USA  1.866.569.5723     CR  506.2479.1822​     info@PureCostaRicaTravel.com

PACKING TIPS

PACKING LIST


  • Quick-drying synthetic-fiber socks and shirts
  • Knee-high socks for rubber boots ( supplied at many lodges)
  • Waterproof sport sandals
  • Flip-flops
  • Hiking boots or shoes that can get muddy and wet  
  • Swimsuit
  • Lightweight pants
  • For women: lightweight sundresses
  • Waterproof lightweight jacket, windbreaker or poncho 
  • Sweater
  • Additional layers for cool nights, mountain trips
  • Backpack for short hikes
  • DEET insect repellent (for forested areas and on the No. Caribbean coast
  • Sunscreen (waterproof/sweatproof) with a minimum of SPF 30
  • Hat (the sun is strong this close to the equator)
  • Bandanas (for drying your hands, protecting your neck from the sun, etc.)
  • Waterproof Camera (or camera with a waterproof case or dry bag)​​

INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS

Travel light!

  • ​Airlines have strict weight limitations; exceeding the weight will result in additional fees
  • ​Make sure your luggage can be carried without assistance. Even if you're staying at luxury resorts, you still may have to haul your bags from one destination to another. 


Dress light!
Bring comfortable, breathable, fast-drying clothing. T-shirts and shorts are acceptable near the beach and in tourist areas. Long-sleeve shirts and pants will protect your skin from the strong Costa Rica sun (and, in coastal regions, mosquitoes). Rethink bringing jeans; they take too long to dry.

To see many of Costa Rica's natural wonders, be prepared to get down and dirty. Or, at the very least, wet and muddy.

Consider the following packing list as a tour guide of sorts, put together by our team who have been operating in Costa Rica for over 20 years: 

ELECTRICITY

  • San Juan Santamaría, San Jose (SJO)
  • Daniel Oduber Quirós International aka Liberia International Airport (LIR)

TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS

While Costa Rica ("Rich Coast") takes up a mere .03% of the world's surface area (think the size of West Virginia, only smaller), this tropical wonderland boasts over 5% of the entire world's biodiversity.

Though a relatively small country, Costa Rica is made up of 10 different regions

The Interior Regions, north to south:
• Northern Lowlands

• Central Highlands

• Central Valley
• South Central

The Coastal Regions, clockwise from the Northwest:
• Northern Caribbean

• Southern Caribbean

• South Pacific
• Central Pacific
• Nicoya Peninsula

• Guanacaste 

  • Costa Rica uses 110 V, reflecting the same voltage as the U.S. and Canada.
    ​Note: Visitors from other countries will need adapters. 

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

GRATUITIES

WHATEVER THE WEATHER, COSTA RICA'S WELCOME MAT IS OUT 24/7 


​Due to the fact that Costa Rica ("Rich Coast") is located between 8 and 12 degrees north of the Equator,

the climate is tropical year round. Yet depending on a specific area's elevation and topography,

the multiple microclimates allow for certain variations in the forecast.

Generally, the high/dry season is between mid- November through May, while the tropical/rainy season ("green season") is between May though mid- November. Note that U.S. school breaks and holidays (i.e., Christmas and Easter) directly correlate to the high season, making it the most populous – and higher-priced – time of year. That said, if holiday travel is the determining factor, then be sure to make plans as early as possible. (Three to six months is recommended.)

Enter Pure Costa Rica Travel. We design trips specifically for YOU, answering to your specific needs: your schedule, your weather preferences, your regional preferences as well as your budget. 

  • ​The country currency is the colón (plural,colones), named after Christopher Columbus (in Spanish, Cristóbal Colón). It is formally referred to as the Costa Rican colon, or CRC. The monetary symbol is: ₡


  • The exchange rate is approximately ₡500-550 to $1 USD. Loosely translating the difference: Double the amount in colones, and then move the decimal point 3 places to the left. Example:  ₡1,000 = $2.00; ₡10,000 = $20, ₡20,000 = $40, etc.


  • The best exchange rates can be found by going to state banks or ATMs. However, limits for daily cash withdrawals vary between banks (e.g., some impose a daily limit of $200 while others allow up to $1,300). Let your bank know your traveling.


  • Credit cards are widely accepted in the tourist areas' hotels and restaurants. US dollars are also accepted, but no currency over $20 bills.


  • In Costa Rica's rural and remote areas, be prepared to pay solely with colones. It's a good idea to always have a few thousand colones on hand. 

MONEY

Restaurants:  

  • Restaurant and bar bills include an automatic 10% tip and 13% sales tax.
  • The charges can be combined on the bill as I.V.I. (“Impuesto de Ventas Incluido”). Or, the bill may read as 10% tip ("Imp. Servicio") and 13% sales tax ("Imp. Ventas"). In any event, count on being charged an additional 23% over the cost of the meal. If the service is exceptional, feel free to leave an extra tip.


​Taxi Drivers: 

  • Tips aren't necessary, but fine to add on some colones if it's warranted. Expect to pay for taxi rides in colones.


Hotel Porters/Housekeepers:

  • Porters: $1 per bag.
  • Housekeeping: $1 - $2 per day.


​Tour Guides: 

  • As this service requires expertise and knowledge, 15% is standard. 
  • Private Transport
  • Domestic Air Flights
  • Private Air Charters
  • ​Private Helicopters
  • ​Shared Shuttles (in limited areas)
  • ​Car Rental ((maximum rental age is 21 years; major credit card required; safety deposit held between $900 - $2,000, depending on category of car) 

CR GEOGRAPHY