style of driving, it may not be a good idea, unless you really want to tempt fate. Central America and the Caribbean are known as the junkyards of the US and Japanese car industries. In those countries, cars that do not pass the test – often after one or two million kilometers – must be destroyed, for which a fee is charged, so it is much easier to export them, even if the transport fee ends up covering the greater part of the purchase price. Because of all this – although there is a technical exam every year – the exam can be seen as purely for show. You just have to pay the $150 a year, for which they give you a sticker that you have to stick on the side of the windshield, i.e. it has a pure tax function. By the way, the test consists of turning the steering wheel slightly to the right and then to the left in a stationary position, and if the mechanic facing the car sees that the wheel has also moved in the direction the driver sitting inside turned the wheel, then the chassis has passed the test. (By the way, the concert of squeaking brake pads and broken spring, each sounding at a distinctive pitch, depending on the car model, is best experienced at roundabouts and speed bumps.) After the chassis inspection, all you have to do is switch on the lights and indicators. If those work, the exam is successful – all you have to do is pay. But since everyone is related to almost everyone, plenty of people don't even have to drive their car to the exam location, they just pay the fee and their car is noted in the system as having passed. The braver ones, or those who don't have the money for the sticker, go without it, trusting that their cousin the policeman, who rarely checks, will forgive the lack of a sticker. If it is not the cousin himself who checks, then at least he will ask his colleague not to push the matter any further.
It is also common at night for them to drive without lights – since they can still see – but it is even more common for every second car to drive with all its lights on (including, of course, the full-beam headlights), even though there is street lighting everywhere. On top of all this is the aforementioned reverse/left-hand traffic, so it is highly recommended to take a taxi everywhere. It looks more expensive, but it's the best option and will usually be the cheapest in the long run.”
“Taxi fares should be available in every taxi on a foiled sheet of paper, but the taxi drivers do not display this, so they quote you more than the prices set there – though of course not as much as the cowboy taxi drivers back home – and they also calculate the fare per person. Feel free to ask for the price table at the start of the trip, so they don't dare ask for more. The not-so-experienced traveler will have difficulty understanding why taxi drivers think that white passengers are (also) related to polar bears because the air conditioning in the back seat is set to freezing. However, this is only because Americans always demand it, so feel free to tell them to switch it off. After each trip, the taxi drivers put their business cards in our hands, and if we were satisfied, we can call them next time, but if they say they will be there in five minutes, it can be up to 25. The best thing is to sit in the shade, and calmly call him again every five minutes to see where he is. In the end, it is also possible that a relative/colleague will come on his behalf. For true stress-lovers, the price of renting a small car for a week starts at 300 dollars.”