Country Code 506 . City codes not required. All numbers have 7 digits.
There is a company that offers e-mail services in downtown San José. Kitcom is two blocks north of the Plaza de la Cultura in the OTEC building. RACSA, a subsidiary of the national Communications Company, ICE, provides full access to the WWW, Telnet, Email and News groups. The price is per month for 25 hours of on-line time. Additional time can be purchased per hour.
Passports & Visas:
A valid passport is required to enter Costa Rica. There is no visa requirement for US tourists, who can enter for stays of up to 90 days. Additional information on entry requirements may be obtained from the Consular Section of the Embassy of Costa Rica at 2114 S Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 328-6628.
Open weekdays 9:00 – 3:00. Closed Saturdays and Sundays. All major credit cards are accepted in almost all hotels, stores, restaurants and car rental agencies. It is increasingly easy to find ATMs, though some banks, like branches of Banco Nacional, accept cards held by their customers only.
You don’t usually need to bother with tipping at restaurants, as most add a 10% tip (plus 15% tax) to the bill.
Getting There & Away:
International flights arrive at San José’s Juan Santamaria international. There are good connections to US and Canadian cities and several Latin and South American countries. There is a departure tax of around US$17 on international flights (Have $20 available).
It’s possible to travel overland to Costa Rica from the USA, crossing Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The nearest US town is Brownsville, Texas, 2480mi away. Overlanders can either catch a series of public buses (these are not known for comfort and may not be modern or driven by professionals.) or drive their own car.
There are two domestic airlines: SANSA and Travelair. Demand for seats is high, so try to book as far in advance as possible.
Before entering the taxi, please check the following: Prices from San Jose to the airport vary and the meter is not used so establish the price before leaving.
Bus service throughout San Jose and all over Costa Rica is good, and can be an economical and interesting way to see the country. For bus schedules consult the ICT tourist office at Plaza de la Cultura in San Jose. Also if you are staying at any lodging facility the bilingual staff will be happy to assist you. All buses have their fare prices written on placards above the windshield, inside the bus.
Most rental car agencies require a credit card.
Tips on Driving in Costa Rica:
When in San Jose or other cities, most streets are one-way, and unfortunately you can not tell this ahead of time. The best way to avoid this is to observe which way the traffic is heading before turning onto a street. Try to avoid driving at night and remember Costa Rica is an agricultural country and there may be animals and farm equipment on the road at all hours. There has been numerous complaints from tourists who have rented cars and are stopped by traffic officers and pressured to pay "fines" on the spot, sometimes as much as $100. "In no case should anyone pay money. Drivers can only receive a ticket. They don’t have to pay one cent," said the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, which oversees the Transit Police. If a policeman insists on being paid, insist on being given a ticket. If you are pressured to pay something, take down the policeman’s name, badge number and send a letter of complaint to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport as well as the Costa Rican Tourist Institute, and be sure to give his name to your rent-a-car company.