SERVING YOU IN PARADISE AND BEYOND
ABOUT COSTA RICA
Overview: Costa Rica is an amazing place located in the heart of Central America that is both politically and economically stable (home to the oldest democracy in the Americas) as well as extremely safe and secure (with the U.S. Government calling it a "Central American Success Story" and CNN Travel saying that it has for "decades been considered the safest place in Central America."). While other Latin countries were having conflicts in the 1980s, the president of Costa Rica received the Nobel Peace Prize for helping bring the violence to an end.
Costa Rica does
not maintain an army and has one of the highest literacy rates in the
world. Costa Rica is also home to a number of large corporations including
Intel but it's number one industry is still tourism (capitalizing on
both its diverse plant and animal life as well as the superb infrastructure
in place for accommodations and adventure). It is little wonder why
Costa Rica has become the hottest new travel destination for tourists
as well as the place where many are buying homes.
Rica is a year round destination with pleasant temperatures throughout
the year. The major difference in weather through the year is the amount
of rainfall. The country has two basic "zones" for rainfall,
the Caribbean Coast and everywhere else. On the Caribbean side you can
expect rain throughout the year although there is a relative dry period
in March and September. For the rest of the country (the Vast majority),
the "green" season is comparable to rainfall in Orlando, Florida
during the same period with afternoon showers not being uncommon (although
there can also be several days of rain or sun). Regardless of the weather,
there is always lots of things to do and many people prefer the "green"
season because of the lower prices and greater availability of accommodations.
The average Temperature through the year in San Jose is 72 with the coasts
getting into the 80s and 90s and the high mountains in the 50s and 60s.
Passports are required for all visitors. Though it is a good idea to check
with the Costa Rican consulate about your countries requirements.
You can transfer money from the US to Costa Rica in 15 minutes or
less and can even be done via the Internet. Fees depend on the amount
transferred and can be collected at a number of locations including Mas
x Menos Grocery stores.
What to Bring:
When packing for your trip to Costa Rica, keep in mind the climate
is moderate. Tee shirts, shorts, lightweight clothes (cotton is best),
light jacket or sweater, rain gear, bug spray, comfortable shoes (hiking
boots or tennis shoes with plenty of tread), sun hat, swimsuit, beach
towel, camera with plenty of film and binoculars (if you have them).
vaccinations are required, but remember to bring extra: prescription drugs,
allergy medication, aspirin, Tylenol, antacid tablets, and diarrhea medicine.
Generally, it is recommended to drink bottled water. It is highly recommended
that you buy health insurance from an agent in your country. Emergency
medical care is provided to visitors at all medical facilities throughout
the country, though can be costly.
Rican's is a relatively safe place but, like most places in the world,
have people who will take advantage if given the chance. Use hotel safes
to store cash and valuables, carry small denomination bills to pay, and
guard your valuables in any public place. Also, minimize the amount of
cash that you have and do not carry large amounts of cash on your person.
Keep in mind in Costa Rica is that local pay scales are substantially
lower than other parts of the world, so what may not seem like a lot of
money to you may be to someone there. Above all, use the same common sense
and you should be fine. It is highly recommended that you photocopy your
passport, lock away your passport and at all times carry the photocopy.
Costa Rica has an overall good communication system including both
landline phones, cellular phones (TDMA and GSM), and Internet via DSL,
Cable Modem, and Satellite. Cellular phones from other countries will
typically not work in Costa Rica. Pay phones are available throughout
the country and may accept coins or, in many cases, only telephone cards.
Phone cards can be purchased at most pharmacies (farmacias) and hotels
as well as other locations. Internet is available at most hotels located
in cities or larger towns and also at Internet Cafes throughout the country.
Many Internet Cafes also have phone service to the US at better prices.
Costa Rica has the oldest democracy in the Americas and is divided into
six "states" including Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia,
Limon, Puntarenas, and San Jose. Costa Rica uses a three branch form of
government that operates similarly to the United States that includes
an Executive Branch (president & vice-president elected together by
popular vote every 4 years), Legislative Branch (Only one assembly with
57 seats elected by popular vote to 4 year terms), and Judicial Branch
(Supreme Court has 22 judges that are elected to 8 years terms by the
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