A valid passport is mandatory to enter Costa Rica. United States, Canada, Great Britain, and most European nations do not need a visa.
What to Pack?
Suggestions for clothing for warm and hot weather: 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts, 3 changes of shirts, a rain poncho, a swimsuit, and a sweater or jacket for the air conditioned bus. Footware that has a bit of a tread and will not slip on wet surfaces. Walking shoes, hiking boots and sneakers are all acceptable. However, open-toed shoes and sandals are NOT acceptable in the rainforest.
Quick dry clothing (especially a pair of convertible pants that zip at the knee to convert into shorts) is recommended for your visit to the rainforest. A pair of convertible quick-dry pants and aquick-dry shirt can be purchased from clothing manufacturers such as Travelsmith.com (1-800-950-1600) and ExOfficio.com (1-800-644-7303), and Columbia (at Sportmart).
Costa Rica has a temperate tropical climate marked by two seasons: the dry (December- April) and the wet (May-November). The average temperature throughout the year is between 71°F and 81°F. During the rainy season, also known as the green season, mornings are generally sunny followed by late afternoon showers.
The Costa Rican currency is called Colon. US dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted.All major credit cards are widely accepted. You will find ATM machined distributed throughout the country.
Costa Rican cuisine is mostly mild and savory. Spicy food is uncommon, and traditional dishes go heavy on the Latin American favorites of rice, beans and local produce. Small diners, called sodas, serve up generous portions of homemade meals, and are very economical; you’ll pay $3-$5 for a full plate of food and a natural fruit drink.
Fruits and Vegetables
It is very safe to eat the fruits and vegetables in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is an agricultural society – there are thousands of small farms throughout the country that grow produce to sell at farmers markets, along the side of the road, or to local supermarkets. In fact, the fruits and vegetables are excellent – we recommend exploring local markets or even roadside fruit stands to both see and sample the diversity of Costa Rica’s agriculture. From the beaches of Guanacaste to the mountains in the Central Highlands, you won’t have any trouble finding an abundance of fruits and vegetables to enjoy during your trip to Costa Rica.
Yes, the tap water is drinkable in most, but not all, of the country. Most people consider the hotel tap water safe for brushing your teeth and drinking beverages with ice cubes. For larger quantities of water, and in rural areas, bottled water is recommended instead of tap water.
No vaccines are required to enter Costa Rica. That said, tetanus and hepatitis shots are always a good idea, regardless. Consult your physician.
Cell Phone Use
In case you want to use a cell phone in Costa Rica, you have to bring an UNLOCKED cell phone, and buy a SIM prepaid card at the ICE (the national telecommunications company) booth in the baggage section of the airport (or in a telephone company office in any city around the country). The unlocked cell phone must be a quad-band GSM or 3G handset or at least have an 850 or 1800 mHz band. Most US phones use 950 mHz. Motorola and Sony Ericcson are brands that have models with the right bands. At the airport ICE booth, you can ask for the different SIM prepaid cards they offer and it will be inserted in your handset. Some of them will include internet access