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Coasts and  Mountains

Frequently Asked Questions

A. Where? When? Which tour?

B. Health

D. Dangers

E. Food and Accommodation

F. Booking: how and when do I book?

G. Preparation: before you go

H. What can I see? What can/can’t I do?

I. Useful information

L. Coasts & Mountains: who are we?


A. Where? When? Which tour?

1. What are the best destinations in Costa Rica?

In Costa Rica there are incredible and amazing places to discover. The best destinations are Tortuguero National Park, Arenal Volcano, Monteverde Cloud Forest, Guanacaste Beaches, Gulf of Papagayo, Manuel Antonio, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, Corcovado National Park, Irazu, Turrialba and Poas Volcanoes, Cahuita and Puerto Viejo to mention some of the highlights that make of Costa Rica a paradise.

In all of those places you have a wide variety of activities oriented to ecotourism, families, students, senior citizens as well as adventure activities. If you Are into ecotourism and nature tours in Costa Rica you will find many options to visit and enjoy. If you are an active person, you will definitely love Costa Rica, because there are plenty incredible activities for adventure lovers.

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2. Caribbean or Pacific Coast?

The Caribbean Coast is a magic place. There you can find a mix of cultures and an environment of peace and calm. If you are a person who enjoys disconnecting from the city, this is the best place that you can visit. The Caribbean coast has evolved differently from the rest of Costa Rica, due primarily to settlement by Jamaicans, the resident Indigenous people and the agricultural cultivation encouraged by the United Fruit Company and foreign interests. There are strong Caribbean influences in the cuisine and architecture, and English, Spanish, and Patwa (Jamaican Creole) are first languages.

The Pacific Coast is surrounded by a warm climate with a taste of the typical expression “Pura Vida”. The Pacific Coast is divided into three areas: North, Central and South Pacific Coasts.

Sunny days, awesome surf and stunning beaches are three ways that best describe the North Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Entirely encompassed by Guanacaste province, this part of the country is the most visited, yet it is also one of the least populated parts of Costa Rica. Among the best and most easily accessible diving sites in the country, the North Pacific Coast has an abundance of marine life, especially around the Isla Santa Catalina area, Playas del Coco and Playa Ocotal; today, areas like Tamarindo are also becoming increasingly popular and little fishing villages are exploding all over the place, with more and more foreigners wanting to move here to find a piece of paradise. The beaches in the North Pacific Coast are some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire country. They are vast and always sunny, with endless coves and pristine shorelines just a short walk away from one another. Some of these areas are quickly being developed with luxury resorts, while others are still small fishing villages just waiting to be discovered.

Perhaps the most popular tourist destination in Costa Rica, the Central Pacific region of the country is also the most easily accessible. Just a short distance from the capital San Jose either by domestic plane or car, this area is known for its beautiful beaches, touristy coastal resort towns and fantastic surfing opportunities. Offering visitors a plethora of activities to enjoy, including sport fishing and sunbathing, undoubtedly, the biggest crowd puller of this area is the wonderful Manuel Antonio National Park. With its lush dense forestation and stunning shoreline ideal for swimming or bird watching, the Manuel Antonio National Park attracts the highest number of tourists in the country. Manuel Antonio is surrounded by a huge number of hotels and restaurants and offering fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean, this national park is home to many endemic species of plant and animal life. Nearby sits the town of Manuel Antonio, a good place to use as a base while exploring the park. However, do be careful, as during peak tourist season this town can get quite expensive and crowded.

Home to some of the country’s most stunning natural treasures, South Puntarenas is blessed with an abundance of exotic and diversified flora and fauna. Home to the largest last remaining stretches of Pacific coastal rainforests in Central America nestled within the gorgeous Parque Nacional Corcovado, this region of Costa Rica plays host to some to the world’s most endangered species of wildlife. With a hot tropical climate throughout the year, this area receives a lot of rainfall, producing one of the most lush and dense tracts of forestation in the country. The Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula, referred by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on earth” is a nature lover’s heaven due to its isolation and remoteness from the rest of Costa Rica. An eco-tourism hotspot, visitors can stay at the many ecolodges here to enjoy ‘one of the most bio-diverse regions on the planet’. Also found in Southern Puntarenas are a number of hidden and secluded beautiful beaches, many of which are uncrowned and make for the perfect escape from the humdrum of city life. For those who enjoy snorkeling, visit the stunning Isla del Caño off the coast with its fantastic underwater marine world, while for those who enjoy sports fishing the area of Drake Bay is the avid angler’s dream.

