What to wear?
Please find some of our suggested items to pack alongside items you have set aside listed below. The atmosphere is humid so please consider this when packing.
- Light breathable layers, t-shirts, long sleeve, shorts, trousers
- Footwear: waterproof, light-weight hiking boots, river sandals (Teva-type sandals), tennis shoes/running shoes. If you do not bring hiking boots, make sure you bring TWO pairs of tennis shoes.
- Swimming costume / shorts
- Rain jacket / windbreaker
- Sun hat
- Suncream - it is expensive in Costa Rica
- Insect repellent
- Camera & charger, memory cards
- Travel adapter (if applicable) - 2 pin US
- Zip-lock plastic bags for personal belongings protection in case of rain.
- Extra prescription glasses and medication (if applicable).
- Small day pack or fanny pack for walks
Please ensure that you visit your doctor to enquire about any vaccination requirements you may need for your visit to Costa Rica. It may be worthwhile taking a copy of your itinerary with you to show the exact areas you will be travelling to.
Yellow Fever Decree:
As of April 30th 2007, vaccination against the Yellow Fever is mandatory on tourists traveling from or stopping at geographic areas considered in risk.
For more information, please visit: http://costaricaembassy.be/en/consulate/visas/yellow_fever
Travelling with CPAP or other Medical Machines
Inform The Big Journey Company that you are travelling with such a device as early as possible and well before you travel. This is especially important in places where there may be issues with power supply, such as on safari or small cruise ships. Also,
-Check that you have the correct electrical and voltage adapters for the country and accommodation you are visiting;
-Check with your airline that they allow your device to be carried as additional hand luggage and ensure that your device is easily accessible and properly labelled as medical machinery;
-Always carry a letter from your medical practitioner prescribing its use for you;
-Ensure you have details of your machine separately in case of the need to secure repairs/replacements whilst you are travelling;
-Check with your medical practitioner about the use of tap or bottled water in the event that distilled water cannot be sourced in the country you are travelling to.
Please note, if you require distilled or ionised water, you must inform The Big Journey Company of this at least two weeks ahead of travel so we are able to make preparations with our ground agents. There will be an additional charge for this.
At the time of writing , American, British & Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica.
However, they must have a current valid passport and a return ticket to exit Costa Rica. You may stay as a visitor for up to 90 days under a tourist visa waiver, although the exact period is at the discretion of the immigration officer on arrival.
For current information on visa requirements please check here.
Dry Season - December to April
April is the end of the Costa Rican dry season. The western and central regions of Costa Rica have nearly no rain and mostly sunny weather. What little rain falls usually comes as afternoon or evening showers and most people are surprised to find that Nicoyaand Guanacaste are more reminiscent of the Arizona desert than a jungle.
March and April are the hottest time of year especially in the western half of Costa Rica. Sun worshipers revel in highs around 86 to 96 °F (30-37 °C) followed by overnight average temperatures of 78 to 86 °F (26-30 °C) with no rain to break the cycle.
Rainy season - August to October
September is one of the rainiest months of the year on the west side and in the mountains of Costa Rica and one of the driest months on the east side.
The Pacific beaches and central region get significant rain most days; generally with a pattern of sunny mornings followed by showers in the afternoon or evening. Daytime temperatures are usually around 75 to 85 °F (24-29 °C) this time of year and it cools off more at night.
While Costa Rica uses a 110V/60Hz power system that is compatible with North American devices, power surges and fluctuation are frequent.
In populated urban areas there should be good mobile signal but as we head into the forest signal will more than likely disappear. However the majority of our hotels have free WiFi so you won't be without communications for long.
While colones are the official currency of Costa Rica, US dollars are virtually legal tender. Most ATMs in large towns and cities will dispense both currencies. However, it pays to know where and when you should be paying with each currency.
In Costa Rica you can use US dollars to pay for midrange to top-end meals, admission fees for sights etc. Local meals and drinks, domestic bus fares, taxis and small purchases should be paid for in colones, we suggest you carry a small amount of colones for little towns and rural shops. Credit cards generally accepted.
Gratuities to drivers, guides or rangers etc. Our local travel service providers are paid well and fairly for their work. However, it is usual for groups to tip guides and drivers and it would be reasonable for each group member to factor in a contribution of around USD10 per day.