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A message to our customers:

In these extraordinary times, I would like to reassure all 2by2 customers who are due to travel shortly that we are in the process of contacting you individually, once you are within 30 days of travel. Depending on Foreign Office advice at the time and your insurance arrangements, we will assist you in either postponing or cancelling your trip. We are also looking after customers who are still abroad and ensuring they return home safely. If you are concerned about a family member currently travelling do get in touch. I would like to thank each of our customers who have already been contacted for your kindness and understanding in these difficult times. Our brilliant team will continue to support you throughout this crisis, as we are set up to work remotely. May I take this opportunity to send our best wishes to you and your loved ones during these unprecedented circumstances.

Warm regards

Claire Farley, Managing Director

Travel guide to Costa Rica

Passports
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your return date and have two blank facing pages. If you do not have these, you may be denied boarding at your departure airport. Soiled, damaged or defaced passports will not be accepted.
Visas
UK, European and USA passport holders do not require a visa for holidays < 90 days.
Health
There are no compulsory health requirements. Malaria tablets are not usually advised, but check with your doctor. There is no yellow fever in Costa Rica, but if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission (eg Brazil), a valid yellow fever certificate is mandatory & must be presented at the airport to gain entry. Airport transits of < 12-hours are exempt. The vaccination must be done at least 10 days before travel. If you are over 60 years of age and your doctor advises against a yellow fever vaccination, you must carry a letter from your doctor that states this. As dengue fever is present, a good insect repellent and anti-histamine are recommended. The mosquito that spreads dengue bites during the day and is more common in urban areas. If you are prone to travel sickness, remember to take preventative tablets before any light aircraft flights. You should be up to date with your primary courses and boosters. Always check with your doctor at least 8 weeks before travel for any other inoculations recommended (eg Hepatitis A+B, Cholera, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Polio, Meningococcal Meningitis, Rabies and TB).
Currency
Costa Rica Colones (CRC) - although many tourists take USD dollars. If you do, remember to take small denominations, as it may be difficult to get change. These are also useful for tipping. Credit cards are widely accepted, but always ensure you have cash when travelling in the countryside as some places may not accept them.
Language
Spanish, although English is widely understood in tourist areas.
Time Zone
GMT - 6 hours
Travel Tips
To ensure that you have the best possible holiday experience, we ask you to read the following information carefully. If you have any questions, please discuss them with us before you depart. 
 
Hand Luggage – pack essential items for a day or two in your hand luggage, in case your bags go astray and take a few days to catch up with you, especially if you have any tight connecting flights. 
 
Documents – take a copy of your travel insurance policy with you, and leave a copy of your passport with a reliable contact at home, in case the originals are lost or stolen. 
 
Electronic Devices – ensure these are all fully charge before travel, as you may be required to switch them on at airport security, as any device that does not switch on cannot be check and may need to be surrendered. 
 
Mobile Phones – make sure they are set up for international calls and if you plan to use travel apps such as Google Translate (which is invaluable when travelling in Latin America) or Google Maps, ensure you check your data package with your provider in advance. Alternatively turn off date roaming to avoid large phone bills. Be aware that some rural areas may not have mobile or WiFi coverage. 
 
Credit Cards – remember to inform your bank when travelling abroad. 
 
Clothing – as it rains a lot in Costa Rica, pack lightweight sports clothing that will dry quickly (as jeans take too long to dry). Also pack long sleeved shirts and long trousers to protect against mosquitos in the rainforests (safari clothing is perfect for this). Take good walking shoes that can get wet, an extra pair of trainers (do everything you can to keep this pair dry), extra socks (in case feet get wet), a day pack, sunglasses, sunhat and bio-degradable sunscreen. A rain jacket with hood is needed all year round. Also pack a light jacket, as it can get cold at high altitude and T-shirts, shorts, swim wear, water shoes & flip flops for the beach. Eye drops can be handy, especially if you wear contact lenses, and sanitising hand cleaner. Take a generous supply of insect repellent to spray on your neck, wrists and ankles and avoid using perfume in the rainforests, as this attracts mosquitos. 
 
