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Costa Rica Travel Tips

Costa Rica travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.

Traveling from the Airport to Samasati
Submitted by M11466
There are different ways to travel from the international airport of San Jose' (SJO) to the Caribbean Coast of the country:
- Public bus from the city to Puerto Viejo
- Semi private minivan form any hotel in the city to the Caribbean
- Renting a car
- Private transportation
Changing Money into National Currency?
Submitted by M11466
The currency in Costa Rica is the "colones". You do not need to exchange money at the airport as everybody in the country accepts american dollars. You need to bring small dollar bills, like $ 1, $ 5, $ 10 and $ 20. Avoid bringing $ 50 and $ 100 dollar bills as you will need to change them at the banks.
Caribbean versus Pacific?
Submitted by M11466
A lot has been written about Costa Rica Pacific Coast been more developed than the Caribbean side of Costa Rica; why to choose the Caribbean side? The Caribbean side of the country is very pristine, its residents are a beautiful mix of cultures: Costa Rican form the central valley, indigenous people, black people and lots of Europeans who moved to this part of the country since the'70. There are not big chain Hotels like on the Pacific but many little and mediums hotels you can choose from. It has a lot of ... view more caracter and it is absolutely beautiful.
How long are the Zip lines in Costa Rican Canopy?
Submitted by M19716
Attach a small nylon strap to your body, drive to a higher place, climb up a tall tree, attach a tiny strap to a steel wire and then coast down these wires (zip lines) for about 2 miles, from treetop to treetop, crossing over valleys hundreds of feet above the very tall trees in the process.

Awesome.. If it was just a walk through the treetops it would be great, but the added thrill of almost flying across valleys is incredible.
Study Spanish Abroad
Submitted by M18438
Materials for Study:
- Spanish pocket dictionary: There are many good dictionaries on the market but for traveling purposes a small, pocket sized book is best. We suggest University of Chicago pocket size edition.
- Try not to carry too much paper, notebooks, etc. Quepos is a big town complete with bookstores where you can buy most things you will need.
- Bring any materials you may have on Costa Rica and Central America. This may include pamphlets, newspaper articles, and books. Sharing this material with other ... view more students, teachers, etc. is always appreciated.
What to bring?
Submitted by M18438
Important Documents:
- Passport,
- Credit card, Visa for cash advance,
- Drivers license,
- Travelers checks,
- $50-100 in cash ($10 in singles) for emergency money.

- Do not bring personal checks; they are very difficult to change. You can pay for your tuition in U.S. dollars, Costa Rican colones, or Travelers Checks.
- Make copies of your important documents. Leave a copy with you as well. If your passport is lost it will be easier to replace if you have a copy.
Gratuities and Tips in Costa Rica
Submitted by M19014
Restaurants are required by law to a 10% tip to the bill. As a general rule, Costa Ricans do not tip as it is already included in the Bill. Of course, You tip up to 10% depending on service.

For all other services Tipping is entirely up to you. Level of service, whether or not you feel comfortable giving tips, and your budget are all important factors.

Below you'll find a guide of usual tips you can use as a base:
- Taxi cab drivers are not usually tipped unless extra service is provided;
- Bellboys ... view more are often tipped US $1.00 up to US $1.50 per bag, at check-in and check-out;
- Chamber maids: You may want to consider US$0.50 - $1.00 per night;
- Transfer Guides, Service Guides, average tip: US $3.00 per person / per day;
- Naturalist Guides: average tip: US $10.00 per person / per day;
- River Guides: average tip: US $5.00 per person / per day;
- Drivers: Average tip: US $5.00 per person / per day.

