Where is Costa Rica Located?
Costa Rica is located in the Central American isthmus that connects North America and Central America. Geographically, it is part of North America.Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the South and East. The Pacific Ocean borders the western and southern parts of Costa Rica, and the Caribbean Sea borders Costa Rica on the east.
Costa Rica comprises a total of 19,700 square miles and has 277 square miles of territorial waters. The highest point in Costa Rica is Cerro Chirripó, at 12,530, the highest volcano in the country is the Irazú Volcano 11,257 ft. The largest lake in Costa Rica is Lake Arenal. In terms of latitude and longitude, it is located between 9 and 10 degrees north of the equator within the latitudinal belt known as the Tropics.
U.S. Citzens must have a valid passport that does not expire for at least 90 days after your departure date.
Citizens of the following countries holding a valid passport can enter Costa Rica for a period of 90 consecutive days without a visa:
Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France and Germany Dependencies, Greece, Holland and Dependencies, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America and Uruguay.
Citizens of the following countries holding a valid passport can enter Costa Rica for a period of 30 consecutive days without a visa:
Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Dominica, El Salvador, Estonia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Saint Kitts/Nevis, San Marino, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Suriname, Taiwan, Turkey, The Vatican and Venezuela.
Citizens of countries not listed need to contact a Costa Rican Embassy or Consulate to apply for a visa. You can find a list of Costa Rican embassies and consulates at:www.migracion.go.cr
Villa CieloMar is located about 30 minutes (40Km) from the Costa Rica’s Liberia International Airport (offically named Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport. It is Costa Rica’s main and only international airport. A new terminal was built in 2012.
Airlines Operating Flights into Liberia Airport (LIR)
Air Berlin www.airberlin.com
Air Canada www.aircanada.com
American Airlines www.aa.com
Copa Airlines www.copaair.com
Delta Airlines www.delta.com
Frontier Airlines: www.flyfrontier.com
Nature Air (Domestic) www.natureair.com
Sansa (Domestic) www.flysansa.com
US Airways www.usairways.com
West Jet www.westjet.com
Colon, U.S. Dollars and major credit cards accepted. Colones are the offical unit of currency and can be accessed from local ATM machines
The Costa Rican Colon is the official currency in this country. The name of this currency is in honor of Cristobal Colon (Admiral that discovered Costa Rica in 1502). Actually, Costa Rican economy uses only the Colon and US Dollar as currencies to make monetary transactions, but the official currency, still being the Colon.
The exchange rate system in Costa Rica is governed by The Central Bank of Costa Rica, and this named Exchange Rate Band System (This system is replacing the last one, named System of Mini Devaluation).
The Central Bank of Costa Rica, determinate through this system that the exchange rate has a floor and a roof, so, all financial entities in Costa Rica can’t exceed the amount they paid or collect when sell or buy dollars. If the these entities don’t comply this rule, the Central Bank intervenes to stabilize the situation in Costa Rica.
Is important to mention that Costa Rica has two different exchange rate, first one if you sell dollars (You will received the lowest amount), or if you buy dollars (You will have to pay to highest amount).
Electricity: 110 Volts (same as United States)
$29 payable at the airport in USD/Costa Rican cash or Visa/Mastercard. If you use Visa or Mastercard the transaction wiil be processed as a cash advance. This tax must be paid before you check in for your flight. Only applies when you leave by air. American Express is not accepted.
Central Time when United States observes Standard Time and Mountain Time when the United States observes Daylight Saving Time.
Costa Rica weather overall is quite mild. The country is unique for having over a dozen micro-climates, all of which feature different characteristics. It’s often said that because of this, weather in Costa Rica is absolutely unpredictable. However that is not completely true; the weather is tropical all year long because of its proximity to the equator. The degree of humidity or dryness varies depending on what part of the country you’re in.
Unlike other countries with four established seasons, climate in Costa Rica can easily be divided into two seasons: rainy and dry. Rainy season which extends from May to November is also called winter by locals and is characterized for its constant showers and moderate rains. Dry season, or summer, goes from December to April and is the most popular time for travel because of the warm weather.
Weather can change from province to province (and sometimes from neighborhood to neighborhood!) however it never becomes too extreme or unmanageable. A light sweater and a raincoat will keep you safe during the winter, while shorts and a water bottle will get you through the summer.
Temperature Range: 70 - 90 degrees during the day year round. Sun rises at 5:45 am and sets at 6:00 pm every day all year round.
