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Travel requirements

All visitors arriving in Costa Rica, require a passport valid for more than six months.  Citizens of some countries also require a visa to enter the country. Please check ahead with your consulate before traveling.  Van Tours Costa Rica recommends you to carry another proof of citizenship, which could be an ID or drivers license, additional to your passport. 
The departure tax cost is included in your airline ticket, Please check with your airline.

Is the yellow fever vaccine a requirement to visit Costa Rica? If you will be traveling to Costa Rica from South America and/or sub-Saharan Africa, you will need the YELLOW FEVER VACCINE. The countries considered at risk are: AngolaBeninBurkina Faso, CameroonDemocratic Republic of CongoGabonGambiaGhanaGuinea, LiberiaNigeria, Sierra LeoneSudanBoliviaBrazilColombiaEcuadorPeruGuyana and Venezuela. You must wait for ten days after taking the shot, in order to travel to Costa Rica.  Any individual traveling to Costa Rica that has been in transit, whether in airports, sea ports, or land borders in the following countries, will require a vaccination: BoliviaBrazilColombiaEcuadorPeru and Venezuela.

Safety advice

Though Costa Rica has the lowest crime rate of any Central American country, crime in San José City, as any other city, is a problem. The most common is opportunistic theft (e.g. pickpocketing and mugging). Be cautious and follow the tips below:

  • Do not wear ostentatious jewelry.
  • Keep your camera inside your bag when you are not using it.
  • Carry only as much cash, as you will need for the day.
  • In San Jose, our capital, carry your bag only in front of you, never in your back,
  • Leave your passport in the hotel safety box; a photocopy will do for most purposes.
  • Be aware of pickpockets at crowded events and the areas around bus stops.
  • Never put your bag in the overhead racks on a bus or in a public place.
  • Do not walk alone at night, and use only licensed taxis or Uber.
  • If you are renting a car, always park it in a secure place, and never leave anything in it.
  • You should be especially careful in places around Downtown San Jose and bus terminals, principally at night.

Costa Rican Spanish words and cultural references:

Que tal: Hi!
Tico: A Costa Rican man; plural (Ticos), Costa Rican people.
Tica: A Costa Rican woman.
Macho/Macha:  Someone.
Pura Vida: Literally, pure life; full of life. Use it for everything, to say thanks, hello, bye, ok.
Casado:  Typical food (traditional food includes: rice, beans, salad, vegetables, fried banana, and a choice of fish, meat, poultry or vegetarian)
Soda: A basic Costa Rican Café, you can find lunch and typical breakfast.
Saludos: Greetings.
Diay: Hello! What’s new?
Pulpería: Small grocery store
Buena nota: Cool or all right
Una boquita o boca: Literally means mouth; in a bar or in a restaurant means a small appetizer served with your drink; could be sea food or a variety of typical small dishes.
Mae: A guy, to call someone, very informal way.

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