If you are planning to travel to Costa Rica, “Costa Rica Natural Tours”, will help you to make this trip an unforgettable experience. We offer a variety of custom vacation packages, day tours, hotels, rental cars and many other tourist services you may need in Costa Rica.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
These questions were designed to answer many of your concerns on aspects of your trip to Costa Rica. Do not forget, that we have much more information about Costa Rica, so please, send your questions to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Do I need a passport to go to Costa Rica?
Yes. You need a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date you arrive in Costa Rica.
2. Do I need a visa to enter Costa Rica, and how long can I stay in the country?
Depending on your country, you may enter Costa Rica without a visa; if you are from the US, Canada and most European countries, a visa is not required. Citizens from most countries can stay up to 90 days in Costa Rica. People in some countries are allowed to stay for up to 30 days, but for broader information regarding visas and amount of time you can stay in the country, please visit the embassy of Costa Rica and find specific information about your country.
3. Should I pay taxes when departing?
Yes. Everyone coming out of Costa Rica needs to remember, that to leave Costa Rica, they must pay a tax of national departure at a cost of US $ 29.00. This amount may be paid at the airport with US dollars, Costa Rican colones or Visa credit card or debit card, from 3:00 am on, at the departure tax counter. There are some hotels that offer to pay the departure tax ahead of time, thus facilitating your travel process. Payment at any of the airports usually takes about 10 minutes. The land departure tax is US $ 10.00.
4. Can I enter Costa Rica with one-way air ticket?
All visitors must have a round trip ticket (entrance and departure), either by air or land.
5. How many international airports are there in Costa Rica?
There are two international airports in Costa Rica. The largest of the two airports, the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), is located in Alajuela. For a long time, it was the only airport in Costa Rica. This airport is used by most airlines. The second international airport in Costa Rica, is the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) or the Liberia International Airport, located in northern Costa Rica, in the province of Guanacaste, in the city of Liberia. Passage through customs at any of the airports is easy. After collecting your luggage, you must go to the checkpoint where officials put your luggage through an X-ray machine. The complete process usually takes around 45 minutes. Once this procedure is over, our driver will be waiting for you outside the airport, with a sign under your name, to finally take you to your destination hotel.
6. Do I need an international driver's license?
You are permitted to drive, with the license from your home country, for a period of three months.
7. What air carriers fly to Costa Rica?
Some of the airlines that have Costa Rica as a destination are: Delta, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines and America West, as well as many other international airlines such as: Virgin Atlantic, KLM, Mexicana, Aeromexico Connect, Copa Airlines Colombia Avianca, Interjet, JetBlue, TACA, Air Canada and Iberia.
8. What kind of inoculations do I have to take to go to Costa Rica?
Starting on July 30th, 2007, Costa Rican authorities have demanded that all travelers coming from the following countries: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador as well as the Republic of Guyana have a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
9. What documents are required to enter with a pet to Costa Rica?
Dogs and cats entering Costa Rica must have a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, endorsed by a veterinarian service (VS) veterinarian. The examination for the certificate must be conducted within two weeks prior to traveling to Costa Rica. The required vaccinations are: distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and rabies (for animals 4 months or older).
10. What is the currency in Costa Rica?
The Costa Rican currency is called Colon. US dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted.
11. What is the population of Costa Rica?
Costa Rica has a territory with a total area of 51 100 km². (19729mi²). As of 2016, the population was at 4.904.589 people. The male population is in the majority with 2.489.606 men, which accounts for 50.80% of the total, compared to 2.414.983 women, or 49.20%.
12. What is the highest point in Costa Rica?
National Park Chirripo, which contains the highest point in Costa Rica of 3820 (12532 ft.) meters altitude above sea level, is located near the town of San Isidro del General, approximately 60 miles south-east of the city of San José. It was created in 1975 and with an area of over 50 hectares (123ac), that include the highest mountain in Costa Rica. The park is a refuge for a lot of wildlife including tapirs, jaguars and quetzals.
Size: 50,150 hectares (123923ac).
Distance from San José: 165 kilometers (102 miles)
Dry Season: December to March.
13. What is the highest building in the city of San Jose?
Paseo Colon Towers, a vertical condominium complex of 2 towers, is located on First Avenue in San Jose, Costa Rica. “The Council on Tall Building and Urban Habitat” are the highest in the country with 101.3 meters (332 ft.) tall buildings: tower 2 has 29 floors and 126 residential units, while tower one is 97 meters (318ft.) high, with 27 floors offices and apartments.
