Costa Rican FAQ

When Is the Best Time to Go to Las Cumbres?

Any time is a good time to visit Las Cumbres. Our hotel accommodations are available year-round; just be sure to confirm your booking with enough time, in order to be sure you get the room you want.

Most visitors come during the dry season (December to March). The dry season offers consistently sunny weather, although there are occasionally bouts of rain. Nevertheless, the green season (June to October) boasts beautiful natural landscapes and isn’t to be dismissed lightly.

The green season throughout Costa Rica is usually characterized by morning sun and afternoon rain. However, Costa Rica’s tropical climate and varied terrain does create unpredictable weather patterns throughout the year.

Although there is more rain in the afternoon, during the rainy or “green” season, the areas of Escazú and downtown San Jose are not dramatically affected. Some rain and lightning can be expected, though there are rarely any floods or other rain related disasters to be concerned about.

Can I take my pet to Las Cumbres?

Unfortunately, pets are not allowed.

Do I Have To Pay a Departure Tax?

Most major airlines now include this fee in the price of the ticket, though you should check ahead of time. This fee can be paid at the airport, if not included in the flight purchase.

The departure tax counter is always open and can be paid in U.S. Dollars, Costa Rican Colones, or Visa debit/credit cards. Paying at either airport usually takes about 10 minutes.

What Documents Do I Need To Visit Costa Rica?

To visit Costa Rica, all you need is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the entry date to Costa Rica. In most cases, a return airline ticket to leave Costa Rica within 90 days of your arrival is also requested.

Citizens from the United States, Canada, and most European countries don’t need a visa to enter Costa Rica.

To find specific visa requirements or restrictions on your home country, visit the Costa Rican embassy page.

Where Are Costa Rica’s Airports?

There are two international airports in Costa Rica: the Juan Santa María International Airport (SJO), which is in Alajuela, and the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR), which is located in Liberia.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please choose the SJO airport as your place of arrival if you are planning on traveling directly to Las Cumbres. Liberia is located approximately 5 hours away from San Jose.

Passing through immigration at the international airports is usually stress-free. Once you arrive, our VIP welcoming service will greet you as soon as you enter the main lobby. This person will help you collect your luggage, after which you will pass through a checkpoint where officials X-ray baggage and collect customs forms. After this, you’ll be able to leave the terminal and meet our driver outside.

Usually travelers can expect it to take about 45 minutes to exit the airport after they land.

Do I Need an Adapter for My Electronics?

The voltage in Costa Rica is 110 volts – the same as in the United States. Simply plug your device into the wall outlet. You may find adapters that change outlets from two to three-pronged outlets useful for travelers from outside the United States.

You will only need to bring an adapter if you have devices that require European outlets.

Is It Easy To Get Sunburn In Costa Rica?

We recommend you use sunscreen if going on a walk around Escazu or San Jose. We can also provide you with wide-brimmed hats if you cannot use sunscreen or want extra protection. However, the sun is not as strong in the Central Valley as it is on the coasts. 

Are There Many Mosquitoes in Costa Rica?

As a tropical location, mosquitoes are common in Costa Rica, though mostly during the green season (June to October). Mosquitoes are more common in the Caribbean because of the warm, humid climate.

Escazú is located in San Jose’s Central Highlands, therefore you won’t have to worry about swarms of mosquitos.

What Kinds of Gifts and Souvenirs Can I Find?

In Costa Rica, you’ll find amazing coffee, hand-crafted wooden bowls, figurines, jewelry boxes, T-shirts, colorful beach towels, sheets, paintings and more.

You can go to several gift shops in Escazú or take a day trip to San Jose where you will have access to an even larger number of stores that specifically cater to souvenirs and crafts. The SJO airport also has a wide selection of shops, however, the prices are significantly higher.

Can I use my cell phone in Costa Rica?

If you have an unlocked smart phone, you can purchase a Costa Rican SIM card with a local number.

You can also arrange your phone for international calls through your home carrier. Cell service is usually good in San Jose and decent outside of the major cities.

If you don’t have an international plan, be sure to check with your provider about roaming charges before you arrive, as it can be expensive if turned on while overseas.

Do Costa Ricans speak English?

Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica, however, you will notice that many Costa Rican speak some level of English, from the basics to near fluency.

It is very easy to find doctors and medical staff who speak English. Las Cumbres has a fully bilingual staff as far as the manager, receptionist, nurses, and drivers. Cleaning and kitchen staff are not fluent, but will understand your requests.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Get Around?

Public buses are the most common means of transportation for Costa Ricans and connect nearly every city and town. Public buses are economical, but are less comfortable, slower, and less secure for your belongings.

Should I Rent a car?

Costa Rica is quite safe. You will feel welcomed by the “pura vida“ culture that Costa Ricans (or Ticos) are famous for, as soon as you arrive.

There are, however, a few precautions that are recommended:

– Only use licensed taxis or transportation we arrange.

– Carry a copy of your passport, rather than the original. Keep your important documents and other valuable objects in the in-room safe.

– If you are going out, especially at night, avoid wearing obviously expensive jewelry.

– Don’t go out with large amounts of cash if you don’t really need to. Most places of interest, including physician’s and dentist’s offices, accept credit or debit cards.

– Although people can be the friendliest and nicest, always use common sense. Don’t let yourself be a victim of a street scam.

– Avoid leaving the hotel premises for walks after dark.

Overall, crime is not a critical problem around here. However, it’s best to be safe and avoid placing yourself in dangerous situations. Please visit the reception to ask about the best places and times to go sightseeing or to get a taxi. We are always happy to help.

Is the Water Safe to Drink?

Yes. Tap water is safe to drink here, however, chlorine and other chemicals are put in it and can make the taste less than appetizing. We recommend buying bottled water to ensure appealing water.

We provide bottled water tanks at the common areas that can be used to refill your water bottle for no extra charge. 

Is Costa Rica safe for female travelers?

Most of the time a tip it is not expected by drivers or service workers, but is certainly appreciated.

For transactions involving service, a 10% service tax is added to your bill, especially in restaurants. Check to see if this service tax is included in the prices listed. The service tax takes the place of tips in Costa Rica. You are not expected to tip additionally in restaurants or taxis, though they are appreciated.

Do I Need To Take Malaria Pills Or Get Certain Vaccinations?

We always suggest following your doctor’s suggestions. If you have any doubt, we recommend ask in your travel agency or airline. 

If I Need Medicine, Can I Easily Get It?

Yes. We are located near many pharmacies and some even offer express delivery for your commodity at no extra cost. 

The majority of medications – with the exception of antibiotics and heavy pain killers – can usually be purchased without a prescription. Your doctor or dentist will provide you with a prescription note if necessary.