We want your Costa Rican journey to be as effortless as possible. If you don’t find your question in the following list, then please contact us!
The difference between any generic travel agency and one that has real local experts is that we are willing to help answer any of your doubts based on real life experience. Don’t hesitate to ask any question that comes to mind!
About Camino Travel
Will my trip be more expensive if I book it through you, a travel agency?
No! Your trip is not more expensive if you book it through us compared to booking directly with each service. The reason is simple: Camino Travel works on a commission basis with its suppliers, which means you will have the same final prices offered by each service directly (hotels, car rentals, tour operators). Plus, you will have local experts constantly helping you make sure you get the best hotel and tour options available, without having to do a lot of your own research.
What are the benefits to booking my trip through Camino Travel?
- You only have to pay for your holiday once, while we take care of everything else! You do not have to worry about making a feasible itinerary, contacting each service provider, waiting on confirmations, and all those other little details involved in planning a trip.
- We give you professional advice throughout the whole trip preparation process. We know Costa Rica inside out; we are constantly traveling the country, researching new experiences. We have decades of experience planning and operating itineraries, so our experts will be able to advise you on what best fits your interests and desires.
- You can travel worry-free, knowing that there is a company supporting you through any question, need, or problem that arises while you are on the trip. We have a 24-hour emergency number.
What is it like planning my trip with Camino Travel?
We strive to make it as simple and straightforward as possible.
- Send us an email (email@example.com) with all of your interests, concerns, ideas, and questions you have concerning your trip. Add any pertinent information, such as if you have already booked your flights or have your dates ready.
- We take the time to get to know you before making suggestions regarding the logistics of your itinerary, including the locations that best suit your interests. We make a proposal with a day-by-day itinerary and pricing.
- Once you approve your trip plan, we proceed to book all of the services requested. After receiving the written confirmations from each supplier, we send you an email in which we inform you of the status of your bookings. In case there is no space available in any of the services, we make suggestions of good alternatives and update the pricing if necessary.
- As soon as everything is booked and confirmed, we send you an invoice with the total trip amount. Once we receive your payment, we proceed to issue the service vouchers that you will receive once you arrive in the country.
What happens if I need to cancel my trip?
All services must be paid immediately after confirmation. If you must cancel your trip or any particular bookings, you must send notice in writing. Cancellations received within a minimum of 30 days prior to arrival will receive a total refund, minus a $150 USD handling fee. Cancellations from 15-29 days prior to arrival will be refunded by 50%. Cancellations 14 days or less prior to arrival are subject to forfeit. Camino Travel is not responsible for non-refundable expenses incurred by travelers in preparation for a cancelled trip, such as non-refundable advance purchase of hotels, transfers, tours, etc. Certain hotels have stricter cancellation and refund policies, which vary between each hotel and service provider. Camino Travel strongly recommends its clients to purchase trip cancellation insurance to avoid any inconvenience.
Can I buy my international airplane ticket through Camino Travel?
As Camino Travel is an incoming tour operator (which means we handle travel services only within Costa Rica), the company does not issue any international airline tickets. We do recommend you purchase your tickets at home with anticipation. If you book arrival and/or departure transfers with us, your Camino Travel trip designer will certainly ask for your flight number and time of arrival/departure at least ten days prior to arrival.
Will someone be waiting for me at the airport?
If you have booked an arrival transfer through Camino Travel, then an identified driver (usually with a Camino Travel uniform) will be waiting for you at the airport. This person will hold a board with your last name written on it, so pay attention to the signs in order to spot your driver. They will take you to your hotel and give you your service vouchers and/or information package. If you are traveling with a group, your Costa Rican tour guide will wait for you at the airport as well.
Are there any special discounts for children?
Children sharing the accommodations with their parents or adults are usually charged less than the regular fare. The policies regarding discounts for children vary for each hotel, so make sure you inform us of the age of your children so that we can check on special rates when quoting your itinerary.
Will I travel alone throughout the country?
Since the majority of our holidays are tailor-made, most of our clients travel with private transportation services. This means your group/you will travel only in the company of your driver. However, for those wishing to reduce their transfer costs, you may be able to take Seat-in-Bus transfers. The SIBs are door-to-door transportation services that have particular schedules that transport people between hotels.