14. What are the national symbols of Costa Rica?
-The National Emblem
-National Flower, the Guaria Morada
-National tree, the Guanacaste
-National bird, the Yigüirro.
-National Symbol Labour wagon
-Symbol of Wildlife, the White Tail Deer
-National Musical Instrument Marimba
-Symbol of Freedom and Peace, Independence Torch
-Natural Wealth symbol of the Chirripo National Park Crestones
15. Can I get married in Costa Rica? What documents do I need?
Foreigners can get married in Costa Rica. The documents needed are: – original birth certificate – affidavit of single status – police record – valid passport – divorce decree (if applicable) – These documents need to follow the authentication procedure before being taken to Costa Rica.
16. Is the water drinkable in Costa Rica?
The water is potable in most of the country. We recommend using bottled water, especially in areas around the coast.
17. Is Costa Rica a safe country?
In this small tropical paradise, its people are called Ticos, and are very friendly. This and the great diversity of its natural resources are two of the reasons why tourists are so fascinated by Costa Rica.
Costa Rica abolished the army on December 1st 1948 and itt remains the most stable democracy in Central America. It is a safe country and enjoys a peaceful atmosphere and hospitality to visitors.
Without any problem, you can walk and travel around the country with freedom and tranquility. Simply take the same precautions you would in any other country. We recommend:
That you carry a photocopy of your passport, showing your photograph and the date of entry and leave the original one in the safety deposit box of your hotel.
Almost all hotels have safe deposit boxes at the room or reception, so please keep your airline ticket, important documents, cash and traveler’s checks in the safety deposit box of your hotel.
Do not use valuable jewelry, and do not carry large amounts of money, but only the money you need for each day.
Watch your belongings such as cameras, wallets, purses and other belongings and always keep them under surveillance.
If you are going out at night, ask the front desk to call a taxi for you.
Leave your car in a secure guarded parking lot and not in the street. Do not leave anything valuable visible in the car.
18. What number should I dial in case of emergency?
Dial 911 for immediate assistance.
19. Do I need an electric adapter for a hair drier?
Outlets are 110 V, with standard US two prong plugs.
20. What is the sales tax in Costa Rica?
Sales tax is 13% on the price of the item; for restaurants you should add a tax of 10% for service charge.
21. How much tip should I give?
In Costa Rica, tips are not mandatory, but giving tips is always appreciated. Also, you do not need to tip in restaurants, because the account includes a 10% service charge plus a sales tax of 13%. Tourists sometimes offer a tip to show they are satisfied with the service they received. If you feel that the driver, tour guide or person who has attended you has done a good job, then please give a tip. Most salaries are quite low, and service workers depend on tips to supplement their income. However, if you feel that the service was not top notch you should not feel obligated to tip.
22. Are the national parks wheel chair - accessible?
The Poas Volcano National Park is the only one that offers access for wheel chairs.
23. What precautions should I take when visiting national parks?
Do not leave the trails. If you decide to walk alone, always carry a flashlight, whistle, water and food rations high in calories. Do not feed the animals. Do not litter. Never remove any flora species.
24. What is the difference between the rain forest and the cloud forest?
The main difference is that in the cloud forest it doesn´t rain as much as in the rain forest. The species of flora and fauna that you might find differ from one to another.
25. What should I bring when going to the rain forest?
All you need is insect repellent, a rain coat with a hood, and hiking boots.
26. When is the best time to go to Costa Rica?
Costa Rica has a variety of microclimates, which allows the tourist to feel different types of environment and positively impacts their walking experience in terms of distance and duration.
Almost all year round climate is ideal, so any month is a good time to visit Costa Rica. Come when time permits. Activities and hotels are available year-round, although most visitors prefer to come during the dry season, which corresponds to the coldest months in northern latitudes (December, January, February and March).
The dry season offers a warm climate on the Pacific side of the country, but sometimes there is a little rain.
The Caribbean climate is a bit more varied, and usually consists of a mixture of sun and rain all year.
During the months of February and March, and again in August and September, the weather tends to be drier.
The rainy season in Costa Rica is often characterized by being sunny in the morning and rainy in the afternoon. However, the tropical climate of Costa Rica, and the varied terrain, creates unpredictable weather throughout the year.
The high tourist season matches the dry season, and obviously the prices of hotels increase. During Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and then Easter, prices rise even more. Holidays attract a lot of international visitors, as well as domestic travelers. Locals usually visit the beaches and mountains, making roads, restaurants and hotels next to these destinations fill up quickly.
