Below are some answers to commonly 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 Quepos airport?
A faster and more direct route to getting to Quepos from San Jose is to use the trusted air-carrier Costa Rica has to offer- Sansa. Sansa offers numerous flights daily from San Jose to Quepos (XQP), with the one-way trip taking approximately 25 minutes. It should be noted, however, that there are no late afternoon or evening flights with either air-carrier. The last flight into Quepos is at approximately 2 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 2 1/2 hours from San Jose to Quepos and 3 1/2 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 and where we typically host retreats 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:
- 3 or 4 tank tops or lightweight T-Shirts
- 3 or 4 pairs of shorts
- 2 track pants
- yoga pants
- Bathing Suit
- Cap or sun visor
- water bottle
- running shoes
- hiking shoes
- notebook & pen for journaling
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 Quepos. Baggage over 25 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 (10 – 30 min away from the villas where we host retreats) and San Isidro del General (30-45 min away from the villas where we host retreats). 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.
Can you design a custom retreat for our group?
Absolutely! Call or email us and tell us what type of custom fitness or wellness retreat you are interested in, and how many people you would like to bring, and when. We offer a special discount to those who would like to bring a group of 6 or more people.
How much money should I convert to local currency?
There is no need to convert to local currency. The local currency is colones 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.
We do invite you to “unplug” from wireless devices.. after all, you are vacationing in paradise! Take advantage of this getaway, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and peaceful surroundings!
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.