Frequently Asked Questions on Costa Rica, including what to bring, what to bring for kids, why Costa Rica and why travel with Tachiz Travel Costa Rica:
1) How do I get there?
By plane. Costa Rica has two international airports, Juan Santamaria International in San Jose (SJO) and Daniel Oduber International in Liberia (LIR) on the North Pacific. Please note that, these airports are a 5 hour drive from each other or a 50 minute domestic flight. However, domestic flight are not allowed at night in Costa Rica, only with daylight.
2) Are major international credit cards accepted in Costa Rica?
Yes, Visa, Mastercard credit cards are acepted at most places. Amex cards might not be accepted everywhere due t the higher commission. There are ATM’s spread throughout the country.
3) How about tipping? Well, Tipping is not a city in China.
Tips are welcome by everyone although not expected. They should be whatever you fell is right and whenever you feel it is right to tip. At restaurants, a 10% service charge is already included on the bill but if you feel the service was superb, you can tip up to another 10% as a general rule. You can tip 2 dollars per person to bell boys and chambermaids. For drivers and guides, as you see fit for a truly wonderful service from $5 per person on.
4) Do I have to carry my passport with me at all times?
We recommend you leave your valid passport at your room´s safety box, and carry a copy with you at all times instead. It is important to carry along another id. aside from the copy of your passport.
5) How do I contact my Embassy in Costa Rica if I need to?
We will do it for you but also, you can find it on line.
6) What about taking taxis in Costa Rica?
Use only the authorized taxis which are red with a yellow triangle on their doors. They use an electronic device to charge the rate, make sure the taxi driver turns it on, when you begin your ride. but even better yet, settle the rate beforehand.
7) What is the electricity like?
110/60 volts. Standard American plugs for hair dryers, razors, etc…
8) What are the entry requirements?
A valid passport and proof of onward travel are required and with them, the vast majority of foreigners are granted a visa that allows them to stay in Costa Rica for up to 90 days. You can go to www.migracion.go.cr/residencias/directrices.doc to see which countries need a visa to enter Costa Rica.
9) How about driving a vehicle in Costa Rica?
You need your valid home country license for three months. You must drive defensively for in general; Costa Rica’s driving style seems to be inspired on the Spanish bull fighting, how close can I get without getting hurt? Drive slowly. The roads are known as tico roads, and are normally full of pot holes, when you least expect it. In rural areas you may come across animals such as cows.
10) How about getting directions?
Most Costa Ricans do not know nor care for reading a map but again, they would normally leave what they are doing and personally take you there. Rather than street and avenue numbers, the directions will most likely be using points of references and land marks. For instance; 200 meters ( it means two blocks) south and 25 meters (0.25 blocks) east from the Public School, next to the Mango tree on the left. However Waze and Google Drive works real well for the most part. but sometimes they sent you on a terrible dirt road to say the least.
11) Is water safe to drink in Costa Rica?
For the vast majority of the country it is safe to drink. Bottled water is also available everywhere at an incredible low price.
12) What are the business hours?
Offices open 8 a.m. To 5 p.m. and stores 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Most restaurants open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., unless they serve breakfast. Public banks open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., private banks open 9am to 6pm. Banks at shopping malls usually open from 10a.m. to 7p.m.
13) What language do they speak in Costa Rica?
Spanish officially, however there is an increasing bilingual population, and the rest speaks English of some sort or another.
14) What is the Costa Rican food like?
The Costa Rican diet is very simple and healthy. Mostly rice and beans, fresh vegetables, fish, lots of chicken and beef in addition to the fresh wide variety of fruits. However, international cuisine with renowned restaurants is widely available.
15) Who(m) do I call in case of emergency?
You can call us 24/7 at our WhatsApp number 011 (506) 8567 7294, 011 (506) 2560 0954 or 011 (506) 8393 5190 or 011 (506) 83741777 or .
16) What should I bring for my trip in Costa Rica?
·Extra prescription pair of glasses and medication (if needed).
·Sun block and insect repellent.
·Lightweight, fast drying clothes are best, as are clothes you can layer. Bring warm weather gear for the day activities and a mid-weight fleece or sweater for the evening. No suits or ties are needed.
·Short and long-sleeved Shirts: cotton preferably.
·Trousers: Hiking shorts and pants.
