What is the Costa Rican Currency?
The Colon is the Costa Rican Currency. The image linked is of a 1000 Colones bill which is approximately $1.75 USD. For the exact exchange rate check Banco Nacional, they have the current exchange rate at the top right hand corner of their home page.
Do I need to have transportation during my stay in Mal Pais / Santa Teresa?
We get that question often and ultimately the answer depends on how you like to travel. Although there are local taxis, it would be limiting not to have a ride. I highly recommend people who visit to rent a car or an ATV. The towns of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa are spread out along a few miles of beach and there really is lots to do and see. Having a means of transport allows our guests the flexibility to explore the area, enjoy the nightlife and dining options around town.
Does one need a 4x4 to get to Mal Pais and Santa Teresa?
Short answer is no. Most of the drive is on paved road and the parts that are gravel are not too bad. Although if you plan on exploring or visiting during the rainy season ( June-October ) it's a good idea to get a 4x4 rental.
Should I fly into Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose or Liberia International Airport?
If you are planning on coming directly to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa definitely book your tickets to Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose. The drive to Puntanrenas is on a new highway and it cuts the drive time. Although if you are going to spend sometime in the Guanacaste region prior to coming here then you might want to consider landing in Liberia International Airport first. For precise directions and GPS coordinates of our vacation rentals go to our 'Find Us' page.
Which is the closest Airport to Mal Pais and Santa Teresa?
The Tambor Airport is closest to Mal Pais, Santa Teresa and Montezuma. A quick 20 minute flight from San Jose International Airport will get you to Tambor. Currently there are two Airlines that operate in the region, Sansa Aiirlines and Nature Air. The drive from Tambor to Mal Pais is about 45 minutes.
How come we don't see an address?
Costa Rica does not have an address system. The way things work here is by giving very descriptive directions and distances from landmarks. It actually does work and it sure keeps you on your toes. We have very precise directions and GPS coordinates on our 'Find Us' page.
Are the towns of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa close to each other?
If you look at a map the two towns practically hug one another. There's an intersection referred to as "El Cruce", which divides the two towns. When coming down from Cobano heading West towards the beach, if you turn right you're in Santa Teresa, if you turn left you're in Mal Pais. If you stay right there in the middle it's the downtown area and there's the main beach called Playa Carmen.
Can you drink the tap water in Costa Rica?
For most part Costa Rica's tap water is very safe to drink, although depending where you stay the water source may be unknown, therefore we recommend drinking filtered water. In Mal Pais the water source is from springs deep inside the Cabo Blanco Reserve. Our rentals have a dual-stage water filtration system making our tap water safe to drink.
Does Netflix work in Costa Rica?
Sure does, you might not get the exact same movie choice and TV series as in other countries, but it does work. With our boardband WiFi you are good to go!
Costa Rica Travel Tips
Tip #1 - Coffee lovers
Coffee lovers are in for a treat, Costa Rican coffee is prime.
Tip#2 - Withdraw extra cash if traveling during peak season.
If you are traveling in the peak season between Dec 23th - Jan 10th withdraw extra cash while you are in San Jose. The ATMs in town at times run dry.
Tip#3 - Download a GPS app
Download Waze or use Google Maps, helps a ton.
Tip #4 - Don't leave your bags unattended in vehicle.
If you you are going to park the car and run off to the beach for a few hours it's not a good idea leaving your bags in the car. Same goes if you decide to park your car in the city and eat at restaurant, unless you have eye contact with your car. Like in most cities and tourist areas in the world, petty theft exists. Just be street smart, it's not rocket science.
Tip #5 - Car seats for rent
If you are traveling with kids you don't need to haul your car seats with you. You can get them with most rental car agencies.
Tip #6 - Long term car rentals have better rates
If you are planning to spend more than a couple weeks in Costa Rica we suggest getting the long term rental rates. Give Solid Car Rental a try. Some of their compact 4x4 like the Suzuki Jimmy can be rented for very reasonable prices.
Tip #7 - Local prepaid cell phone chips
If you have an unlocked cell phone you will be able to purchase a prepaid local chip from the local carriers offices. Local carriers include ICE Kolbi, Claro & Movistar. Start with a $10 charge which include talk, text and data. You can recharge the chip in most supermarkets in Costa Rica. Keep in mind to recharge your chip you can only use cash.
Tip #8 - Eat more at sodas
A Soda is a typical local restaurant which you can find in any city or beach town. They serve Costa Rican dishes like the typical casado. A casado is basically a piece of fish, chicken or beef with a side of rice, beans, salad and fries. Some sodas add picadillo, fried plantains or a macaroni salad. It's delicious, filling and depending where you go will run you anywhere from $6 to $8. You'll find the cheaper sodas in and around the cities where you can get a casado for 2500 colones, which is under $5. You can get breakfast, lunch and dinner in all sodas.