In Costa Rica not all roads are marked and not all locations have street addresses. There may not be street signs on intersections or numbers on houses. Costa Ricans (Ticos) will not necessarily be able to locate an exact destination on a map (or even tell you where you are). Directions may be given by referring to a number of meters north and a number of meters east of some “landmark” (churches, parks, schools, tall buildings; or basically anything that can be easily identified).
Over 730 miles of white, tan, dark brown and black sanded beaches and warm water temperatures all year long are a couple of reasons why Costa Rica is considered a surfers paradise. It’s not tremendous sized waves that draw people in from all over the world. Its because of it’s consistent head high surf at any time of the year that make Costa Rica one of vacationers favorite surf spots.
Snorkeling is a fun easy way to discover the fascinating world just beneath the ocean’s surface, and all ages can participate. There are close to 7000 marine species in Costa Rica, approximately 3.5% of the world’s total. All you need to appreciate the abundant marine life is a snorkel, mask and fins. Bring your own or rent some locally.
Whether your idea of “adventure” is rafting a wild scenic tropical river or enjoying a nature walk; there is an adventure tour just for you. Decide if you are interested in a “Do-It-Yourself” option or if you prefer a guided tour. You may even combine a bit of both. Costa Rica offers such diversity in things to do and see. Depending on the length of your stay and amount of territory you can cover; you can enjoy it all.
Costa Rica is renowned for its species and ecosystem diversity. Approximately 500,000 species live in
Costa Rica which represents between 5 and 7% of the total species estimated worldwide. Some of these
species can only be found in Costa Rica.
Over a quarter of the country is protected as a national park or reserve. That percentage is increasing as
a result of ecotourism and research. Costa Rica is invested in the future.
Occupying only 0.25% of the earth’s land mass, Costa Rica is home to more than 5% of the worlds biodiversity and is considered to be an ecological treasure. Quite literally, the whole country is spectacular, but here are some of our favorite must see places:
Clothing requirements for each area of the country vary by climate zones. Most first time visitors to Costa Rica believe they are going to the rain forests or beaches. You will certainly see them, but Costa Rica offers so much more. There are nearly 40 different climate zones in Costa Rica, however, depending upon where you are traveling, you will need to pack at most for four; Cloud Forests, Beach areas, Rain Forests and/or Dry Forests (Seco). In the Monte Verde/Santa Elena area for instance, there are eleven
First thing to know is :”less is more”
Consider all of the regions and climates that you will be experiencing during your visit.
Layering your clothing is a good strategy. You will want to bring activity specific items for certain outings (rainforest adventures, beaches, etc.). Bring along plastic bags for storing wet clothes/shoes on excursions. Pack for various types of weather, no matter what season you’re traveling.
Bring a small day pack that you can take on day hikes and activities.
In Costa Rica not all roads are marked and not all locations have street addresses. There may not be street signs on intersections or numbers on houses. Costa Ricans (Ticos) will not necessarily be able to locate an exact destination on a map (or even tell you where you are). Directions may be given by referring to a number of meters north and a number of meters east of some “landmark” (churches, parks, schools, tall buildings; or basically anything that can be easily identified). The landmark may a be big tree even if that tree had been cut down ten years earlier. The locals may still use the location as the starting point for all directions in the area. A “mark” (address/sign, etc.) may be on the side of one of the buildings near the corner.
When traveling internationally, it is recommended to review your hazard and health insurance
policies. Not all policies cover incidents internationally and if they do, they may require payment
in full at the time of treatment and subsequent application for reimbursement.
Although the water in San José is generally safe to drink, water quality varies outside the city.
Bugs and bug bites can be a health concern in the Costa Rican wilderness. Beside being
annoying, mosquitoes can carry malaria or dengue. A strong insect repellent and proper clothing
minimize both the danger and the inconvenience. Pack an anti-itch cream (cortisone or Benadryl)
to soothe itching.
Even though Spanish is the primary language in Costa Rica, English comes in second along the South Pacific Coast because of the large population of Americans and Europeans. You may also hear the local “Tico’s” speak in vostros. As with any foreign country, you should familiarize yourself with their language because you will come across people who do not understand yours!
When arriving in Costa Rica you will go through immigration, collect your bags, and then pass through customs before you exit the terminal. If you have any food (including fruits, vegetables, etc.) or substances which can be sniffed by dogs, you will be stopped. Declare food or get rid of it before you arrive.
Costa Rica is in the Central Standard Time Zone but does NOT observe daylight savings time so the time difference is an additional hour April through October.