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NOSARA TRAVEL GUIDE

HOW TO GET THERE?

There are two major ports of entry / exit in Costa Rica. We recommend all SSA guests fly into and out of Liberia (LIR). If that is not possible then the secondary option is San Jose (SJO).

Arriving into Liberia (LIR)

SSA will arrange your airport transfer and our rep will meet you in the arrivals hall. The drive is approximately 2-2.5 hours long. The van will have drinks (beers, waters, soda) along with some snacks. You will be going through some large towns so if there is a need to stop for anything from food to booze to the restroom, our driver will accommodate.  The last 17 miles are dirt roads so be prepared for the ride to be a little bumpy.
If you arrive the day before and need a hotel to stay at for the evening we recommend The Hilton Garden Inn for a night’s stay. SSA can pick you up from this hotel.

Arriving into San Jose (SJO)

SSA will arrange your airport transfer and our rep will meet you in the arrivals hall. The drive from SJO to Nosara is a long one at approximately 5 hours. You will be going through some large towns so if there is a need to stop for anything from food to booze to the restroom, our driver will accommodate.  The last 17 miles are dirt roads so be prepared for the ride to be a little bumpy.

If you are NOT bringing a surfboard bag with you, we can possibly get you on a commuter flight from SJO directly into Nosara where we can pick you up. The flight is 50 minutes. There are (2) flights daily, one at 8:30 am and the other at 2 pm. If your international arrival and departure times match up with these local commuter flights we can help arrange this flight.

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PASSPORT & EMERGENCY CONTACT

Visa

North American, EU, Australian and most South American passport holders not require a visa to enter Costa Rica for tourist purposes and will receive a 90 day exemption on entry. Your passport must be valid for 6 months from your date of entry. If you hold a passport from outside the above mentioned countries we strongly recommend that you check with your nearest Costa Rican Embassy.

Emergency Contact Info

Main Emergency Number (Costa Rica): 911
Safari Surf Adventures office (California): +1-800-433-3355
Safari Surf Adventures Skype: safarisurf
Safari Surf Adventures Email: tim@safarisurfadventures.com
Camp Manager: (Jeffrey Baltodano) 8611-7954
Transportation company: CR Terratours
Office – 8587-6544 or 8810-7506
Emergency – 8819-8396

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WEATHER CONDITIONS

Costa Rica is a tropical location and being such that means it’s warm all the time. There are two distinct seasons in Costa Rica, the wet and dry season. The wet season runs from May through Oct. and the dry season runs from November through April.

Typical temperature during the daytime ranges in the mid to upper 80 degree F or the mid to upper 20 degree C. At night, the temp dips down into the mid to upper 70 degree F or the lower 20 degree C range.

The wet season which begins in May really doesn’t rain all too much. From May through early August if we get rain it’s typically passing afternoon showers that last 30 minutes or so and cool off the jungle and then clear out for a nice evening. From September and October heavy rain should be expected, for extended periods of time.
October to May is the Dry Season. The dry season is just that; dry and dusty. There is no rain and plenty of sunshine!

The ocean is very comfy in the low 80 – 82 degree F range or the 26 – 28 degree C range.
There is no need for a wetsuit but if you get chilled easily you may want a 1m vest for those early am dawn patrols.

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WHAT TO BRING?

Surfing items:

  • A surf board you’re comfortable with in most conditions
  • Tropical water surf wax
  • Boardies and a rash vest
  • Water sport sunscreen – minimum SPF 30+
  • Beach Towel
  • Surf hat – sun protection (optional)
  • Extra fins, leash and repair resin (recommended)

Non-Surfing items:

  • Hat
  • Sun glasses
  • Warm weather clothing
  • Wet weather/rain gear (if you’re coming from May through October)
  • Flashlight (There are no street lights at night for walking!)
  • Copy of your passport
  • Visa card or M/C debit card for ATM (if cash is needed)
  • Departure Tax Money – $29 due when you exit Costa Rica only. (Payment forms: Cash, VISA or M/C)
  • Camera
  • Mosquito repellent
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CULTURAL HINTS

Costa Ricans are very fun-loving, friendly people. They love to joke, tease and have a good time. Be friendly back. Remember, smiles are free and you’re on vacation!

