Add-on Tour Reservations

You must call 72 hours ahead of your scheduled tour for a full refund. Within 72 hours you will assess a $35 termination fee. There are no refunds for cancellations within 24 hours of your tour, or if you decide not to show up.

Yes. Reservations are required for guaranteed spots on all tours. Reservations help us determine the number of guides we need to ensure that our groups remain manageable and enjoyable, and they allow us to notify you of changes to the tour due to weather or anything that could disturb the tours.

Flights

To enter Costa Rica a valid passport and a pre-paid airline (or bus) ticket exiting the country is mandatory. Additional specific entry requirements depend on your country of citizenship. Currently you may enter Costa Rica without a visa if traveling with a United States of America, Canada or most European passports. Immigration will then stamp your passport with your approved length of stay (usually 90 days). For other countries a visa may be required. It is always best to contact the Costa Rica Embassy nearest you for up to date entry and visa requirements.

Yes, this way you can choose when and with which company you would like to fly. Of course we are more than happy to help you finding good deals! We usually know when it’s the best time to book and which airlines have good airfare deals.

In this case you need an ESTA

More information you will find on this website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ 

Health and Safety

Costa Rica is an extremely safe country. Please remember when you are traveling within Costa Rica to use the same common sense you would use at home. It is very easy to let down your normal guard while you are here in Costa Rica enjoying the “Pura Vida” lifestyle, but it is important to take normal safety precautions. The largest crime in Costa Rica is petty theft so be diligent in watching over your personal items. Use your hotel safe at all times. Do not leave cameras, purses, Ipads, Ipods, and cellphones unattended on restaurant tables, pool lounges, or beach towels. Leave expensive watches and jewelry at home. If you have a rental car, stow your personal belongings under the seat, make sure the car is locked and if possible park it in an area in which you can keep an eye on it. We always recommend you bring a photocopy of the picture page of your passport as well.

Yes, Costa Rica is a great country to travel with children. We work together with some great hotels and lodges especially recommended for families. We can include a car rental big enough for your whole family, including car seats. If you prefer to not drive yourself, we can arrange comfortable private transfers from location to location as well.

Costa Rica provides one of the best health care systems in Central America, both in private and public sector, and both constantly strive to be up-to-date with contemporary medicine. It’s social security system called CCSS but is also known as “la CAJA”. Over the last 60 years La Caja has established more than 250 clinics and 29 public hospitals in Costa Rica that  cover  all major populated areas throughout the country.  The hospital services are available at a low costs to the residents and tourists alike, 365 days a year on a 24 hour basis. With that said, some CAJA hospitals won’t live up to expectations of U.S. or European hospitals.  The public emergency rooms are usually crowded and noisy and it’s very likely that available doctors or nurses won’t speak English. CAJA system does function if you have a lot of patience and time to wait.

On the other hand, private clinics and hospitals provide top-class services and are frequented as main hubs for medical tourism in the country.  Private clinics are often recognized for their excellent services and have positive testimonials. Currently new developers are fostering investments of private clinics and hospitals throughout the country.

Some of the most frequented private hospitals in Costa Rica are:

Hospital CIMA: This hospital is controlled by the International Hospital Corporation of Dallas, Texas.  CIMA is notably the best equipped, full service hospital that features the most modern health care technology. The second establishment opened recently in Liberia, Guanacaste.

Hospital Clínica Bíblica: located in the heart of San José, and has recently opened a new clinic in Liberia, Guanacaste. The hospital  in San José has a 24 hour rooftop heliport for emergencies.

Clínica La Católica: This hospital is known for its amenities for travelers that include a lodge for companion persons just a few steps from the hospital. Clínica Católica is also located in San José downtown, in the east area.

Hospital  Metropolitano: This hospital is the newest privately operated hospital in San José. It has three locations,  San José Downtown, Heredia and Tibás.

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. Hepatitus A can be recommended as well.

For more information about traveling to Costa Rica you can click here.

For more information about traveling to Panama you can click here.

For more information about traveling to Nicaragua you can click here.

If you need to purchase medicines in Costa Rica, pharmacies are always available. Even remote towns will have a pharmacy open during work hours. In San Jose and the Central Valley, 24-hour pharmacies are also an option.