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3. What makes a destination special and what are the highlights?

In Costa Rica a place is called a special destination when it offers to the tourist facilities, security and amazing sites to visit and activities that work as a complement to the attractions.

The highlights of Costa Rica are Tortuguero Canals, the most important nestimg site for the green sea turtle on the western hemisphere;Arenal Volcano, considered one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world; Monteverde Cloud Forest, home to the resplendent quetzal considered by some people the most beautiful bird of the Americas; Guanacaste Beaches, known as the Golden Coast, Gulf of Papagayo; Manuel Antonio Beach and National Park, a small paradise for wildlife, pristine beaches and world class sport fishing; Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, its mud baths and bubble springs in the middle of the Tropical Dry Forest; Osa Peninsula and Drake’s Bay considered “the most biologically intense place on earth” due to its high biodiversity and endemism” and other places which offer unique attractions.

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4. Do you customize a tour?

Yes, we do! We would need to know your budget, places you want to stay/visit, number of nights at each place, month of travel, number of people in your group and other information you feel would be important, such as dietary requirements and medical conditions.

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5. Do you offer set departure dates?

Generally we offer customized private tours, so that you will not share with people you don’t know and you can begin and end your tour on any date you wish. However we also offer fix departure dates. Check with us on dates and availability.

We also work with groups of singles and this is a beautiful experience with people who likes to travel alone but wants to stay in a group. Almost all these tours are Multisport tours that brings more interaction between the participants and leads you to go over what you thought were your limits.

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6. What is the typical number of people on a Multispor Tour?

Our groups are generally anything between 4 and 16 people. But we also offer tours for groups of 30 people or more.

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7. How many passengers are accommodated on the vehicles?

The vehicles we use can carry different number of passengers; this depends of how many people will come on the trip so they can go from 12 sitter vans where we take a maximum of 8 people, 29 sitter Buses for a maximum of 18 people, 42 sitter buses for a maximum of 38 people and 52 or 56 sitter buses for groups of up to 50 people.

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8. Is there any reason we might wish a private vehicle on any particular day?

A private vehicle is a very good option if you are set on doing something specific or want to have a personal experience. People serious about photography or trying to avoid crowds, and people with young children will certainly need to have their own vehicle. On a shared tour, the guides try to accommodate everyone, but if you have specific needs, a private vehicle is necessary so as not to inconvenience other travelers.

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9. Is a Multisport tour an exhausting experience?

In a Multisport Tour we do many activities like biking, rafting, canopy, hiking, surfing, sailing and more. We recommend that the person who comes to do this trip is in good physical condition. If you don’t want to do some activity in the tour you can tell us and we can take it off or change for other activity.

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10. I am a solo (single) traveler, how can I join your tours?

We recommend you to email us with as many details as you can, so that we can check and see whether you can join a group. However many of our solo decide to travel on their own, together with one of our guides. If you decide to go on your own, you can start and end your trip at any time.

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11. When is the best time to go?

The nation's climate is classically divided into two major seasons: rainy and dry seasons. However DO KNOW that it all depends on WHERE in Costa Rica you are. On the Pacific watershed the dry season runs from December through May and the rainy season from May to November and December. Locally, the seasons were named by the early Spanish colonizers, who compared them to their own Mediterranean climate, calling the dry months "verano" or summer, and the rainy, grey and gloomy months "invierno" or winter. It is interesting to note that some of the coldest temperatures are registered during the early dry season or "summer".

On the Caribbean slope the dry season begins from the beginning of february to late April and the again from July through october. The wettest months are December and January, with a dry spell that occurs around August or September. Major storms, called "temporales del Atlantico" occasionally buffet this slope between December and beginning of February, when it will rain continuously for several days; but an average rainy season day will begin clear with a few hours of sunshine that will give way to clouds and rain by the afternoon. In contrast, the driest months of February and March, might be almost entirely without rainfall.

