TRAVEL TIPS 4 TOURISTS + U.S.EMBASSY + COVID UPDATES


UPDATED OCT. 27, 2020  with U.S. Embassy Update below!
THX www.qcostarica.com:  As of November 1, Costa Rica will open its air border to all countries. Since August 1, the day of reopening to commercial flights, ITS AMAZING THAT ALL incoming tourists have met ALL the established requirements and have not been reported as carriers or infected with COVID 19!
 
THE REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER COSTA RICA   
1.  Costa Rica’s Ministry of Tourism has announced that as of October 26, visitors arriving to Costa Rica will no longer need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. BUT All visitors entering Costa Rica will still need to purchase medical insurance to cover any COVID-19 related medical treatment or extended quarantine lodging and complete the Health Pass epidemiological form. 
Complete the digital form called HEALTH PASS, available at https://salud.go.cr
2.  Mandatory travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and Medical expenses due to COVID-19 illness. Said insurance can be int'l or purchased from Costa Rican insurers. Try to find an insurer in the U.S. or in Costa Rica follow the links Sagicor for info:  https://tiendasagicor.com/en/  for prices:  https://tiendasagicor.com/en/collections/all 
OR FROM OUR FRIEND FREDDY: https://covidinsurancecr.com/
4.  Up to Nov. 1, only residents of authorized states can enter, with proof of residency by way of their state driver’s license or State ID.  BUT: As of November 1,  2020, it will not be necessary to present proof of residence in your state!
The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) lists all the current entry requirements for tourists on its website. Click here for the official page. NOW Listed below for your convenience: 
Welcome to Costa Rica! Entry Requirements COVID-19
October 22, 2020 – As of Aug. 1, select international travelers are authorized to enter Costa Rica’s three international airports: (SJO) Juan Santamaría International Airport, Daniel Oduber Quirós Airport, and Tobías Bolaños Airport. This is the list currently in effect: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wyoming California and Ohio. As of Oct. 15: Florida, Georgia and Texas As of Nov 01: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:  All U.S. citizens and residents
As of November 1: Costa Rica re-enables its air border to all countries in the world as long as they meet the visa requirements when required, as well as the requirements established in the framework of the pandemic. Requirements to enter Costa Rica:
Fill out the electronic epidemiological HEALTH PASS form, available at https://salud.go.cr.
Effectiveness of the policy during the visit to Costa Rica.  Guaranteed coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with the pandemic COVID-19 virus while in Costa Rica, for at least USD $50,000 (fifty thousand United States Dollars).Includes minimum coverage of USD $2,000 for lodging expenses issued as a result of the pandemic.Passengers who fail to comply with these requirements may not enter the country.
Upon landing in Costa Rican territory, travelers must wear face protection and comply with the strict protocols of the air terminal with regard to physical distancing, disinfection of carpets, and taking temperature readings, and must follow any other sanitary instructions.
Changes for Costa Ricans: The Oct. 17th announcement was accompanied by a change for Costa Ricans returning to the country, which is vital to reactivate outbound tourism.  Nationals who return to the country with a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before boarding the flight will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Costa Rica, although they will receive a recommendation to take extreme preventive care. This is effective as of October 19.  Volaris restarts operations in Central America
October 17th, the national flag carrier Volaris announced the restart of operations on November 23, with the start of the high season. The airline said it will reactivate connections to Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Los Angeles, Washington, New York, Mexico City and Cancun. The airline added that it will offer a 70% discount on all its rates to travel from Central America until October 24, 2021.
 
The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) lists all the current entry requirements for tourists on its website.   Click here for the official page!
COVID-19 UPDATES: October/Octubre 27, 2020  COSTA RICA  Confirmed cases: 105,322  Deaths: 1329
OCT. 25, 2020 UPDATES BELOW
Compare to these two U.S. states, with similar populations to Costa Rica’s 5 million residents:
S.Carolina cases:169,341 deaths:3793     Alabama cases:183,276 deaths:2866
OTHER COUNTRIES:
Canada cases: 213,959  deaths:9922-pop.37.8million  Panama cases:128,515  deaths:2628-pop.4.3mill.
Air Canada will provide free travel insurance to its customers for new bookings as part of its return to international flights, made September 17--October 31, 2020. *thx to www.qcostarica.com 
 

OFFICIAL LATEST: U.S. Embassy San Jose (OCT. 23rd, 2020) 
Information on  OCTOBER COVID-19 Restrictions and Entry Requirements for U.S. Citizens Travel Alert:   Information on Requirements for Entry into Costa Rica and Commercial Flights in October. 

Travel Alert: U.S. Embassy San Jose (22 October 2020)
Costa Rica has confirmed 100,616 cases of COVID-19 as of October 22, 2020.  Costa Rica’s Ministry of Tourism has announced that as of October 26, visitors arriving to Costa Rica will no longer need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.  All visitors entering Costa Rica will still need to purchase medical insurance to cover any COVID-19 related medical treatment or extended quarantine lodging and complete the Health Pass epidemiological form.  U.S. citizens entering Costa Rica prior to November 1, 2020, will still be required to provide a valid driver’s license or State ID card to establish residency in a U.S. State authorized by the Ministry of Health.  As of November 1, 2020, U.S. citizens from all 50 U.S. States and Washington, D.C. will be allowed to enter Costa Rica with the proper insurance and completed Health Pass.  In addition to the relaxed requirements for visitors, as of October 26, Costa Rican citizens returning to the country via a flight will not be issued a 14-day quarantine.  
 
During October, most commercial establishments can remain open nationwide, including in Orange Alert areas.  Vehicle restrictions based on license plates will also continue and are standardized throughout Costa Rica.  On weekdays, vehicles with authorized license plate numbers are permitted to drive from 5:00am to 10:00pm.  On weekends, all vehicles can circulate from 5:00am to 9:00pm.  Beaches can remain open nationwide from 5:00am to 10:00pm Monday thru Friday, and from 5:00am to 9:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.  National Parks are also open nationwide. 
 
Entry Restrictions in Effect Until November 1, 2020:  As of October 15, U.S. citizen tourists who are residents of New York, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Rhode Island, California, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, and Texas are allowed to enter CostaRica. Tourists from these states — or from an authorized country, such as Canada — can fly from an authorized state through a non-authorized state (e.g. Florida, Texas) en route to Costa Rica.  The maximum layover time in the non-authorized state is 18 hours, and the traveler cannot leave the airport.   As of November 1, U.S. citizen tourists from all 50 U.S. States and Washington D.C. will be allowed to enter Costa Rica. Tourists coming from anywhere but the United States must have remained in an authorized country for at least 14 days before travel.
 
