Getting There: Scheduled direct air service to
Costa Rica is available from numerous U.S. gateway cities,
including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New
Orleans, New York, Orlando and San Francisco. Carriers that serve
Costa Rica from the U.S. include American, Continental, Delta,
Lacsa and United.
Seasonal charter service is offered by several operators.
Vacation Express (800-309-4717) in Atlanta this year added two
gateways and now offers weekly charter service to Liberia from
Nashville and Louisville (April to mid-August) and from Atlanta and
Charlotte (April to mid-December).
GWV International in Needham, Mass., operates weekly charters
between Boston and Liberia from late December through May.
Getting About: Scheduled air service is offered
within Costa Rica aboard Sansa and Travelair.
Agents can book Sansa through Lacsa in the U.S. The airline will
relay requests to Sansa in San Jose; confirmation takes a day or
Travelair reservations can be made through the carrier's San
Sansa: (011) 506-221-9414, fax (011) 506-255-2176.
Travelair: (011) 506-220-3054, fax (011) 506-220-0413.
Entry Requirements: For U.S. citizens, a
passport or original birth certificate and a photo identification
Currency: Costa Rica's currency is the colon.
At presstime, the exchange rate was 287 colones to the U.S. dollar.
Credit cards are accepted at major establishments. Clients who plan
to exchange U.S. currency in Costa Rica are advised to carry crisp
new bills, since some banks and businesses now refuse to accept
crumpled, torn or otherwise marred dollar bills.
Taxes, Tips & Fees: The tax on hotel stays
is 16% (13% sales tax plus 3% room tax). Costa Rica's airport exit
tax is $17.25. A 10% service charge is added to checks in
restaurants. The entrance fee to national parks is $6.
Language: Costa Rica's official language is
Spanish; English is spoken at most tourism establishments.
Time: The same as U.S. Central Standard Time.
Costa Rica does not observe Daylight Savings Time.
Climate: Weather varies considerably by region.
In the central plateau or highlands, spring-like temperatures
averaging 72 degrees are the norm year-round, while the mean
temperatures on the Caribbean and Pacific coastal lowlands are in
the 80s. Rainy season, promoted by the tourist board as Green
Season, is from May to November in most regions. Typically during
this period mornings are sunny and afternoons rainy.
Travel Information: The Costa Rica Tourist
Board (ICT) maintains a toll-free telephone line to its San Jose
offices, where English-speaking operators answer questions and
fulfill requests for literature. The number is (800) 343-6332. The
tourist board's Web site is at www.tourism-costarica.com. Or, contact The Costa Rica
National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR), [email protected].