Pre-Departure Information
and Terms and Conditions

Welcome to Costa Rica! To visit this amazing country there are some requirements which must be met. Please read this packet, so that you can prepare for Costa Rica, pack accordingly, and enjoy your travel experience.

The following booking conditions form the basis of your contract with Find My Costa Rica S.A (“we”, “us” and “our company”). Please read them carefully as they set out our respective rights and obligations. By asking us to confirm your booking, we are entitled to assume that you have had the opportunity to read and have read these booking conditions and agree to them.

Section I: Entry Requirements / Visa And Passport Info

  • No COVID test to enter.
  • Guests not required to be vaccinated against COVID -19.
  • No Travel insurance required to enter ( however we recommend when travelling).

Please see the official government link for information regarding travel to Costa Rica.

A return flight ticket is needed when entering Costa Rica. The immigration officer will ask for it upon your arrival. It is advisable to make a photocopy or take a picture of your passport with an entry stamp to carry at all times during your stay.

  • Your country of origin determines the number of days available to stay in Costa Rica as a tourist.
  • In some cases, the Immigration official may request you show economic solvency for your stay in the country
  • Even with a 90-day tourist visa, the immigration official determines the duration of your stay as allowed by your passport.

Travelers entering Costa Rica must have a valid passport as well as proof of their intent to exit the country before their visa or entry stamp expires, usually within 90 days.
All non-resident travelers must possess a return ticket or a ticket as proof of when they intend to exit the country, commonly referred to as an outbound exit or onward ticket. An onward ticket is required for non-residents who are:

  • Traveling on a one-way ticket
  • Entering the country with a return ticket dated more than 90 days after arrival
  • Flying into Costa Rica and flying out of another country

By law, an onward ticket includes any of the following on approved commercial transport:

  • A pre-purchased bus ticket out of the country
  • A pre-purchased flight out of the country
  • Proof of passage on a cruise ship

Once you arrive or depart from an airport in Costa Rica, remember that if you carry an amount equal to or greater than US$10,000 or its equivalent in other currencies, cash, or securities, you must declare it before the Customs Authority in the baggage area through the form provided for this purpose, as stated by Costa Rican law (No. 8204, article 35).

What inoculations do I need before entering Costa Rica?

Starting on July 30, 2007, all travelers coming from the following countries must possess a yellow fever vaccination certificate before entry into Costa Rica is allowed: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and the Republic of Guyana.

American citizens/USA Passport holders do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. However, they must have a current, valid passport and show proof of a return ticket to exit Costa Rica. Please carry a copy of your return itinerary with you in case the customs agent asks to see it, as they often do.

Remember that while in Costa Rica, you are subject to local law. Showing contempt to a Costa Rican government official at the port of entry or elsewhere is a serious offense.

Arrival in Costa Rica

Upon arrival at the international airport, you will, of course, have to go through immigration and customs. Once you have collected your baggage and are leaving the cordoned area into the public area, an AEA representative will be waiting for you. They will be holding a placard with your university name, and the paging board will have the easily recognizable AEA logo.

Proof of Citizenship, Visa, Shot Requirements

Participants are responsible for obtaining proper entry documentation. All foreign nationals including infants are required to possess a valid passport to enter Costa Rica. All passports must have at least six months remaining before expiration at time of departure from Costa Rica. Visitors from the US traveling with a passport issued by a US agency are not required to have a visa or shots when traveling from the US, but visa and/or shot records may be required by travelers from other countries or US travelers when the US is not their point of embarkation before arriving in Costa Rica. It is each traveler’s responsibility to ascertain whether a visa or shots will be required and to secure necessary documentation prior to travel. No refunds will be given for missed flights or denied entry caused by failure to carry proper documentation or for any other reason. If travel documents are lost or stolen or other issues need to be resolved with the participant’s embassy once in Costa Rica, there will be no refund for forfeited transfers, hotel rooms, or tours. We will gladly provide assistance, but any incurred expense would need to be paid at time service is rendered and are at the guest’s sole expense. Visitors to Costa Rica may carry a copy of their passport in lieu of the original while traveling within the country.

