Our frequently asked questions section outlines the most common questions we are asked about traveling to Costa Rica.  While this is designed as...

General Vacation Questions

What are the most popular things to do in Costa Rica?

Where are the best destinations in Costa Rica?

When is the best time to visit Costa Rica (weather and prices)?

Where are the best beaches in Costa Rica?

Is Costa Rica a family friendly destination?

Should I go to an all inclusive resort?

Where can I see nesting sea turtles?

Where are the best surfing beaches?

Where is the best sport fishing in Costa Rica?

What are the most common misconceptions about Costa Rica?

Adventure Tours and Activities

Are adventure tours right for me?

Are organized adventure tours safe?

Are there weight or age limits for adventure activities?

National Parks and Wildlife

Will I see wildlife in Costa Rica?

Are park entrance fees included in tours?

Am I guaranteed entrance to national parks?

How much does it cost to enter national parks?

Does Manuel Antonio National Park limit the number of visitors?

Does the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve limit the number of visitors?

Where should I go for a nature vacation?

What is Costa Rica biodiversity?

Which national parks should I visit?

Costa Rica Volcanoes

How close can I get to Arenal Volcano?

Can I see lava at Arenal Volcano?

How many volcanoes are in Costa Rica?

What are the most accessible volcanoes in Costa Rica?

Can I climb to the crater of Arenal Volcano?

Can I hike to the crater of Rincon de la Vieja?

Can I hike to the crater of Turrialba Volcano?

Getting around the country

What is the difference between shuttles and private transfers?

Can I reserve a shared shuttle transfer from the airport?

Are there baggage restrictions for shuttle transfers?

How will I know who my driver is at the airport?

How are the roads in Costa Rica?

How long does it take to drive between destinations?

Can I use public buses to get around Costa Rica?

Should I rent a car in Costa Rica?

Will my driver’s license work in Costa Rica?

Are there domestic airports at all tourist destinations?

Are there baggage restrictions on domestic flights?

Should I take a domestic flight?

What is the Land-Boat-Land transfer?

Can I do a day trip to Monteverde from Arenal or vice versa?

Can I do a day trip to Monteverde or Arenal from Guancaste?

Can I do day trips from San Jose to Arenal Volcano, Tortuguero or the beach?

Weddings and Vow Renewals

Can we be married in Costa Rica?

Can we renew our vows in Costa Rica?

Dining in Costa Rica

What is the food like in Costa Rica?

Are there vegetarian meals?

General Expenses and Money

How much does food cost?

How much should I tip my waiter or waitress?

How much should I tip tour guides and drivers?

Are major credit cards accepted?

How much do taxis cost?

Do I need to exchange money?

How much money should I carry with me?

What kind of souvenirs will I find in Costa Rica?

Do I have to pay a departure tax?

Location and Geography

Where is Costa Rica?

What time is it in Costa Rica?

How big is Costa Rica?

What is the geography of Costa Rica like?

Culture and Government

Is the Costa Rican government stable?

What are Costa Ricans like?

Is there a lot of poverty in Costa Rica?

Safety and Accessibility to Health Care

What should I do if there is an emergency?

Is tap water safe to drink?

Is it safe to swim at Costa Rican beaches?

Will I need specific vaccinations or malaria pills?

Are there a lot of mosquitoes in Costa Rica?

How can I prevent mosquito-borne illnesses? 

Scientific Perspective on Zika Virus

Will I be safe in Costa Rica?

Is there a lot of crime in Costa Rica?

Will I have access to medical facilities?

Will I have access to medicine if I need it?

Packing for Your Vacation

What should I pack for my vacation?

Will I need an adaptor for my electronics?

Airports and Arrival and Departure Requirements

Where are the airports in Costa Rica?

What documents do I need to enter Costa Rica?

How long am I allowed to stay in Costa Rica?

Will I be required to pay a departure tax?

Additional coronavirus specific requirements

Phone and Internet Communication

Will my cell phone work in Costa Rica?

Can I rent a cell phone or buy a SIM card for my phone?

How do I call Costa Rica from the United States?

How do I call the United States from Costa Rica?

Will internet be available in Costa Rica?

Our Services

Why should I choose Pacific Trade Winds?

What is your sustainable tourism policy?

What is assisted independent travel?

Will I be able to change my itinerary after I reserve it?

Do I pay an additional fee for your services?

Can I receive a discount by reserving through your company?

How long will it take before I receive a confirmation?

What is a service agreement?

What if something unexpected happens or goes wrong?

What is the cancellation policy?

What are vouchers and how do I use them?

Do you provide international flights?

What languages does your staff speak?

What Else do I Need to Know?

We can’t help if we don’t know…

Boy, those Costa Ricans, they have a different word for everything!

Who do you recommend for trip insurance?


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