PLAN AHEAD: To make the most of your Costa Rica vacation experience we highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the area to have a basic understanding of the wonderful things to see and do here. Please plan ahead or at least have an idea of what interests you may have, especially during busier times (December - July). This is true in regards to the best selection and pricing for rental car bookings, tours & sight seeing trips, and any other special experiences you would like to enjoy in Costa Rica. Our property management company, No Problema, has a full Concierge Service that can assist you with booking excursions, rental cars and any other items that you may want to do while you are here - feel free to reach out to Wes and Lisa for more information, CLICK HERE.
LANGUAGE: Costa Rica's national language is Spanish; however most Costa Ricans can speak and understand some English.
CELL PHONES: Please make sure that No Problema are able to be in contact with you, at least until Wes and/or Lisa meet up to introduce you to Casa en El Cielo. This is quite important to avoid unforeseen issues such as getting lost, car problems, lost luggage issues, etc. Please check with your cell phone provider about what needs to be done for cell phone access. You may also look into renting a cell phone with your rental.
PASSPORTS: You will need your passport to enter the country; however when traveling around in Costa Rica photos on your smart phone of your face page and the page containing your visa stamp will suffice. If you are not traveling with a smart phone or tablet, a paper copy will work just as well.
RENTAL CAR RECOMMENDATIONS:
Costa Rica boasts many areas to explore from rain forests, to surfing and many public parks that include volcanoes, thermal hot springs, beautiful hiking trails and zip lines just to mention a few of the areas. We do recommend that you rent a car to be able to explore these areas; however tour companies can be hired as well to transport you to many of these destinations. We have used Dollar Rental Car
and from our experiences the quality of customer service & cars provided had been exceptional. Please rent as soon as you know you flight information to assure best selection and pricing. If you choose to rent elsewhere, please verify that your rental quote contains both the required Costa Rican Limited Liability Insurance and Taxes as they can nearly double a rental quote and make for an unpleasant start to a vacation.
IS IT SAFE TO DRIVE IN COSTA RICA: The rural roads in Costa Rica have the reputation of being unpaved and rough, especially in the rainy season. However; the roads from the Liberia Airport (LIR) to Playa Hermosa, Playas del Coco and the Gulf of Papagayo area are actually quite good and the drive from the airport is a mere 25 minutes to Casa en El Cielo. The rules of the roads here are just about identical to that of North America and you do not need any special licensing to rent a car here.
CASH EXCHANGE RATE:
There is no need to do a cash exchange for the local currency, the Coloné. US Dollars are accepted everywhere as are most credit cards. The easiest way to end up with local currency is to make a purchase with large bills at a local grocery store and your change will be the in local currency.
Costa Rica is one of the safest countries to travel to, as violent crime is virtually unheard of. That being said, petty theft does occur, so please be careful when deciding to bring electronic gadgets and we strongly encourage valuable jewelry & other small valuable items be left at home.
PACK LIGHT - CASUAL DRESS ATTIRE: Our area is very laid back and casual so there is no need for formal attire, high heels & sport jackets are virtually never seen. Comfort is key while you are here. Feel free to go light on luggage as even the nicer restaurants have relaxed standards of dress. Also be sure to pack walking shoes or amphibious hiking shoes to visit some areas you may want to see. These areas are forested and feature hot springs, various wildlife, waterfalls, and volcanoes. You may also want to ride the zip lines of a canopy tour and they require closed-toed shoes.
WEATHER: Although classified as a tropical country, because of its close proximity to the equator, Costa Rica has no real winter period and the sun shines throughout the year. With over 12 hours of sunshine a day, the sun rises at about 5am and sets at about 6pm consistently throughout the year. The main reason for the diversity in Costa Rica’s weather is attributable to the various elevations at which different parts of the country are located.
Our area of Guanacaste has a dry arid climate as it sits on the lowlands with the average temperature ranging from 85 - 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Our coolest months of the year are November, December and January. On the other hand, Montverde, a highland city, is misty and foggy throughout the year due to its higher elevation. The Central Valley with San Jose enjoys average temperatures of 72 degrees Fahrenheit and with a cool coastal breeze. There are two seasons , a wet season, (high season) and a dry season (low season). There is no real summer or winter in Costa Rica and the rainy season (or wet season) lasts from June to November. The months of December through April have little to no rain and September and October have the heaviest rain period.
DRINKING WATER: The drinking water is considered safe; however bottled water is available at any grocery store if that is your personal preference.
BUG SPRAY & SUN SCREEN: You will definitely need both when out and about, we recommend a waterproof type if available.
CREDIT CARD SAFETY: To make sure that you do not have unexpected issues with your credit cards while here, notify your credit card provider that you will be in Costa Rica.
ROADSIDE SOLICITORS WARNING: When driving through parts of Playa Hermosa you may see young men & women frantically waving you down, generally by speed bumps or corners (areas that require you to slow down). These individuals are generally selling time-shares and we request that if you choose to stop, please do not stop in the middle of the road to chat with these people – If so inclined to hear about time share opportunities, please pull off to the side of the road for more information.