Costa Rica Favorites

  • Favorites
    by blueskyjohn
  • Favorites
    by blueskyjohn
  • Favorites
    by blueskyjohn

Costa Rica Favorites

  • Currency ~ Past and Present

    The basic unit of Costa Rican currency is the Colón (colones = plural) . It may be a little confusing as Costa Rican banknotes and coins are both referred to as colons; coins are marked as colones, although 1/100 of a colon coin is called a centimo.As most seasoned travelers are acutely aware, an airport cambio is not the best place to change...

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  • Malaria Prevention and Other Medications

    While not all areas of Costa Rica may be known to have a malaria risk (transmitted by mosquito bites), depending on what areas of the country you plan to visit, it might be wise to begin a course of malaria prevention medication. As we were visiting Tortuguero in Limon province and this is one of the areas considered to have a malaria risk, we...

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  • The Pacific Coast

    After spending a few days in the mountains and rainforest, we headed north/west to Sámara in Guanacaste Province on the Pacific Coast. It's the least populated part of Costa Rica but the beaches...Oh My!!! The great thing about this area is that it's not overrun with commercialization (although we did see a Burger King), there's lots of open land,...

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  • Northern highlands of Costa Rica

    As part of our fly/drive vacation, we got to visit different areas of Costa Rica. So after leaving San José, we headed northwest towards the northern highlands, Volcán Arenal and the Monteverde Cloud Forest. As we got higher in elevation, there were more clouds, fog and drizzle. But this was very exciting to us because now we were in the...

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  • San José - The Capital

    Our introduction to Costa Rica was landing at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose; a very modern, clean and user friendly place to land. After getting through customs and picking up our luggage, we headed out to the car rental place to get our SUV. The scenery along the way is very nice...a city in the Central Valley surrounded by...

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  • Eat where the locals eat...try a Soda

    When we first arrived in Costa Rica, we kept hearing about "sodas." Ok, so they are talking about the soft drinks we are used to, right? Coke, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, 7Up, etc.? Nope, not at all!!!Sodas are the places where the locals (and now, people in the know) frequent and are simply small restaurants that have limited menu options and have...

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  • Solo female travel options

    My safety tip would have been don't travel alone. But since you're already going, my advice is to spend as little time in San Jose as possible if you are alone. The evening and night is no place for a solo female traveling, IMHO. Fly in, rent a car and experience the country. With such a short amount of time, I recommend the beach, specifically the...

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  • Wildlife!

    One of my favorite things to do in Costa Rica is to seek out wildlife. I've always had success. Maybe because wildlife is everywhere if all forms. Monkey's, Crocodiles, lizards, butterflies, Coati's, Raccoons, exotic birds and sloths. When I come across these animals I can stay and watch them all day. So fascinating! Hiking in Manuel Antonio with...

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  • mosquito issues

    I just returned from Costa Rica and have been there many times. You are going during the dry season so mosquitos are not as bad as you may think. I used insect reppellant in the evening during dinner as many places have open air dinning. During the day received a few bites but I've experienced must worse right around my house in north jersey!Insect...

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  • Tortuguero and Arenal

    Hi there! Have no doubt you can combine Tortuguero with Arenal, its not complicated at all..My girlfriend and I went on a Costa Rica 10 days/9 nights tour package and it was amazing! This was our schedule: 1 night: Naranjo (30 minutes from the airport), here we took the Coffee Tour and then we visited Sarchi town on the way to Sarapiqui 2 night:...

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  • a good travel itinerary

    It is easy to drive around Costa Rica. Just pay extra close attention to speed limits to avoid being stopped by police, which can be a hassle these days.I think some good hiking and the best ziplines are in monteverde cloud forest near the town of Santa Elana. Good guided night hikes are available. La Fortunate is also good for hiking and possible...

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  • Do not forget the Exit Tax

    When leaving Costa Rica you have to pay an Exit Tax or Impuesto de Salida. At the time we left, March 20, 2012, the amount to pay was USD 28, see the receipt (comprobante).You can pay at the airport. We paid beforehand at the bank. Not just any bank, in Alajuala we were referred to the Banco Crédito Agrícola.

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  • Car rental, Insurance and traffic...

    I have rented cars often in CR. It seems nearly every year they are changing some rule. One thing that never changes is the mandatory insurance. This IS NOT provided on any quote you receive if you reserve online before your arrival (at least from the US). Figure on about 35-50% more than the quoted price online. Have done this many times and I...

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  • tips for travel

    Hi,Typically in September you will get the late afternoon thunder shower. The coast tends to be cloudier this time of year while the highlands are generally clearer (opposite during the high season). Day trips from a central location is difficult. If you are in Arenal, it is a 3-4 drive to the coast. There is nothing you can really consider a...