Keep in mind that it is mandatory to have a prescription for some drugs. Prescriptions from doctors in the U.S. and other countries may be accepted but will most likely need to be translated to Spanish. It is best to arrive prepared with a complete supply of your own prescription medicines in their original prescription container.

In case of temporary emergencies, pharmacists are capable of administering injections. They can also provide recommendations for specific medical conditions and check your blood pressure.

Money & Budgeting

Costa Rica’s official currency is the Colón, however, U.S. dollars are still widely accepted throughout the country. Money can be exchanged in banks but the process is not easy. You’ll usually have to wait in long lines and most tellers speak little English. Your passport is required to exchange money at all banks.

ATMs are the easiest way to get local currency. At most ATMs you will have the choice of asking for Colones or dollars. Keep in mind most banks charge a transaction fee between $2.00 – $7.00 dollars.

There are currency exchange booths in the San Jose Airport, but exchange rates are generally not favorable and fees are generally applied.

We recommend bringing U.S. Dollars in denominations from $1 – $20. (avoid 50’s and 100’s).  Use these bills for your local purchases and you’ll receive your change in colones. You’ll then have some local currency to spend.

Credit cards are widely accepted in Costa Rica, but there are some exceptions. If you plan on using your credit card frequently it is very important that prior to leaving on your trip  you tell your bank that you will be in Costa Rica. For your protection most banks  automatically block transactions in foreign countries, so be sure that you advise your bank that you will be making charges while in Costa Rica.

Mastercard and Visa are the most widely accepted. American Express is accepted at most hotels and some restaurants but not by local or small vendors. Discover Card is not accepted in Costa Rica.

This is a personal choice based on your spending habits, but we recommend that you have at least $100 cash with you upon arrival. (Only carry $1, $5, $10, $20 bills). How much cash you should carry throughout the trip depends on your plans, if you like to shop, and if you prefer to use a credit card for purchases or not. In almost all destinations you will have access to an ATM Machine. We recommend that you always place your cash, valuables and passports in your hotel’s safe deposit box every time you leave your room.

Payment

No, we do not charge any extra fees or fuel surcharges. The listed price is the price you pay. Including tax.

We understand that you may not have a printer handy when you’re traveling so it is not necessary to have a printed copy. However, we require that you show ID matching your reservation and also the Order # that is immediately emailed to you after you make your reservation.

Preparation

Wear whatever is comfortable. It is recommended to have a sturdy pair of broken-in trail shoes, boots, or sneakers. It is preferable to dress in layers and wear clothing that will wick away perspiration and keep you dry and comfortable

The packing list:

The following list of things to pack for Costa Rica will keep you prepared and traveling light for any type of Costa Rica itinerary. It also includes a few precautionary guidelines to ensure your personal safety and satisfaction.

Follow these tips on what to bring to Costa Rica and you’ll surely be prepared for a trip of a lifetime!

Official Papers

  • Valid passport + copy of the photo page
  • Airline tickets
  • Drivers license + copy
  • Insurance card and contact information
  • Money belt and passport pendant for important documents

Luggage

  • Day pack or fanny pack
  • Soft sided luggage to avoid going over domestic flight weight limits
  • Waterproof bag for wet/dirty clothing
  • Zip lock baggies to keep cameras and iPods dry in your back pack

Health

  • Eye drops
  • Insect repellent
  • Pain relievers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and/or just a simple aspirin)
  • Waterproof sunscreen
  • Contact lenses and cleaning solution
  • Personal medicine prescriptions in the original prescription bottles
  • Any over the counter medicines that you prefer. Most U.S. brands are not available in Costa Rica.
  • Your personal toiletries

Clothing

  • Hiking or walking shoes
  • Beach sandals or flip-flops (dressy sandals optional)
  • T-shirts
  • Long sleeved T-shirts (recommended for sunburn protection, hiking and fishing)
  • Swimsuits and a casual beach cover-up (for ladies)
  • Hiking shorts (quick dry) and cotton shorts
  • Lightweight pants and shorts
  • Sleepwear
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Sun hats or baseball caps

City Clothing

Although Costa Rica is very casual, we recommend that if you are going to spend time in San José, that you bring along a pair of longer pants, good walking shoes, and a bit more formal clothing than you would wear in the laid back beach towns. This helps you to stand out less as a tourist.

