Need guidence - Independent Costa Rica /San Jose Safety

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Need guidence - Independent Costa Rica /San Jose Safety

Postby kk » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:53 pm


I am about to join the Costa Rica Volcano /Hot Spring (Independent) tour in March 2010. Have anyone joined this tour before and how was it? It seems to me that GAP is not managing "Independent" tours end-to-end (i.e. looks like the tour is outsourced to a local company rather than managed by GAP).

Our flight will be arriving 11:30pm at San Jose, and I am a little worried about personal safety of late-night transfer to the joining hotel. We tried to ask GAP to help us to arrange for someone to pick us up at the airport - apparently GAP may not have the flexibility to help us on this as it is an Indepentdent tour. What would be my safest choice?

1) Orange taxi arranged at the airport booth? What time does the booth close?
2) Red taxi outside the airport?
3) Book via Interbusline? Does it stop in front of the joining hotel? Would someone pick us up or do we need to search for the bus station?

[To GAP's staff: if you can offer us some help to arrange the transfer, that would be great!]

Other questions:
1) Does anyone know if there is a safety deposit box in the joining hotel
2) If the joining hotel offers money exchange service (USD to local currency)
3) Taxi fare: is it pre-negotiated or is it by meter?
4) San Jose: is it safe if I am to walk around with a DSLR camera?
5) Any other advices?

Thanks very much in advance!

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Re: Need guidence - Independent Costa Rica /San Jose Safety

Postby eric » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:51 pm


Some answers - from memory of a Costa Rica Trip a few years ago.

1) I think it is a regulation that CR hotels must have a safty box system - free of charge - one way or another so tourists don't have to walk round all the time with their passports. Take a couple of photo copies of the main ID page, and have that with you.

2) I was nervous about my DSLR on my 1st day in San Jose. Took a small pocket camera with me. After that took the DSLR ok. Common Sense - Keep it out of sight when not in use - in a non descript little rucksac - not a "steal me expensive camera bag".

3) You should be able to get Colones from an ATM at the airport. One on the way from arrival gate to immigration / baggage claim - but look behind you to see it. But take a mixture of USD bills 1s, 5s, 10s, 20s sufficient to pay to get to hotel if you have to without getting Colones.

4) Didn't use the "orange booth" for taxis. But I would be surprised if it closed while there were incoming flights.

Hope others answer the rest...


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Re: Need guidence - Independent Costa Rica /San Jose Safety

Postby dianeinny » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:28 pm

When I took my trip I arranged airport transportation with Interline. I would suggest checking that out.

As previously mentioned, take small US bills with you but make sure they are in excellent shape: no tears, no writing. You don't want any bills that are well worn. (If I have a bill that looks good other than some creasing I iron it LOL)

As for the ATM, don't take out an even amount if you can manage it. When I was there ATMs distributed 10,000 colones bills. Then I had to go to a bank and stand on line to change that into rojos (1000).
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