Helpful tips for your flight
Travelling to a foreign country for the first time can be a little nerve wracking simply because you’re not sure what to expect next. We wanted to help ease that anxiety and give you a step by step rundown of what your experience will be as soon as you depart your airplane at Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose and what to prepare for on your departure day as well.
Prior to landing the flight crew will give you two forms to complete that you need to have when you enter the Airport. One will be for Immigration and one will be for Customs. PLEASE have these completed before you get off of the plane - it will make your life much easier - trust us.
DO NOT exchange money at an exchange booth. It is not necessary and the rate you get at the airport is horrible. 99% of businesses here accept US Dollars, give you change in colones and usually have a fairly accurate exchange rate. HOWEVER, do stop in a gift shop and buy a bottled water, soda, gum or something to get some change in Colones. You may need it later if you are renting a car.
Once you depart you will follow the signs to the Immigration Area. This is huge room with snake lines leading to the Immigration Agents. NOTE - if you need to use the restroom before you get in line, walk past the lines and to the hallway straight ahead - there are restrooms just on the left. Have your Passport and Immigration Form ready for the agent. He/She will check your information, stamp your passport and send you on your way. TRAVEL NOTE - if you are coming for an extended stay and not sure when you will leave - go ahead and buy a return ticket that you can modify. You MUST have proof of future exit or you will be required to buy a plane ticket before you are allowed to enter through immigration.
DUTY FREE - if you want to pick up any alcohol or cigars for your stay, grab some here at Duty Free before Customs. It will be cheaper than what you will pay in Coastal Towns.
Proceed to baggage claim - just like any other. You know the drill.
Proceed to Customs with your luggage. Now have your passport and Customs form ready. You will put your bags on the conveyor belt, they will go through another xray check and you will pick them up on the other side.
NOW YOU ARE FREE!! - Right around the corner you will exit the Airport. If you are renting a car you can find your Rental Car Company in the area before you exit the airport. If you are taking a taxi - there will be plenty of taxi drivers at the exit ready for a fare - MAKE SURE ITS A RED TAXI - they are legitimate and registered with the government. If you have arrangements made for transfer this is also the place that your driver will be waiting for you holding a sign up with your name on it. Find him and he will take care of you from there.
You have about an hour ride to Jaco/Los Suenos. Hour and half to Esterillos/Playa Bejuco. There are a few places to stop along the way - just let your driver know if you need to make a pit stop.
If you rent a car, make sure that you have some colones on hand as there are three toll booths on the trip. 2-3000 colones will be enough.
Our transfer partner has wifi in their vans so you can communicate with the world on your ride. If you rent a car, most companies have an option for a wifi jet pack for an additional fee. Without wifi you are subject to whatever you have with your carrier.
Whatsapp - great tool to communicate while you are here, or anywhere for that matter, as long as you have wifi. Free call and text using wifi - but both parties have to have it - tell your family at home to use this to contact you on your trip. And, of course, any of the other social media as long as you are on wifi
WAZE - best and most accurate map/directions app for Costa Rica.
Check into your airline like anywhere else. Check baggage and proceed to Customs. Just like at home - empty everything into the bins, go through the metal detector, pick it all up and go to your gate.
This is great time to review your calendar, email us for availability and book your next trip to Costa Rica. Yes - you will want to return as soon as possible because now you understand….Pura Vida