General Information

  • What to bring while traveling and touring: A small backpack for your towels, mosquito repellent, etc., plus a small amount of money for additional beverages, snacks, or souvenirs.
  • Please be advised that local laws and customs prohibit the sale and service of alcohol On the Thursday and Friday (Good Friday) before Easter Sunday.
  • Please note that all itinerary times are approximate. We try to cater to our guests needs and will modify activities to meet these needs when possible. 
  • Prices do not include tips (tour escort, guides, drivers, baggage handlers, cowboys, dive masters, etc.). Many of the various people who will help you during your stay will greatly appreciate any consideration you can afford to give them. 
  • Not included in tour prices: International or in-country ground or air transfers not specifically included in your itinerary; departure taxes; cost of passports, visas, or tourist cards; excess baggage fees; additional fees assessed by airlines; personal expenses such as room service, beverages, or laundry; gratuities to tour escort, guides, or drivers, personal communication charges; personal insurance; or any sightseeing stops, tours, meals, or beverages not specifically included in your itinerary. 
  • Although Costa Rica is a small country, and the distances in miles or kilometers between cities may be short, due to the conditions of the winding, and sometimes bumpy roads, clients can expect long travel times between travel points. 
  • Traveler’s checks are not readily accepted in Costa Rica, due to the long wait for funds to become available. 
  • It is not necessary to exchange a large amount of money into local currency as US dollars are widely accepted. Airport money exchange centers do not usually give a competitive rate.

Section II: Booking your trip and payment details

Reservations are not guaranteed until a deposit has been received. 

Reservations are not made or guaranteed until a deposit has been received.  Where we have already confirmed the availability of your chosen arrangements and you book within any applicable time limit for doing so, your booking will be treated as firm and a contract between us will come into existence as soon as we receive your deposit. We will then send you a receipt for all payments made and our invoice. Where we have not confirmed availability, your booking will be treated as a quote and a contract between us will come into existence when we despatch our invoice to you. Where you book through our website without prior confirmation of availability, any electronic acknowledgement of your booking is not a confirmation of it. Please check your invoice carefully as soon as you receive it. Contact us immediately if any information which appears on the invoice or any other document appears to be incorrect or incomplete.

Please note that all itinerary times are approximate. We try to cater to our guests needs and will modify activities to meet these needs when possible.

Packages Do Not Include.

Prices do not include tips (tour escort, guides, drivers, baggage handlers, cowboys, dive masters, etc.). Many of the various people who will help you during your stay will greatly appreciate any consideration you can afford to give them. Not included in tour prices: International or in-country ground or air transfers not specifically included in your itinerary; departure taxes; cost of passports, visas, or tourist cards; excess baggage fees; additional fees assessed by airlines; personal expenses such as room service, beverages, or laundry; gratuities to tour escort, guides, or drivers, personal communication charges; personal insurance; or any sightseeing stops, tours, meals, or beverages not specifically included in your itinerary.

Departure Tax

Departure Tax is now included in ticket price for most airlines, but please verify with your air carrier prior to travel.

You are Responsible to Carefully Review the Summary of What is Included on the Itinerary that You Intend to Reserve Prior to Reserving Your Vacation.

Payment Policies

We offer secure online payment processing through our secure online banking system and PayPal. We also accept bank transfers through out  Costa Rican  based  bank. International wire transfers may apply

Deposits & Payments

A deposit of $100 per person is required at time of booking. Deposits are non-refundable unless stated differently at time of booking. If you are not paying in full at the time you make your reservation, you will receive an invoice with a final payment due date specified. If we have your credit card on file, it will automatically be charged for any balance on the due date specified, if payment has not been made in full in advance of due date. It is your responsibility to notify us if your credit card expires or is cancelled. If you are making payment on-line and we do not have your account information on file, a payment reminder will be sent and payment will need to be received by agreed due date. Any reservation made within 31 days prior to arrival must be paid in full at time of booking. If payment is not made in full by the specified due date, reservation will be cancelled, rooms and tour activity space released, and no refund of any deposits or payments collected will be refunded.