On the Pacific slope the rainy season begins in May and runs its course until November. Here again, days often begin sunny and pleasant, with rains coming later in the day. This is a period in which the trade winds coming from the north-east are much reduced in intensity, and as a result storms often come in from the Pacific Ocean in September and October. In the northern half of the country the Pacific slope experiences an intense dry season, in which no rain may fall for several months. The forests of the North-West are to a large extent deciduous, letting their leaves fall in order to conserve water. Winds can be very strong, occasionally reaching speeds of 90 km/hr in the lowlands, although they average more around 20 km/hr. The whole Central Valley, in which the capital is situated, experiences a mild, pleasant dry season that is matched by moderate temperatures for most of the year, and a lower than average amount of rainfall. Early settlers prized the area for both its mild climate and fertile soils. The southern half of the Pacific slope is much wetter than its northern counterpart, with a shorter dry season and longer and heavier afternoon rains in the wet season.

Do consider that the global climate change is a real fact around the world and Costa Rica is not an exception, but the given description will be the rule under normal conditions.

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B. Health

1. What medical issues should I consider?

Costa Rica has some of the finest medical facilities anywhere in the world, and they are easily acessible, should the need arise. In the country, an excellent Universal Medical Care Service supplied by the government is available, and Ebais systems are available pretty much all over the country. The Medical school at the University of Costa Rica is among the best in Latinamerica and that is why it is not hard for costarican doctors, nurses and dentists to get jobs in the United States for example, however the very low emigration thta our country has guarantees that many of our doctors stay in the country and only leave to specialize in other degrees. Dengue fever is present in rainy season in several regions of the country but the campaigns of our Ministry of health keeps a good control. Malaria is restricted to a remote area of our caribbean side but it is not a bad idea to get medication just to play safe and prophylactics are available.. In the unlikely event of an accident, blood in Africa is extremely well screened. Condoms are widely available.

General health problems due to poor food preparation are most unlikely in most of the places places at which you will stay.

The fact that our Universal Medical care system exists since 1940 and the high investment that the Ministry of Health makes in campaigns of prevention might be expensive in the short term but saves millions in the long term because we don’t have to buy medication. Many health issues have been eradicated and this explains why Costa Rica is considered to have one of the highest life expectancies in the world only topped by 2 of the 8 most powerful economies in the world: Japan and Canada, plus Sweeden.

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2. Are there any requirements regarding vaccinations on my trip?

Vaccination requirements change from time to time. We suggest clients consult their local doctor or health department for the latest health precautions.

If you have visited countries where there is Yellow Fever you won’t be allowed into Costa Rica unless you have taken the vaccination before entering our country, since we don’t have yellow fever. It can be transmitted by mosquito bites so it is a requirement to have taken your vaccinations ahead of time.

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3. But is the water safe to drink?

In almost all Costa Rica the water is potable. A total cover of 93% of the territory of Costa Rica has a good system of water. In 1961 our former president Mario Echandi Jimenez created the AyA ( Institute of aqueducts and drainage ) which supplies potable water almost everywhere. Juts look for the AyA sign painted on blue and feel safe of drinking water where you are.

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4. Is the water safe to bath in?

Water is always good enough for baths and showers.

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5. Are medical supplies available?

It is best to bring prescription medication with you, although cities and towns all have drugstores/pharmacies equipped with everything one requires.

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6. Are there doctors?

Yes, many. In every city and town you can find at least one or two doctors.

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7. Hospitals?

Health care in Costa Rica is very good and sanitary standards are high. First class hospitals are found throughout San Jose and some of the other largely populated areas.


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D. Dangers

1. What about safety in Costa Rica? What precautions must we take?

While on tour, people are friendly and hospitable and there will be no real danger. The transfers (by road, air or water) between airports, hotels and lodges are operated by reputable companies or by the properties themselves. This means that you will not be unattended at any time during your vacation.

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While we do not recommend trips to areas that are unsafe, as is the case all over the world, petty crime can be a problem. Here are some tips to help you stay safe, and avoid events that could impact the trip of a lifetime. Regarding the city of San Jose, it is like walking through Paris, Rome, New York, L.A, there is some pick pocketing but you can walk around just being a smart traveler, not exposing valuables.