U.S. citizens from authorized states wishing to enter Costa Rica must complete a digital epidemiological health pass, obtain a negative PCR-RT coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of their departure from the United States (note this requirement will cease to exist as of October 26), and purchase travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19.  U.S. tourists must also demonstrate, via a valid driver’s license or State ID card, that they live in one of the authorized states (note this requirement will cease to exist as of November 1).  No forms of documentation establishing residency in these select states other than a valid driver’s license or State ID card will be accepted at this time.  Accompanying minors are not required to have a driver’s license.  
 
The Costa Rica Directorate of Migration has announced that Permanent/Temporary Residents of Costa Rica may enter the country via air regardless of where they are coming from but must present the following documentation: 1) Passport, 2) Valid DIMEX, 3) evidence Caja payments are up to date for each person, and 4) a completed Health Pass (Pase de Salud).  Residency holders who are not up to date on Caja payments will still be allowed to enter Costa Rica but will be required to become current with their payments within 22 days.  Residency holders who are not up to date on Caja payments must also present proof of insurance to cover COVID-19 related hospital and lodging expenses for 22 days.  As of October 26, Costa Rican Permanent/Temporary Residents and Costa Rican citizens will no longer be required to  complete a 14-day quarantine.  
 
The Costa Rica Directorate of Migration has announced that tourists who entered Costa Rica after December 17, 2019 and enter until November 30, 2020, can legally remain in the country until March 2, 2021.  Immigration control officers will determine the length of legal stay in Costa Rica for all tourists who enter as of December 1, 2020.  The grace period for drivers who are in the country as tourists is currently November 18, 2020.  Embassy San Jose will report on any forthcoming extensions.  Tourists must carry their passport and foreign driver’s license when driving.  For an English language summary of this information, please follow this link.
 
The Costa Rica Directorate of Migration has also announced it will begin accepting new applications for residency as of December 1.  For a full transcript of this announcement, please follow this link (Pdf -713 Kb).  An unofficial English language summary of this announcement can also be found at this link.  
 
The Ministry of Health has announced that face coverings are now mandatory in all indoor settings except when eating, while alone, or in a private home.  All commercial workers who interact with the public are required to wear face coverings as well.  Face shields can continue to be worn, but only if a face covering is worn underneath.  Face coverings are also required at bus stops and aboard all forms of public transportation.  Face coverings can be either surgical or homemade, as long as they cover the nose and mouth.  The Ministry of Health has stated facial coverings should not include venting devices in order to provide maximum protection against COVID-19.
 
United Airlines is now offering regular commercial flights from Newark Liberty Airport (EWR) to Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) and Daniel Oduber Quiros Airport in Liberia (LIR).  United is also offering daily service from Houston (IAH) to San Jose (SJO) and once weekly service from Houston (IAH) to Liberia (LIR).  For a schedule of flight dates, times, and prices please visit www.united.com.
 
American Airlines is now offering regular commercial flights between Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) and Dallas (DFW), as well as between Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) and Miami (MIA).  American Airlines is also offers commercial flights between Miami (MIA) and Daniel Oduber Quiros Airport in Liberia (LIR), as well as between Dallas (DFW) and Daniel Oduber Quiros Airport in Liberia (LIR).  For more information on schedule and pricing, please visit www.aa.com
 
Spirit Airlines is now offering commercial flights between Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) and Ft. Lauderdale (FLL). Please visit www.spirit.com for more information on flight schedules and pricing.
 
Delta Airlines will offer commercial flights between Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) and Atlanta (ATL) on November 1.  Delta also plans to offer service from Daniel Oduber Quiros Airport in Liberia (LIR) to Atlanta (ATL) on November 1.  Please visit www.delta.com for more information on flight schedules and pricing.
 
Jet Blue plans to offer commercial flights between Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) and Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) on November 1.  Jet Blue plans to add service from Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) to Orlando (MCO), Los Angles (LAX), and New York City (JFK) in December.  Please visit www.jetblue.com for more information on flight schedules and pricing.
 
These commercial flights are open to public booking.  Policies regarding luggage allowances and seating arrangements will be managed by the respective airlines.  Please visit www.united.com, www.spirit.com, www.delta.com, www.aa.com, and www.jetblue.com for further information regarding availability and connections.  The cost of these flights will be based on the passenger’s final destinations.  These prices are set by the airlines.
Passengers traveling with pets and Emotional Support or Service Animals will need to consult with airline directly regarding additional fees and space availability.   Proper documentation and veterinary certificates will be required.  Please visit the airline websites for more information.  
 
IMPORTANT HEALTH INFORMATION FOR PASSENGERS ON ALL OUTBOUND FLIGHTS:
U.S. airlines currently require all passengers to wear face coverings during the check-in process and for the duration of the flight.  Health regulations for boarding the U.S bound flights will be managed according to Costa Rica Ministry of Health guidelines.  At this time that includes medical personnel monitoring passenger lines for people with COVID 19 symptoms and asking passengers with symptoms to self-identify.    Health regulations for arrival at U.S. airports are managed by the airport and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) under guidance from CDC and state health officials.  Check with the airport and CBP websites for updates.  https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/coronavirus.
 
All passengers will be subject to Costa Rica immigration and customs laws and Airline policies.  The U.S. Embassy is not able to intervene if people are stopped for violations or do not meet airline regulations.  U.S. Citizens must have valid passports to enter the United States.  If you do not have a valid U.S. passport, please email ACSsanjose@state.gov immediately to apply for an Emergency Passport.  Foreign national passengers must possess an official travel document from their country of nationality and permission to approach a United States port of entry such as a legal permanent resident card, U.S. visa, or Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) pre-approval.  For more information on U.S. entry follow this link:  https://www.cbp.gov/travel.
 
For information on requesting an emergency visa application appointment call 4000-1976, or visit: www.ustraveldocs.com/cr/cr-niv-expeditedappointment.asp. Note that foreign nationals seeking visas must qualify for a nonimmigrant visa under applicable laws, and that per U.S. Presidential Proclamation, most foreign nationals who have been in areas of highest COVID-19 incidence within the past 14 days must be refused embarkation to the United States. See complete details at www.ustraveldocs.com/cr.
 