Payment Policies – Regular High and Low Season Dates

High Season Reservations made more than 61 days advance require a deposit of $200 ( or otherwise indicated at time of quoting) to secure reservations and the remaining 50% balance due no later than 60 days prior to arrival date. Reservations made within 60 days of arrival date require full payment to secure reservations. After processing, a printable receipt of payment will be sent to clients email address.

Low Season Reservations made more than 46 days advance require a deposit of $200 ( or otherwise indicated at time of quoting) to secure reservations and the remaining 50% balance due no later than 45 days prior to arrival date. Reservations made within 45 days of arrival date require full payment to secure reservations. After processing, a printable receipt of payment will be sent to clients email address.

Cancellation Policies

All cancellations must be relayed to us via telephone during regular business hours and must also be submitted in writing to our office. The date of the response from us, acknowledging receipt of your request with our cancellation confirmation number, is the date that will be used to determine which penalties outlined below will be assessed. It is your responsibility to verify that you have written notification from us that your request has been received. No refunds will be made for unused hotel rooms, meals, diving, tours, or transfers. These policies do not apply to any airfare booked though Find My Costa Rica S.A. You will be given specific airline cancellation policies at time of booking. The policy for the property where you are staying and the dives you booked are subject to the following cancellation penalties:

  • Peak Season Dec 20 – Jan 8th / Easter Week Cancellations 91+ days prior to arrival – loss of deposit. Cancellations 90 or fewer days prior to arrival – 100% penalty
  • High /Mid Season Jan 9th to May 1st / July 1 to Aug 31st Cancellations 61+ days prior to arrival – loss of deposit. Cancellations less than 45-60 days prior to arrival – loss of deposit and any penalties applied by providers. Cancellations 44 or fewer days prior to arrival – 100% penalty
  • Low Season May 1st to June 30th / Sept 1st to Dec 19th Cancellations 45+ days prior to arrival – loss of deposit. Cancellations less than 31-44 days prior to arrival – loss of deposit and any penalties applied by providers. Cancellations 30 or fewer days prior to arrival – 100% penalty.


Changes to Itinerary

Any changes to the itinerary at the guest’s request while in Costa Rica are at the guest’s sole expense. NO REFUNDS will be given for any unused rooms, tours, meals, or transfers. No exceptions will be made. For bookings made within 30 days prior to departure date, the itinerary is final. We will do our best to assist with making changes with change fees assessed.

Within 61+ days of travel: $25.00 per change 

Within 15-60 days of Travel: $50.00 per change 

Within 14 days of Travel: $100.00 for parties of one to five, $150.00 for parties of six or more

All change requests must be via telephone during regular business hours. Changes to reservations cannot be guaranteed, but we will do our best to assist you.

No Shows

No shows will forfeit the full amount of the package.


Refunds are considered on a case-by-case basis.  We  will always do what we can to assist you with  rebooking the trip, but there are circumstances that may cause our providers irrecoverable expenses  and which are out of our control and are subject to each  providers policy. We will not accept any liability for any claims and will not provide refunds except as may be specifically allowed herein.

Travel insurance: Highly Recommended

It is essential that you have adequate and appropriate cover for your trip including any adventurous activities. We strongly encourage all guests purchase comprehensive travel, medical, accident, luggage, emergency, trip interruption, and dive insurance prior to departure date. Activities such a scuba diving, white-water rafting, zip-line canopy, canyoning, rappelling, tubing, kayaking, horseback riding or ATV tours, as well as visits to volcanos, hot springs, mud baths and spas carry inherent risks. Participation is voluntary and all activities are performed at customer’s own risk. We will be happy to provide a quote for trip interruption and/or dive travel insurance if you provide us with your birth year. It is important to have adequate insurance which will cover cancellation costs from the date of booking as well as medical expenses (including evacuation and repatriation). Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on your trip. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs.