Never walk in deserted areas at night, try not to look too much like a rich tourist showing off, be sensible. As in most cities in the world, there are areas which are safe and areas where gangsters lurk. Always ask about safe areas at your hotel.

When in towns and cities, do not carry large amounts of cash in your pocket. Keep enough for the expenses of the day and place the rest in a safety deposit box at the hotel/lodge or money pouch under your shirt. Also be discreet with an expensive camera or jewellery.

Take note of onlookers and keep your possessions in sight at all times to avoid opportunistic theft. Make use of your hotel safety deposit box for expensive items. Never leave baggage or personal items unattended, especially at airports.

Make photocopies of your passport, airline tickets, drivers license and other important documentation. Also keep a record of the numbers of your traveller checks. These should be kept in a safe place. Leave expensive jewellery at home.

If you are travelling in a car (self drive tour), it is important to lock all the car doors and keep the windows as far up as possible. Plan ahead and know which route you intend to take using clear maps. When leaving your car, do not leave your purse or bag lying on the passenger seat in clear view - rather keep them in the car boot. Never pick up hitchhikers.

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2. Are there carjackings?

Carjackings are very rare, but they can occur. Always drive with windows closed, doors locked and watch for suspicious looking people hanging around at traffic lights and intersections. Don't offer lifts to hitchhikers!


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E. Food and Accommodation

1. What types of accommodations are available?

The accommodation type in Costa Rica varies from basic campsites to hotels, lodges, luxury hotels and resorts.

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2. What types of food are served on tour?

In almost all the hotels that we use the diversity of food is so plenty. You can find a restaurant of Mexican food, Italian food, Costa Rican food; or restaurants that bring exotic foods for the people who enjoys different cuisine.

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3. Do you accommodate people with dietary restrictions?

Special dietary requirements are catered for. Most restaurants offer selections for vegetarians.

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F. Booking: how and when do I book?

1. I am interested in your offers, what is next step?

You can either fill the booking form for a fixed itinerary or you can build your own based on existing itineraries.

You can either go on a private tour or on a shared tour. Shared tour offer the convenience of a pre-set itinerary and a fixed price, joining a small group of travelers, which fits your interests and your schedule.

A fixed departure trip gives you the convenience of a fixed price and a pre-set itinerary.

Alternatively, you can go for a private tour that gives you the full flexibility of itinerary, departure and budget. In this case, you will work with us to develop a totally customized itinerary and schedule.

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2. What does the trip price include?

Full board accommodation, whether in hotels, lodges, tented camps as specified in your itinerary.
Breakfast, but if you want we can include all the meals.
All National Park entrance fees.
All airport transfers.
All in-country transportation as specified in your itinerary.
One of our experienced in-country guides.
Active adventures as specified in your itinerary.
Excursions, as specified in your itinerary.

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3. What is not included in the trip price?

International Airfare.
Passport and Visa Fees.
Travel insurance.
Gratuities.
Drinks.
Telephone or facsimile charges or other items of a personal nature.
Any activity specified as optional.
Departure taxes.

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4. How do I book my tour and how early should I make reservations?

We encourage you to plan your Costa Rica trip as far in advance as possible to ensure the best selection of lodging. This is especially important if you are planning to travel during "high season".

However don’t get scared! In many occasions we can arrange a tour for you even in as little as 10 days, even in high season!

The major factor of concern will be the availability of flights, so always check if you can get a flight before booking with us.

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5. Which forms of payment can I use?

Forms of Payment:
Payments may be made by International Bank Transfer generally in US$.
We also can accept credit card payments with additional cost.
To charge a portion of your trip fare to your credit card, you can use the online facilities on the website.

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G. Preparation: before you go

1. Can I get a visa upon arrival?

It depends on where you are from, and where you are travelling to. We recommend you visit the relevant embassy’s website for the most updated info on visas including costs.

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2. What are the entry requirements?

You will require a that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended travel dates. It is advisable to check with the consulate of the country that you intend to visit as requirements can change without notice.

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3. What about Insurance?

All travellers should be adequately insured against all eventualities and circumstances. This applies anywhere in the world. There are many companies offering travel insurance, so ask your travel agent to recommend the best one for you.