The U.S. Embassy will continue to monitor traffic and travel restrictions associated with COVID-19 preventative measures.  Please be sure you are enrolled in the Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html to receive the latest updates.  You can also find updated information on the U.S. Embassy website at https://cr.usembassy.gov/.
You can email any additional questions you may have to ACSSANJOSE@state.gov.  We will respond to your email as quickly as possible.
 
 

CR HOLIDAYS +WHAT CLOTHES/THINGS TO BRING HERE!


What clothes to bring to Costa Rica? 
 
THERE ARE 2 MAJOR CLIMATE ZONES (but lots of micro climates)
 
1. Costa Rica's Central Valley is famous for having some of the best weather in the world due to its mountainous location, yet only 9 degrees from the equator. The temperatures during the day can be around 70 F; or 3-8 degrees cooler than the beaches, but at night the difference can be as high as 20 degrees. So it's not uncommon to have daytime temperatures of 75 F that dip to 55 F at night.
There are lots of micro-climates, so you could experience 95 F degree afternoons in Santa Ana, and only 10 minutes away, at night, be freezing in the mountains of Escazu. Arenal can have similar temperature fluctuations.  Rainy season in San Jose is pretty similar to the beaches, from May till November with the worst month being October and the worst period normally from September 25 - November 25.
 
2.  The beaches can be divided between north, central and south, Atlantic and Pacific.  Here in Jaco, our temperatures are the best of any beach area south of Mexico, due to the shape of the bay and the cooling breezes we receive. During the day, Central Pacific temps can average between 76-90 F; while either north in Guanacaste, or south in the Osa peninsula, temperatures can average 85-95 F.
In the Jaco area, the nights comfortably cool down, while the other regions can still seem warm.  The Caribbean side seems muggier more often than anywhere else, and they do have almost the opposite schedule of the rainy season as the Pacific. Check the weather on google before you come!!!
Remember what happens in San Jose sometimes stays in San Jose, so if you want the weather for the Pacific, check Puntarenas as an indicator.
Easy way to remember the difference between Celcius & Fahrenheit: 82 F is 28 C.
IN GENERAL:
Pack light: Bring comfortable, hand-washable clothing. T-shirts and shorts are acceptable in San José though frowned upon in Government offices, and possibly they may not let you in!  Happened to me, years ago!.
100% cotton shirts and shorts are recommended. At night it can get chilly away from the beaches, so bring long pants, a few long sleeve shirts, and a lightweight jacket.
In San Jose, if planning to go out in the evening, slacks are highly recommended as some restaurants won't admit you in shorts or sandals. Yes, jeans are popular, especially with a sport coat for upper class events.
100% long-sleeve shirts and pants are recommended if you take any day trips out to smaller towns, where immodest attire is frowned upon.
In general, Costa Ricans take pride in their clothing, especially in the San Jose suburbs, either Escazu, Santa Ana or Curridibat.
Bring a large hat to block the sun from your face and neck.
Pack a couple of long-sleeve shirts, a light sweater, sweatshirt or lightweight jacket for San Jose´'s cool nights for trips up volcanoes.  Sturdy sneakers or hiking boots are essential if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing and hiking.
Waterproof hiking sandals or other footwear that allows your feet to breathe are good for strolling about town, and also for beach walking, fording streams, and navigating the myriad mudholes you'll find on rain and cloud forest trails. 
If going to the beach, obviously you'll want light, cool, clothing, swimwear, shades, etc. and the standard fare is shirts, shorts, sandals (with straps is better than flipflops!) - but there is a 10,000 colones fine for wearing shorts and dark socks with either tennis shoes or sandals during the day! :)
In Jacó Beach, you can purchase just about anything you may have forgotten, from sexy bikinis to Ayurvedic toothpaste to digital cameras...we've got it all!
 
Bring the CR Beach language tips found on our page,  "Learn these Words"  (please remember if you
are from Canada, Great Britain, or the Boston area - it's Co-sta Rica not Casta Rica!). Costa Rica is not a "3rd world" country, where getting supplies is difficult. If you forget your camera battery pack or the computer recharge-cord, you can most likely get them at a Radio Shack for twice the U.S. price, or at Walmart/MaxiPali in Jaco - for only 25-50% more than the U.S. Yes there are tons of places to buy mosquito repellent or suntan lotion, but probably double the U.S. price.
 
Our temperatures are similar to summers in San Diego, Ca., with a little Miami mixed in: 75-88F or 24-31 C and remember: 82F is 28C.  Jeff's super tip: bring good sandals with you, (preferably with a back strap), because the sidewalks here, (where they exist) can tear up the most expensive pair of flipflops in a second, (and possibly with your face kissing our famous black ants.)  Remember in Costa Rica,  if you trip and fall, it's your fault - there are no personal injury lawsuits here...Have a great time while here, and Pura Vida!

 

2020 PUBLIC HOLIDAYS UPDATED & EXTENDED TO 3 DAY WEEKENDS!
thanks to Qcostarica.com
 

The mother of all holidays in Costa Rica, Mother’s Day (Dia de la Madre) will move from Saturday, August 15 to Monday, August 17.  In the past efforts to move this holiday to the following Monday failed - people celebrated Mother’s Day on its sacred day and enjoyed the Monday off work.
Independence day. It will/was moved forward to Monday, September 14, instead of the 15th. 
Abolition of the Army. It will take place on Monday, November 30, instead of Tuesday, December 1.
 
The date that will not be moved is August 2,  the day of the Virgin of the Angels which will be observed on the day it falls, a Sunday. However, this year the traditional pilgrimage to Cartago – is ruled out due to the pandemic.
These changes also came after warnings from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) and the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of the Private Business Sector (Uccaep) about the high cost that it represents for the finances of the employers.These are paid holidays, in that employees who work on the holiday will be paid double pay; refusing to work on the holiday cannot be sanctioned by the employer.
 
Costa Rica is a Catholic country and its holidays are mostly church-related. Most businesses, including banks, close on official holidays. The country closes down entirely during the biggest holiday time, Easter Holy Week, but only during Holy Thursday, Friday and Saturday,  by Holy Sunday, some services might be available, but don't count on it in remote parts of the country. Buses stop running on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.    Banks and offices are closed, plus hotels and car rentals are booked solid weeks in advance as everyone seems to head for the beach.  CR Residents--avoid the popular beaches during Easter week.
Most wealthy Ticos take the whole Christmas holiday week through New Years' + as an unofficial holiday.
 
