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Travel InformationTravel Information

TRAVEL INFORMATION

To get from the Puerto Jimenez Airstrip to Lapa Rios, you will take a beautiful—occasionally bumpy—45 minute trip in one of our jungle taxis. Be prepared for a few bumps and river crossings. Our drivers will point out birds and monkeys along the way. Depending on the road condition you should arrive at Lapa Rios within an hour. Our staff will welcome you, get you checked in and provide an eco lodge orientation: what to do/not to do, outline tours and activities, explain ecotourism’s sustainable practices and answer questions. If you arrive during a mealtime, feel free to proceed to the restaurant; check-in and orientation will follow. By the time you complete your Lapa Rios welcome, your luggage will have been delivered to your beautiful bungalow.

FREQUENTLY ASKED TRAVEL-RELATED QUESTIONS

WHAT SHOULD I PACK?

The following is a list of suggested items to bring on for your adventure in the rainforest. Please keep in mind the luggage restrictions on the domestic flights are 25 pounds per person.

Sports socks that go up to your knees (this is to make sure you don’t get a rash when wearing our rubber boots on the rainforest hikes, should you prefer to bring your own boots, we recommend lightweight, comfortable hiking or walking shoes that are waterproof.

Water shoes or sandals

Lightweight, casual clothing appropriate for hiking, such as light pants, shorts and shirts. Our dress code at the property is completely informal, so do not worry about bringing dinner jackets or formal apparel. Bring a couple of extra shirts as you will be sweating a lot on the hikes

  • bathing suits
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp
  • Light raincoat when visiting during the rainy season
  • Camera equipment and plenty of film /memory cards (batteries and chargers)
  • binoculars (or you may borrow binoculars from reception)
  • basic medical kit (Aspirin, Band-Aids, Imodium, Antiseptic Cream, Anti-Histamine Cream, etc.)
  • personal medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, as the pharmacy in Puerto Jimenez only offers basic medicinal products
  • Refillable water bottle (learn more about our campaign Taking Back Our Water)

Please Note: We ask our guests not to use electric hair dryers as this would strain our biodiesel powered generators. Thank you for your understanding.

WHAT WEATHER SHOULD I EXPECT?

Since Costa Rica is located right in the tropics and close to the Equator, the country is characterized as a rainforest or a very humid tropical forest. It has two well-defined seasons: a “dry” season from December to April and a rainy season from May to November. The months of July and August are typically wet throughout Costa Rica, but on the Pacific coast, the rain generally occurs during the afternoon or evening. Warm temperatures with highs in the 80s Fahrenheit (30 Celsius) and lows in the 70s Fahrenheit (22 Celsius) are characteristic year-round. The rainiest months are September and October.

The "green season" (from May to November) is probably the best time to experience a true rainforest. All outdoor activities are still offered, as the rain is very warm and actually quite pleasant. It generally will rain three to four times per week, usually in the late afternoon and evening.

Temperature & Rainfall Chart for PenÍnsula Osa

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Max. Temp. (F) 91 92 92 91 90 89 89 89 90 89 89 90
Avg. Min. Temp 72 71 73 73 73 72 71 71 71 71 71 71
Avg. Rainfall (inches) 6.30 5.70 8.00 11.00 18.90 17.50 18.90 20.90 22.00 27.70 22.30 11.60

DO I NEED A VISA?

Below we’ve included some general guidelines, but please check with your airline or travel agent to confirm your legal requirements for entering Costa Rica. All visitors to Costa Rica need to have a passport valid for at least six months at date of entry.

Visas

1. Not required for nationals of the USA, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (Rep), Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad Tobago, Uruguay and the UK and its dependencies for stays of up to 90 days.

2. Not required for nationals of Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Dominica, El Salvador, Estonia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, The Philippines, Russian Federation, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Africa*, Surinam, Taiwan (China), Turkey, Vatican City and Venezuela for stays of up to 30 days.

DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?

The sole responsibility lies with the guests to ensure that they have comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves as well as any dependents or travelling companions for the duration of their trip to Costa Rica. This insurance should include but is not limited to the following:

  • emergency evacuation expenses
  • medical expenses
  • repatriation expenses
  • cancellation or curtailment of trip
  • damage/theft/loss of personal luggage, money and goods

Most Costa Rican doctors and hospitals expect payment in cash, regardless of whether you have travel health insurance or not. If you develop a life-threatening medical problem, you’ll probably want to be evacuated to a country with state-of-the-art medical care. As this may cost tens of thousands of dollars, be sure you have insurance to cover this before you leave home. A list of medical evacuation and travel insurance companies is on the website of the US State Department. If your health insurance does not cover you for medical expenses while you are abroad, you should consider supplemental insurance. It might pay to find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or if they reimburse you later for any overseas health expenditures.

