are the customs regulations?
customs duties are charged on personal luggage, which includes
an array of items for personal and professional use, as long as
they do not appear in quantities that suggest commercial intent.
Costa Rican law requires that baggage be examined and that travelers
submit customs declarations listing all articles acquired abroad,
including fruit, vegetables, meat, meat products, biological products
such as vaccinations, serums, etc. In the case of families, one
declaration can be filled out by the family head.
is the best time to travel?
travel industry designates several business seasons during the
year: High Season (related to the dry season, from December until
April), Peak season (Christmas, New Year and Easter), and the
Green Season (also called the Low Season -related to the rainy
season, from May until November). If you live in the Northern
Climates, you will probably consider winter the only time to visit.
However, persons from others areas of North America and Europe
find the rest of the year equally pleasant. They also find it
quite a bit more affordable. Other vacationers just prefer the
country when there are fewer tourists -during the Green Season.
should I bring?
pocket-size English/Spanish dictionary, a small first aid kit,
binoculars - camera and film, walking shoes, sunscreen,
traveler's checks - cash or/and credit cards, swim suits, casual
clothes for nightlife and fine dining, insect repellent, copies
of your favorite Costa Rica travel guide, sandals - sunglasses
& hat, necessary medications, rain jacket, passport/birth
certificate & driver's license.
is the time zone in Costa Rica?
Rica is the same as U.S. central standard time, but does not observe
daylight savings time.
are the business hours?
banks are open from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and do not close
for lunch. Credit cards are widely accepted, with Visa,
MasterCard, Dinners and American Express being the most popular.
Government offices are open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Most
commercial business open from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Stores
and other businesses at commercial centers from 10:00 a.m.
until 8:00 p.m. Most restaurants open from 10:00 am to 11:00
pm. Hotels and some restaurants are open 24 hours.
there a good communication system?
telephone service, facsimile, telex, radio and cable television
are all available. Bilingual operator assistance for international
calls is: 116, local information: 113, long distance information:
124. Internet cafes are available in most towns and hotels.
taxes should I pay?
must be at the airport two hours before departure. There is a
departure tax of US$26.00. There is a 13% sales tax at hotels,
restaurants and most service industries, and an additional 3%
tourist tax at hotels.
driving a good idea?
people love driving and visiting the country at their own pace.
Car Rentals are available from the major rental companies. To
rent one you must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver's
license and a major credit card. Gasoline is available at stations
throughout Costa Rica, most are open 24 hours. Auto
insurance is a MUST, which is included in your contract with the
car rental because most insurance companies explicitly exclude
foreign countries from their coverage. If you have a question,
contact your carrier. When the rented car is given to you, the
contract will explain both parts responsibilities. If you
are involved in a traffic accident: Do not loose your temper,
do not leave the place of the accident, do not move the car, cooperate
with the legal authorities, do not sign any agreements nor accept
any liability, and contact your rental car company immediately.
bus transportation available?
Rica has a bus system that offers inexpensive, timely and convenient
transportation in the Central Valley. It is the primary
means of transportation to natives. On the countryside,
sometimes buses do not run frequently, in some places they operate
only once a day. Another possibility is arranging
transfers with tourism transportation agencies which would give
you a first class service at reasonable rates.
are the medical concerns and suggested vaccines?
care in Costa Rica is very good and sanitary standards are high.
First class hospitals are found throughout San José and some of
the other largely populated areas. Since long ago, diseases
such as malaria, paludismo, and yellow fever were eradicated in
Costa Rica. There are no plagues like in other countries,
and no special vaccine recommendations for travelers more than
the influenza and the tetanus vaccines. Hospitals and the
Red Cross will provide any medical treatment in case of emergency.
much should I tip?
10% tip in a restaurant is appropriate but most restaurants will
add it to your bill so read your bill before paying a tip. Taxi
drivers generally do not receive a tip. If you are satisfied with
the service you receive, private drivers, tourist guides, maids
and bell boys would be glad to receive a tip. The amount
would be totally up to you.
I need to have any special precautions?
consider the following precautions during your trip, that are
the same wherever you travel around the world:
Do not leave your luggage unattended at the airport or with a
stranger, do not carry any stranger´s luggage through customs
or immigration, and always carry your money within an inside pocket
or a body pouch, or money belt.
Daily spending money could be carried in your bag or front pocket.
Credit cards and travelers´checks are good tools when you travel.
Carry a separate package with the following information: a copy
of the identifying pages of your passport, the number of your
credit cards, traveler checks, bank accounts, airplane tickets,
and emergency phone numbers. Valuable items should be left in
a safe box. Avoid crowds as well as dark and lonely places,
and deal with well-known tourism agencies instead of unknown persons.
In other words, take the same precautions you would have when
visiting any other country, but do not let that decrease your
enjoyment of this experience.
would be the best way to plan a perfect trip?
an advisor that knows the country. We are a full service
tour operator and ground transportation company specialized in
daily tours and located in San José, Costa Rica. We handle detailed
itineraries for an optimum trip (hotel reservations, car rentals,
local flights, etc), for individual travelers as well as groups.
We are owned by a Costa Rican family and we offer over ten years
of experience in providing vacations for lasting
you have final suggestions?
your trip well in advance so you have more options to choose from.
Since your eating and drinking habits are often radically different
during a trip, be sure to drink lots of fluids, especially the
day before arriving. Try not to go overboard your first
night giving your body a chance to acclimate. The water is safe
to drink in all areas of the country; nevertheless we suggest
you to buy bottled water for drinking. When buying fresh
fruits and vegetables, wash them with water before eating.
You will receive a confirmation of your request with in 24 hours.
2. Reservations can be mede through one of the following methods.
-By fax (506) 233-5284
-By e-mail simply send your request to
-Through our secure shopping cart.
Hotels, Car Rental and tours can be reserved
with less than 24 hours to your arrival but guarantee of space
will be effective only at the time that you have sended the full
payment and received our confirmation.
individual cancellations made 48 hours or less prior to client's
arrival, no refund will apply. Expediciones Tropicales will refund
the deposits recieved according to the supplier's policies. (Hotel,
Car Rental, Tour Operator).
For group cancellations, Expediciones Tropicales will refund the
deposit if the cancellation is made at least 45 days prior to
group's arrival, otherwise refunds will be subject to any supplier's
policies involved in our tours programs and packages.
your Trip, Welcome to Costa Rica!