Medicines - if you travel with prescription drugs, carry an adequate supply in their original bottles/packaging & keep them in your hand luggage, as if lost they may be difficult to replace. 
 
Accessories – pack your phone (with charger and a spare battery pack), camera (with spare memory cards and batteries – a 200 mm zoom lens is good for wildlife photography) and binoculars (large 8x40 is best). We suggest one pair per person, as it can be frustrating to share. 
 
Plugs – type A and B (2 flat blades, as used in the USA). Pack a universal adapter as well as a hand basin plug/stopper, as these are not always provided. 
 
Books – pack a good travel guide and a Spanish phrase book. Knowing a few simple greetings will go down well. Also pack a generous supply of English reading material for quiet evenings and when waiting for flights, as these will be hard to come by. 
 
Water – tap water is generally safe to drink in the cities, but always drink bottled water in rural areas. 
 
Food – Costa Rican cuisine is fairly mild, with a high reliance on fresh fruits and vegetables. The traditional 'casada' dish of rice, black beans, beef, pork or fish is common, combined with salad, vegetables and banana. The seafood is also very good. Ticos (fruit shakes, made with water or milk) are the preferred drinks. Vegetarians and food allergies are well catered for. 
 
Alcoholic Drinks - take care when buying spirit-based drinks, to ensure the seal has not been tampered with. 
 
Recycling – Costa Ricans are very eco-conscious and will expect you to recycle. Many of the hotel rooms provide mini recycling bins. 
 
Taxis – in cities use only regulated taxis, with an on-board meter and yellow triangles on their doors. These are best booked through your hotel. 
 
Self-Drive – driving is on the right. Any valid UK, European or American driving license is accepted as long as it has a photograph and signature. If you take an international driver's licence, you will ALSO need to produce your original driving licence. A credit card in the name of the main driver is also essential. Although most roads in the cities are good, some roads are gravel with potholes (eg Guanacaste) and mountains roads are windy (eg Monteverde), so a 4x4 is recommended. As there are very few road signs, it is essential to hire a GPS. Also purchase a good road map in advance (in English) and download the Google Maps (offline) app. Be aware that you are travelling in a country where driving standards are lower than at home and take all sensible precautions against crime - including not leaving any belongings on display. On gravel roads be careful to avoid stones thrown up by passing vehicles & ensure your tyres are under-inflated when travelling on gravel (ie soft, not hard). Be aware that night falls very early (5.30 pm throughout the year), so plan your driving times carefully to avoid driving in the dark, as there are no lights and very few cats eyes. 
 
Safety – take all sensible precautions. Leave valuable jewellery/watches at home, wear a money belt and be alert when outside your hotel. In particular avoid taking out large wads of cash in public view and keep your spare cash, passport and a spare credit card in your hotel safe. 
 
Indemnities - please be aware it is likely you will be required to sign indemnities for any potentially hazardous activities. 
 
Pack for a Purpose - if you have a little space in your suitcase, local schools & communities always appreciate gifts of pens & pencils, stationery, deflated footballs etc. Specific requests from communities can be seen on the 'Pack for a Purpose' website. 
 
Tipping – this is not compulsory, but if you want to tip because you have received good service, we suggest the following per couple: 
- guides/drivers: C 3,500 + C 1,500 = C 5,000 per day (can be reduced for longer stays). 
- waiters: no need to tip, as a 10% service charge is automatically added to your bill 
- porters: C 500 per bag. 
It is not necessary to tip drivers doing short transfers (eg to the airport). 
 
Your Safety - consult the UK Foreign Office website for the latest travel advice www.fco.gov.uk. 
 
Airport Departure Tax - for many international flights, there is a departure tax of currently $29 per person payable on leaving the country.
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