 

CR 2020 LIVING TIPS


     
Jaco Beach Real Estate
in Costa Rica: 011 (506) 4702-0808 
WHATSAPP: +1 (506) 8388-5055
SKYPE: crbeachjeff
 
Welcome to tips on how to enjoy Costa Rica, especially during an epidemic, wherever you are. Since our area is the Central Pacific, Jaco beach-Playa Hermosa and Los Sueños areas: 
 
Things to do in your spare time?
  1. Look for a copy of the local monthly FREE NEWSpaper called The Swell Dealer,  they have tons of info and a calender section for music, food specials, and special events happening in Jaco. 
     
2.  Get a copy of your passport at the centro Jaco Impresora upstairs or front of BAC
3.  Walk on the beach, both north end and south end are the best. Check out low tides!!!
3.      North end of Jaco at low tide enables you to visit Monkey Beach
4.      Learn to Surf or Paddle board
5.      Watch the Sunset from Villa Caletas  
6.      Visit the Turtle Reserve in Playa Hermosa
7.      Check out the tide pools north end of Playa Hermosa
8.      Zipline in any one of the 5 local area companies
9.      Waterfall repelling
10.   Horseback riding
11.   Visit and hire guide for Carara National Park, short trails-lots of birds
12.   Visit the snake-monkey-butterfly farm in Pueblo Nuevo
13.   Take a visit to a tropical island, Isla Tortuga, combined with snorkeling
14.   Take a trip to Manuel Antonio
15.   Go fishing from the Los Suenos Marina, full or half days.
16.   Play golf at the Los Suenos 18 hole Iguana Golf Course
17.   Take the kids to Jaco’s Central Park, Johannes Danker
18.   Take the kids to the Jaco Public Library-Skate board park
19.   Go to Jaco’s Air-Conditioned movie theatre (4plex)
20.   Go on a hike to Miro’s ocean view ruins up from the gas station  
21.   Get a real massage
22.   Get your teeth cleaned from a great dentist in Jaco.
23.   Rent an all terrain vehicle
24.   Visit waterfalls in Bijagual or Ocean Ranch Park
25.   Take a yoga class, there are many.
26.   Visit a Gym and work-out
27.   Eat-Shop-Eat-Shop
28.  People watch from Los Amigos or Mono Verde or the many Gelateria/Ice Cream Parlors  
29.   Walk around the Los Sueños Marina, checking out the views, the yachts & visit great restaurants
30.   Join Jaco's Rotary Club and help out the community
31. Check out the weekend events at Jaco Walk, including happy hour specials, live music, and outdoor activities.
32. Ask questions to an attorney
33.  Speak to a CR real estate expert like Jeff Fisher at CR Beach Investment Real Estate and after 26 years of living here, he is famous for brutally honest advice.   www.crbeach.com  
 
9 TIPS ON HOW TO TRAVEL WITH YOUR CHILDREN INTERNATIONALLY!
By A.M. Costa Rica staff, Dec. 10, 2018, http://www.amcostarica.com/morenews5.htm
Millions travel for the holidays to spend time with family and friends, many with children. Of those travelers who responded to a recent Travel Leaders Group Travel Trends survey, 61 percent say they will fly to their holiday vacation destination in the coming weeks and 38 percent will drive. When traveling with children, there are a variety of tips that will help smooth the journey, say expert travel advisors at Travel Leaders – one of North America's largest retail travel agency brands with thousands of travel agents across the United States, Canada and Mexico. 
"Domestic and international air travel with children has grown substantially over the past few decades," said Roger E. Block, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network. "Fortunately, advances in technology, including tablets and mobile phones, are providing greater entertainment options for kids, while on the road.  Our travel advisors spend a significant amount of time advising parents on how to integrate entertainment and activity options and many other tips to travel better with their children to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable vacation."
9 easy-to-follow tips that will help vacationers travel better this holiday season when children are along for the journey.
Pack with a plan: Overhead space will be at a premium during the holiday travel season, especially as people bring gifts for friends and family or return home with presents they've received for their children. So, when preparing to pack your bags, it's crucial to check in advance whether your luggage meets the airline's size and weight restrictions for checked baggage and carry-ons, as well as to remember to save space for the extra items that will come home with you.
Children's liquids are an exception to the 3-ounce rule:
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows each passenger one quart-size bag of liquids and gels, including toothpaste, gel deodorant, and lotions. Each item must be 3.4 ounces or less, with medications and certain items for children being the exception. Infant formula, breast milk and juices for infants or toddlers, as well as ice packs to keep them cool, are permitted in higher, yet reasonable quantities through the security checkpoint. However, keep them separate from the items in your one-quart bag. Label medications and carry a copy of the prescription.
Bring multiple copies of important travel documents:
It's a good idea to have color photocopies and digital copies of all important identification documents, including your passport, front and back of credit cards and health insurance information for you and the children. If you're traveling internationally, consider bringing a copy of your child's immunizations. Also have extra ID photos cropped to passport size in case you have to order a replacement at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Also pack all paper copies or flash drives in a separate location for extra safe-keeping.
TSA PreCheck is free for children 12 and younger:
When traveling having expedited clearance such as TSA PreCheck or Global Entry usually means you can skip the long lines at security checkpoints and not have to remove outer layers of clothing. Although Children ages 12 and under never have to remove their shoes or lightweight jackets, they also do not need their own TSA Precheck boarding pass since they can go through the TSA Precheck checkpoint with any qualifying adult with whom they are traveling. If traveling internationally, children under 18 do need to apply for their own Global Entry or Nexus status with a consenting parent or legal guardian.
Ease flight wait times:
Dress young children in comfortable clothing, even consider footie pajamas and no shoes. If your child is young enough, give your child a ride to the checkpoint and gate in a stroller. Though they will have to walk through or be carried through security, the stroller ride there helps to keep them in tow, and your stress low. You'll also save money as you can check the stroller or car seat at the gate, often bypassing the fees you'd pay at the ticket counter.
Work with a travel advisor if planning to visit a theme park:
Winter, especially the days surrounding Christmas week, is a busy time to visit any park. Bear in mind that lines are shorter first thing in the morning or late at night.
Hit the high seas for family adventure:
A cruise is a great way to vacation with family and friends without the stress of holiday meal prep, clean up and entertaining.  To feel relaxed without overexerting yourself, skip an excursion at a port or two.  If you take time to enjoy the ship while fewer people are onboard, you will avoid some of the hustle and bustle. When you do take a shore excursion, consider opting for the children to stay with the childcare service for one of your experiences. But don't leave the children out of all excursions. They will also enjoy the adventure and culture of other lands and the bonding time with Mom or Dad.
Relax at an all-inclusive resort:
Escaping the cold weather by traveling with the family to someplace warm and tropical can be a relaxing way to spend the holidays, especially when it is spent at a family-friendly, all-inclusive resort. Whether you land, the convenience and value that comes without always pulling out your wallet can make winter travel less stressful.  There are many excellent choices and a travel advisor can help you select the one that best suits your family, such as ones that offer features ranging from kids' clubs, water parks and family-themed entertainment to spas for the adults.
Road Trips with Kids:
Long road trips with children allow for many options, as well as the ubiquitous "Are we there yet?" refrain. Pack a kiddie bag that can stay within arms reach of young children who may want to grab their favorite book, electronic device, sippy cup or snack pack. Remember to also pack wet wipes and paper towels for easy clean up. Play music over the car radio that the child can enjoy as a family sing-along in addition to an option of personal music time with their own headphones or video player. Children also love the attention if a parent climbs into the back seat with them occasionally, if space allows. I Spy and tic tac toe are classic games children will enjoy. Finally, be sure to build in time to take breaks to enjoy scenic overlooks or small towns or other attractions you may pass along the way. 

