Here are some of the questions we often receive at “The Sunset” please feel free to use them as a tool to better plan your vacation.
Q: What are important things to bring?
A:Light jacket, hiking boots (sandals are strictly for town or traveling), the book you are reading, favorite CD’s and DVD’ movies, bug repellant, a journal, camera and lot’s of film or big memory card, rain gear, any medications you may require, although many are available here, a pocket knife or leatherman style tool, (in your checked baggage, please), small binoculars, sun screen, packable umbrella., any favorite snacks, powerbars et. al. are cheaper in the States, if you use those products.
Q: What is appropriate dress in Costa Rica?
A: Dress is strictly casual all around the country, with the exception of religious services, you might want to bring some “going out” clothes if you are into dancing at one of the local discos on Saturday night. The “gringo” uniform of cargo shorts, t-shirt, and sandals is universally accepted.
Q: Is "Ticos" or "Tico" a derogatory term?
A: Nope, not at all. Costa Ricans as a people take no offense in the common term “Tico". It is the diminutive form of the word Hermanitos, which means little brother it is an affectionate way of referring to the residents as a whole. Hermanito became Hermanticos which later was shortened to just "Tico". It is in use in the common vernacular, such as "dame un momentico" (give me a moment) Tico style, which means give me anything from a few minutes to a couple of days. Ticos freely use the term Gringo and do so without malice, it is simply one term that covers anyone that is not a Tico.
Q: Is Costa Rica safe?
A: By and large yes! There are bad neighborhoods in San Jose, like any big city, but if you use common sense , don't flash money , jewels or expensive cameras, lock your rental car doors, don't consort with people who hang out in the shadows of alleys etc. Petty thievery can occur anywhere, however if you use your common sense. You will be just fine and have a great time.
Q: Is the water safe to drink?
A: Yes very much so, out of the tap. Here at the “The Sunset” our water is very pure and good, from a deep well high on the hillside. Throughout the country you will find good , clean water in the aquifers . Don't drink from streams because of giardia (same in the United States) bottled water is cheap and readily available should you prefer it.
Q: Do we need to exchange money at the bank or what?
A: American dollars are accepted at many locations throughout the Country. Change will be given in Colones (the local currency) the change is given correctly using the established exchange rate. Most ATM cards work here and you may withdraw money in colones or dollars . Bring at least two ATM or credit cards and make sure they use different authentication protocols, i.e. cirrus, star, inter link, plus, NYCE, cirrus. Most work well here. Larger transactions should be made at a bank and you will need your passport.
Q: Will my cell phone work in Costa Rica?
A: Maybe, Costa Rica uses gsm 1900 mghz if your phone is an unlocked tri-band gsm set on automatic network selection. You may need to do nothing to let it roam. To make sure check with your cell phone provider, roaming charges may shock you. Rental cell phones are available near either of the main airports or follow this link http://www.cellphonescr.com/index.html to reserve a cell phone prior to your arrival.
Q: Do you offer an internet connection at the house, do we need special plugs for our laptops?
A: Yes we now have a fast satellite internet connections and a wireless router. Sending signal throughout the house and grounds,. you will not need a special adapter for your laptop or for any of your electronics. Costa Rica uses 110 volt, 60 htz electricity throughout the country. If you choose not to bring your laptop or iPod there is a workstation available to our guests in the office center.
Q: Do we need immunizations prior to traveling to Costa Rica?
A: The short answer is, probably not. Our area of Costa Rica, the Guanacaste highlands is not currently subject to favor any specific tropical diseases. The CDC has a full list of recommended vaccinations here http://www.cdc.gov/travel/camerica.htm . Ask your family doctor, use your own best judgment. The majority of our guests and our own family has chosen not to receive these immunizations, to no ill effect but by all means use your own judgement, the choice is up to you.
If you have any other questions feel free to write firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-4ME-CASA toll free from the U.S.
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