Vacations are supposed to be for ‘getting away from it all’, especially if you are headed for one of the most idyllic places on earth – Costa Rica! While there are basic rules a vacationer should follow before travelling to any destination.
Each place has its own uniqueness, for which some advance information should be gathered so that the individual is better prepared … to have a wonderful time!
So, make sure that:
• You have all travel documents ready – hotel bookings, to and from air tickets, insurance for self, luggage, car, etc, as applicable.
• Credit cards are valid for the country and for the duration of stay. Sufficient cash reserves should be carried.
• Necessary health check up is done prior to departure to ensure intended activities during the vacation do not put you in danger; necessary inoculations should be taken.
• Pack sensibly and take only sufficient quantities of items that are appropriate to your planned activities.
• Research the country and places you intend to visit.
• Keep in mind that there may be emergencies and things may not go exactly as planned; allow free time for these ….. and for yourself!
And to take care of the special needs for vacationing in Costa Rica, check the following:
• A visa is not mandatory for most visitors; a person can stay in that country without a visa for up to 90 days.
• There are 2 international airports, so you have an option on entry and exit points depending on travel plans. There is an exit fee.
• Visiting the country by car usually involves entering through the Panamerican highway either from Nicaragua to the north or Panama in the south. Rental cars are freely available, but you should book ahead; 4 wheel drive vehicles are recommended in many areas. Roads in general are potholed, even those at major tourist destinations, so even small distances take a long time to cover. Dividers are practically non existent, even on major highways. Night driving should be completely avoided. There are very few road signs or any form of indicators (including street names) even inside the major towns and cities … so learn basic Spanish and ask for directions! Gas stations accept the local currency as well as US dollars – it is advisable to use ‘Super’ gas, the ‘Regular’ may be adulterated. Rental insurance is compulsory – be careful to check the vehicle and read the fine print before signing off on it. You can also rent motorcycles.
• The bus network is very punctual, extensive and services all the tourist destinations – it is a much more economical and relaxing way of getting around than renting a car. Taxis are another inexpensive option in the larger cities.
• Boat and small ship cruises are available at various tourist sites.
• Learn basic Spanish and include some local expressions to make your stay and travel less frustrating.
• Think of voluntourism – Costa Rica is famous for this and there are a number of programs on offer. A visitor can volunteer to save baby turtles, help kids, protect forests, teach English or even grow organic food.
Taking care of these should be more than enough for you to enjoy the most marvellous of vacations in Costa Rica!