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.

Entry Requirements

 

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.

Other Countries

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

Directions:



Departure Terminal at Airport

Airport:

  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.

Baggage Claim at the airport

Airlines Operating Flights into Liberia Airport (LIR)

Air Berlin www.airberlin.com

Currency Exchange

Departure Check-in at Airport

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

Jetblue:  www.jetblue.com

Nature Air (Domestic) www.natureair.com

Sansa (Domestic) www.flysansa.com

Taca www.taca.com

United www.united.com

US Airways  www.usairways.com

West Jet  www.westjet.com

Charter Flights

Air Transat   www.airtransat.ca

Arkefly  www.arkefly.ni

Sun Country  www.suncountry.com

Sunwing  www.sunwing.ca

Thomson  flights.thomson.co.uk

Airport offers:  Currency Exchange office, tax departure cashier, short term parking, city bus and airport shuttle service

Currency

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)

Departure Tax

$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.

Time Zone

Central Time when United States observes Standard Time and Mountain Time when the United States observes Daylight Saving Time.  

Weather:

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

Water

Local water supplied water is potable and safe.  However, it is recommend to purchase bottled water.

Personal Safety

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.

Tipping

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.  

Holidays:

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:

  1. January 1st- New Year’s Day
  2. March 19th-St Joseph’s Day, patron saint of San Jose and San Jose province
  3. 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.
  4. April 11th – Juan Santamaria Day celebrating the national hero, Juan Santamaria who fought against the American invader, William Walker, in 1856
  5. May 1st – Labor Day (Dia de los trabajadores)
  6. June – Father’s Day is on the third Sunday of June each year
  7. July 25th- Guanacaste Day which celebrates the annexation of Guanacaste from Nicaragua in 1824.
  8. August 2nd – Virgen de los Angeles Day. Patron saint of Costa Rica.
  9. August 15th –Mother’s Day
  10. September 15th – Independence day, celebrating Costa Rica’s independence from Spain in 1821
  11. October 12th –Columbus Day/Dia de la Raza
  12. November 2nd-All Souls Day
  13. December 8th-Day of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
  14. December 25th - Christmas
Costa Rica Travel Guide: Includes San José, Cartago, Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna. Illustrated Guide, Phrasebook & Maps (Mobi Travel)

Costa Rica Travel Guide: Includes San José, Cartago, Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna. Illustrated Guide, Phrasebook & Maps (Mobi Travel)

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

 

Tour Companies

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  congotrail@racsa.co.cr

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  lajadesinet@racsa.co.cr

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