 
 
Tourism Doesn't Come Cheap but Costa Rica
Comes Awfully Close
  DUE TO COVID-19 MANY EVENTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED!
So there you are: vacationing in Costa Rica -- ONE of, if not THE most bio-diverse location on Earth and home to panoramic beaches, rainforests and waterfalls, not to mention a seemingly endless variety  of flora and fauna and you're looking for things to do in Costa Rica that are FREE?
Sure thing! Excluding the obvious free activities like hiking, walking on the beach and sunbathing, there ARE free things to do in Costa Rica. It depends on where you go and at what time of the year and above all HOW you want to spend your time. Having established that, here are some free things to do in Costa Rica.
I. Festivals:   DUE TO COVID-19 MANY EVENTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED!
Let it not be said that in Costa Rica the locals don't know how to party! Every month during the year there is at least one festival being held and like all great festivals they are FREE! Within the context of the festival you're going to have to pay for food and drink - but the music, dancing and fireworks that are invariably a big part of every festival in Costa Rica is free-of-charge. And as we all know -- FREE is a good thing. Here are some noteworthy free festivals held throughout the year. Take your pick and schedule your vacation accordingly:
JANUARY:
- Palmares Civic Fiestas - Lots of culture here: folk dances, music, amusements and bullfighting.
- Alajuelita Fiestas - Honoring the Black Christ of Esquipulas, Alajuelita's Patron Saint..
- Santa Cruz Fiestas - dancing, marimbas and bullfighting.
FEBRUARY:
- San Isidro del General Fiestas - annual agricultural and industrial fairs with bullfights and a flower exhibition.
- Fiesta of the Diablitos - annual recreation of the fight between Indians and the Spanish.
- Puntarenas Carnival - Masks, music and plenty of sangria.
MARCH:
- Escazu - Dia de los Boyeros (Oxcart Driver's Day) - parade of oxcarts and the blessing of the animals and crops by local priests. Not to be missed - especially if you're a farmer.
- National Orchid Show - more flowers than you can shake a stick at.
APRIL:
- Holy Week - processions galore in all parts of country.
- Juan Santamaría Day - Commemorating Costa Rica's national hero -- a simple barefoot soldier who gave his life in the battle against William Walker's troops in 1856.
MAY:
- Puerto Limon - picnics, music and dancing. What more is there to life?
- Escazu - San Isidro Labrador's Day - another celebration honouring the Patron Saint of farmers
- Corpus Christi Day - May 29 - Religious celebration.
JUNE:
- Saints Peter & Paul Day - June 29 - More religion!
JULY:
- Puntarenas - Virgin of The Sea - fishing boat regatta which honors Puntarenas' Patron Saint, La Virgen del Monte Carmelo. Plenty of parades, dances and fireworks.
- Guanacaste Day - you guessed it: folk dances, bullfights, and music.
- Alajuela - Los Mangos Festival
AUGUST:
- Cartago - Virgin of Los Angeles - Honors Costa Rica's Patron Saint , "La Negrita" with nationwide
pilgrimage and religious processions to the Basilica in Cartago.
SEPTEMBER:
Costa Rica's Independence Day is September 15th: witness the Freedom Torch as it is brought from Nicaragua by student relay runners the day before. Thrill to local "lantern parades" where kids carry home-made "faroles".
OCTOBER:
- Puerto Limon - Limon Carnival - Columbus Day is celebrated in style in the port city with week-long street dances, parades and music.
- Upala Corn Festival, Corn Queen contest.
- Tres Rios Virgen del Pilar's Day - celebrating yet another Patron Saint with parades and costumes made entirely of corn husks, grain, and silks.
NOVEMBER:
- All Souls day - Nov 2 - Day of the Dead.
- Central Valley Coffee picking contest, music and dancing
- International Arts Festival, plays, street theatre and other entertainment.
DECEMBER: DUE TO COVID-19 MANY EVENTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED!
- Fiesta de los Negritos - very big event held in the Indian village of Boruca, and ancient Indian ritual is combined with honoring the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception.
- Nicoya Fiesta de la Yeguita - Processions, bullfights, fireworks, concerts.
- Festejos Populares (Year-end Festivals) - Dec 25-31
- Tope - Annual horse parade. Careful where you step!
- Carnival - Head to downtown San Jose for the biggest block party of the year!
 
