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Costa Rica Travel Tips

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The following are useful things that you might want to bring when traveling to Costa Rica:   
*     Light jacket or sweater, can be helpful for high altitude
places where temperature can be a little bit lower.
*    Shorts for almost everywhere in Costa Rica since casual
wear is most common.
*     Hiking shoes.   
*     Long pants to protect yourself from mosquitos specially in the rainforest.    
*     Mosquito repellent.   
*     Sunblock is recommended to wear always.  
*     Umbrella or rain coat since rain can be strong and frequent all around Costa Rica, specially during the rainy season.   
*     Camera.  
*     Binoculars.
*     A plastic case or bag to place your passport and travel documents.  Humidity levels are high year around and paper documents can easily get wet even during the dry season.
*     Swimming suit.   
*     Beach towel.   
*     Sandals.
*     A good map but please always remember that in Costa Rica street signs or street mumbering is unfrequent so directions can be a little bit different and complicated.
*     Passport and drivers license.  
*     No visa required for US citizens.  Other citizens please check with Costa Rica's Consulate.   
*     Vaccinations are not necessary.   
*     If you need medication we recommend that you bring it along with your prescription and medical  records.    
*    Credit cards are  widely accepted.   Dollars are accepted throughout Costa Rica, so there is no real need to exchange them into Colones (local currency).  We recommend to bring $100 cash per person in case of an emergency and to pay exit taxes at the airport the day you depart from Costa Rica.  There might also be some places where all payments have to be done in cash.  You can also get cash at ATM's and banks.

The following are some safety tips that you should take into consideration when traveling to any place around the world:   
*     Have a planned route of travel.  Take a map of the area.   
*     If you are lost, go to a public place to read your map or to ask for directions.    Hotels and tourist information offices can be specially convenient.
*      Stay in touch with local news so that you know what is going on around you.   
*      Do not pull over for flashing headlights or hitch hikers.   
*      Drive with your doors locked and the windows closed.   
*      Do not leave valuables inside the car where they can be seen.   
*      Do not leave keys inside the car.
*      Exchange money only in banks and do not carry too much cash with you.
*      Do not wear jewelry in downtown San Jose.
*      Always hold your purse infront of you.

Costa Rica specifics:

*    In restaurants tip is included on the invoice (10%).
*   Tour guides can be tipped with $5
*    Bellhops, maids and drivers can be tipped with $1.
*    When driving you need always to carry with you the drivers license and passport or notarized photocopy.  It is advisable that you get a  notarized photocopy of your passport.
*    International drivers licenses are valid for three months from the date of entrance to Costa Rica.
*    Tourist permit is valid for three months for US citizens and for most citizenships.  Other countries please check with the nearest Costa Rican consulate.
*    Exchange rate varies every business day.  Make sure you ask in a bank or hotel for the current exchange rate.
*    Travelers checks can be exchanged in banks.  Some banks accept some kind of checks and some others don't.



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