Costa Rica Tips

Costa Rica Passport and visa provisions

Follow the link below for information in Spanish about Costa Rica’s entry requirements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.costarica-embassy.org/

Contact the nearest Costa Rican Embassy for current information in your language.

Getting around
It is recommended that you have transportation arranged before entering Costa Rica. That way you do not have to worry about getting from one location to the next. If you feel adventurous and speak a little bit of Spanish you can rent a car and drive to each destination. The most touristic destinations in Costa Rica have good hotels but in rural areas it is more difficult to find good hotels with availability so reserve your hotel before traveling.

Domestic flights
There are regular domestic flights between San Jose and other destinations in Costa Rica. It is not recommended to book a domestic flight for the same day that you arrive to or depart from Costa Rica.

Buses
Busses are the cheapest way of traveling. There are buses to all the main towns and destinations in Costa Rica, but smaller rural villages are not easy to get to.

Car Rental
If you are interested in renting a car, it is recommended to book a rental prior to arriving in Costa Rica.  For rural areas a 4x4 vehicle might be needed. The rental prices vary depending on the type of car. Renting a car gives you independence to explore.  Driving in Costa Rica is not for everyone, however.  It can add to your adventure.  That said, many tourists rent vehicles as part of their travel itinerary.

Water
Tap water is purified in Costa Rica so you could drink it. Bottled water can be found in shops all around the country. Always take a bottle of water with you during your tours to stay hydrated.

Meals
San Jose has a variety of restaurants to choose from. In most tourist destinations you will find international and national restaurants. In rural areas there are only small restaurants with national food.  There are economical meal choices such as the plato del dia or one can choose from a more high end restaurant of one’s choice.

Swimming in the ocean
You can swim in the Pacific ocean of Costa Rica but be aware of the tide. There are no waves in the Caribbean coast and you can swim freely.

Packing
There is a variety of micro climates in Costa Rica which makes the weather different at every destination. You can change from a cool climate of 74ºF; to the heat of southwest at 95ºF to our highlands with cold weather at 60ºF. Always pack for hot and cold temperatures. Depending on the dates you have to pack just a light jacket or a warm sweater. The rainy season goes from April to October.  Rain gear is recommended during this season. From November to February the weather is cooler. We recommend dressing in layers. Bring hiking boots or tennis shoes as you will need a good pair of walking shoes. For the beach, don’t forget your sandals. Sunglasses and sunscreen are recommended all the time. Bug spray is a must in Costa Rica, especially during the raining season. Binoculars are a good item to bring if you like birdwatching. Other items would include a swimsuit and a camera.

If you are planning on taking a domestic flight, pack light. Weight limits on luggage will not allow you to carry much luggage.

Electricity
The standard voltage in Costa Rica is 110 V. Sockets have two similar to the US. Depending on your country of residence you will need to bring a power plug adapter or voltage converter - check before you leave home.

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