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  • Touring around Costa Rica with...

    There are several ecotours offered in Costa Rica, and shopping for the right one can be a bit of an overwhelming experience. I think going with Amerikaventure turned out to be a good decision, especially thanks to our wonderful guide Eric Braipson. Eric was born in Africa, grew up in Belgium, and moved to Costa Rica in 1997. He speaks French,...

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  • Always keep your eyes open on the road!

    One of the reasons why I was glad I didn't have to drive on this trip was because I could spend the entire time we were on the road taking in the scenery while trying to spot exotic birds and animals. While you might think that you're only chance of seeing Costa Rica's rich wildlife is to visit a national park, in reality many species can be...

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  • Costa rica vs Belize

    I have never been to Belize. Had planned a trip there but was not able to go.Have been to Costa Rica twice and would go back again in a heart beat.Yes there are sections that are not the best places, heck look around the united states.....The east coast is not as nice as the west coast . As for being expensive maybe things have gone up but it was...

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  • Learning travel Spanish in Costa Rica

    The first question you must ask yourself is how much time, energy and money are you willing to spend. How serious are you? Are you serious enough to start before your arrival learning phrases and certain fundamentals like what each letter sounds like? Are you really going to dedicate almost all your time while attending a school studying,...

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  • Atlantic vs. Pacific side of CR

    I've only been to some parts of the Atlantic/Caribbean side, but never been to the Pacific side. I wish I can explore more of CR next time. The Atlantic/Caribbean side seems to have a more off-the-beaten path appeal. I've only heard that the Pacific side is relatively more dry & more sunny all year round, so it attracts more tourists. It also...

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  • Don't come here for the food

    Costa Rica was awesome, but if you are foodie, leave your foodie traits back home, and be prepared to eat because you need nourishment, that's it.To bo honest, the food is not all that bad, but when you've had Dominican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Colombian, Argentinian, etc...you would be dissapointed with CR's food. While all these different countries...

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  • Be careful when going to the beaches

    Hello,When I was travelling to Costa Rica, I felt really safe, because it is always said that it's extremely secure. The truth is that security on the beaches is really bad... I was robbed, the windows of my car was broken and they took my baggage from the trunk... People from Costa Rica told me that it was very common to have these incidents.Be...

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  • Post Office in Dominical

    It seems to me that no matter what place you go to in CR (except the big towns, of course), you will always face the challenge of finding the post office. Dominical has a very small post office (I am not sure you can have something smaller than this!) and you need to keep your eyes open when trying to find it. The best way is to go to San Clemente...

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  • If you drive on your own

    As I mentioned before, the roads in Costa Rica are good, bad and very bad. You also need to keep in mind that the highways are not illuminated, therefore it is a good idea to travel during daylight. Start your day early and make sure you are back at the place you will spend the night at no later than 6pm. We drove during the night hours, but we...

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  • Jaco Costa Rica

    I would take them to Jaco Beach AKA Playa Jaco. It has everything from the surfer hostels, to the 5 star Marriott Los Suenos resort. Something for everyone, I have been there 4 times this year. I found much information about Jaco on anonline directory. www.ohiost.net then Jaco directory. Meeting friendly Tico's (Locals) and people from all over...

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  • Itinerary

    Many thank for your comment, I am aware of the driving time!!! actually there is a very good site to help you with the travel time here is the link in case you want to go back and enjoy pura vida again!! http://www.yourtravelmap.com/costarica/travelmap/index.php.I know I may have to scrap Coyotte if the roads are not very bad, in that case we may...

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  • Post Office in La Fortuna

    If you want to send a postcard from La Fortuna and you need to buy stamps, you need to go to the Post Office. This is the only place in town that sells stamps. If you are like us, you will most likely expect to easily see the Post Office building, but this is not the case in La Fortuna/Arenal. The Post Office in La Fortuna is a tiny building...

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  • Insects

    Costa Rica has a countless number of butterflies, moths, ants, bees and other tropical insects. Nobody knows the real number of beetles and grasshoppers there. The most brilliantly painted insects are the butterflies. They vary in sizes from small ones to huge ones, as big as the palm of your hand. While in Arenal, I had the pleasure to see some...

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  • Volcanoes

    Costa Rica lies at the heart of the most active regions on earth. It is the home of 7 active volcanoes (out of the 42 active ones in the whole world) and another 60 dormant ones. If you are one of the many curious tourists (like me!) that wants to peek inside the bowels of a rumbling volcano, you have no better option than Poas Volcano, where you...

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  • Busy traffic

    The traffic in and around San Jose is busy and it is not fun driving in town. If you can, avoid driving in San Jose. We hired a private driver that took us there and it proved to be a great decision!