By authorizing us to make your travel arrangements or by making a payment to us, you agree to be bound by the above stated policies, terms and conditions and acknowledge that you have shown these policies to all members of your travel party in which you represent by making payment for them. Please contact a travel insurance provider to obtain appropriate coverage.

Section III: General Policies and Conditions

General policies and conditions

Every reasonable effort is made to maintain rates as quoted, however, due to circumstances beyond our control (fuel, taxes etc.) rates are subject to change with notice. Increased government taxes and fuel surcharges may be collected by vendor at time service is provided.

  • FIND MY COSTA RICA, S.A. its owners, associates, agents, and employees) assume no responsibility for injury, loss, damage to person or property or for additional expenses due to acts of God, sickness, weather, terrorism, strike detentions, riots war, quarantine, theft, civil unrest, or government regulations and restrictions, over which it has no control. 
  • FIND MY COSTA RICA, S.A. assumes no responsibility for any accidents, delays, inconveniences, expense or mishap of any kind whatsoever resulting entirely or in part from causes beyond our control. 
  • FIND MY COSTA RICA, S.A. reserves the right to make changes that we deem to be reasonable in the itinerary where necessary. 
  • For trips and tours where FIND MY COSTA RICA, Inc. acts solely as booking agents, we assume no liability should any contracted supplier fail to provide any service. Find My Costa Rica sole responsibility if supplier fails to provide services contracted is to refund guests money for specific services contracted with specific supplier. 
  • Handling and security of all baggage and personal belongings is at the owner’s risk, and FIND MY COSTA RICA, S.A.. is not responsible for any loss or damage.
  • FIND MY COSTA RICA, S.A. is not responsible for loss of life, personal injury, cancellations, delays, overbooking, or loss of services caused by any international or domestic flights. 
  • FIND MY COSTA RICA, S.A. its employees and principles are not responsible for any loss of life, personal injury, bodily injury or loss of property as a result of the signer’s participation in any activities while in Costa Rica or travel to, from, or within Costa Rica caused by contracted Costa Rican representatives, tour companies or agents. 
  • FIND MY COSTA RICA, S.A. shall be free of all responsibility or liability for any act, error, omission, injury to person or property, loss, inconvenience, financial loss, accident, delay, irregularity, physical or emotional harm suffered by any person while en route to or while a guest at any facility or any other event which may be occasioned by reason or through the act of God, theft, abuse, defect or default of any company, hotel, person, direct air carrier, transfer company and /or their employees, to result in unused accommodations or services in connection with reservations made on behalf of customer by Find My Costa Rica. 
  • FIND MY COSTA RICA, S.A. is not responsible for providing refunds or credits for trips not taken or delayed due to a customer’s failure to return this signed document prior to or at the time final payment is made. 
  • Any disputes between participants and FIND MY COSTA RICA, S.A. will be decided upon under Costa Rican law and La Fortuna, San Carlos Carillo, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica, will be the venue for any legal action.

Section IV: General Information about Costa Rica


Costa Rica is on Central Standard Time. Costa Rica observes Central Standard Time all year. There are no Daylight Saving Time clock changes.


The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish. The people of Costa Rica are friendly and generally interested in meeting you, but they may not be as open as you initially are. They may also not speak any English.

Learning some of the languages before you arrive will greatly help you make friends and enjoy your time to the fullest.


Though generally classified as a tropical country because of its close proximity to the equator, Costa Rica has no real “winter” season – the sun shines here throughout the year. In general, the weather can be classified as dry or “high season” and wet or “green season.” With over 12 hours of sunshine a day, the sun rises at about 5:45 am and sets at about 5:45 pm consistently throughout the year.

