- Driving time from the San Jose airport (SJO) is approximately 1:30 hours. From downtown San Jose it is 2:00 hours.
- See the directions from the airport to our office
- Try to travel during the day, since the road has many curves and division lines are not properly painted.
- Drive defensively; keep your headlights on so others can see you, even on broad daylight.
- Do not pick up hitchhikers.
Costa Rica's climate is renowned as an atmospheric treat. Mild subtropical conditions prevail year-round, and discomforting temperature extremes and prolonged periods of gray are practically nonexistent. Temperature varies mainly according to elevation, the higher the cooler. The brunt of the rainy season lasts from May through November, while a brief dry spell pays a visit from February to April. Costa Rica's rain falls mainly on the Caribbean coast, giving the
Pacific a much more arid climate.
Costa Rica is the same as U.S. Central Standard Time, but does not observe daylight savings time.
The most widely spoken language in Costa Rica is Spanish (97% of the population); although there are other native languages used mostly within the indigenous reserves. Many businesses, in and around San Jose, and resorts throughout the country have employees who also speak English.
It is 100 volts, as in North America. Plugs are two pronged, usually without the grounding prong.
Currency & Exchange Rate
The Colon (¢1.00) is the national currency of Costa Rica. The exchange rate against the US dollar can vary day by day,
Automated Teller Machines (ATM's) can be easily found in most populated areas of Costa Rica, including Jaco and Herradura. Most international credit cards are accepted throughout the country: Visa, Master Card and American Express.
Most restaurants will include a 10% service charge at the bill. Taxi drivers generally do not receive a tip. If you are satisfied with the service you receive, hotel maids, tour guides and drivers would appreciate a tip.
When traveling within the country, carry a copy (color is best) of your passport. Leave the original in a safe place in the place you are staying.
Do not assume that cute little animals are friendly and tame.
You will have to pay exit tax at the airport before leaving the country. You can pay in colones or US$, it's approximately $26.00.
For the entire family:
- Sunscreen, Solarcaine/Aloe Vera gel, insect repellent and itch cream.
- Baby wipes come in handy for almost all occasions due to the hot, humid climate.
- Casual clothing and, if you are visiting the mountain or the city, one warm piece.
- Raincoat if traveling in the rainy season.
- Plenty of cotton T-shirts and shorts
- Two pairs of sneakers.
- A copy of all important prescriptions from your doctor in case yours gets lost.
- Books, coloring books, blank paper, a notebook for keeping a journal.
- Cards or other small car games.
- Age-appropriate books about animals they may encounter.
- Crayons, magic markers, pens, pencils.
- Keep a pillow and blanket with you for naps.
- Non-tearing shampoo.
- Nail clippers, tweezers, cotton swabs, baby wipes.
- Small first-aid kit with things for cuts, bruises and bug bites.
- Eye drops and ear drops.
- When going to the beach, bring an extra large bottle of fresh water for rinsing off and some for drinking.
- Toilet paper-important as not all public bathrooms come complete with toilet paper.
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