II. Free Museums
- The Museo de Oro Precolombino (Museum of Precolumbian gold) is located under the Plaza de la
Cultura in downtown San Jose. This impressive underground building houses the exhibit that creates a mysterious and dark background for the gleaming beauty of the golden pieces, which seem to float because they're suspended by transparent strings.The Museo de Moneda, or the Coin Museum, is located in the
same building, and its exhibit includes information on coins, as well as interesting samples. And it's FREE.
- The Museo de Jade, or the Jade Museum.o Lcated in the INS building in downtown (in the National Insurance building. The exhibit in this museum is the largest American jade collection in the world. The collection is extremely valuable because of the rarity of the mineral and of the religious and historical significance that it has for the Indian population and for the Costa Ricans in general. Like the golden pieces, the jade artifacts also depict animal shapes.
- The Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle (Natural science) and the small Entomology Museum in the University of Costa Rica. The first museum is located in La Sabana and presents a taxidermy collection of various animals and a preserved fish and reptile exhibit. The small university museum houses a large collection of insects of Central and South America, including beautiful butterflies. 
 
III. Free Markets 
The most popular market in Costa Rica is Mercado Central (Market Central) and has to be seen to be believed. A variety of craft work , leatherwork and crafts not to mention some of the cheapest meals in San Jose town. Come to think of it, almost every town of any size in Costa Rica has a mercado central, where
in addition to produce, fruits and meat, there are booths selling everyday items.

 
IV. Other Free activities
The Hummingbird gallery:
Next to the Monteverde Reserve entrance. Feeders outside attract dozens of hummingbirds representing about 7 species.
 

 
V. Art & Artisans
Traditional Costa Rican artisans in Guaitíl hand throw Chorotega pottery while you watch, and the wood carvers of Sarchí transform rainforest hardwoods into every imaginable shape. Drums, baskets, textiles, and pre-Columbian reproductions are just a few of the things you'll want to take home with you. 

 
VI. Bird Watching
Botaurus pinnatus, Tigrisoma fasciatum, Tigrisoma mexicanum, Egretta thula, Egretta caerulea, Agamia agami, Cochlearius cochlearius- and that's just the most common Aredeidae. Avid birders know that Costa Rica is one of the top spots in the world, but you don't have to spend hours with binoculars glued to your
eyes to see fascinating bird life in Costa Rica. Buy an Hermosa Beach Bungalow, and see hundreds of birds from your patio.

 
VII. Waterfalls & River Hiking
The number of spectacular waterfalls in Costa Rica reflects rainfall averages of over 20 feet a year and the sheer drops of some of the mountain ranges. Some are visible from paved roads as you travel from place to place, but others require significant effort to reach. The surest way to find a falls with a deserted swimming hole at the bottom is to start walking upstream.
So there you have it: some truly fun things to do that are free! You're no doubt going to discover many more free things to do and see once you set foot in beautiful Costa Rica. Follow your instincts and not your pocket book and you'll come up with your own list of free activities in Costa Rica!
 