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  • Lush Vegetation

    You will be amazed at the sight of lush vegetation! The green you see here is not the green we are used to seeing in North America or in Europe. It is a different shade of green, much deeper and greener! Costa Rica’s flora is protected by a large system of national parks, which makes up for at least 20% of the country’s area. Thanks to these...

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  • Colorful flowers

    Costa Rica will reveal some of the most colorful flowers you may have seen in your life. Some of the flowers are just amazing. Take your time to admire them!

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  • Try to pay your food bill using Colones

    It is a good idea to have some colones with you while traveling in Costa Rica. We run into situations when we wanted to pay in American dollars and the exchange rate varied from store to store or from restaurant to restaurant during the same day. The difference between the official exchange rate and the rate these places gave us was not that big,...

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  • Paying with a credit card

    In Costa Rica, there are some places that charge you extra if you pay with a credit card. To be sure you avoid such a charge, ask before handing out your credit card. Rental car companies and big hotels do not charge you extra for this. Tour companies prefer you to pay cash and they even tell you that they need to charge you more if you pay with...

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  • If God forbid you have a car accident

    If you are driving in CR and you are involved in an accident, make sure that you request and wait for the transit police to show up and fill out a report. You need to call the rental car company right away to let them know about the accident. They will send one of their inspectors to the accident site right away. If you can, do not move your car...

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  • Birding tour company: Gateway Costa Rica

    We customized a private 15 day birding and nature tour for 4 people with Gateway Costa Rica. They have sample intineraries on theirwebsite that you can use to get started and they customize them for you. We had all our ground transport taken care of. The driverswere great and always on time or early. We are so glad we had a driver. As far as we...

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  • cultural ambiguities

    Nicaragua is an extrememely impovrished country,small bands of children work the tourist centers[Grenada,SanJuanDelSur]hustling change to buy solvents[glue,spray-paint]which they openly inhale out of mason-jars.Prostitution is the only source of income for many unwed mothers,it is a sad,tragic country.Costa Rica,is,by Cent.Am.standards,extremely...

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  • No English...No problem (in Costa Rica)

    A lot of the "Ticos" seem to speak English - definitely in the more popular areas. I was in Costa Rica last year, and didn't have a problem with not knowing much Spanish (I know about 10 words). You should email some of the member who live there. They usually are willing to meet up with you and give you a locals tour. Have fun! Ross Beetle Bar -...

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  • Basilicia de Nuestra Senora de los...

    My ultimate thing to do is to take pictures of the countries architecture. The picture of this church is the original pic of the church of "our lady of angels" which as you can see has been destroyed but I still seemed to see it's beauty.The new "Our Lady of Angels" is strikingly beautiful both inside and out. I will miss the Ruins.

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  • Going to the rainforest

    If you are going to spend time in the rainforest, take malaria medication because there are a lot of mosquitos. Wear long sleeve shirts and pants even though it is hot, because you don't want to rub up against something and get a rash. Wear rubber boots (simple kinds from Wal Mart only cost around $10) because they'll protect you from water as well...

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  • One of the best beach

    Costa Rica is the country with more aerotaxi in the world. Don't rent a car but travel with pioneer flight: with less than 50USD you can go everywhere! The beach of Manuelantonio National Park is one of the best I've seen in my life for the richness of the nature besides you, meanwhile you stay with the Pacific Ocean in front of you. Wonderful!

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  • Costa Rica National Flag

    The National flag of Costa Rica consists of five horizontal strips in red, white and blue, modeled after the colors of the French Tricolore. The blue and white are the original colors used by the United Provinces of Central America. Some, but not all of the renditions of the flag include the country's coat of arms on the central red panel. The coat...

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  • The Tico Times Newspaper

    If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica (or even if you are not) you may like to take a look at the Tico Times, an English language weekly newspaper which claims to be Central America's leader, it may very well be. They have a web edition of The Tico Times which contains a small amount of the weekly articles from thier print edition as well as...

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  • Canadian Travellers Never buy Costa...

    I usually purchase my foreign currencies from “Guardian International Currency Corp.” located in Toronto. They usually offer a competitive price for US dollars and since I have been a trusting client of them for years, without researching the rates, I made a purchase of 400 Canadian Dollars worth of Costa Rican money on February 14, 2006 for the...

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  • Imperial

    Take your pick, from the beach to the rainforest. Sky Trek to the Vernado Caves. Throw in volcanoes, all must see things. Imperial beer. The best tasting beer, cheap and the best thing..... No hangover, ever. If anybody knows how to buy it in the UK please tell

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  • Costa Rica--do as much as possible

    Zip-lining through the rain forest jungle canopy was the highlight of my trip.I would recommend it to anyone. The people I dealt with were very hospitable but it was the scenery, the nature and the smell of life from all the greenery that I will always remember (plus my 1st zip line).

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