It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/travelling companions for the duration of their trip to Costa Rica. This insurance should include coverage in respect of, but not limited to, the following eventualities: cancellation or curtailment of the trip to Costa Rica, emergency evacuation expenses, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, and damage/theft/loss of personal baggage, money and goods. Coasts & Mountains Adventures will take no responsibility for any costs, losses incurred or suffered by the guest, or guest's dependants or travelling companions, with regards to, but not limited to, any of the above mentioned eventualities.

Guests will be charged directly by the relevant service providers for any emergency services they may require and may find themselves in a position unable to access such services should they not carry the relevant insurance cover.

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4. What do I need on my Costa Rican adventure?

We recommend to bring shorts and T shirts, a light jacket for the nights. Swimming suit is necessary, hiking shoes or good snickers and an extra pair of shoes, sandals, small towel for day trips, suntan lotion, insect repellent , flashlight, a rain coat, binoculars, camera and good vibrations to enjoy the beauty of this little peaceful country that we are happy to show you. If you wear contact lenses, we recommend that you bring along a pair of glasses in case you get irritation from the dust or pollen. On each itinerary we recommend specific items depending on the regions to visit.

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5. How much luggage can I take on tour?

The limit on light aircraft is one soft luggage bag per person with a maximum weight of 10 kg (22 lbs.) We have the same weight limit when taking boats to Tortuguero or Corcovado. (Camera equipment is excluded from the foregoing.). On regular multiday tours one large duffle bag and a small bag should be enough. Do not forget a backpack for day activities.

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6. What travel documents do I need?

All visitors are required to carry a passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended travel dates. It is advisable to check with the Consulate of the country you intend visiting for the latest visa and entry requirements. Let us know your nationality in order to confirm that you do or don’t need VISA

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7. How much money should I bring?

Clearly it depends on what you expect to buy. In general, you will not need more than $500 for a week tour, including drinks, tips and little shopping. If you want to do some optional tours you need to bring more money.

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8. How much should I tip:

This entirely depends on you. It all depends on your trip’ s length and logistics. In general $3 per person per day for a guide and $2 per person for the driver is considered normal, but there is no reason why you should not give more or less. Restaurants do not expect big tips, just leave something and they will appreciate it.


H. What can I see? What can/can’t I do?

1. What happens after my flight lands?

One of our representatives will be waiting for you at the arrivals of the airport. You will easily identify the person because he will carry a panel with your name on it.

After that, if your tour starts the following day, you will be accompanied to your hotel. The following day (or the same day if your tour starts immediately) you will receive a full briefing about the itinerary, what you will see, what rules to follow, etc At this point it is time to start your tour. Your luggage will be loaded on the vehicle and you will start your journey.

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2. Do the vehicles allow for periodic pit stops for the passengers?

There will be coffee and drink breaks on your tour, so yes pit stops are definitely allowed

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3. Can you smoke on tour?

Due to a variety of factors smoking is not permitted in our vehicles. Regular stops will however be scheduled.

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4. What local customs should I observe?

The best way to describe the culture here is to give you a few examples of what life is like. First: a simple statement; Costa Ricans (Ticos) are polite, non-confrontational people who treat even their enemies with respect. The nicer and more patient you are in this country, the more you will get from its wonderful people. Most people come to Costa Rica to relax - so please don't be in a hurry. We believe in our most typical costa rican saying: “Pura Vida” which literally means Pure life and is used for any positive answer to questions like how are you doing?, how was your meal?, How was the tour? So it is basically a Life Style. If you are pushy you won't get very good service. If you are polite, typically you can expect kindness back. Sounds logical doesn't it?

The President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, during his former term in office, went to a McDonalds and, rather than being given a special place in line, waited for service just like anyone else. You can also run into other politicians, famous soccer players at Soda Tapia, the Theater or even the central market. This is typical in Costa Rica. Each person on the street considers himself just as good as the President or anyone else. Costa Ricans are proud of their democratic traditions and hold their individual freedoms very dear.

