Costa Rica Just4U
Costa Rica is a small country so when you look at it on a map, you think travel times will be little, unfortunately are much longer than they appear on the map. When it comes to driving times and distances, never believe the maps you can find on the internet. The distances are accurate, but not the times as you can find several dirt roads on your way or might get in the middle of a traffic jam.
Be aware of the time it takes to get from “A” to “B” (not by distance, but by travel method: car, bus, airplane, etc). Factor additional time for possible delays as well as extra time to rest. Remember, you don’t need to see the whole country in one visit; planning to do so will make you feel unaccomplished. For a typical 8 night trip, we suggest no more than 3 destinations.
If you need ideas for the best places to visit and distances between just click here! Contact Us
Visitors to Costa Rica must have a valid passport as well as proof that they will be exiting the country before their visa or entry stamp expires, usually within 90 days.
All travelers must have either a return ticket or a ticket showing they will be exiting the country, commonly referred to as an “outbound, exit or onward ticket.
Costa Rican authorities require your passport not just to be valid for the length of your stay, but to be valid for up to 6 months from your arrival date, depending of your nationality. This is something that surprisingly very few people who are traveling to Costa Rica know about. Most just think it needs to be valid for the length of the stay. Since usually Passports are valid for 10 years this is something that most people can forget to check before a trip.
In our years of experience, we also had guests with U.S.A residency but passports from a different nationality traveling to Costa Rica thinking that they will enter as U.S.A. citizens, this is not allowed and you need to check the entry requirements for your nationality passport.
You can check updated information about Visa and entry requirements at http://www.costarica-embassy.org/?q=node/51
The best currency you can change in Costa Rica is U.S. dollars, they are widely accepted ( try to have low currency bills as US$50 or US$100 bills might not be accepted)
You can change some dollars to buy food or pay for some souvenirs during your trip but it’s better to exchange at a local bank or even at your hotel. The exchange office at the airport has the worst rate of exchange of the country and you might lose a lot of money on the exchange
With the internet, people usually reserve their trips by their own, thinking they will get better deals. These preparations take long hours (and usually even several days) researching to get all the information together to first decide which destinations to visit and then get to know how to get to each of them and in what order so you can make the best use of your vacations, then deciding which activities to do while you are there.
If you want to make the best use of your time and money contact a local expert that will help you organize your trip based on your personal interests and budget. As experts are locals they know the places you want to visit, they know the times and the roads! And they don’t charge you for doing this service! It is completely up to you if you decide to use their services or not. If you would like a personalized suggestion for your trip just click here ! Tailor Made Vacation
Check the weather ahead of time. If you will spend any time in San Jose or Arenal, you’ll probably need some long pants and a light jacket, or sweater. If visiting Monteverde you’ll need more warm clothes are it is cold in the Cloud forest.
If coming during green season, a rain jacket and shoes that can get wet and then easily dry are a must. Pack tons of sunscreen, insect repellant, plastic bag for your wet clothes and a light day pack for excursions.
Most importantly, if taking domestic flights or shuttle transfers DO NOT OVER PACK, the limit in local flights is 30 pounds. And in the shuttles 1 Suitcase and 1 handbag per Person.
Make sure what you really need from the packing list is in your carry-on bag – documents, a change of clothes, prescription drugs.
The best tours in Costa Rica often sell out, so it’s best to plan one or two tours in advance. Some of the best experiences in Costa Rica are Canopy (Zip Lines), White water Rafting, Diving, Rappelling and Sailing tours. Do not miss these activities!
No reservations in high season can mean hours wasted looking for lodging, or trying to figure out public buses when there are no rental cars left and the shuttles are full. If you want to relax and enjoy yourself do at least a little prep work.
Some people think they must visit all the popular tourism destinations they find on the web.
Some of them might not be what you ‘re expecting! Depending of your interests you might choose different options if you get to know about them. But probably you might not if you don’t know a local to guide you.