Outwear

  • Light weight jacket or raincoat (poncho style); something warmer for higher elevations or on the open ocean.
  • Umbrella
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera (batteries and charger)

Other items

  • Swiss army knife
  • Key chain flashlight
  • Nalgene or other water bottle
  • Wet wipes/antibacterial hand gel
  • Kleenex
  • Pens
  • Lighter/matches
  • Cork screw

Helpful tips

  • Leave photocopies of your passport, drivers’ license, credit cards, airline tickets and any reservation that you have prepaid with your home emergency contact person
  • If you are visiting from US or Canada, there is no need to bring electric converters as they are the same in Costa Rica
  • There is no point in carrying all of your keys
  • Make sure you have plenty of storage on your memory card(s)
  • Leave expensive and irreplaceable jewelry at home
  • If you plan on using your credit card frequently, it is very important that prior leaving your trip, to inform your bank that you will be in Costa Rica.

It is not necessary to bring a mosquito net with you. The hotels and lodges we use have ‘mosquito free’ rooms, even if you choose to stay in the middle of the jungle.

Mosquitoes are common year-round, however, rare in some areas due to low overnight temperatures (Monteverde or San José).  Mosquitoes are most common at dusk and dawn; especially in rain forest or rural areas. It’s a good idea to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if you are going to be hiking or walking in the forest during these times.  A good insect repellent sprayed onto your clothing or skin will be effective to keep mosquitoes from bothering you (if you use both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent). A deet based product is not necessary but is generally the strongest option you can buy.

Rental Car

The basic cover insurance will be included in your car rental. This covers minor damages, scratches, small dents, tires, for two designated drivers. The refundable deposit that you will pay directly to the car rental agency (via major credit card) at the time of pickup covers collision, major damage, and car theft. This deposit will then be released to you by the car rental company upon return of the car.

It is possible to add a GPS to your car rental. The cost of the GPS is $10 a day.

Our travel itineraries are available on your smart phone without needing internet. With our travel app you can link a Free Navigator to your travel plan, and navigate to your destinations without needing the rental of a GPS.

Our car rental packages come with basic insurance. This covers minor damages, scratches, small dents, tires, for two designated drivers. The refundable deposit that you will pay directly to the car rental agency (via major credit card) at the time of pickup covers collision, major damage, and car theft. This deposit will then be released to you by the car rental company upon return of the car. If you like to add a full coverage insurance, please inform the rental company when you pick up your vehicle and you will then pay the price difference directly to them.

Yes, just let us know the ages of your children and we will make sure you get the right seats included with the car rental.

Weather

We do hike in the rain, snow, wind and any other weather conditions that nature decides to throw at us. After all, we’re going on adventures! If the weather is unsafe for any reason, the trip will be changed or postponed. You will be notified the week of your trip if there are changes due to weather.

Although Costa Rica is a small country in terms of area, there is a lot going on here in terms of weather in Costa Rica. With a climate that is diverse and varied, Costa Rica can be divided into several climatic zones, each of which are distinct and individual. Though generally classified as a tropical country because of its close proximity to the equator, Costa Rica has no real winter period, and the sun shines here throughout the year. In general the weather can be classified as a dry or high season and a wet or green season. With over 12 hours of sunshine a day, the sun rises at about 5:45 am and sets at about 5:45 pm consistently throughout the year.

Costa Rica Weather Chart

High Season (Dry Season)

Green Season (Rainy Season)

North Pacific Coast December to April May to November
Nicoya Peninsula December to April May to November
Central Pacific Coast December to April May to November
Central Valley December to April May to November
Arenal Volcano & Northern Lowlands May to November (September & October best to see volcano) December to April
Monteverde (Area) January to May June to September November (windy) December (windy)
Caribbean North (w/ Tortuguero) February, March, September & October November – January, April – August
Caribbean South (w/ Puerto Viejo) February, March, September & October November – January, April – August
Osa Pennisula & Drake Bay December to April May to November
San Jose Highlands December to April May to November
San Jose Metro (w/ Airport Area) December to April May to November
Southern Costa Rica (w/ Golfito) December to April May to November
Rincon de la Vieja Area December to April May to November