Some international travelers think all of Latin America is the same. Don't you believe it! Costa Ricans are far different from Panamanians, Nicaraguans, Colombians and other Latin American natives. Some Ticos may be offended if you say: “is your food just like Mexican food?". Costa Ricans have their own distinct cuisine, culture, music, history and customs. Those who are bi-lingual will notice this much quicker than those who only speak English, French or German. Costa Ricans have a higher literacy rate and life expectancy than the United States and many other first world countries. They have engineers, scientists and doctors, whose skills rival those of any country in the world. Give yourself time to get to know the Ticos, you'll discover they are a warm and polite people who enjoy helping visitors get to know their country

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5. Will I have a chance to interact with the local people?

Absolutely! If it is your interest, we can also prepare special Culture & Nature trips where you will have an extensive exposure to the locals. If you want to do more than just interaction, we can also organize for you some volunteer work activities, lasting from just one day to over one month.

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6. Can I feed the wild animals?

Feeding wild animals is not a way to conserve wildlife, nor is such a practice allowed in any national park. If you try to feed the wild animals, apart from taking a risk for you and the other people with you, you will disrupt the natural ecosystem. Never be tempted for examples to feed a gentle and innocent looking monkey – these animals are wild and it can be dangerous. Costa Rica has its reputation for having one of the best Conservation Systems in the world and that is why the Council of the Earth established its headquarters in San Jose so people are respectful of nature and expect the same from visitors.

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I. Useful information

1. Is English/French/German… spoken widely?

English is spoken throughout most of the Costa Rica destinations, especially by those involved in the tourist trade. If you are a foreign speaker, you can request a guide who speak your language. You can generally provide guides speaking French, Spanish, Italian, German and other few languages.

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2. Is there electricity in the camps/lodges/hotels?

Lodges and hotels always have electricity since 97% of Costa Rica has electricity and we are proud to say that 92% of our energy comes from natural renewable resources such as hydroelectric energy, geothermal, windmills and solar, however in river lodges for example the power will be provided by a generator that will be working only in specific hours during the day.

Costa Rica supplies electricity to the province of Bocas del Toro in Panama and part of Nicaragua.

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3. How can I charge my camera and telephone?

A very good suggestion is for you to come with a car adaptor to charge your batteries while on the car if you rent one. Another good suggestion is to charge your batteries every time you can. Electricity: 110-volt AC is found nationwide. A few outlying areas use their own power source so check ahead before traveling.

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4. Is communication with the "outside world" possible while on a Costa Rica tour?

Network coverage is available in many of the most popular areas; however you may find that you will not have coverage for several days. Always ask your guide when and where you can have signal. Sometimes also in areas with no coverage, the guide or the locals will know a little corner where you can have signal. Some lodges and hotels in Costa Rica offer full telephone and internet services for those who do not wish to detach from the world completely. All locations do however have at least a radio communications with their town/city offices in case of any emergencies.

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5. How do I phone the country?

If you want to dial to Costa Rica, the international code is +506

You can dial an international country from Costa Rica from your mobile phone. First dial “00” followed by the international code of the country (44 for UK, 1 for US, etc). Then dial the specific area code of the region you need and then the specific number. Up to 20 seconds may pass before you hear ringing. In certain countries, ringing resembles an engaged tone. In these cases, an engaged tone will be a short signal repeated rapidly.

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6. Can my mobile phone/cell phone work in Costa Rica?

Yes, there is extensive coverage throughout Costa Rica. However you have to remember two very important things: 1. make sure that your phone allows international roaming.
2. make sure that your phone can work in Costa Rica.

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7. Can I buy a local SIM card or hire a phone?

The telephone system is in a transition from the old monopoly to private services so it is a process that is still going. If you want to hire a phone please let us know.

There are rental companies at the major international airports and some car hire companies also rent out cell phones. However, please note that some areas are out of range of transmitters.

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8. What about satellite phones?

Travelers can use satellite phones throughout the region. Use these phones in the privacy of your own room.

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9. Is there internet connection in Costa Rica?

Certainly. Most hotels will have either internet connection. However if you are in a town, just look for one of the many internet cafes, what will offer very cheap rates and often a decent service.

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10. When are the banks open?

Banks in Costa Rica are generally open on weekdays 9am to 4pm. Also the banks open the Saturdays but with a different schedule for example 9am to 1pm

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11. Can I use my credit card?

