Ideally, you will travel in Costa Rica with only two pieces of baggage: a suitcase and a small bag or backpack for excursions. There are baggage restrictions on domestic flights and weight limits on boat excursions. In our offer and through the accompanying guide, you will be advised on which days you can take only part of your baggage to the next stop.
Costa Rica’s temperatures vary widely depending on the altitude, which ranges between sea level and 3,820 meters (12,530 feet). In the lowlands and on the coasts, the climate is hot and usually humid. In some regions, humidity reaches up to 80 to 90%. In the central highlands, there are summer-like temperatures almost all year-long, except in December when daytime temperatures can drop to 16 °C (61 ºF)
Costa Rica’s national currency is the “colón”, named after Cristóbal Colón or Christopher Columbus. U.S. dollars can be changed at all banks; Euros at most of them.
You can pay nearly everywhere with small U.S. Dollar bills (up to $20 USD) and will receive change in the local currency
Costa Rica is one of the most important and diverse ecotourism destinations in Central America. About 5% of the world’s biodiversity can be found here. Environmental protection and nature conservation are strongly promoted throughout the country. Over 25% of Costa Rica’s 51,100 km² (19,730 mi²) total land area is under protection and is monitored and administered by the government.
Health & Medical Care
Medical care is excellent in Costa Rica. In the San José Metropolitan Area and throughout the Central Valley, including the cities of Cartago, Heredia and Alajuela, there are very good national public hospitals and clinics that have modern equipment and highly-trained medical personnel. There are also private hospitals, such as Clinica Biblica and Hospital CIMA, both with locations in San José and in Liberia. These hospitals provide pharmacies that are open 24 hours.
All beaches in Costa Rica have the possibility of strong currents, and there is often relatively high surf due to tidal movements or weather conditions. It is important to obey local advisories – a red flag at the beach indicates danger. Ask your tour guide, local residents, or if present a lifeguard, about general and current conditions as to whether the sea is suitable for swimming.
The country area code for Costa Rica is +506; there are no separate area codes for cities or regions. Phone numbers in Costa Rica have eight digits. At most hotels, you can make international phone calls at an extra charge. Local telephone companies offer prepaid phone cards. You may also be able to use your cell phone; check with your cell phone provider for international roaming charges.
Most tourist resorts have souvenir shops that sell a wide range of popular and traditional goods. Additionally, in the cities of San José, Heredia, Alajuela, Cartago, and Liberia, there are plenty of shopping facilities, including large shopping malls which offer a variety of goods.
Sales tax in Costa Rica is 13%. Restaurants additionally charge a legally required 10% service fee, which is the service tip that goes to the wait staff. Restaurant menus will usually state if sales tax and/or the service fee are already included in the prices; otherwise they will be added onto the final bill. If you should receive very good service by the restaurant staff, it is still customary to leave an extra tip