Although there is more rain during the afternoon in the rainy or green season, areas that are often quite dry – as Guanacaste – become beautifully green, with lush forests which offer a stunning contrast to the blue waters of the Pacific.
The annual average temperature ranges from 31.7 ° C (89 ° F) on the coast to 16.7 ° C (62 ° F) inland and the average rainfall in the country is from 3,000 to 3,500 mm (120-140 inches).
27. Where can I practice white water rafting?
You can practice it at Pacuare, Reventazon, Corobici, Sarapiqui, Naranjo and Savegre rivers.
28. When do Costa Ricans celebrate Carnivals?
Limon Carnivals are celebrated in October, and Puntarenas has them from February 21st to March 3rd.
29. Where can egg laying-turtles be seen?
You can go to Tortuguero National Park in the Caribbean or to Las Baulas National Park in the Pacific coast.
30. Which are Costa Rica’s natural boundaries?
– North: Nicaragua – South: Panamá – East: Caribbean Sea – West: Pacific Ocean.
31. How is Costa Rica politically divided?
Costa Rica is divided into 7 provinces: San José, Heredia, Alajuela, Cartago, Limón, Puntarenas and Guanacaste.
32. Can I use my cell phone in Costa Rica?
In case you want to use a cell phone in Costa Rica, you have to bring an UNLOCKED cell phone, and buy a SIM prepaid card; you can find it at the ICE booth (The national telecommunications company), near the baggage section of the airport; or you can also get it with Claro or Movistar, phone companies, in any city around the country. All of them will include internet access. The unlocked cell phone must be a quad-band GSM, 3G or 4G handset. Also you can connect to WIFI networks that are located in restaurants, hotels and beaches.
33. What is the traditional menu I would expect to eat in Costa Rica?
A traditional Costa Rican breakfast consists of “gallo pinto” (black beans and rice), eggs, tortillas and sour cream, with coffee and fresh fruit juice.
A typical Costa Rica lunch known as “casado” includes: rice and beans, one choice of meat (beef, chicken, pork, or fish), salad, and fried plantains (a type of sweet banana).
Dinner is pretty much whatever you like, and fish and seafood here are excellent, well priced, and fresh, as well as the fruits and vegetables.
Of course, Costa Rica produces some of the finest coffee in the world. One drink and you’ll know why we say it is the best.
34. What it is advisable to pack?
We recommend traveling with two pieces of luggage, a main suitcase and a bag for the day trips. Baggage carts are scarce at the airport and luggage restrictions are limiting. Bring only the necessary such as comfortable hand washable clothes. Pack a sweater or jacket for cold nights and mornings in San José and the highlands of the country, especially volcanoes.
On a trip to Costa Rica or on some of the excursions, often various means of transportation such as boats, buses, and domestic flights are used. They have luggage limitations (12 kg per person tops) to facilitate passenger mobility. It is helpful to carry a luggage of a reasonable size and weight. The main luggage can be stored at no additional cost and safely at the hotel in San José. You can coordinate this with your travel agent or the hotel receptionist.
In addition to personal items, we recommend packing:
-Sturdy shoes or high sneakers
-A jacket or pullover for visits to volcanoes and stays in areas of greater height
-A long pair of pants and a sweater or long-sleeved shirt for hiking in the woods
-Light summer clothes
-Hat or cap
-Sandals to walk on the beach
-A coat or rain poncho
35. Something on your site is incorrect, how can I tell you?
We really want our information to be as accurate as possible, so please write to us about errors or suggestions to email@example.com and we will appreciate it.
36. How can I get you to list my business on your directory?
If you would like to be considered for evaluation, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
37. Do I have to pay extra for your services?
No, you don’t pay any extra by contacting our travel agents, or by booking a service with us.
We maintain our business with the commissions we receive from the hotels and tour operators, with whom we have a pre-commissions contract received for recommending these services to our customers.
The rates are the same as if you booked directly with the hotels, transport and tours. The difference is your tranquility, because we offer the convenience of giving you all the necessary arrangements for the trip in Costa Rica, without you having to worry about anything, only to spend a truly unforgettable experience.
38. What would be the best way to plan my trip?
Sending an email to a travel specialist from Costa Rica and the following email address: email@example.com
We make hotel reservations, car rentals, local flights, tours of one or several days, among other tourist services, whether for individuals or group customers.