Tips to Travel down to Manuel Antonio
Submitted by M18438
·Come prepared for adventure and an education

·Be prepared to get wet, especially during the Rainy Season (May – October)

·Wear sturdy water shoes or sandals, and comfortable clothes that can get wet

·Bring a bathing suit, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, and towel

·Don’t forget your camera or binoculars, but just be advised that they might get wet

·Please leave your valuables at your hotel or at home so you don’t worry

·Be surprised to learn a lot about Costa Rica’s tropical rain forest ... view more and eco-tourism

·Pick your adventures and tours wisely – fast ATV mud riding or white water rafting with more Class IV action on the Naranjo might not be enjoyable just yet for younger children

·If you want to saver the flavors of Costa Rica, challenge yourself to any adventure tour

·Don’t be afraid to try new things, like local Tico Style foods (gallo pinto is the national dish)

·Definitely try new types of dancing, like Salsa, Merengue, Reaggaeton, or the cumbia.

Once again, let us show you our country -- Just let us know when.

Submitted by M16299
The water temperature varies between 70F to 78 F from December to March and between 78F to 84F from March to December.


You will need the following gear:

1/8" to 3/16" (3 – 5 mm) wet suit, mask, fins, snorkel, regulator with visible pressure gauge, a mandatory dive computer, buoyancy compensator, depth gauge, dive gloves, weight belt (without weights) and dive watch. It is recommended that you mark each piece of gear with waterproof paint or tape. We ... view more suggest you put all or most of the above items in a carry-on bag.

We provide you with 80 cubic ft. (12 lt.) tanks and weights.

Please note we have full ScubaPro dive gear available to rent. Please let us know prior to the trip if you need to rent gear. Our office can provide rental prices.

Things you should know in Costa Rica
Submitted by M16256
Entry Requirements:

Travelers must show their passport and it must be valid during the following 6 months from the entry date to Costa Rica. All visitors must have a round trip ticket as an entry requirement.

Citizens holding valid passports from the following countries are permitted to stay in Costa Rica for 90 days without visa:
Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Dernmark, Finland, France and Germany dependences, Greece, Holland and dependences, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, ... view more Luxembourg, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzeland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kindom, United States of America, Czech Republic and Uruguay.

Citizens holding valid passport from the following countries are exempt from all visa requirements for stay of 30 days in Costa Rica, though once inside the country, they can apply for extension from the Immigration Office, for an authorized period of stay of 90 days:
Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Belice, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Dominicana, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Saint Kitts/ Nevis, San Marino, St. Lucia, St Vicente, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Suriname, Taiwán, Turkey, The Vatican, Venezuela, Estonia and Monaco.

Citizens of all countries not listed above are required a visa from Costa Rican embassy or consulate before traveling.

Submitted by M16299
Find out what to bring.

-Travel alarm clock

-Shirts: Cotton or light synthetic, long-and short sleeved

-Trousers: Cotton or light synthetic pants. Bring at least 2 sets of clothes that dry quickly (Jeans not recommened; too slow to dry.)

-Hiking Shorts.

-Footwear: waterproff, light-weight boots, river sandals (Tev-type sandals), tennis shoes/running shoes. If you do not bring hiking boots, make sure you bring TWO pairs of tennis shoes. As soon as one pair gets wet, use that pair whenever you are ... view more likely to get your feet wet. Go to any leght to keep the other pair dry!

-Socks: Bring exta pairs in case feet get wet.

-Rain gear: poncho, raincoat and umbrella

-Hat(s) with visor for rain and sun protection.

-Ziplock plastic bags for spillable toiletries, and plastic garbage bags for wet items.



-Small first aid kit with things for cuts, bruises and bug bites.

-Eye drops and ear drops.

-Extra prescription glasses and medications (if applicable).


When traveling on light aircraft or by boat, due to weight limitations you will need to restrict what you are taking with you to 25 lbs. Per person including cameras, clothing, etc.


-The Remarkable Rainforest by Tony Albert (grades 4-8) trickle Creek Books
ISBN # 0-9640742-0-6

-For Teens & precocious readers, the Most Beautiful Roof in the World by Kathryn Laskey.
A Gulliver Green Book
ISBN # 0-15-200897-7