How do I coordinate travel?
You don't -we do!! We let you handle international travel, as many guest like to use points, but we’ll take care of all in-country travel from the moment you land at the airport to the moment you head back home. We'll arrange transfers in our private vans or Region flights on charters or regional carriers.
What about my passport?
Ensure all passports are valid and do not expire within 3 months of visiting Costa Rica. We recommend making color copies of all passports and keeping copies in a different location than your passport. The airlines will not allow you to board with an invalid passport. You might snap a photo on your cell phone of your passport once you get through customs and obtain an entry stamp. That way you can leave your passport safely in your room during your stay.
Will my cellphone and electronics work?
If you plan to bring electronic devices (computers, iPhones, iPods, cameras, tablets, Kindles) consider purchasing travel insurance in case of loss or theft. It’s best to backup your files before leaving home. The electrical system in Costa Rica is 110V, converters are unnecessary.
Cell phones do work in Costa Rica but coverage is spotty; you will be able to make international calls from your hotels. Smart phones with international access do work. Remember to turn off your data roaming or you’ll have a large bill when you return.
Can I be reached by anyone back home?
Yes, please leave the itinerary with important people back home that may need to reach you. All phone numbers are in the itinerary but must be dialed using 011- 506- in front of the 8-digit telephone numbers. You also have our key office numbers.
What if I’m renting a car in Costa Rica?
If you are renting a car in Costa Rica, be sure you bring your passport, driver’s license up to date and credit card for the deposit. If you credit card includes coverage be sure you have the accurate information about it to present to the rental agent.
Travel insurance is recommended; information is available via www.insuremytrip.com. They were featured in a NY Times article: http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/20/travel-insurance-and-the-volcano/
What is the currency in Costa Rica and how should I plan to pay?
Costa Rica’s unit of currency is the colon (₡), which hovers between 500 - 550 colones/ $1 USD. (Currently 545 to the dollar). A 1,000 colones bill is worth about $2 ($1.83*) and a 10,000 colones bill is worth about $20 ($18.34*). *at the time of writing this document.
US dollars are king in Costa Rica and are accepted everywhere. Most stores will offer a discount when paying with dollars. $10s, $20s and $50s are preferred and most stores will not take $100 bills. You will be able to use your credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) in all hotels and most restaurants. Travelers Checks are a difficult to cash, we advise against bringing them. There are ATMs in San Jose and all the areas of travel except of Lapa Rios.
What if there is a medical emergency?
There are good medical facilities at all the areas on your itinerary. If you require medical assistance, please contact your ALE driver or the appropriate hotel.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
No! All of your destinations are manageable with English though we encourage you to practice your Spanish language skills! All of our drivers and guides speak English as well.
Is the water safe in Costa Rica?
Yes, the water in Costa Rica is safe. There is no need to worry about salads or vegetables. There is bottled water for sale in your hotels and restaurants.
Is tipping expected in at hotels and restaurants?
Most restaurants and hotels include a 10% service charge on the bill but it helps to ask to verify. Tipping additional is not expected, but common when you received good service.
Should I be concerned about theft?
No, not concerned but it’s something to be aware of when traveling in Latin America. Do not leave valuables in cars or vans, do not leave items unattended on the beach (you can leave things with ALE drivers). Secure non-essential items in your rooms, and use safe boxes when provided.
What will the weather be like?
A word about our weather. Our dry season is Mid-November through April and generally the warmest time of the year. May through September is our Green Season and a wonderful time to visit Costa Rica. The Green Season is lush and tropical with the occasional afternoon shower and typically glorious sun-drenched mornings. Temperatures are not as high as March and April but still warm.
What clothing should I pack?
Lightweight, comfortable hiking or walking shoes (waterproof is preferable). Water shoes or sandals. Flip-flops are great for the beach.
Lightweight, casual clothing appropriate for hiking - light pants, shorts, shirts. Avoid cotton while attempting strenuous activities. Bring along a light raincoat. Quick-Dry clothing is perfect.
The dress code in all locations is completely casual; dress jackets and formal apparel are unnecessary. A collared shirt and slacks for men and sun dress for women is as fancy as you need to get. Bring an extra change of clothing on your most active and water related tours. Be sure to include your bathing suit and attire when heading to the coast.
What other items are necessary for packing?
Bring a flashlight or headlamp for times when the electricity goes off (Usually only for a few minutes), and night walks as there are no streetlights.
Bring sunscreen and insect repellent. These items are available here but are expensive. Please bring along NON-aerosol sprays.
Camera equipment and plenty of film /memory cards, batteries and chargers. Also binoculars if you have some.
Basic medical kit (Aspirin, Benadryl, Band-Aids, Advil, Imodium, Antiseptics, Anti-Histamines, etc.).
We are available 24/7 to assist you with anything you need. Just call the local number we've provided on your itinerary. We have your back!