Things to Prepare & What to Expect in Costa Rica
Pre – arrival
US citizens don’t need a VISA to enter Costa Rica. If you are not a US citizen but possess a tourist visa, a visa for crew, or a business visa (multiple entry) issued by the United States of America or Canada, you can still enter Costa Rica.
You need a valid passport and a return ticket (to any country). Your US passport must be valid for minimum one day, from the day you enter Costa Rica.Keep copies of your passport with you at all times. Take multiple copies and leave one with different members of your group. That way, you’ll still have your ID even if your bag goes missing.
VISA cards are accepted by most rentals and hotels in Costa Rica. It’s ideal if you notify your credit card company about your travel. US dollars are widely accepted here. Spending in dollars would be the most convenient option though not the cheapest. Check the exchange rates before your start on your journey. The Costa Rican colón is less stable compared to the dollar, so the rates may vary. It is a good practice to carry small bills for tipping and other minor expenses.
No vaccines are required for US citizens. But if you are traveling to Costa Rica from South America or Sub-Saharan Africa, you need to take the shot for yellow fever 10 days prior to your entry.
Check with your mobile service provider if they have an international service and find out their roaming charges, which could be pricey. You can buy international calling cards at Jaco to call home.
PACKING FOR COSTA RICA
Light and comfy are the keywords when it comes to clothes. Bring your swim trunks/swim suit, beach towel, and something that will double as a beach cover up. For daytime wear, pack some shorts and T-shirts. For night out, skirts and simple dresses for ladies, shorts, jeans, and light shirts for men would be adequate.
Jewellery & Watches
Don’t take chances with expensive items such as jewelry, watches, and cameras. Leave the fancy ones at home. Many rentals in Jaco provide lockers, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
These include sun block, moisturizer, insect repellants, sun hat, camera, sunglasses, binoculars, dry bag for electronics.
Wine & Liquor
Good liquor is available at the airport as well as throughout Jaco. But if you are a stickler for brands, it might be a good idea to bring your own drink. The quantity permitted per person is five liters.
Most general medicines are available at the local pharmacies, but remember to carry your regular medicines and prescriptions.
Arrival at San Jose Airport
- Clear immigration. It could be real quick or it could take as long as 30 minutes.
- Claim your luggage.
- Check the liquor at the Duty Free shops for any interesting choices. There are two 24×7 duty free shops near the baggage claim area.
- Care for your bags as much as you’d care for yourself.
- Cheers! You chauffeur is right there holding up your name. Hand over your bags to the chauffeur and board your vehicle to Jaco.
Spanish is the local language, but you can comfortably get by even if you don’t speak Spanish. Our bilingual concierges are always at hand to smooth out any difficulty you might face. Here are a few common words that you might hear in Costa Rica:
- Ticos: Native men.
- Tica: Native women.
- Gringo: What natives call Americans.
- Casado: A traditional Tico lunch that consists of rice, beans, meat or fish, green salad/pasta salad/fried plantain.
- Pura Vida: A native greeting.
The Ride to Jaco
This takes about 1.5 hours give or take a few minutes. That is, if you aren’t stopping over for refreshments or to watch the crocs from the Tarcoles bridge (a must-see for wildlife enthusiasts).
Enjoy Premium Rentals, Clubs, & Casinos at Jaco
Jaco is dotted with luxurious condos and villas with beach and mountain views. Most of them have state-of-the-art facilities, including WiFi and TV. Check with us in advance so we can find the right one for you!
There is no dearth of clubs, sports bars, or discos in Jaco. Our concierges will help you choose the best based on what suits your interests. There are three casinos you can try your luck at. Again, our concierges will help you pick the one that’s right for you. Mas X Menos and Mega Super, the two major supermarkets in Jaco, stock all the important groceries.