Flying to Costa Rica
Most flights into Costa Rica fly into Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). The airport is located 20 kilometers from central San Jose. Another international airport in Liberia is also an option and it is located further north in Guanacaste. Keep in mind that baggage, customs and immigration could take up to an hour or more (although it is usually quite fast). We can recommend to make arrangements before hand to pick you up from your international flight.
All foreign citizens entering Costa Rica must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the date they leave the country. Citizens of the United States, Canada and many other countries do not need visas to enter Costa Rica. Citizens of countries other than the United States, Canada and the European Economic Community should check with the nearest Costa Rican Embassy or Consulate.
Leaving Costa Rica
For international flights, it is recommended that you arrive at the airport 2 hours prior to departure as you will have to pay the departure tax of $28USD (most airlines do already include this departure tax on their tickets, please confirm with your airline to save you time) verify paperwork, and deal with baggage inspection in addition to regular check-in procedures.
Currency and Credit Cards
Costa Rican official currency is the “Colón” (around 500 hundred colones equal to 1 USD dollar). We accept US dollars, Costa Rican colones, and most credit cards for all payments at the resort. We do not accept travelers’ checks. There are ATMs within five minutes from Shana Hotel for your convenience, you can also exchange or withdraw cash at the airport in San Jose. In most small towns as well as throughout San Jose you will also find Costa Rican banks with ATM machines.
What to pack?
We recommend packing light and bringing things which dry quickly. Recommended items include: sturdy sandals; light clothing; long sleeve rash guard and/or long sleeve shirts for sun protection if you plan on spending considerable time in the water, lightweight rain jacket; bathing suits; and other casual clothing. If you plan on doing a lot of exploring in the rainforest you might want to consider bringing knee-high rubber boots otherwise hiking shoes or tennis will do fine as long as you don’t mind a bit of mud. Keep in mind that we are in a remote area, so you should bring any speciality items that you may require or prefer as well as sunscreen (we are on the equator, so we recommend bringing a higher SPF than you might normally use), and bug repellent with you. Don’t forget your hat and sunglasses, they are a must!
Costa Rica has two seasons, the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season runs from May through November, and tends to bring daily afternoon showers and at times thunder, lightning and heavy rain, usually the heaviest rains fall in September and October.
December – April is the dry season with sunshine almost everyday, and very little rain. The water temperature is between 82-88F degrees (perfect!) year round. The air temperature fluctuates between low to high 80s depending on the time of year.
Our water comes from the national aqueduct water supply company. Additionally, we then filter the spring water to ensure that it is clean, great tasting and safe to drink. Bottled water is also available for purchase at the restaurant.
Please remember we are in the rainforest, with all of the animals that that implies. Most are magnificent, some are dangerous. With proper caution, and by following our guidelines, your trip will be enjoyable and comfortable. Luckily we are located on the beach which usually provides us with an ocean breeze to keep the insects at bay, but it is still a good idea to bring bug repellent if insects usually find you especially tasty.
Electricity & Outlets
We have standard 2 prong 110 volt outlets in the restaurant and all of our accommodations. Most cell phones work from the resort, but occasionally the connection can be interrupted. Always double check rates and roaming chargers with your service provider as the international calling rates can be very high.