Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a passport or a visa to travel to Costa Rica?
All Canadian, US and EU citizens who travel to Costa Rica for tourism and pleasure purposes need a valid passport. Please check your passport to make sure you have at least 6 months validity from the time you enter Costa Rica. If not, you should get a new passport before you come visit Costa Rica. A visa is not required.
How long is the flight from San Jose to San Isidro airport?
A faster and more direct route to getting to San Isidro from San Jose is to use one of the two trusted air-carriers Costa Rica has to offer- Nature Airand Sansa. Both of these air-carriers offer numerous flights daily from San Jose to San Isidro, with the one-way trip taking approximately 35 minutes. It should be noted, however, that there are no late afternoon or evening flights with either air-carrier. The last flight into San Isidro is at approximately 3 pm in the high season (Dec – April), and in the green season (May – Nov) the last flight is usually around 1 pm. Visitors arriving into the country in the late afternoon or evening should take this into consideration. If you plan to drive – its approximately 3 ½ hours from San Jose to Uvita.
What should I pack?
The tropical climate here makes it very comfortable to wear simple, lightweight clothing and footwear. Quick-dry clothes and tennis shoes, sandals, and flip-flops/crocs work best. The Costa Ballena region where the Villa is located Peninsula is characterized by warm, breezy days, with highs between 80 and 90 degrees, and lows in the range of 70-80.
Here is a good, basic, ideal packing guide, based on a week-long stay here:
• a water bottle
• a notebook and pen
• running shoes/hiking shoes
• 4 tank tops or lightweight T-Shirts
• 3 or 4 pairs of shorts
• Bathing Suit
• Cap or sun visor
Do I need any shots before visiting Costa Rica?
You do not need any shots or vaccines before visiting Costa Rica. However, we always suggest speaking with your Doctor and referring to the World Health Organization’s website before traveling anywhere.
How much baggage can I bring?
This depends on the carrier you fly. The general rule is a 25-35-pound baggage limit (including carry-on’s) enforced on the “in-country” flight to/from San Isidro. Baggage over 35 pounds will incur a surcharge, so pack light! Besides, how much clothing does a person really need in the tropics? (Please double check with airlines to find out exactly how much weight your baggage can be.)
What happens in the case of a medical emergency?
The closest major hospitals are found in Quepos (25 min away from the villa) and San Isidro del General (30 min away from the villa). Several doctors operate out of Dominical. We always have a vehicle on property in case emergency transport is necessary.
Medical care in Costa Rica is of very high quality and considered to be the best in Central America. San Jose especially has excellent hospitals, medical facilities, and doctors that attend almost exclusively to foreign residents and travelers.
Is Costa Rica safe?
Generally, Costa Rica is quite safe. Like any place, normal precautions and care should be taken depending on where you are visiting. Violent crime is rare in Costa Rica while theft of personal property (from automobiles and hotel rooms) is more common. Big cities, beach areas and any place with a concentration of tourists are more likely to encounter petty theft.
What is the weather like in Costa Rica?
Although Costa Rica is considered to have a stable climate, it is important to note that different temperature and weather conditions may be experienced within the same day, or within short distances, due mostly to the rugged terrain of this mountainous country. There are two well-defined seasons: the rainy/green season (May – Nov) and the dry/summer (Dec – April), with one main difference between them: rainfall averages. Rainfall averages for the country may reach the highest point during the months of September and October— approximately 650 mm per month. Seasonal changes don’t bring significant changes in temperatures, although nights may be cooler in some areas during the rainy season. Mornings will most commonly be sunny all year round. Daytime highs range between 80 and 85 degrees, and lows in the range of 70-80.
How much money should I convert to local currency?
There is no need to convert to local currency. The local currency is colones (CRC) and all businesses happily accept U.S. dollars (however, expect your change to be in colones).
We suggest strongly that you do not change any money. Bring many small bills so you do not have to receive any change in colones. The current rate of exchange fluctuates -see live exchange rate here.
Do you have Internet or phone access?
The villa offers a free WiFi service. There are no phones provided. We suggest you check with your service provider and ask them specifically about service in Costa Rica.
What does the phrase “pura vida” mean?
Pura Vida (POO-rah VEE-dah) literally translated means “Pure Life.” Other synonyms are “simple life”,“full of life,” “this is living”. The phrase pura vida is also used as a greeting, a farewell, and to express satisfaction.
However, Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, good spirits, enjoying life slowly and celebrating good fortune, whether small or large. Visitors and expats who adopt the expression properly get a big smile in return. It is an acknowledgment of the Costa Rican attitude towards life.