Are there any physical restrictions to consider when booking tours?
Some activities, especially adventure tours, do have specific regulations to avoid risks and accidents. For instance, most zipline tours have a weight limit of 225 pounds per person. White water rafting companies need to know if clients are too tall or weigh more than 230 pounds, in order to provide the appropriate life vests and helmets. Weight limits also apply for horseback riding tours. Please let us know if you have any health or physical restriction before booking your tours and activities.
About Costa Rica
Which Costa Rican international airport should I fly into?
Travelers can arrive in either San Jose (SJO) or Liberia (LIR). What is best will depend on where you are planning on traveling. Flights to LIR can be good for trips starting or ending in Guanacaste. Flying to SJO is convenient if you are planning to travel around the country, since it is very central. Feel free to consult with your trip designer about which airports are best to fly to for your specific trip plans.
What should I pack for my Costa Rican trip?
How can I access money in Costa Rica?
There are numerous banks in San Jose and the Central Valley, as well as some banks in other smaller towns throughout the country. You can change traveler’s checks and buy colones (local currency) there. Remember your passport and no other ID will be accepted for these transactions. Banks are usually open from Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 3:30pm, though this varies between banks. Banks are closed on certain holidays (December 25th, January 1st, and the Thursday and Friday before Easter). ATMs are available in San Jose and the main tourist areas, but are not available in every place.
Can I use my credit cards in Costa Rica?
Credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted, especially Visa and MasterCard. American Express is accepted in a few places, while Diner’s Club is rarely accepted. If you are planning on purchasing local currency (colones), keep in mind that Costa Rica handles only US dollars. Euros are being changed in a few banks, but at a very high commission. Other currencies are rarely accepted as well.
Is Costa Rica safe?
Costa Rica is considered one of the safest countries for tourism in Central America. Our police force is very vigilant and our government is very stable. Nevertheless, it is always necessary to be careful when traveling. Make sure you aren’t being obvious with expensive items or large quantities of money. Avoid walking around secluded areas after dark, such as parks, streets without people, or the beach. Be aware of your bags and pockets when in crowded areas for pickpockets. A money belt is not strictly necessary, though it is suggested to keep money and credit cards in a zipped pocket or bag.
What should I do in case of an emergency?
For any emergencies within Costa Rica, dial 911 or 128 (Red Cross). If you are driving, try to reach a public place (gas station, supermarket, restaurant, etc.) where you can ask for help or find a phone. We also provide a 24 hour emergency number for you to contact us. As a safety tip, always carry the phone number of a contact person at home (and let us know as well). Give a copy of your itinerary to someone at home, as well as the phone numbers of the hotels you will be staying at, in case you lose contact with them and they need to check in.
Is there internet and electricity readily available in Costa Rica?
There is electricity throughout Costa Rica. Wireless Internet is available in nearly all hotels and in most restaurants and other private areas. Many private transfers also have their own WIFI, though this depends on the company providing the transfer. Check with your trip designer if any of your transfers have WIFI. If you need constant or consistent access to the internet, consider arranging that with your service provider prior to traveling to Costa Rica.
Weather in Costa Rica
What is the weather like in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica benefits from an ideal tropical climate. The average temperature is 70°F (around 21°C) in the highlands. In the lowlands, temperatures range from the high 70’s to the low 90’s (21 to 28°C). Costa Rica has two seasons, based on rainfall. The rainy season, also known as green season, is from May to November. The dry season lasts from December to April. However, even during the rainy season, the mornings are often bright and sunny. Temperatures don’t vary a lot throughout the year, since the main influence on temperature is altitude. It’s always a good idea to pack an umbrella or raincoat, just in case!
When is it summer in Costa Rica?
Due to the many microclimates of Costa Rica, the dry season varies between the different regions of Costa Rica. Here is an approximation of the dry season for each major region:
- December to April: Pacific Coast, Nicoya Peninsula, Central Valley, Osa Peninsula and Drake Bay, San Jose Highlands
- May to November: Arenal Volcano, Northern Lowlands
- January to May: Monteverde Area
- February to March and September to October: Caribbean Coast
Will it rain while I am in Costa Rica?