·Footwear: waterproof hiking boots, river sandals, tennis shoes/running shoes.
·Rain gear: light poncho, raincoat. Even if you are coming during the dry season, you should bring a couple of light rain gear items, at least an umbrella or a rain coat.
·Hat with visor for rain and sun protection.
·Camera. Also, extra batteries/battery charger
17) What should I bring for the KIDS’ trip to Costa Rica?
·Games for van drives.
·That special pillow or so.
·Child’s favorite snack.
·Rubber boots and a light rain jacket.
·Small first aid kit.
·Eye drops and ear drops.
·Two pairs of socks per day.
·Small daypack or fanny pack for hikes and collecting stuff.
·Sweater or jacket (very important).
·Swimwear and inflatable water wings, if used.
·Favorite hat or sun protection.
·Extra prescription glasses and medication (if applicable).
·Sunscreen, insect repellent.
·Plenty of cotton t-shirts.
·Footwear: waterproof, light-weight hiking boots, river sandals (Teva-sandals), tennis shoes.
18) Is it safe to walk the streets?
Cars have the right of way, therefore, walk defensively. Change money in your hotel only. Never change money in the street nor flash it. Carry your purse on the front. Carry your wallet in your front pockets. Carry backpacks on your front. Common sense should keep you out of trouble, avoid seedy areas of town—ask your hotel. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry. If you are going out at night, take an authorized taxi called by the hotel’s bell boys. In general just take the normal precautions you would take anywhere in the world. Costa Rica is probably safer than any major city in the U.S.A.
19) Is there a departure tax?
Yes, but it is already included in your international air ticket.
20) Is there a weight limitation on luggage for the local flights in Costa Rica?
Yes, normally 15 to 25 pounds of luggage per person, but we would be happy to keep your excess luggage in our offices, and we would arrange for it to catch up with you later on the trip.
20) What is the best time to visit Costa Rica?
It is matter of taste and it really can be enjoyed all year. We enjoy 64 micro-climates. Magnificent weather is one of the big draws to this tropical paradise. Costa Rica has no real winter season and the sun shines here nearly every day with an average annual temperature of between 71 degrees Fahrenheit in the central valley and 81 degrees Fahrenheit in some of the lower beach areas, the mountain areas are significantly cooler. The rainy or green season normally lasts from May through November, being September and October the heaviest rain period. The summer season runs from December through April. We also get a little summer season in July. Our rain is warm , during the green season daily showers can be expected for a few ours during the day but then the rest of the day is beautiful with sunshine. April and November tend to be still not as rainy nor as sunny. Trade winds keep Costa Rica hot and humid most of the time, so there is never really a dry season.
21) How many days do I need to enjoy Costa Rica?
From 7 days on is highly recommended up to an entire month. There is so much to enjoy, see and do in Costa Rica.
22) Why Costa Rica?
We the Team Tachiz™ at Tachiz Travel™ Costa Rica, strongly believe that a trip to Costa Rica is a gift to yourself at the same time that you are contributing to the conservation of its natural and cultural wonders.While Costa Rica, a developing nation, has set aside over 50% of its territory for National Parks and Private Reserves, it is subject to the same rule for National Parks and private reserves around the world; use’m or loose’m. Your visit to Costa Rica does make a difference to many forms of life in our planet, including our own.
It can be a very enjoyable opportunity if you appreciate Mother Nature and the fact that its fantastic treasures belong to our fellow citizens of the world, although most of them have not even been born yet.We believe that chances are you may have already heard about Costa Rica and are wondering why it is such an incredible destination and the little country that can. Although we have our share of problems in Costa Rica, we believe there are two main reasons why;
The genuine friendliness of the Costa Rican people and Its amazing diversity of nature and wildlife.
We have listed a few facts, which we hope will inspire you to plan a trip with us:
Costa Rica has no army.
Over 50 % of its land set aside for conservation.
Life expectancy is 79.52 females, 77.40 males.
The literacy rate is above 92%.
Education is free and compulsory up to high school.
It is still the village that raises children.
It is a country half the size of Cuba or about the size of West Virginia and approx. 5 million citizens.
Costa Rica has 64 micro-climates.
In it, it holds almost 5 % of the different forms of life of the planet in only 0.003% of the world’s territory.