Calling Costa Rica:
International country code of 506 and anyone calling from outside the country needs to apply this code. Example 011-506-1343-7543. The international code of 011 indicates it is an international call and 506 is the country code for Costa Rica
Local water supplied water is potable and safe. However, it is recommend to purchase bottled water.
Costa Rica is considered the safest country in Latin America. Extremely low crime rate. It is recommended that you not bring valuable items such as jewerly as a precautionary measure.
Gratuities are an important source of income for maids, massage therapists, and waiters. Restaurant bills include a charge of 10% for service. In the event you wish to add more it is up to you.
Many of Costa Rica’s holidays are based on religious holidays coming from the Catholic faith. On most of these official holidays (dias feriados), banks, public offices, and many businesses are closed. Here is a listing of the most important official holidays that Costa Rica celebrates:
- January 1st- New Year’s Day
- March 19th-St Joseph’s Day, patron saint of San Jose and San Jose province
- March or April – Easter/Semana Santa. Most businesses (except tour companies/tourist industry) shut down Thursday and Good Friday and don’t resume as usual until Saturday before Easter Sunday. You cannot buy alcohol on Thursday or Friday during this week.
- April 11th – Juan Santamaria Day celebrating the national hero, Juan Santamaria who fought against the American invader, William Walker, in 1856
- May 1st – Labor Day (Dia de los trabajadores)
- June – Father’s Day is on the third Sunday of June each year
- July 25th- Guanacaste Day which celebrates the annexation of Guanacaste from Nicaragua in 1824.
- August 2nd – Virgen de los Angeles Day. Patron saint of Costa Rica.
- August 15th –Mother’s Day
- September 15th – Independence day, celebrating Costa Rica’s independence from Spain in 1821
- October 12th –Columbus Day/Dia de la Raza
- November 2nd-All Souls Day
- December 8th-Day of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
- December 25th - Christmas
Costa Rica Guidebooks:
Lonely Planet Guide to Costa Rica
Rough Guide to Costa Rica
Moon Guide to Costa Rica
Foder’s Costa Rica
National Geographic Traveler Costa Rica
The Wildlife of Costa Rica - A Field Guide
Costa Rica - A Traveler’s Literary Companion
In Search for Captain Zero
Rental Car Companies
Adobe Rent a Car 506-2667-0608 www.adobecar.com
Alama Rent a Car 506-2668-1111 www.alamocostarica.com
National Rent a Car 506-2668-1115 www.anccar.com
Budget Rent a Car 506-2668-1118 www.budget.co.cr
Economy Rent-a-Car 506-2666-2816 www.wconomyrentcar.com
Europcar 506-2667-0716 www.europcar.co.cr
Hertz Rent a Car 506-2668-1048 www.hertzcostarica.com
Hola Rent a Car 506-2667-4040 www.hola.net
Mapache Rent a Car 506-2586-6363 www.mapache.com
Poas Rent a Car 506-2668-1600 www.poasrentacar.com
Thrifty Rent a Car 506-2665-0787 www.thirftycostarica.com
Toyota Rent a Car 506-2668-1212 www.toyotarent.com
U-Save Car Rental 506-2667-0808 www.usavecosttarica.com
3 Monkies 506-2667-4085 www.3monkiescr.com
Blue Water Adventure Tours 506-2653-6779 www.bwpcr.com
Borinquen 506-2690-1900 www.borinquenresort.com
Buena Vista Adventures Group 506-2690-1414 www.advenutresbuenavista.com
Canopy Tour Congo Trail 506-2666-4422 firstname.lastname@example.org
Canon de La Vieja Lodge Aventure Lodge 506-2665-5912 www.thecanyonlodge.com
Complejo Turistico Rio Perdido 506-2288-4733 www.rioperdido.com
Costa Rica DMC Tours 506-2438-7700 www.costaricadmc.com
Dream on Sport Fishing 506-8857-6530 www.dreamonsportfishing.com
Falls by the Lake 506-2694-4780 email@example.com
HotelBeds de Costa Rica 506-2668-0018 www.hotelbeds.com
El Viejo Wetlands 506-2296-0966 www.wildwetlands.com
Hacienda Guachipelin 506-2256-5693 www.guachipelin.com
Jacamar Tours 506-2667-1082 www.arenaltours.com
Mardigi Tours 506-8876-9308 www.mardigtours.com
Monkey Park 506-2653-8060 www.monkey-park.org
Swiss Travel Services 506-2667-0606 www.swisstravlcr.com
TAM Travel Corporation 506-2668-1415 www.tamtravel.com
Tico Tours 506-2672-1248 www.ticotoursguanacaste.com