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Information from I.C.T. ~Official Tourist Information Offices

Welcome to Samara Beach

Tips for having a great and safe vacation in Costa Rica and the rest of the world.


  • Your passport is very important: take good care of it! Always carry a copy of your passport and keep the original in the safety deposit box of your hotel, along with your money, jewellery and other valuable objects.
  • When doing bank transactions, you must present your original passport. Use only banks or authorized agencies for exchanging your money.
  • Use automatic teller machines located in public and well illuminated places. Be careful of any offer of help or of strangers when using the machines; withdraw the cash and count it before going outside.
  • Keep all your goods in sight and reach. If you use public transportation, always keep an eye on them.
  • When using taxi services, verify that they comply with the legal established requirements, such as the yellow triangles printed on the doors and a meter. Always ask the staff at your hotel to call a taxi from a reliable company.
  • If you are lost and in need of checking your map, look for a public and safe place to do or recur to the police authorities for help.
  • While driving or parking your car, lock the doors and keep the windows closed. Do not leave your personal belongings inside the vehicle.
  • If you get a flat tire, if you are suspiciously warned of a damage, if you are suspiciously hit from behind or if you are being followed driving, do not stop and immediately look for the police or dial 911 when possible.
  • Avoid stopping when stranger asks you for a ride.
  • In Costa Rica we strive to protect our boys, girls and teenagers. The sexual exploitation of minors is a crime punished by the Low

In case of emergencies call 911 from any telephone

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need a passport to go to Costa Rica?
    A valid passport is mandatory to enter Costa Rica.
  • Do I need a visa to go to Costa Rica?
    Depending on your country of origin you may enter Costa Rica without a visa. USA, Canada and most European countries have this privilege.
  • Can I enter Costa Rica with a one way ticket?
    All visitors must have a round trip ticket as an entry requirement.
  • Do I need an international drivers license to drive in Costa Rica?
    You are allowed to drive with your normal drivers license for three months.
  • Can I get married in Costa Rica? What documents do I need?
    Foreigners can get married in Costa Rica. The documents needed are:
  • original birth certificate
  • affidavit of single status
  • police record
  • valid passport
  • divorce decree (if applicable)

These documents need to follow the authentication procedure before being taken to Costa Rica.

  • What is the difference between the rain forest and the cloud forest?
    The main difference is that in the cloud forest doesn't rain as much as in the rain forest. The species of flora and fauna that you might find differ from one to the other.
  • Is the water drinkable in Costa Rica?
    The water is potable in most of the country. We recommend using bottled water, specially in areas around the coast.
  • Is there a train service in Costa Rica?
    There is a train tour that goes from San Jose to Caldera. For information and reservations please call 2233-3300 or 2221-0777.
  • What is the currency in Costa Rica?
    The Costa Rican currency is called Colon. US dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted.
  • Are credit cards accepted in Costa Rica?
    All major credit cards are widely accepted. You will find ATM machined distributed throughout the country.
  • What kind of inoculations do I have to take to Costa Rica?
    No vaccines are required to enter Costa Rica.
  • Do I need an electric adapter for a hair drier?
    Outlets are 110 V, with standard US two prong plugs.
  • What documents are required to enter with a pet to Costa Rica?
    Dogs and cats entering Costa Rica must have a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, endorsed by a veterinarian service (VS) veterinarian. The examination for the certificate must be conducted within the two weeks prior to travelling to Costa Rica. The required vaccinations are: distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and rabies (for animals 4 months or older).
  • How much is the airport departure tax?
    Departure tax is $26, can be paid in US Dollars, Colones or with a credit cards.
  • How can I get a working visa?
    You must apply for a working visa at the Costa Rican Consulate.
  • How can I apply for legal residency in Costa Rica?
    Costa Rica offers different ways to legalize your status:
    -Temporary resident
    -Foreigner government mission
    For more legal information contact the Costa Rican consulate or the Costa Rican Residents Association at
  • Are the national parks wheel chair accessible?
    The Poas Volcano National Park is the only one that offers access for wheel chairs.
  • Is there a tour operator offering special tours for handicapped people?
    Kosta Rhoda offers special trips for the handicapped.
  • Is there an American Legion in Costa Rica?
    There is an American Legion for people who went to the army. You can also contact The Association of Residents at 2233-8068 or at
  • If I decided to stay longer, can I get a visa while I am there?
    You just have to leave the country for 72 hours, upon returning to Costa Rica the permit will be renewed automatically for 90 more days.
  • What should I bring when going to the rain forest?
    All you need is insect repellent, a rain coat with a hood and hiking boots.
  • Are there domestic airlines that travel within the country?
    You can contact
    SANSA at or calling 2221-9414 or
    Nature Air at Phone 2220-3054.
  • What is the sales tax in Costa Rica?
    Sales tax is 13%
  • What number should I dial in case of emergency?
    Dial 911 for immediate assistance.
  • Are there English written newspapers?
    The Tico Times Phone: 2258-1558
  • Where can I practice white water rafting?
    It can be practices at Pacuare, Reventazon, Corobici, Sarapiqui, Naranjo or Savegre.
  • When do you celebrate Carnival?
    There is one in San Jose on December 25th,Limon Carnivals are celebrated in October and Puntarenas has them from February 21 to March 3rd.
  • Where can egg laying turtles be seen?
    You can go to Tortuguero National Park in the Caribbean or to Las Baulas National Park in the Pacific coast.
  • Which are Costa Rica natural boundaries?
    - North: Nicaragua
    - South:Panama
    - East:Caribbean Sea
    - West: Pacific Ocean
  • How is Costa Rica politically divided?
    Costa Rica is divided into 7 provinces: San Jose, Heredia, Alajuela, Cartago, Limon, Puntarenas and Guanacaste.

Information from I.C.T. web site


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Official Tourist Information Offices

Juan Santamaria International Airport
Phone: 2443-1535, 2443-2883

Plaza de la Cultura, San Jose, 5th Street, between Central and 2nd Avenue at the main entrance of the Gold Museum
Phone: 2222-1090

I.C.T.'s  Main Building, La Uruca
phone: 2291-5764

To file a complaint against any tourist service, please address it to the Costa Rica Tourism Board located at La Uruca, facing the East side of the Juan Pablo II 's Bridge, on the General Canas Highway.

Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm.
phone: 2299-5800 - 2299-5811
fax:      2291-5762

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