If you wish, you can see tropical dry forest, tropical rain forest and tropical cloud forest in one day, you can do so here but again, why hurry.
It has over 250 volcanoes, four of which are active, including Central America’s most active one.
A quick and dirty on Costa Rica is the following: To the North east it is like the little amazons of Costa Rica, to the south east it is like the little Jamaica of Costa Rica, to the south west, it is like Tarzan’s movies, to the North West, it is like the little California of Costa Rica.
There are almost 1000 species of birds, which is over a hundred more than the continental US Mexico and Canada put together.
There are more butterfly species than in all of Africa.
From the capital you can drive to the Caribbean sea and to the pacific ocean in one day but again, why hurry.
Costa Rica is connected via satellite with other Central American countries, the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America, Asia and Africa. There is also an efficient system of post and courier services.
The options to explore nature are more unique, creative and diverse every time and this is where we come into the picture, to help you get the most of it from a to z.
23) Why travel with Tachiz Travel Costa Rica?
Why Book With Tachiz Travel Costa Rica™ when there are so many do-it-yourself options on the internet?
Because we will personally always help you A to Z to provide you with the highest possible value in Costa Rica and get the most of your Precious Costa Rica Vacation. We always operate our own Costa Rica adventures with a fair margin and/or make a commission on strictly selected strategic suppliers, (whose performance we constantly monitor), when it works to your benefit, unlike many of our competitors for services and attention which very seldom match our own. You can do the math any time and try asking for our help and for their help at the same time. We actually encourage you to do so because as they say, the test of the pudding is on the fork.
Francisco and I have both served in the young Costa Rican Inbound Travel Industry since the late 80’s. We started working for the pioneers of ecotourism in Costa Rica and we worked extensively and passionately in truly all capacities and before starting our own Team Tachiz Travel Costa Rica in 2002. Through the decades, we have orchestrated vacations for the general interest visitors and for the most discerning high end special interest travelers and groups of all sizes. We are Costa Rican born and raised in Barva, the oldest settlement of the Central Valley. We were Foreign High School Exchange Students to the State of Oregon before earning our degrees in Business Administration. As you can imagine and more importantly, during the course of the last 4 decades and as a natural consequence of our working A to Z in this industry, we have become friends and developed profound and authentic personal connections with most of the current managers and owners of the hotels, tourism suppliers and communities’ members who are key for our crafted unique itineraries. They help us in making sure you enjoy a wonderful Costa Rica experience. They understand that we love to arrange for special surprises that are very rewarding to the visitor and to the visited. Francisco and I do understand and appreciate the fact that with your visit, you are helping us to preserve nature and social peace in Costa Rica.
Have you considered one or all of the following key questions?
• Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid having to deal with making all of the individual reservations and also as many payments with all the parties involved in your uncertain Costa Rica itinerary and then having to keep track of them?
• Wouldn’t it be nice knowing that you can spend ALL of your Costa Rica vacation timeenjoying yourself, without having to worry about reconfirming the services you have already chosen and prepaid?
• Wouldn’t it be nice knowing that you have the 24/7 support of a local, professional team with the know-how and long standing win-win relationships to help prevent problems or, if something unforeseen should come up, to be able to resolve those problems for you as quickly and painlessly as possible?
• Why would you guess when you are trying to design your Costa Rica itinerary or choosing a Costa Rica package?
• On the one hand, why buy the disappointment of an apparent cut rate stay for your precious Costa Rica Vacation time?
We also strive to offer you the current most prominent Guides of Costa Rica when appropriate and to use the current best air, land and water vehicles available to take you around Costa Rica.
Since 1986, two of our Team Tachiz™ funding and permanent supervisors at Tachiz Travel Costa Rica have developed and continue to develop consistent, reliable, dedicated expertise along with a clever variable cost structure, which allows us to provide you with a very high value for your Costa Rica trip which is really hard to find in Costa Rica in general but especially at our rates.
We are confident that you, as it’s been the case with many dear visitors in the past, (See Testimonials) , will be most rewarded by traveling to Costa Rica with us.
As you can imagine, the options to share and experience Costa Rica have been and are ever increasing and changing. This is why personalized, timely, reliable and dedicated Costa Rica expertise can be so rewarding for you, when it comes to matching such options with your specific interests and budget.