What to bring to Costa Rica
Plan to dress in layers. Sweaters and jackets are needed for activities in the mountains and cool evenings. Shorts are worn for athletic activities or at the beaches, never in the cities. Bring raingear and boots if you plan to do much hiking. A folding umbrella will often be welcome. Have a comfortable pair of walking shoes that are already broken in. Sidewalks are nonexistent in many areas, and uneven at best. Costa Ricans dress more formally than people in other countries and are always well-groomed. Bring dressy clothes for San Jose restaurants and night life.

Bring what medications and film you might use. Drugstores have a good supply of imported goods, but are expensive. Please bring sun block and use it. Wide brim hats, and sunglasses are highly recommended. It's a good idea to bring insect repellent, sunscreen, tampons, and contraceptives with you. They are often expensive and difficult to find outside of San Jose. Avon's bath oil, Skin So Soft, rubbed on the skin, is reputedly effective at keeping the no-see-'ems at the beach from biting.

If you want to bring your dog or cat, you will need to get in touch with the Consulate of Costa Rica in your country, bring a health certificate from a Veterinarian plus all vaccination given to your pet, or a certified of this by the doctor. Once you have all these papers, the Consulate will seal all your documents; that will allow your pet to come into any country.
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  • Costa Rica Recommended Dress  ( 3 items )
    Dress in Costa Rica is informal. It is a good idea to wear lightweight sport clothing; jeans and lots of t-shirts, beach towel & swim wear. A jacket or sweater so these can be removed when the temperature rises. An umbrella, lightweight raincoat or poncho may also come in handy. Comfortable walking shoes, tennis shoes and hiking boots are suggested.

  • Costa Rica Official Holidays  ( 8 items )
    January 1st - New Year's Day

    March 19th - St. Joseph's Day (Patron of Capital City)

    March or April - Easter in Costa Rica

    April 11st - Juan Santamaria's Day (National hero)

    May 1st - Labor Day

    July 25th - Annexation of Guanacaste

    August 2nd - Virgin of Los Angeles, Patron of Costa Rica

    August 15th - Mother's Day

    September 15th - Independence day

    October 12th - Di�a de las Culturas

    December 1st - Abolition of the Armed Forces

    December 25th - Christmas

  • Calendar of Special Activities in Costa Rica  ( 12 items )
    Some holydays can be great opportunities for tourists. During the last week of the year, parades and ther activities are held in San Jose and throughout the country. The Caribbean port of Limon holds its annual Carnival during the week of October 12, and is a delightfully colorful affair.

    Dates to remember

    March / April � Easter Week
    April 11th � Juan Santamaria day
    May 1st � Labour Day
    July 25th � Annexation of Guanacast Celebration
    August 2nd � Celebration for the Virgen de los Angeles
    August 15th � Mother's Day 
    September 15 th � Independence Day
  • Costa Rica Public Transportation  ( 4 items )
    Getting around Costa Rica is simple, and the use of public transport is quite inexpensive. There is bus service to practically every town and city, and buses that serve main tourist destinations are for high quality. Taxis are also plentiful. However, the quickest way to reach far away tourist destinations is by air. Car rental agencies are easy to come upon, and most rent four-wheel-drive vehicles.
  • Driving in Costa Rica  ( 8 items )
    Costa Rica is a very small country and most tourist destinations are within a few hours drive of San Jose. Not only will you drive through beautiful countryside, but some small, out-of-the-way places will only be discovered by car. The adventure lover will appreciate the freedom to explore.

    Our advice: let somebody else do it if you can. In our case, we let Travel Excellence do it. This is a tour company that will fully customize your trip for you. They organized all our traveling needs and transfers between hotels during our ten-day stay. No need for us to worry about car rentals and navigating around the country! One thing to remember about Costa Rica: this is a country with a chain of mountains running across its centre.

    Bottom line, this means that to reach either coast from San Jose, you will have to drive through the mountains on roads with numerous and sizable potholes. You will also have to negotiate several 'religious' bridges as our favorite driver Eduardo (Travel Excellence) informed us. These memorable crossings are so-named because as Eduardo explained seriously, "First we pray, then we cross."

    No problem, everything is pura vida when you are on holiday but, remember, what appears to be a 2-hour drive looking at the map, could in reality take 4 hours! Still, the beautiful views everywhere you look will make the drive a fascinating experience. Just give yourself extra time and a four-wheel drive vehicle.

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