Costa Ricans tend to be in less of a hurry than most Europeans or North Americans. Be patient if things take longer to be done than in your home country.
When greeting someone for the first time in Costa Rica, a hand shake is acceptable, or more commonly a light “air kiss” to the person’s right cheek (not kissing the cheek!). Costa Ricans generally don’t hug anyone who is not family or a very close friend.
It will wholeheartedly appreciated by the local population if you try to speak a little Spanish.

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ADDITIONAL INFO

Internet Access

Our partner hotel provides free internet WiFi throughout the accommodation.

Water

The water in all of Playa Guiones (Nosara) is perfectly safe to drink, brush your teeth & wash with. You may prefer bottled water, which you can purchase at the grocery store.

Money

The local currency is called Colones
1 USD = ~580 Colones
1 Euro = ~650 Colones
1 GBP = ~750 Colones
You can check online prior to your visit for up to date exchange information.

Electrical

110-volt AC, 60 cycle electricity, the same as the US.
Plugs are typically the 2-pronged flat type so US travelers will not typically need a converter or adapter.

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SOME WORDS

Questions

SPANISH ENGLISH
¿Tiene…? Do you have…?
Good to use if you’re looking for a certain item at a store (e.g., ¿Tiene Tylenol?)
¿Puedo…? Can I…?
¿Puede…? Can you…?
¿Dónde? Where?
¿Dónde está…? Where is…?
Useful when asking for directions or where something is (¿Dónde está el baño? Where is the bathroom?)
¿Cuanto cuesta? How much does it cost?
¿Acepta tarjetas de crédito? Do you accept credit cards?
¿Habla Inglés? Do you speak English?
Some Ticos might reply un poco (a little).
¿De donde eres? Where are you from?
Los Estados Unidos is the United States;
Canadá is Canada.
Remember that America is used to describe North, Central, and South America.

Answers

SPANISH ENGLISH
yes
No No
Tal vez Maybe
Claro Of course

Transporatation

SPANISH ENGLISH
Estación de buses Bus station
Parada de bus Bus stop
Tiquete Ticket (for the bus, ferry, etc).
Not all buses use tickets but it is good to ask. ¿Necesito un tiquete? (Do I need a ticket?).
Taxi Taxi
¿A donde va? Where are you going? What’s your destination?
Voy a… I am going to…
Pare aquí Stop here
¿Esta es la calle a…? Is this the road to…?
Lleno con regular, por favor Fill it with regular (gas) please.
Gas stations in Costa Rica are always full service.
La llanta necesita aire The tire needs air.

In a Restaurant

Drinks

¿Para tomar? = What would you like to drink? This is usually the first thing a server will ask you.
Agua = Water. You might want una botella de agua (a bottle of water) or agua del tubo (tap water).
Una cerveza = A beer. Check out our post about the most popular local beers.
Vino = Wine. Vino tinto is red wine and vino blanco is white wine.
Café = Coffee. The server will ask you ¿Café con leche o negro? (Coffee with milk or black). Don’t worry, they always bring sugar packets.
Refresco naturale = A fruit drink with ice (hielo).
Batido = A fruit smoothie. Con agua means blended with ice and con leche means blended with ice and milk (milk shake).

Popular Local Dishes

Gallo pinto = Breakfast dish of rice and beans mixed together, served alongside eggs and fried plantain. Sometimes comes with fried local cheese (queso), toast (tostadas) or tortillas, and fruit (frutas). Gallo pinto literally translates to painted rooster.
Huevos fritos = Fried eggs
Huevos revueltos = Scrambled eggs
Casado = Lunch Plate. Casado translates to “married” and this traditional lunch dish truly has a marriage of flavors. The dish usually consists of rice (arroz) and beans (frijoles), a protein like meat (bistec/steak; chuleta de cerdo/pork chop; or pollo/chicken) or fish (pescado), and several side salads like green salad (ensalada verde), pasta salad (ensalada pasta), etc.
Arroz con pollo = Rice with chicken. This is a fried rice dish that is very flavorful. Instead of chicken (pollo), you might also see rice with shrimp (arroz con camarones) and other variations.
Sopa = Soup. Common soups are olla de carne (similar to beef stew), sopa de mariscos (seafood soup), and sopa negra (black bean soup, usually with a poached egg). Soups are typically served with a side of white rice.

Cashing Out

Para llevar = To go (for your leftovers)
La cuenta, por favor = The bill, please. In Costa Rica, the server won’t bring this unless you ask for it.
Servicio = Service. This is the 10% added to the bill for tip. You can add more if you like.
Impuestos ventas = Sales tax (13%)

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