 Costa Rica Groups need You!          THXTO THE TICO TIMES  JUNE 6, 2018
Looking for a support group, local activities, political kindred spirits or a way to pursue 
your favorite hobby in Costa Rica?
Check out this partial list of some of the country’s clubs and organizations, particularly those with multicultural or international areas of interest and membership. (Want to see yours here? Let us know at cvargas@ticotimes.net. Please include contact information, website/Facebook page and any relevant schedule information.)DUE TO COVID-19 MANY EVENTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED!
Alcoholics Anonymoushttps://costaricaaa.com/
American Legion Post 10: Escazú, meets first Saturday of the month, 4034-0788,  https://cr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/veterans-affairs/
American Legion Post 16: meets first Saturday of the month, Heredia, 2591-1695
Animal Shelter: Heredia. https://www.animalsheltercostarica.org/
Association of Residents of Costa Rica: 2233 8068,  arcr@casacanada.netwww.arcr.net.
ATEC (Talamancan Association of Ecotourism and Conservation): Puerto Viejo’s eco-tourism provider, help visitors find and interact with ecological activities. https://www.ateccr.org/
Birding Club of Costa Rica(BCCR) observe and identify the 900+ species of birds found here, travels around the country. Patrick McDonnell, information@birdingcraft.comwww.birdingclubcr.org
Bridge: Asociación Recreativa de Bridge, 2220-2818, www.bridgewebs.com/arbcostarica/rules. html
Coffee Pickin’ Square Dancers: San Francisco de Dos Ríos, Grace Woodman, 2249-1208, 8369-7992, gracewccr@gmail.com
Costa Rica’s Writers Group: Currently maintaining a roster of over 50 members. Meets the third Thursday of each month (except December), 11AM, Henry’s Beach Cafe,
Escazú. Contact Bob Brashears: bbrashears0@gmail.com  8684-2526. Visits its 
Facebook page.
DAWG: domestic animal welfare group, Uvita. Adoptions, Saturdays, 9 a.m. -1 p.m. Centro Veterinario building, Uvita (across main highway, block north of  Banco de Costa Rica
 http://dawgcostarica.org,
 https://www.facebook.com/D.A.W.G.DomesticAnimalWelfareGroup/
Democrats Abroad: politics, issues, register absentee voters. Meet last Saturday of the month, invited speakers on topical issues. www.democratsabroad.org/cr
Hash House Harriers: Costa Rica HHHmeet Mondays to run in the Santa Ana – Escazú area and Thursdays in San José. http://www.costaricahhh.com
La Leche League: For nursing moms. www.facebook.com/Liga-de-la-Leche-Costa-Rica
Little Theatre Group: English-language community theater, 8858-1446, www.littletheatregroup.org.
Newcomer’s Club of Costa Rica: monthly meetings focus on providing valuable information about Costa Rica. newcomersclub.costarica@gmail.comwww.newcomersclubofcostarica.com
Professional Women’s Network: pwn.wccr@gmail.com
Republicans Overseas Costa Ricasucceeds Republicans Abroad, meets once a month, participate in US Embassy and local government activities. www.facebook.com/CostaRicaGOP
Salvation Army: Cuartel Divisional, Calle 3 y 6, Ave. 18, San José, Apdo. 6277– 1000, San José. 2248 9087 / 2248 9175 / 2248 9181, costarica_division@lan.salvationarmy.org
Women’s Club of Costa Ricafriendship through service. Main goals are building friendships and promoting education for Costa Rican young people. wccr.org
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom: 2433-7078, peacewomen@gmail.com
Women’s Slow-Pitch Softball League: Roberto Castro, 8839-3856
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
Anglican Episcopal Church: Ca. 3/5, Av. 4, north side of Colegio de Señoritas, 2222-1560,ibuenpastor@gmail.com.
B’nei Israel: La Sabana, 800 m west of Pops, 2231-5243, congbnei@racsa.co.cr.
Baha’i Faith Firesides: La Uruca, 2249-1231.
Beach Community Church: Sun., 10 a.m., Brasilito, Guanacaste, next to Country Day School, 2653-4437,info@beachcommunitychurch.com.
Chabad Lubavitch: Rohrmoser, in front of Antojitos; Escazú, 50 m west of Banco General, 2296-6565,hspalter@jabadcr.com.
Christian Center: San Roque, Grecia, 2494-0970, laterrazagrecia@msn.com.
Church of Christ: Quircot, Cartago, 8839-4331.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Curridabat, Edificio Trébol, 500 m south of Pops, 2224-9401,2015218@ldschurch.org.
Costa Rican Lutheran Church: Barrio El Carmen, San José, 600 m southeast of San Cayetano Church, 2227-8080, comunicacion@ilco.cr.
Episcopal Diocese of Costa Rica: Zapote, 75 m north of Plaza Cemaco, 2225-0209,anglicancr@racsa.co.cr.
Escazú Christian Fellowship: Interdenominational, Sun., 5 p.m., International Baptist Church, Guachipelín, Escazú, 8395-9653, www.ecfcr.net.
Foursquare Church: Monthly English-language worship service, Sunday school, Manuel Antonio, 8338-4655, 8702-0807, 8390-0591.
Guadalupe Missionary Baptist Temple: Guadalupe, 300 m east of cemetery, 2222-4757,kerawa@racsa.co.cr.
Hare Krishna Center Gaudiya Math: Cuesta de Núñez, #1331, Av. 1, Ca. 15/17, 2256-8650,haribol@racsa.co.cr.
Harvest Vineyard Church: Sabana Oeste, Lexicon Library, 200 m north, 100 m east, 75 m north of UCIMED, 2291-4383, info@harvestvineyard.info.
JACO HORIZON CHURCH   NEW LOCATION... GOOGLE IT 
JACO  ALSO HAS A SECOND BILINGUAL CHURCH:   RADICAL CHURCH 
International Baptist Church: Guachipelín, Escazú, west of Multiplaza, north side of highway, 2215-2117,paul_dina@hotmail.com.
Jehovah’s Witnesses: La Asunción, Belén, across from Avis, 8982-3381.
Mass for hearing-impaired: With translation in Costa Rican sign language, Sat., 6 p.m., Immaculate Conception Church, Heredia.
Muslim Center: Guadalupe, Calle Blancos-Montelimar, 100 m east, 80 m south of Escuela Santa Mónica, 2240-4872, omarhemeda@hotmail.com.
Nondenominational Christian Church: Sun., 8:30 a.m., El Empalme, San Ramón, Pastor James Rush, 8385-6403, trandall360@gmail.com.
Quaker Meeting: Sun., 11 a.m., Friends Peace Center, San José, Ca. 15, Av. 6/8; Monteverde School, Monteverde, 2222-1400, friends@racsa.co.cr.
Roman Catholic Mass: Sat., 4 p.m., cathedral, San José, Ca. Ctrl./1, Av. 2/4, 2221-3820.
San Pedro Christian Fellowship: San Pedro, Centro Comercial Calle Real, 2267-6038,sleves@racsa.co.cr.
Science of Mind Study Group and Potluck: Escazú, 8378-6679, www.scienceofmindincostarica.com.
St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Chapel: Mass, Sun., 4 p.m., Hotel Ramada Plaza Herradura, Cariari, 2209-9800.
Union Church: San Rafael, Moravia, 100 m east, 400 m north, 100 m west of Lincoln School, 2235-6709,www.iglesiaunion.net.
Unity:  www.unitycostarica.org.NO MAS, QUE LASTIMA
Zen Buddhism: Casa Zen, Santo Domingo, Heredia, 2244-3532, www.casazen.org.
TAKE A CLASS -- OLD LIST, MAYBE SOME NUMBERS STILL WORK 