Due to Costa Rica’s tropical nature, it can rain at any time, no matter where you are in the country. This is what keeps Costa Rica green and beautiful. While there are areas that get less rain during certain times of the year, it is not a guarantee. Always bring an umbrella or light raincoat or poncho just in case.
Can I travel in Costa Rica during the rainy season?
Yes! The rainy season is often the most beautiful season, since everything is green and verdant. Even during the rainy season, the mornings are often bright and sunny and perfect for morning adventure tours or sunbathing on the beach.
Health and Medical Services in Costa Rica
What are health and medical services like in Costa Rica?
Medical services are available throughout the country and many doctors speak English. All of the main cities and towns have a public hospital: San Jose, Cartago, Limon, Puntarenas, Ciudad Quesada (near Arenal), Nicoya, Liberia, and Golfito. Rural communities usually have medical offices called EBAIS, where you can receive basic medical attention. There are also many private options for medical treatment, from clinics to hospitals.
What vaccinations do I need for Costa Rica?
While it is not required to have a COVID-19 vaccination prior to traveling to Costa Rica, it is recommended!
Before you travel, always check which vaccinations are mandatory or suggested. Contact your local health department at home for advice on traveling to the Central American tropics.
As of August 1, 2008, the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica mandated that all travelers entering the country from certain at-risk countries must have the vaccination against the Yellow Fever. The countries considered are: Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia, with the exception of the Department of the Archipelago of San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina. You must carry the International Vaccine Certificate issued by the World Health Organization when passing through migration in order to enter the country.
Do I need travel insurance?
Normally, we always recommend travel insurance for our travelers that covers you overseas in case of illness or death. However, as of 2020, all un-vaccinated travelers to Costa Rica must demonstrate having travel insurance that specifically covers COVID-19 related medical expenses and a 14 day quarantine, in case of infection with the virus. As of August 1, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer need to purchase this travel insurance. Fully vaccinated means the traveler has received all required doses of their approved vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson) at least 14 days prior to entering Costa Rica.
It is also a good idea to get trip cancellation insurance in case you need to make last minute cancellations.
Can I get medications in Costa Rica?
It is ideal to bring all prescribed medications that you will need during your trip. However, in case of emergency, many prescription and OTC medications can be purchased in pharmacies locally, but you shouldn’t depend on it.
Can I travel to Costa Rica if I have food allergies or restrictions?
Costa Rica, especially the bigger cities, are generally very conscientious of food allergies and intolerance. You can find many vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose-free options, especially in the cities. Vegan options are not as common, but do exist. You should let us know if you have any food allergies or food restrictions so we can make sure hotels are aware and ready to accommodate you.
About COVID-19 in Costa Rica
Is COVID-19 bad in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica has experienced the same global pandemic as the rest of the world. That being said, the virus has not been quite as bad here as in many other countries, due to a prepared healthcare system and prompt restrictions and reactions by the government.
For more information on what you can and cannot do in Costa Rica, as well as local sanitation guidelines, review this article.
Where can I get COVID-19 testing in Costa Rica?
There are many hospitals, clinics, and laboratories around the country where you can get tested for COVID-19. Many hotels will also arrange for a laboratory to test you on premises. For more specific information on testing in Costa Rica, take a look at this article.
Do I need a COVID-19 test to enter Costa Rica?
Currently, travelers do not need to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter Costa Rica.
Do I have to be vaccinated to visit Costa Rica?
Currently, vaccination is not a requirement to enter Costa Rica, as long as unvaccinated travelers purchase the appropriate travel insurance that covers COVID-19 related medical expenses and quarantine.
However, as of January 8, 2022, most commercial establishments will only admit fully vaccinated individuals, which will be verifiable by a state-provided QR code or a printed vaccination certificate. Essential services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals will not require proof of vaccination. Minors under the age of 12 and people with a duly accredited medical condition that exempts them from vaccination are both exempt from this requirement.
What does fully vaccinated mean in Costa Rica?
