Frequently Asked Questions
Traveling To Costa Rica
For any questions not addressed below, feel free to contact me directly at our US Telephone # 561-459-5355, or [email protected].
Is passport required for Costa Rica?
Yes, a passport is required for international travel. No special visa is required for entry into Costa Rica.
Please make sure that your passport is current, with at least 90 days before expiration, and is in physically good shape, with no rips, tears, or ragged edges to avoid any issues with Costa Rica immigration.
There is a $26 departure tax paid at the airport, prior check in to your departing flight.
Is Costa Rica safe?
Costa Rica is the safest and most stable of all Central American countries, considered the “Switzerland” of Central America. The Jaco area is very Americanized with thousands of Americans living in the area. Staying in Los Suenos offers premium security and tranquility, away from the touristy action in Jaco.
Still you should use common sense when traveling, and not provide opportunity for petty theft. Do not leave valuable items unattended, or in plain sight in a parked car. It is a good rule to never do anything you would not do in New York city.
Is water safe to drink?
Yes, the water in Costa Rica, especially in Jaco and Los Suenos is perfectly safe to drink. As well as the ice served in restaurants. It is made from filtered, purified water. I still prefer to drink bottled water, as I would in the USA as well.
Are immunizations required?
No, immunizations are require or necessary to visit Costa Rica.
What should I bring to Costa Rica?
- Light, loose clothing. SPF rated clothing is a good choice.
- Hat and sunglasses
- Sun block, lip balm
- Pocket Spanish guide
- Camera/ binoculars
- Comfortable shoes, sandals
- Insect repellent
- Passport and a couple of copies
- Any special medicines or dietary needs
- A light rain jacket if visiting during green season
Will my cell phone work in Costa Rica?
Most cell phones will work depending on the carrier. AT&T often does. Be sure to check with your provider before leaving the USA, as sometimes they need to activate something on your line.
Be aware, they will charge you a bundle to use it internationally. To avoid expensive roaming fees, I highly recommend downloading Skype on you computer or smart phone. It can be used in any Wi-Fi hotspot, and it will save you a bundle.
Many of the condos and hotels have Wi-Fi throughout the property. There are also numerous Internet cafe’s, which provide cheap international calling.
A local cell phone may also be rented for a much cheaper rate than the roaming charges on your USA phone. About $6 per day and $1.50 /minute international
Is there internet & WiFi?
Yes, there are numerous hotspots throughout Jaco & Los Suenos for WiFi. Most condos, hotels and many restaruants have open networks for guests. There are also several internet cafes which have computers available if you do not bring your own. They also offer cheap international calling. Our condos all feature WiFi & internet.
What electrical system does Costa Rica Use and do I need an adapter for my electronics?
No, you will not need a special adapter for your electronics. Costa Rica uses the same 110v/50hz system as the USA, a standard 2 or 3-pronged plug.
How are the medical care and emergency services in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica has excellent medical services. There are several large hospitals in San Jose (CIMA, Hospital Biblica) that offer excellent services, with English speaking staff, many of which trained in the USA. Los Suenos has an emergency clinic on property, and Jaco has several pharmacies, clinics and ambulance services.
The medical services in Costa Rica are so good, and reasonably priced, that dental & medical tourism here has become a very big industry in the past few years.
Can I use American Dollars, travelers checks and ATM card?
Yes, American dollars are widely accepted through Costa Rica, $50’s and $100’s are hard to change in many spots. Often if you pay with American dollars, you will get the local Colones back. The exchange rate varies very little it is currently 516 Colones to 1 USA dollar. Just use 500/1 for quick estimations.
There are numerous ATM’s throughout the Jaco & Los Suenos area which offer a good exchange rate when withdrawing local Colones (they also have US Dollars so you do not need to bring large amounts of cash with you).
I do not recommend Traveler’s checks. They are highly scrutinized by the banks and a hassle for the business. Nobody wants to accept them and many places refuse to.
ATM cards and credit cards work in most spots. I often find it is easiest to use my USA ATM card or credit card wherever I can, the small international fee is usually better than getting a pocketful of foreign change and coins.
You will get a much better exchange rate out of the ATM or Bank than most restaraunts or bars will give you.
Renting a car can be an expensive, unneccesary hassle here. It is quite easy to get around by taxi and shuttle. Recent changes in traffic laws can impose large fines for minor infractions which your rental car provider will collect from you.
We include private transportion to and from the San Juan Santamaria international airport in San Jose to the Los Suenos Resort in our packages.
We will be happy to arrange ground transport to any other lodging arrangements you have made. We can pick you up from your condo in Los Suenos the morning of the trip, or it is an easy walk from our condos or by the golf cart we include in out packages. If you are staying in Jaco or elsewhere we will be happy to arrange a pick-up and drop off the day of the trip. The drive we use is $10 from Jaco to Los Suenos. Please let us know 12 hours in advance if you need a pick up.