-It’s expensive expect US prices
-Save money or us credit card for airport tax $26 per person (every time you fly) pay before you go to ticket counter
-US dollars are widely accepted in fact you can choose $ or Colones from the ATMs
-Car rentals have mandatory liability insurance (see below)
-Bring a towel, soap & conditioner no matter where you are staying
-Bathing suits quickly get ruined with the black sand and heavy waves bring old ones
-I don’t mention zip-lines or canopy tours because you can find them everywhere! The same for restaurants, I am only posting ones I really liked.
WARNING: It’s no different than any other place in the world there are good people and bad people so be smart especially when traveling alone. I met one woman who had ALL her things stolen from a public bus, if you can afford it , when traveling alone at night, take the more expensive private transports such as Interbus or Grayline. (see BUS in Costa Rica 2014 page) Anything you leave on the beach make sure you can afford to lose it.
Airport: SJO is not in San Jose it’s in Alajuela and it’s referred to as Aerpuerto International Juan Santamaria. (there’s 2 airports so don’t follow the wrong airport sign like I did) A few but expensive hotels with shuttles near SJO are Hampton inn, Holiday Inn, Courtyard Marriott. The Marriott has FREE washers and dryers for their guests.
Car rentals It’s a state law that you MUST take liability insurance so if you didn’t check the box when you made your reservation expect to add at least $15 a day plus another tax that won’t show up in your online quote. If your credit card covers your car make sure the rental counter doesn’t try to sell you additional insurance. I had them call my credit card company. They will hold $3000 on the card until you return the car.
Bus: The local buses are cheap & crowded but if you take them keep a close eye on your belongs even the ones under the bus! Tourist shuttles start at about $30 (depending on where you are going) and will take you from your hotel door to door with few stops. For example San Jose Airport to Santa Teresa is about $50 Grayline & Interbus have schedules on line.