I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that provides both tourists and residents with helpful tools to get you started in Costa Rica.
I learn new things everyday about Costa Rica and will be constantly making updates. Thus, I recommend bookmarking this page or subscribing via RSS for your reference and convenience. The idea is to put a toolbox on a single page which provides tons of helpful information to moving, adapting and living in Costa Rica, which is the theme of this blog.
CheapAir.com for the Best Deal on Flights
Getting a good price on flights to Costa Rica is a major challenge. Back in the day, you used to be able to fly to Costa Rica for under $500. Now, prices seem to have skyrocketed. There are many sites that are available which have some pretty advanced search features and ways to save money. Today, I use CheapAir.com to book my flights. For example, they have flights from NYC to SJO now for around $500. Even more, you can sign-up to receive email price alerts, which allows you to track prices over the course of time, and lock-in your flight, when the price is right.
Everyone who travels to Costa Rica should consider travel insurance. This is international insurance that can help with a wide variety of risk which include medical emergencies, trip cancellations and lost luggage. The reason why I use travel insurance is primarily for medical emergencies. Why? Because one time I was on the road and experienced Appendicitis. I need emergency surgency and could not fly back to my home states. Well, luckily I was still in the United States and I had health insurance. The bill was almost $20,000. Now, let’s assume this happens to you in Costa Rica and you do not qualify for the public health system. You will have to pay out of pocket. Sure the surgery will be less than the US, but you are looking at a possible $10,000 bill.
Apart from sign-up for a newsletter on this site, I think Trip Advisor has the most comprehensive travel information, guides and reviews on the internet.We will soon be offering our own hotel reviews, with high-definition video. However, until that time, the best source for information on Costa Rica is at Trip Advisor. Here is a tip. Click on the link that says “GET HOTEL PRICES”. Once you are at TripAdvisor.com, type in Costa Rica Deals. The system will return a list of hotels which are providing good deals. Choose your dates of travel. Next, you will see tons of hotel options, that can be booked right online.
Safety and Security
Once you are in the country, you certainly need to be aware of safety and security issues. Even though you are unlikely to be the victim of a violent crime, Costa Rica is well known for petty theft and traffic accidents. If you are a victim of petty theft, the Publica Fuerza will do little or nothing for you. The only people that will be of any help are called the Policia Turistica. If you are involved in a traffic accident, then you will need to deal with the Policia de Transito. How can you tell the difference? The Transit Police where white long-sleeve shirts. The Publica Fuerza where black shirts. And, the Tourist Police normally where white short sleeve shirts.
If you are in accident, and are seriously injured, then the law in Costa Rica states that you must be stabilized in the public hospital free of charge. Once you are stable, then you need to pay out of pocket in the private system. This is why I always recommend travel insurance.