TRAVEL DETAILS FOR COSTA RICA
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your travel dates. Please check visa requirements for entering Costa Rica from your country.
Day 1 of your itinerary is the day you should plan to arrive at the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San Jose.
MEETING AT THE JUAN SANTAMARÍA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (SJO):
Our representative will be waiting for you outside the airport building with a sign in hand. Look for “NATURE & PHOTO TOURS” written on it.
RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHAT TO BRING & WHAT TO WEAR:
- Refillable water bottle. Although, bottled water is available everywhere in the country.
- Alarm clock.
- Sunglasses, hat and sun block.
- First aid kit.
- Mosquito repellent.
- Comfortable walking shoes: tennis shoes with good traction or hiking boots.
- Comfortable clothing: T-shirts and shorts advisable for hot temperatures and high humidity, but light and breathable long sleeve shirts and long pants are a great option for spending time in the forest. If you are traveling to highland areas, a jacket or sweatshirt is needed for chilly evenings and mornings. Laundry service is available in most hotels.
- Swim wear.
- Well-constructed rain poncho to protect you and your photo gear.
RECOMMENDED PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT:
We highly recommend DSLR Cameras (Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras) with interchangeable lenses, although Compact System Cameras (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras) will work fine. Bring your camera's manual. External flash is recommended along with flash extender when telephoto lenses are used.
Recommended lens range is between 14mm and 500mm. To successfully photograph wildlife, a lens between 300mm and 500mm is necessary. For cropped sensor camera owners, 300 mm lens might be sufficient. For those interested in macro photography, bring your macro/micro lens. We highly recommend Neutral Density Filters or better yet Variable Neutral Density Filter for long exposure shots. You will be amazed at the effects achieved with the help of this filter. Telephoto lenses can be rented for the trip from many on-line photo equipment rental services. A sturdy tripod is necessary during this workshop.
Electric power is 120 V, 60 Hz, and the electrical plug is type A and B.
It is useful to have an adapter from 3-prong Type B to 2-prong Type A. Check your electrical appliances’ manuals if you are not sure whether they will work in Costa Rica. MORE >
- Costa Rican currency’s denomination is the colón (pl. colones).
- VISA, Master Card and US dollars cash are accepted almost everywhere. Euros acceptance is limited. Many ATM's will also dispense cash in US dollars or colones with your VISA or Master card.
- Travelers’ checks are accepted in most hotels and souvenir stores, with $20 checks being the most widely accepted denomination. If you want to cash or to pay with traveler’s checks, please do not expect US dollars back. You will receive colones according to the exchange rate of the day.
- When paying with a credit card, you will be charged in colones and not US dollars. Also, if paying with cash in US dollars, expect the change in colones.
- There is a departure tax at the airport. The tax is $29 US dollars per person, to be paid in cash (US dollars, colones, or a mix) or Visa/Master Card. Travelers’ checks are not accepted.
- Guides, drivers, maids, and bellboys expect tips.
- There is a 13% sales tax added to the price of every item or service you purchase in Costa Rica. For bar or restaurant bills, there will be an extra 10% service charge added. This automatic service charge is the equivalent of a waiter’s tip, and you do not need to tip above this amount, unless you feel the service was outstanding.
- Please verify if your health insurance covers overseas eventualities. In case of medical emergency while in Costa Rica, we will help to establish contacts with emergency rooms and specialists and to procure transportation if necessary.
- Water and ice are safe to consume in most of the country, especially in the hotels and restaurants. Eating salads, fresh fruit plates, and juices is also OK. Nonetheless, if you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to be more cautious. Bottled water is widely available in most stores and hotels throughout the country.
- Malaria and dengue fever do exist in Costa Rica; however, cases of tourists being infected are rare. Our itineraries do not take you close to so-called “malaria zones” in Costa Rica. Consult with your doctor for specific information related to your needs and your medical history prior to your trip.
- Venomous snakes and other animals and insects are found in Costa Rica. They are part of the biodiversity that excites us as photographers and naturalists. So, it is always advisable to exercise cautions while on the hiking trail.
- Take precautions when in the sun to avoid sunburns or heat stroke.
- For more health related information visit CDC WEBSITE.
- To protect yourself from theft use common sense and do not leave your items unattended.
- When walking in the city, please be very careful as you cross the streets. By law the pedestrians have priority on crossroads, but in reality it is rarely respected.
- Keep a list of your documents and valuables including your credit card information.
- Always keep your passport and other important documents in a safe place. Many hotels have safe deposit boxes.
- Make a photocopy of your passport so that you can use it instead of the original to check in to your hotels or fill out forms, reducing the risk of losing or misplacing the original.
- Never leave your passport with someone you don’t know. Keep copies of all your documents in a separate place from your originals.
- Do not venture in the capital city by yourself without consulting first with your hotel’s front desk staff. As in any major city, some areas are safer than others. The hotel’s front desk staff can always assist you with getting a taxi or giving directions.