We offer personalized services so we can gladly recommend the best options for your trip based on your interests and budget. ! Tailor Made Vacation
Travelling between the Central American countries might not be as easy as you think, usually you need to get out of the bus with your luggage wait in line for the immigration paperwork, buy stamps required and pay the entry taxes to each country and then get back on the bus or in a different bus in the new country. This procedure might take hours specially during Peak Season ( December and Easter week), please be aware of this situation when planning a multi- country visit.
I fact Costa Rican food is very mild and the typical gastronomy is a reflex of the cultural and racial mix that the country has had. You will find a lot of corn-based dishes, exquisite meats, fish and sea fruits. You will enjoy the mouthwatering wide variety of fruits and their juices.
In fact, in Costa Rica most of the cars have manual transmission and if you’re not used to drive a manual transmission car might be challenging and hazardous, especially if you are planning to visit places you must get by dirty roads.
We strongly suggest specifying on your reservations you need an automatic transmission car if this is the case.
Sometimes you just forget your camera on the bus or when buying something and you just lose all your precious memories of the trip or even from other trips as well!
Backup pictures on a CD/DVD on a regular schedule or host them online on sites like Picasa and Flickr, or at your own blog’s FTP. This mistake is very heartbreaking, so it’s best to avoid it. Your memories are one of the most valuable things you get from your trips. If possible, backup more than once.
You never know what can happen! Of course you’re doing the best to have a fun and save trip but accidents occurs that is why investing those extra few dollars will ive you the benefit of feeling more secure in case something happens (lost baggage, trip delay or cancelation, medical emergency, etc.). Read the fine prints to see what is included and if it suits your needs.
Remember also in Costa Rica roads are not well signed so might get easily lost. We always recommend to rent a GPS or even better have the Waze App installed on your phone (widely used in Costa Rica) that will give you real time traffic notices and the best route to get to your destination.
If you want to avoid having your debit card cancelled due to “unusual activity”, notify the bank beforehand of all the countries you will be visiting so they know it’s you who’s using the card. Plus, many international banks have foreign branches and joint ventures that will forfeit their ATM fees.
The star rating you will find is authorized by the ICT ( Instituto Costarricense de Turismo) the government institute in charge of regulating tourism in Costa Rica.
As most of our hotels are small ( less than 50 rooms) you cannot think for example a 4 stars hotel is the same here as in other country. There are beautiful 4 stars hotels in the middle of the jungle without air conditioning! You won’t think that’s possible, ha?
And you will also find lovely boutique hotels rating with 3 stars just because they don’t have a gym or pool, but they might be exactly what you were looking for because they are full of charm.
It is very difficult to try to rate hotels for the standard stars rating. We strongly recommend to check the facilities and location you’re looking for instead of the stars rating. And even better, if you want to go safe ask a local about your choices. We can gladly offer you you references about the hotels in Costa Rica just click here! ! Tailor Made Vacation
By almost any standard, Costa Rica has some of the best healthcare in Latin America. There are two systems, the government-run universal healthcare system, Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, and the private system.
The costs are low in comparison to those in the U.S. and even some European countries. Many doctors, especially in private practice, speak English and have received training in Europe, Canada, or the U.S. Drugs are also much less expensive.
That’s why in the last years there has been an increase of foreign visitors coming to Costa Rica for Medical tourism including Dentistry services.
You will find health services all over the country, For non-emergencies and everyday medical care, small clinics, known as EBAIS are located in almost every community. – and high quality hospitals on the capital cities of the seven provinces, as well as private hospitals in San Jose and Liberia.
As with the travel insurance you never know what can happen. It is wise to have a hard copy of your documents (passport, IDs, travel insurance policy, credit cards) with you, and a digital copy safe (if possible, as a password protected .pdf) on a email account you can easily access or at cloud services such as Drop Box . In case of losing your original documents, copies facilitate your identity verification and quicken the renewal process.
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