If this is your first trip to Costa Rica, maybe this area of our website can help you to arrive with no surprises and fully prepared to enjoy every second here in our little tropical paradise.
If you are coming from N. America, this first thing you should know, credit cards are NOT widely accepted. It’s a Central America/Cultural thing. More or less 50% of businesses do, and 50% don’t, we are part of the 50% who do NOT accept credit cards unless you have a PayPal account.
We recommend bringing an amount of USD “cash” with you, any amount you feel comfortable traveling with. There are 3 ATM’s from Cobano to the Santa Teresa area you can stop at to withdraw money from. Most shops, restaurants and markets accept USD’s. Most will only accept $20 bills or smaller, $50′s or $100′s are rarely accepted, we strongly recommend not coming with anything over a $20. Both USD’s and the local currency, “colones” (Costa Rican currency) are accepted.
Bank Checks & Travelers Checks are not accepted. You can exchange Traveler’s Checks in some banks with proper ID, but they can be more difficult to exchange in other places plus you will usually receive a poor exchange rate or be charged an exchange fee.
Here are some other insightful tips to keep your stay pleasant and enjoyable.
We are close to the equator, the sun is STRONG, sunscreen is strongly recommended as well as a hat for shade and UV protective clothing whenever possible.
Insects are rarely a problem, almost never, typically only in the beginning and end of dry season, which is December and May for a few weeks.
Our villas and suites are very functional, they allow you to have the ultimate tropical experience without suffering. In the evenings we suggest you use as few lights as possible and use the dimmers when possible, besides saving mother earth’s precious energy, it helps keep insects from coming – Lights ATTRACT insects, more lights, more insects.
A repellent of your choice is recommended. You can travel with these in your check in luggage or purchase them locally at one of several markets in our community.
Regarding the weather; the warmest month April, the coolest nights are between November and March. Usually it goes from no rain to tropical rain beginning May until November and then late November to May is dry season. July tends to be the least rainy of the wet months. October is usually the wettest month, typically more towards the end. September is a typical tropical month.
During our “Green Season” you will normally experience rain a few times a week and that’s usually later in the day or evening (most rain happens in the evening). We call June to November “Green Season” because this is when we receive our tropical rains and the result is, everything is lush and green. It’s almost a harsh transformation, December to April, our “Dry Season” as we barely see a single drop of rain and the result is most plants, flowers and bushes dry up. Rain is a very necessary natural event in a tropical region. You know the old saying, ”April showers bring May flowers”, our tropical rains keep everything alive, lush and beautiful, so join us in our appreciation for rain, rain is life!
Transportation – Renting a car is NOT necessary but HIGHLY recommended, there is so much to see and do, waterfalls, hikes, shops, other small towns, we suggest a rental car or quad minimally for a few days so you get to see all the beautiful sights of our area.
The easiest way to get here is flying from San Jose to Tambor, from here we can arrange to have you picked up. It’s about a 50min ride to Santa Teresa. Here is a link to Getting Here where you can find rates, directions and travel options.
Electricity – Costa Rica uses 110 volt, same as the USA. Plugs are typically the 2 pronged flat types so US travelers will not need a converter or adaptor.
Dining options – Our resort is surrounded by great dining choices, 3 of them are within walking distance, 2-4 minutes on the beach, and there are many other options to choose from, 1-5 minutes by car you can find Argentinean, Chilean, Italian, Israeli, Japanese to name a few.
For shopping, supplies, groceries, we have a market close by, it’s a 10 minute walk up the beach and if you don’t find it there we have many others in town.
Cell phones, some work, some don’t, you need to check with your cell phone provider. Each company is different and they can give you the most up-to-date information. We do offer you a USA free call phone and free high speed Internet.
It is warm here all year round so you can pack very light, beachwear and very light summer clothes for evenings. All restaurants have a very casual dress code, even shorts and t-shirts is more than accepted everywhere.
In terms of safety, no matter where you travel, you should always act prudent and err on the side of cautious taking usual precautions and avoiding potentially dangerous situations. We advise you to leave your extra cash, credit cards & passports at the hotel safe, do not show anything of value in public places, and always watch your belongings whether on the beach, in a bus or restaurant, keep your valuables attached to you and or always in sight.
We hope you find these tips helpful and of course if you have any other question please do not hesitate to ask, our customer service department is more than happy to answer all your questions. We’d love to have you as a guest at Red Palm Villas, and look forward to serving your needs and sharing our tropical paradise with you!