We also recommend that you take out travel insurance that will cover cancellation fees that might occur in case you have to cancel or postpone your travels.

Our guests have had good comments about travel insurance from Preferred Adventures Ltd, in St Paul, MN and Square Mouth.

WHAT MEDICAL PREPARATIONS I NEED TO TAKE BEFORE LEAVING?

Should you have special medical needs, please let us know ahead of time by filling out this form. This includes any difficulty walking stairs (as there are over 200 stairs on property) and allergies (such as, bee stings, nuts, shellfish, etc.).

Otherwise, no immunizations, shots, inoculations or vaccinations are required to enter Costa Rica. The only notable disease problem reported in some locations of the country in the last few years is occasional localized dengue fever (spread by mosquitoes in certain urbanized locations with stagnant water and a history of the disease). There is no flat land and no standing water in or around the Lapa Rios property, which means that we are fortunate enough to have very few mosquitos. Sometimes near sundown "no-see-ums" will appear near the beach, but in general, their presence is very minimal.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY?

In the case of an emergency, a medical clinic is located 30 to 45 minutes from the lodge. We always have a vehicle on property in case emergency transport is necessary. Additionally, Puerto Jimenez has an emergency flight service that transports patients to the nearby hospital in Golfito (an eight minute flight) or to San Jose (a fifty minute flight). In case of an extreme emergency, a helicopter can be ordered from San Jose and land in a nearby field.

Medical care in Costa Rica is of very high quality and considered to be the best in Central America. San Jose especially, has excellent hospitals, medical facilities and doctors that attend almost exclusively to foreign residents and travelers. Please make sure you bring enough of your personal medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, as the pharmacy in Puerto Jimenez only offers basic medicinal products.

HOW CAN I OFFSET MY CARBON EMMISSIONS?

Carbon offsets are voluntary donations made by individuals, companies, or governments that compensate, or offset, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, electricity use, and other sources. In an effort to promote sustainable development and tourism, the Costa Rican Ministry of Environmental Affairs has created a program in which tourists can compensate the carbon emissions caused by their international flights by investing in programs that preserve and reforest natural areas within Costa Rica.

Final Arrival Details

As you prepare for your upcoming trip, we would like to share some helpful information about what to expect on your incoming day:

Domestic flight to Puerto Jiménez:

The small planes are often a new experience. Flying time is less than 1 hour, unless stopping en route. Depending on the airlines’ schedule, you may land to drop off or pick up other passengers in Quepos, Palmar Sur, Drake’s Bay or Golfito.

When taking off in San José airport, you will see most of the Valle Central and its three main volcanoes on the northern horizon: Poas to the west, Barva and Irazu to the east. Within minutes you’ll fly south over stretches of rural areas dotted with coffee plantations along with primary-forested mountains and cascading streams and river valleys toward the Pacific.

Reaching the Pacific coast you fly past the Manuel Antonio-Quepos area, Dominical, Uvita and near the National Marine Park Ballena. At low tide the park’s unusual peninsular shape defines its name: whale. For 5 minutes you’ll fly over the huge national wetlands, the mouth of the Rio Grande de Terraba, Costa Rica’s largest river and fresh water delta. The small island on the horizon is Isla del Caño National Park, famous for diving and snorkeling. After passing Drake’s Bay, you’ll cross the Osa Peninsula isthmus and Central America’s deepest gulf: Golfo Dulce.

When you arrive in Puerto Jiménez the Lapa Rios staff will be waiting for you at the airstrip!

Departing the Lapa Rios office you will pass Puerto Jimenez’s shallow harbor, the soccer field and post office, medical clinic, stores and restaurants. You’ will then bump along a dirt road 45-60 minutes, first riding through cattle pastures cleared of trees generations ago. Your driver will point out the Carbonera Primary School located at the border of the Lapa Rios Reserve. This school was built and is supported by Lapa Rios guests—a demonstration of Travelers’ Philanthropy: people giving back to those they visit.

Depending on the road condition you should arrive at Lapa Rios within an hour. Our staff will welcome you, host your check in and offer a brief orientation. If you arrive during a mealtime, feel free to proceed to the restaurant; check in and orientation will follow. By the time you complete your Welcome to Lapa Rios, your luggage will have been delivered to your bungalow. Bienvenidos!

WHAT OTHER COSTA RICAN HOTELS OR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
DO YOU RECOMMEND?

HOW DO I GET TO LAPA RIOS?