Although Costa Rica is a small country in terms of area, there is a lot going on weather-wise. With a diverse and varied climate, Costa Rica can be divided into several climate zones, each of which are distinct and individual. This means that it may be sunny and hot in one area, but cool and rainy just a few miles down the road. Elevation really plays a factor in temperatures as well and you may be surprised at how cool some of the mountain destinations can be. Be prepared – You should prepare by packing layers (and definitely a rain jacket), and expect the unexpected. Depending on where you are and what you are doing, in one day, you may experience cool temps, rain, hot sun, and humidity.


Do learn some Spanish. Though English is widely spoken in Costa Rica, you’ll enjoy your trip even more if you can converse with all the locals you meet, and they really appreciate the effort.

Do tip your server at restaurants, if a service charge isn’t included in the bill (usually 10%).

Do smile and say hello or “hola” to everyone, even in passing on the street. Costa Ricans are very friendly and will more than likely say hello first.

Do enjoy a cup of fresh coffee in the morning or afternoon. Costa Rican coffee is some of the best in the world.

Do practice “Pura vida” (pronounced poo-ra vee-da). This phrase is very common in Costa Rica and is used in lots of situations. Usually it means “no worries” but is also used in other ways. Embrace the Pura Vida attitude: RELAX and enjoy your experience and don’t get too caught up in your worries and concerns – because the prevailing attitude in Costa Rica is Pura Vida!

Don’t be in a hurry. Costa Rica runs on “Tico time,” which might be more leisurely than what you’re used to. For example, buses are often late, and food at restaurants sometimes takes a little longer than what you may be accustomed to in your country.

Don’t feed animals. Always stay on marked trails, and don’t pick flowers or collect seashells. Please do your best not to disrupt the natural habitats you encounter. (“Take only memories, leave only footprints.”)

Don’t overdo public displays of affection. While a quick kiss or hand-holding isn’t any big deal, over-the-top displays (like making out) may be frowned upon by Costa Rican locals, particularly in the rural areas.

Don’t carry valuables around if it can be avoided. Keep them in a safe and hidden place if possible. Petty crime can happen anywhere in the world, so be proactive and protected. In fact, try not to bring anything too valuable.

Don’t throw toilet paper in the toilet! You’ll notice a little trash can next to every toilet – throw your used paper in there. Anything extra in the toilet can clog delicate plumbing systems.

Power and Plugs

Electric current in Costa Rica is AC and uses 110 volts. The sockets are American-style, but budget places often don’t have a place for a grounding prong, so bring an adapter. While many hotels clearly label electrical outlets, others don’t. If you’re in doubt, ask first. Check the power adapters of your laptop, battery chargers, and other electric appliances before you go. Many are designed to automatically accommodate input current from 110 to 250 volts while others are only for 110.

Some are switchable and others not. If you have something that only accepts 250 volts, you may want to consider purchasing a voltage adapter before you travel


If you have any food allergies, be sure to share this information with your travel agent. Otherwise, please be open to experiencing the local cuisine! Some popular local foods include:

  • Gallo Pinto, or rice and beans: prepare to eat a lot of rice and beans! This is THE staple food in Costa Rica (and much of Central America) and you may have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.The most common dish for breakfast is Gallo Pinto which consists of rice mixed with black beans, often served with natilla (sour cream), eggs (scrambled) and fried plantains. Costa Ricans usually drink a cup of coffee or fresh fruit juice with it.
  • Casados are often served for lunch or dinner. Casados are typically made up of rice, beans, salad, a type of meat or fish, and also usually include plantains, white cheese and corn tortilla. You may notice that the rice and beans in casados are separate, but in gallo pinto are mixed together.
  • There is no typical meal for dinner, but another typical main dish in Costa Rica is Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken), which can be served with different vegetables from the area like camote, chayote and yuca. Seafood is also common thanks to the country’s proximity to both the Pacific and Caribbean.
  • Small dishes before or in between meals are called Bocas, like black bean dip, chimichurri (tomatoes and onions in lime juice) served with tortilla chips or ceviche (fish/ shrimp with onion in lime juice). Ensalada de frutas (fruit salad) consists of different pieces of tropical fruits, like papaya, banana, maracuya and many more.
    One of the most common desserts is called Tres Leches, a cake bathed in evaporated, condensed and regular milk with a whipped cream top.


