Travel Tips

LOCAL TIME

Costa Rica is on Central Standard Time, six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and one hour behind EST in the States. It does not currently use daylight saving time, although the idea has been considered.

CLIMATE – WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT COSTA RICA?

The high season in Costa Rica, December through April, is the dry season. The rainy season, which lasts from May to November, usually sees sunny mornings, with rain showers in late afternoon and evening. Secondary roads can become rutted during those months, and four-wheeldrive vehicles are strongly recommended. Overall, the climate is tropical, with an average temperature of 22°C. It can be much hotter along the coastal areas of the country, and much cooler in the mountains.

DO I NEED A VISA?

British nationals do not require a visa to enter Costa Rica and can stay as visitors for up to three months. Passports should have a validity of more than six months from the date of entry.

BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

We’ve shortlisted a few important arrangements you should check well in advance of travelling.
Click here to find out more

HOW WILL I GET AROUND?

 To get to most regions, you have to start from San José, which is the hub of public transport. It is often easier to go to one region and then return to San José to find transportation to another area. However depending on what part of the country you are in there are some local hubs you can travel to get to another city in that same region.

Car rental is popular because a car can get you places you can’t get to by public transportation. It also gives you the freedom to travel when you want and to stop wherever you like. Alternatively, we can provide private or collective transfers throughout Costa Rica.

The other alternative is flying. This is a great time saver if you have the extra money and don’t necessarily need a car at your final destination.

WHAT’S THERE FOR CHILDREN TO DO?

 Wild animals, active volcanoes, rainforests, beaches—what kid wouldn’t love Costa Rica? Parents are guaranteed a good time as well and will appreciate the country’s myriad kid-friendly adventure possibilities as well as a culture that dotes on children. Ziplining through Monteverde’s foresty canopy, watching groups of ridley turtles lay their eggs at night or spotting basking crocodiles while exploring the jungle rivers of Tortuguero National Park, learning to surf at Mal País and Santa Teresa, white water rafting on the Río Reventazón or Río Pacuare, both rivers with smoother runs that are ideal for familes… these are some of many ideal family attractions in Costa Rica.

ARE GAY TRAVELLERS WELCOMED?

 The answer is yes. Costa Rica is a tolerant country and homosexuality is not illegal. In some areas (ie. San Jose or La Fortuna) there’s a small gay community.

WHAT PROVISIONS ARE MADE FOR DISABLED TRAVELLERS?

Costa Rica is rather a hands-on, physically involved holiday destination. When travelling from A to B, the terrain can be rough as the tiny country is resplendent with volcanoes and tropical, dry, and cloud rainforests. It is a wonderful place to visit and most hotels do offer facilites for disabled travellers.

MONEY MATTERS

Costa Rican currency is the colon. It varies daily against the dollar and can be exchanged at banks and exchange booths or drawn from cash machines. American dollars and major credit cards are acceptable almost everywhere, except in small business establishments or hotels and restaurants in remote locations. Travelers’ checks are not exchanged as favorably as cash. If you pay by credit card, a small surcharge is sometimes added. ATMs are available in most cities and towns with bank offices.  Some cash machines, particularly in remote areas may not be compatible with chip-and-pin debit cards – but a process of upgrading is in progress. Cash machines in large centres will give you the choice of dollars or colons, but in more remote areas you may only be able to get colons.  Preloaded debit cards charged with dollars are a good choice for currency – but consider ordering some cash in bills before you depart.  Be aware that it can be a challenge to exchange colons back into dollars or pounds once outside of Costa Rica.

SAFETY – SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?

Without a doubt Costa Rica can be called the safest country in Central America. One of the reasons that Costa Rica continues to grow as one of the world’s top destinations is because it is one of the few destinations where travelers can feel safe exploring almost any part of the country.

WHAT HEALTH PRECAUTIONS ARE REQUIRED?

No shots are required, but we always suggest having a Hepatitis Ashot as a precaution. The water in the major cities of Costa Rica is safe and most hotels and restaurants offer purified tap water. You might prefer to drink bottled water (agua purificada) or seltzer (agua mineral) to be sure. Costa Rica has excellent, low-cost medical care and well-qualified practitioners.

HABLAS ESPANOL?

The national language in Costa Rica is Spanish. It is always useful to learn a few basic phrases like “cuanto cuesta” (how much…) or “donde esta…” (where is…) but you will notice that most local people speak a good level of English, especially in the tourist resorts.

CLOTHES – WHAT TO BRING

Pack light. Bring comfortable, hand-washable clothing. T-shirts and shorts, loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and pants are recommended if you want to avoid sun. Bring a large hat to block the sun from your face and neck. Pack a light sweater or jacket for the cool nights and early mornings and for trips up to volcanoes and highlands. Hiking boots are essential if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing and hiking. Waterproof hiking sandals or other footwear that lets your feet breathe are good for strolling about town, and also for beach walking, fording streams, and navigating the myriad mudholes you’ll find on rain and cloud forest trails. To get more specific, refer to the information provided in your itinerary.

TECHNOLOGY

The voltage throughout the country is 110, the same as in North America. However, three-prong outlets are scarce, so bring along an adapter if you need one. Travelers with appliances set for 220 will need an adapter that changes the voltage and allows for use of a different plug.

ARE TOURS & OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS AVAILABLE

 Yes. You can pre-book these through us, from surfing lessons to horse riding, golf, etc…

INTERNET ACCESS

 Available at most hotels and almost everywhere throughout the country.

        

 

Honeymoons to Costa Rica

Arenal & Manuel Antonio. 7nts fr £1,395

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