TRAVEL INFO

GETTING AROUND:

Airport: Both car and eight person minibuses are available for hire at the airport for transport to hotels. Fare to downtown San Jose is approximately US$17.00. In addition, most big hotels have a minibus service to and from the airport.

Taxis: Within San Jose: can be hailed or ordered by telephone; have white number plates. When taking taxis within the city limits, make sure the electronic meter is used. When travelling outside the city limits, checking fixed rate fares in advanced is highly recommended. Tipping is unnecessary. All taxis are red except those serving Juan Santamaria international airport, which are orange.

Car Rental: Many car rental agencies have offices both at the airport, downtown and at some major tourist destinations. A valid national drivers license is usually good for the duration of a tourist visa.

Buses: Costa Rica has an extensive, relatively efficient and cheap bus system serving the metropolitan area and most of the country.

Air: SANSA and Nature Air are the domestic carriers with regular flights from San Jose to prime tourist destination. There are buses from the two aiports in San Jose to the center. A number of smaller airlines provide domestic charter flights as well. There are over 200 small airfields throughout the country.

UNUSUAL/STRICT LAWS: Always carry your driving license. There are tough drunk driving laws, with the penalty of having your driving license impounded for a minimum of three years.
Air travellers from Colombia now need visas and are subject to strict searches for drugs. Failure to carry identification papers/passport may mean imprisonment as police carry out spot checks for illegal immigrants.
Street corner foreign exchange transactions are technically illegal, and often risky.

SECURITY: There are pickpockets in downtown San Jose. Beware of mugging in the national parks at night and of theft at beaches and ports.

HEALTH FOR VISITORS: Drinking water is safe in all the major towns and cities; in other parts of the country it should be boiled first.
Malaria had to a large extent been eradicated, but it has begun to re-appear. Malaria pills may be advisable for extensive stays in lowland areas. Inoculation for yellow fever is recommended. Costa Rica has one of the best standards of health and hygiene in the region.
Several strains of dengue fever have been showing up across Costa Rica. It is particularly dangerous upon second infection, with a slightly different strain. The 1991 cholera epidemic which raged through countries in Latin America, notably Peru, did not reach Costa Rica.

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