Visitors are advised to take basic safety precautions, much the same as they would in other major cities around the world.  Basic safety precautions include:

  • Do not walk alone at night, especially in unlit streets.
  • Do not draw unnecessary attention to money or jewelry on your person. We recommend leaving expensive jewelry and accessories at home.
  • Do not be tempted into payment games or gambling.
  • Do not buy gold, diamonds, or other seemingly valuable items offered for sale on the street; they are often stolen or fake.
  • Do not leave your property unattended in a public place.
  • Always have a friend with you when transacting at an ATM and avoid using them after dark and/or in secluded locations.
  • Do not travel off the beaten track before informing someone and asking advice on the safest routes.
  • Do not resist when confronted.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers.
  • Do not venture into the township areas unless you are part of a tour group led by a reputable tour guide.
  • Lock valuables in the hotel safe.
  • Check your route before leaving the hotel.
  • Lock your hotel door at all times – whether you are in the room or not – and check through the peephole when someone knocks on your hotel door.
  • Lock your car doors at all times and leave your windows closed.
  • Listen to the advice of your guides, hosts, and hotel personnel.
  • Park in well-lit areas when going out at night.
  • Lock any personal items and luggage in the boot (trunk) of the car.
  • Contact the police and your local coordinator immediately after a crime.
  • Use only reputable taxi companies – ask the hotel to call one for you and/or suggest one.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol intake, as your judgment may be clouded under the influence of alcohol.


The Costa Rica currency is called colón. Colones bills come in 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000 and 50000. The coins come in 5, 10, 25, 50 100 and 500.

 The exchange rate fluctuates in Cota Rica so  check  what the current rate is  here:

Costa Rica is generally safe; however, when handling money, please do not flash wads of cash. To you, $10 or $20 in small bills may not sound like a lot of money, but to someone very poor, this can look like a lot. It is helpful to keep small amounts in one pocket and larger bills in another pocket, so you do not have to pull your wallet out for small purchases. 

You might want to bring a money belt with you that wraps around your waist to keep your credit cards or extra cash and passport when you do not have a safe or other place to keep it. When a safe is available in your accommodations, we recommend using it for valuables.
Please do not bring very expensive items like expensive jewelry, computers, or photography equipment. If you do bring an expensive camera, for example, it is best to keep it in an inconspicuous backpack when not in use.

Remember to have your passport ready when exchanging money – as it is a government requisition – and a copy of your passport will be kept by the money changer.


Is USD accepted in Costa Rica?
Yes, Costa Rica does accept US dollars at most places – even usually small corner markets. Costa Rica is a touristic country with US citizens as their main tourists. That combined with the fluctuating Colon many businesses choose to advertise and charge in USD. Guests will find that many restaurants, tours and hotels are quoted in USD.
Because of this, you do not necessarily need to exchange money before traveling to Costa Rica if you already have US dollars. However we always think it’s a good idea to carry both
If you bring USD BRING SMALL BILLS. Don’t expect to go into a small market and buy a candy bar with a $50. Small bills $10, $5 and $1 work a lot better.


Almost all restaurants include a 10% gratuity on the bill.  Tipping above this amount is not expected or necessary, but if you receive excellent service it is always appreciated. Cab drivers do not expect a tip. If you stay in a hotel and the bellman takes your luggage to your room it is proper to give a tip. Once in the room you may leave a tip to room service personnel and to housekeeping. Also to note, waiters will not bring your bill until you request it. Your plates will be picked up, but they will not hurry you out of the restaurant.  You will need to ask for the bill before it will be brought to you.  