Fully vaccinated is recognized as the total number of doses for each vaccine as indicated by its corresponding pharmaceutical company, with the final dose having been applied at least 14 days before entry into Costa Rica. The indicated doses for each approved vaccine are:
a. AstraZeneca/Oxford: 2-dose series
b. Pfizer-BioNTech: 2-dose series
c. Moderna: 2-dose series
d. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson): single dose
COVID vaccines will be accepted as long as they have been authorized by a Strict Regulatory Authority (e.g., WHO). Cases in which the traveler receives a single dose after being diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus will be considered fully vaccinated by Costa Rica. In these instances, the vaccination documentation must indicate a 1/1 dose (dose one of one).
Documentation verifying vaccination status in the Health Pass must contain the following information:
a. Full name (consistent with passport)
b. Name of administered vaccine
c. Date of each administered dose
Is having recovered from COVID-19 recently an alternative to being vaccinated?
No. While travelers who are not fully vaccinated may enter the country, this is not an alternative to the the requirement to enter commercial establishments.
How will non-resident travelers obtain a QR code as proof of vaccination?
Tourists must fill out a Health Pass in order to enter the country. Upon filling out this digital epidemiological form, they will receive a QR code. If they entered data to support full vaccination status, this QR code will work to let them enter commercial establishments.
What is the transition period between December 1, 2021 and January 7, 2022?
There will be two models for commercial establishments to follow as the country transitions to this new policy. All establishments, including hotels, restaurants, adventure tourism, museums, stores, bars, casinos, gyms, and pools must visibly display signage indicating which model they are operating under.
Fully Vaccinated Model
Establishments may operate at 100% capacity as long as they’ve verified that all clientele aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated.
For establishments not checking and requiring vaccination status, their capacity will be limited to 50%.
Will Tours Require Proof of Vaccination?
Yes. All adventure tours will only permit fully vaccinated individuals as of January 8, 2022. This includes, but is not limited to the following activities:
- Terrestrial activities: Hiking, mountain biking, trekking, horseback riding tours
- In-air activities: Ballooning (hot air balloons), paragliding
- Aquatic activities: rafting, scuba diving, tubing, kayaking, parasailing
- Activities with cables and ropes: Climbing, bungee jumping, rappelling, zip-lining, canyoning, via ferrata, spelunking (caving), high ropes, pendulum (Tarzan swing)
- Motorized activities: use of quad-cycles, motorcycles, boats, jet-skis
Travel Requirements in Costa Rica
Do I need a visa or passport to enter Costa Rica?
All visitors arriving in Costa Rica require a passport that is valid for more than six months. Citizens of some countries also require a visa to enter the country, so please check ahead before traveling.
Are there any packing restrictions for entering Costa Rica?
Adults entering the country are permitted 500 grams of tobacco, 5 liters of duty free wine or spirits, and 2 kg of candy. The Costa Rican government forbids incoming people from bringing fresh fruit or vegetables, plants, and live animals without official permission.
Is there an entrance or departure tax in Costa Rica?
There is a departure tax o f $29, however this price is integrated into the plan tickets of most large airlines. Review whether your airline includes the departure tax in their rate. This tax is included in the fares of the following airlines, among others: Aeromexico, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Avianca, Copa, Delta, KLM, Spirit, United Airlines, and Volaris. For those who do not have this tax integrated into their plane ticket, they can pay at the airport at a counter near the entrance prior to check in.
Transportation in Costa Rica
How will I get around Costa Rica?
We will consider the best transportation options for you based on your interests, expectations, needs, budget, and time restrictions. In addition, we offer information and advice about the conditions you will encounter on local roads, flights, and with private transportation, as well as any other data that will be useful for you. Common transportation options include car rental, private transfers, group transfers, and local flights.
What do I need to know about car rental in Costa Rica?
The car rental companies we do business with always include the necessary insurance and documents to make sure you are as safe as possible while traveling around Costa Rica. We will reserve and coordinate the delivery time and place so that you don’t have to worry about it.
The rules of the road are standard and similar to most other countries. However, you will want to have patience if you are driving in Costa Rica. There is often a lot of traffic in the metropolitan area of the Central Valley. There is usually not as much traffic in the country, but some roads aren’t in very good condition.
Flying domestically in Costa Rica
Several airlines fly locally in Costa Rica. We can make reservations for local Costa Rican flights for you (not for international flights). There are many small airports located around the country close to main tourist areas. In many cases, local flights can cut down significantly on transportation time. If you are open to flying locally, communicate that with your trip designer to see what the best options are.