Most Frequently Asked Questions About Costa Rica
WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE?
Like many tropical countries, Costa Rica has two seasons - the wet and the dry - rather than the four seasons to which many of us are accustomed.
The dry season is usually from late December to April and called verano (or summer) by Costa Ricans. This is the most popular time to travel to Costa Rica and the reason that costs are the highest. The dry season is characterized by fewer rainy days and periods of fine, dry weather, sometimes lasting a week or more. In the highlands, the dry season really is dry with only one or two days of rain per month. The Caribbean coastal region tends to be wet all year round. The southern Pacific coast has rain year-round, though there is less in dry season.
The wet season (or "green season") extends throughout the rest of the year (April - November). The country is beautifully green during this time of year and tourists are fewer. Often there are clear mornings and then rain in the afternoon. There is usually a two week dry period called the veranillo which occurs sometime in July. Temperatures vary little between seasons. The main influencing factor in temperature is elevation.
DO I NEED A PASSPORT FOR COSTA RICA?
Citizens of the United States do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica but do need a valid passport upon arrival.
WHY IS THERE A BAGGAGE LIMITATION ON FLIGHTS AND BOATS?
When traveling on a light charter aircraft or boat it is required that you restrict your baggage to 25 pounds including cameras, clothing etc. You can leave the remainder of your baggage at your hotel in San Jose. The reason for this is that if more weight is added, the planes would only be able to take 4 passengers rather than 5 and therefore more planes would be required and prices would also have to be raised. A similar situation exists on small boats where as little as 20 more pounds can mean the difference between a 2 hour trip or a 4 hour trip, or needing a larger vessel.
CAN I DRINK THE WATER?
In most of the areas where you will go - San Jose, Monteverde, Tortuguero - the water is safe to drink. Your guide will advise you on this matter as you go along. However, it should be kept in mind that even though the water is "safe," sometimes just a change in water or diet can cause some upset stomachs. Bottled water, soft drinks, coffee and tea are readily available if you wish to play it safe.
WHAT ARE THE HOTELS LIKE?
Hotel Occidental La Condesa: Located in the Heredia Provence, "The City of Flowers", the Hotel Occidental La Condesa is charming, with an indoor pool, spa, and cafe at the beautiful courtyard Los Condes. La Condesa has three restaurants with a high standard of international cuisine, excellent service, and spectacular views of the Central Valley. All rooms are equipped with hair dryer, mini-bar, safety deposit box, direct dial telephone, and satellite TV.
Monteverde Lodge: 27 large rooms with forest views. Jacuzzi in an indoor forest full of tropical plants; fireplace. Excellent local and international cuisine. 15 minutes from Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
Tortuga Lodge: 24 rooms with twin or double beds and fans. Excellent bar and restaurant service; meals are served family style. A unique attraction is its beautifully maintained ground with many ornamental plants and orchids and an adjoining rainforest nature trail. New swimming pool. Located 10 minutes by boat from the Tortuguero National park.
DO I NEED SPECIAL IMMUNIZATIONS?
No immunizations are required at this time.
Copyright Geographic Expeditions 2001
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