Cash Machines (ATMs):

Do not change money at the airport. US Dollars are readily accepted instead of the local currency. ATM machines allow you to take out both the Cordoba and the USD. Make sure to confirm with your bank any fees related to credit card charges and ATM fees overseas. Some credit cards (ex. Chase) often do not charge foreign exchange rate fees. 


You can also find cash machines in shopping malls and at some other shopping areas.  We do not recommend using the single ATM in a box style. It is not that hard for someone to watch you withdraw funds and then follow you.  Do not allow any seemingly friendly strangers to assist you with the cash machine. During banking hours, there may be a uniformed attendant with a nametag and photo ID that can help you, but don’t expect them to speak English.  Don’t stand around and count your money – put it away immediately. There are a few important notes about ATM availability that you should keep in mind so that you can plan ahead: Not all machines are created equal, in that not all machines will accept the same cards.  By far, most machines are designed for locals and accept mainly the local bankcard. However, there are many that accept Visa and Master Card if you wish to make a withdrawal on your credit card.  Some even take cash network cards like Exchange, Cirrus, Plus, Pulse, Star, etc.  These are generally available only at the airport and at Banco Nacional, Banco de Costa Rica, Banco Cuscatlan, Banco de San Jose, and Banco Banex.

  • Look for a machine that carries a logo corresponding to that on the back or front of your card.
  • Banks, and even their mechanical lobbies, are closed on holidays and some are closed on weekends.  Plan ahead.
  • Of course, all ATMs in Costa Rica dispense only Costa Rican currency.

Check with your bank prior to leaving to determine what they charge for international usage. This will usually give you the most favorable exchange rate, too.

You don’t need or want to go to the bank every day.  The lines are long for the machines and the wait can be long if you need to speak with a teller that probably doesn’t understand English. When you get back to the hotel, be sure to put most of this money in your room safe.  

Mobile Phones

It is best to check with your provider before traveling, to inquire about access and costs. If you have an unlocked phone, you may be able to buy a local SIM in Costa Rica, where the costs of making and receiving calls will be much lower.


Section V: General Health

General Health

Although food and beverages served in the restaurant establishments we use are prepared and served under hygienic conditions, if you have not traveled outside the US, your stomach might be sensitive to foreign bacteria. Please read the below information carefully to minimize your risk of falling ill. 

It is important to notify your travel agent of any existing allergies, conditions, or concerns. We can make the following suggestions based on our own experiences, but you should be sure to check with your primary care doctor before making any decisions regarding your health.

Warnings & Suggestions

If you require any regular medications, please be sure to bring them with you.

We recommend taking probiotics (immunity boosters) a couple of weeks prior to and during the program. One is called an acidophilous treatment. This will help your body build up “good” bacteria to help ward off any foreign bacteria you may encounter. 

Some people also find grapefruit seed extract helpful. We are not medical doctors, so you must consult your doctor & read instructions prior to use. 

Tap water in Costa Rica is drinkable and, in many areas of the country, quite good. However, if you have a sensitive stomach, visit any supermarket and buy bottled water or bring a water bottle to fill up at filtered water stations to reduce the amount of plastic used on your trip.
That being said, STAY HYDRATED!  One of the most common and easily avoided health issues when traveling is dehydration. Bring a reusable water bottle for ease of carrying, and drink at least eight cups of water each day, including the day of departure for Costa Rica.
On the day of departure from the USA, fill your water bottle after you pass through security at the airport so that you have water to drink throughout the flight. It is also important to be mindful that drinking alcohol requires more water to be consumed.

Bring antibacterial hand wipes and/or small bottles of hand sanitizer and packets of tissues with you. You’ll find that they’re useful throughout the day – cleaning your hands before eating, after using the bathroom, etc, as tissues, soap, and paper towels may not always be available in public restrooms. 

If you get any cuts during the program, be sure to treat them immediately to avoid infection. It is helpful to travel with New Skin – it is an antiseptic as well as a liquid bandage.