Credit cards are mostly accepted; however, do not expect to buy a newspaper with a credit card. Bring cash with you. Do know that the most accepted one is VISA, then many places take Master Card and the third one would be American Express.

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12. Are US$ widely used?

Yes, US$ are still the preferred currency in almost all Costa Rica. US$ are generally used to pay for park entrances, in many hotels, for tipping, etc. The euro is spreading very rapidly but still not common or popular as the dollar.

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13. Is local currency available on landing?

Yes, you can always get local currency at the airport or in the banks.

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14. Is there a laundry service?

The hotels will usually see to your laundry requirements for an extra cost. Some places or communities have laundry services.

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15. What items can I purchase?

In Costa Rica, most of the hotels have gift shops where you could, if you so wished, spend much of your day!

Costarican carvings, woodwork, paintings, hammocks and rocking chairs as well as the typical oxcart, coffee and some traditional sauces make great souvenirs and gifts. In the higher bracket, superb jewelry, precious stones, paintings and furniture are all available - just ask your guides.

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16. What about bargaining?

Bargaining at a craft shop or roadside stand is a personal decision. We recommend to look at the situation and make your judgment. However in other situations, maybe when a single vendor is trying to sell something trying to put the price down to the last penny is not right. After all paying something a 20 or 30% more than what a local would have paid will help the vendor and certainly will not put you in financial difficulties.

Especially for original art crafts that required long time to prepare, try to think what a fair payment per day of work would be and you will soon come with a realistic price.

We are not suggesting in any way to over-pay every single vendor, because this would be similar to giving charity and we are against it if it doesn’t apply, but we simply remind you that a little over-charge is quite normal. Costa Ricans also bargain all the time, so trying to over charge is not a special treatment for you, don’t worry.

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17. What about giving gifts?

Bringing gifts for local children generates a "give me" society in which kids are encouraged to beg, rather than be creative, perform or make something to sell.

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18. What about charity (giving money to beggars, giving gifts, etc)?

It may seem selfish at the beginning, but charity only does damage and helps no one. If you genuinely want to help the local communities get in touch with us and we will tell you how you can really help.

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19. What is the time difference?

Current time zone offset UTC/GMT - 6 h

Time zone name (Standard time zone) UTC/GMT - 6 h

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L. Coasts & Mountains: who are we?

1. Why should you use Coasts & Mountains?

There are many reasons why you should consider Coasts & Mountains for your tour:
Compared to high street travel agencies, we are significantly lower in price for the same quality of service. We know every part of the itineraries we offer (travel agencies will never know or have tried all the tours they offer). We have a local presence in Costa Rica and we have a direct contact with everyone involved in the tour, from the booking officer for hotels, to the guide who will drive our tourists.

Compared to cheap local tour operators, we offer the guarantee of a company run with rigid European standards in quality and assurance. Nothing is left to chance, nothing is hidden, you will not get any unplanned surprises (apart maybe some flowers for your wife or a bottle of wine to celebrate an occasion).

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2. How does Coasts & Mountains pricing work?

All our prices are carefully determined to offer the best deal for the customer and at the same time give the correct compensation to guides and local staff Part of the money you pay for your tour is used to support several sustainability and conservation projects that we are promoting.

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3. Can you give me a reference from someone who has done a similar tour to mine?

We will be very pleased to give one or two references or more from some of the many enthusiastic tourists who decided to use Coasts & Mountains Adventures.

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Coasts & Mountains

About Coasts & Mountains | General Information About Costa Rica | Activities | Beach | Caves | Cloud Forest | Cultural | Dry Forest | History and Culture | Lakes | Rain forest | River Safaris | Volcanoes and mountains | Waterfalls | White Water Rafting and Rivers | Design your own Vacations - Coast and Mountains | Photo Gallery | Testimonials | Frequently Asked Questions | Site Map | Contact Information | Terms and Conditions | Home

USA Phone number: 305-454-5869 Phone/Fax: (506) 2592-2696 Mobile: (506) 8867-9292 / 8343-9292 P.O.BOX 63-7051 Cartago,Costa Rica
e-mail: info@coastsmountainscr.com
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Members of: Canatur   ACOPROT