If you get sick from bacteria in food or water, it usually lasts for about a day and can include vomiting and/or diarrhea. Most cases of travelers’ diarrhea are mild and do not require either antibiotics or antidiarrheal drugs.
However, we recommend bringing along antidiarrheal medicine to have on hand in the event you do become ill. Adequate fluid intake is essential. Please let your group leader know if you are not feeling well, particularly if it lasts more than a day.

If you need medical assistance when you are in  Costa Rica, we are willing to help contact care. If it is a medical emergency that is life-threatening, we recommend to always call 911 first. Then you can contact your Costa Rica agent to help facilitate any additional medical care you need.

  • FIND MY COSTA RICA  Local number –  2479 -7275
  • FIND MY COSTA RICA After-hours number –  8546 5752

Vaccinations requirements in Costa Rica

Costa Rica will no longer require any Covid 19 entry requirements as of April 1, 2022:

No negative test, No QR Code, No ‘Pase de Salud,’ and No Restrictions Costa Rica has announced that as of April 1, they will end Covid-19 measures for entry into the country. Starting April 1, 2022, the government will lift its most significant restrictions in hopes of getting back to normal after the latest Omicron infection wave.

Starting on April 1st, 2022, Costa Rica will eliminate the “Pase de Salud” as an entry requirement for anyone entering Costa Rica. In other words, tourists, non-residents, and resident travelers will not need to fill out the health pass and will not need to be vaccinated to get into the country.

The Costa Rican government has also eliminated the requirement for non-vaccinated guests to purchase travel insurance. (Although this is still recommended for all guests visiting Costa Rica)


Please be aware that some businesses may require vaccination to enter their facilities, so non-vaccinated guests will need to verify with booking agents any locations that might continue to request vaccination for entry. Businesses could voluntarily ask for it.

Some basic measures against Covid-19, such as obligatory masks in crowded and public spaces and handwashing, will be maintained.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a team member regarding the entry requirements. Please check with your doctor or travel clinic (at least 4 weeks before the program) regarding vaccinations.

Pura Vida from the entire team!

Germs & Diseases

Reduce exposure to germs by following these tips: 

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean your hands with hand sanitizer. 
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (into your elbow, not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, notify the group leader and stay home or in your hotel room unless you need medical care.
  • Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen. Protect yourself:
    • Use latex condoms correctly.
    • Do not inject drugs.
    • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
    • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
    • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Medical Insurance

All participants are strongly recommended to take out medical travel insurance with evacuation – prior to departure – for coverage for the duration of the international stay.

Section VI: Packing List

Example Packing List

In handbag/money belt

  • Wallet (keep in front pocket)
  • Personal identification
  • Passport 
  • Air tickets
  • Luggage key
  • Emergency phone numbers

In carry–on

  • Light jacket, cardigan
  • Personal journal and pen
  • Kleenex tissue pack
  • Toiletries for flight (in 100ml
    containers, total not exceeding 1L)
  • Personal medicines / extra prescriptions
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Photocopy of your passport and tickets
  • All your electronic equipment, including cameras, video recorders and laptops etc.
  • All batteries must be fully charged

In checked luggage

  • Clothes – we suggest lightweight clothes that dry easily. Costa Rica is very humid!
  • Comfortable, closed toe walking shoes
    (they offer better protection)
  • Toiletries including sunscreen
  • Good rain jacket: it is likely to rain every day, even if only for a short time, so bring one that’s comfortable!
  • Sun hat
  • Extra batteries for camera or camera charger
  • Rubber sandals/flip flops or other shoes that can get wet are ok for casual down time when you are not at the project site.

Luggage Restrictions & Information

Please check with your international carrier about the weight and pieces you can carry as these policies change frequently. Please ensure you have your luggage locked before each check-in.

Section VII: Additional Notes

Additional Notes

Photography: Please always ask your guide or driver when it is appropriate to take photos and be sure to ask the subject of the photo as well. Never take photos during a meeting or discussion session without the prior permission and approval of all participants.

Please always do so in a sensitive and dignified way. And if the person asks you not to photograph them, please respect this wish.