Acting: Carpe Diem Theater, Alajuela, 8810-3892; Fundación Skené, Barrio González Lahman, basic acting, 2258-7236, 2256-6978, www.fundaskene.org; Giratablas Theater, Los Yoses, theater for kids, teens and adults, 2253-6001.
Agility: For dogs and owners, weekends, Pets’ Paradise, La Guácima, Alajuela, 8381-8285, 8393-4904.
Agro-ecotourism: Also tropical ecology, Costa Rican natural history, organoponics, labyrinths and mazes, Barrio Francisco Peralta, 8819-3173, grupoloscongos@gmail.com.
Art: Casa del Artista, Guadalupe, all ages, 2234-1233, 2281-0693, escuelacasadelartista@ice.co.cr; Fundación Skené, Barrio González Lahman, 2258-7236, 2256-6978, www.fundaskene.org; Galería Valanti, Barrio Escalante, painting, drawing, art appreciation, 2253-1659, www.galeriavalanti.com.
Arts: Art, literature, music and theater courses, talks and workshops at CCCN, Barrio Dent and La Sabana, by the Institute for Study of the Arts (INESA), 2290-5113, www.inesacr.org.
Baby Massage: For parents with babies older than 2 months, Mon.-Tues., Desarrollando Mentes, Escazú, 2289-4586, www.desarrollandomentes.com.
Badminton: Academia de Bádminton Costa Rica, San Pedro, classes for all ages, group play for experienced players, 8897-5313, 8990-9295, sharon@badmintoncr.comwww.badmintoncr.com.
Belly Dancing: Led by Jerusa Alvarado, basics, 8876-6184, jerusaalvarado@gmail.com.
Biocourses: Trips with the Organization for Tropical Studies, 2524-0607, www.ots.ac.cr/biocursos.
Classes: Art, tai chi, qigong, opera, food, Florencia Culture Center, Plaza Florencia, 200 m north of BAC San José, road to Guachipelín, Escazú, 2289-3557, www.culturaflorenciacr.com.
Classes at Terapiarte: Portuguese, English, drawing, painting, cartoon, graphic design, clay modeling, yoga, belly dancing, popular dance, guitar, violin, Alajuela, 50 m north of Palí, Cristo Rey, 2441-0290, 8970-5026.
Cooking: Boc Art Gourmet Shop and Cooking School, Escazú, Plaza Itskatzú, 2228-0804, and Guadalupe, 300 m south of La Católica Hospital, 2225-1013; Brunetti, Santo Domingo de Heredia, 2268-9423; Culinary Trainer School, San José, Av. 4, across from Sala Garbo, 2222-0361, www.ctscostarica.com; Estudio Gastronómico Mucho Gusto, Los Yoses, 2234-0840, www.revistamuchogusto.com; Radha’s Kitchen, Escazú, gourmet vegetarian and vegan cooking, 2288-3294, www.radhaskitchen.org.
Dance: 29/4, ballet, jazz, tap, flamenco, hip-hop, break dancing, cardio dance, yoga, Sabanilla, Montes de Oca, veintinueve.cuatro@gmail.com; Academia Danza O, Middle Eastern, yoga, ballet, tap for girls, La Uruca, 2296-2022; Al Andalus, flamenco, tango, Sabanilla, 2225-2793, 8342-4083; Baila SAP, traditional, hip-hop, jazz, rumba, tango, yoga, theater, aerobics, Guadalupe, Moravia, Desamparados, Rohrmoser, San Ramón, Grecia, Palmares, Liberia, 2224-0834, 2224-6364; Dance Force Center, ballet, flamenco, tango, jazz, ballroom, Pavas, 2290-2271; Danza Abend, Calle Blancos, 2236-0700; Escuela de Ballet Piruetas Dance Studio, ballet, Jewish dance, flamenco, contemporary, all ages, Heredia, 2260-1549; Estudio Danza Libre, ballet, contemporary, jazz, Latin, hip-hop, fitness, all levels and ages, Guadalupe, 2253-8770, 8994-1124; Signos Teatro Danza, aerial dance, contemporary ballet, dance theater, yoga, break dancing, hip-hop, Lourdes de Montes de Oca, 2234-5584, 8714-5128, signosteatrodanza@gmail.com; Taller Nacional de Danza, ballet, belly dancing, flamenco, contemporary, jazz, tango, Indian, Afro-Caribbean, break dancing, hip-hop, all ages, Barrio Escalante, 2223-3319, 8776-1244, infoaatnd@gmail.com; Zíngari, flamenco, Santa Ana, 2282-1127, 8833-4260, www.flamencozingari.com.
Feng Shui: With Iside Sarmiento, Moravia, 8851-8899, www.vivafengshui.com.
Gardening: Centro Nacional de Jardinería Corazón Verde, Pinares de Curridabat, 2271-0303, 2271-1919,www.corazonverdecr.com.
Holistic Classes: Creciendo en Grande Institute, Zapote, 600 m west, 200 m north of Casa Presidencial, 2283-3736, www.creciendoengrande.com; Kasasana, Barrio Escalante, 2253-8322,www.kasasana.com. 
Karate: Kids, daily, 5-6 p.m.; adults, Mon., Wed., Fri., 6:30-8 p.m., and Tues., Thurs., 7-8:30 p.m., Heredia, opposite Mercedes Norte cemetery, 8816-8387.
Mandarin Chinese: Liu-Yi Centro de Idioma Chino-Mandarín, Heredia, San Joaquín de Flores, San José, 8878-9875, www.liuyicr.com.
Martial Arts: Pavas, Rohrmoser, Parque La Amistad, 8873-3859, 8873-4265, 2232-9801, www.bushido-jo.com.
Meditation: Inner Balance, Escazú, Mediplaza, 500 m south of Multiplaza, 2201-7201, ext. 2,natalie@innerbalance.co.cr.
Music: Café Liberia, Guanacaste, singing, piano, electric and acoustic guitar, 2665-1660, 8339-0492; Centro Artístico Omar Arroyo, Moravia, 2297-2559; Editus Arts Academy, Barrio Escalante, 2253-5135, 2234-0491,www.edituscr.com; Escazú Music Academy, 2228-9327, www.escazumusic.com; Estudio Arte Heredia, singing, guitar, clarinet, sax, flute, piano, music theory, Barrio María Auxiliadora, Heredia, 2263-4184, 8704-9775; School of Rock, Sabana Sur, info@clandestina.cr, 8840-7204.
Paragliding: Escuela Parapente Costa Rica, 8849-0777, www.parapentecr.com.
Photography: Escazú, basic to intermediate, www.melwells.com.
Pilates: Classes at your home given by certified instructor Michael Miller, all levels, contact Hernán Sain, 8861-9336, hersain@gmail.comwww.casapilates.com.
Qigong and Tai Chi: San Pedro, Sabanilla, 2234-2680, 8715-0573, chiralu@gmail.com.
Robotics: Ages 6-12, Abacus Institute, Edificio Colón, Paseo Colón, 2222-1446,www.abacusinstitute.net/robotica; Laboratorio de Robótica, Escazú and Pinares de Curridabat, 8880-2424,pattyct@racsa.co.cr.
Satsangs: Sat Yoga Institute, Escazú, 2288-3294.
Synchronized Swimming: Girls, Mon.-Fri., 4-6 p.m., La Salle School, Sabana Sur, 2291-0147, 8373-4005.
Tai Chi: Bambú Dorado, Escazú, San Pedro, adults and seniors, 2225-4411, 8829-0237,www.muevete.co.cr; Heredia, adults and seniors, International Taoist Tai Chi Society methods, 2263-5075,costarica@taoist.org.
Wine Seminars: Bodega05, HA&COM Bebidas del Mundo, Llorente de Tibás, 2297-1005.
Yoga: Bamboo YogaPlay, Dominical, 2787-0229, www.bambooyogaplay.com; Café Liberia, Liberia, Guanacaste, Mon. and Thurs., 7 p.m., Sat., 6 p.m., 2665-1660; Desarrollando Mentes, Escazú, for kids ages 3-5, Tues.-Wed., 3:30-5:30 p.m., 2289-4586, info@desarrollandomentes.com; Fit Yogis, Escazú, yoga for kids, 2228-9141, www.fityogis.net; Gayatree Yoga Center, Sabanilla, yin and Nidra yoga, 8848-2347,sofiyoga@yahoo.com; Jardín de Yoga Kapoli, San Rafael, Escazú, 2228-1350, 8325-2397; Rincón Natura Spa, Sabana Sur, 2291-4505; Sat Yoga Institute, San Rafael, Escazú, 2288-3294,www.satyogainstitute.org; Turya Yoga Studio, Escazú, 2289-7524, 8887-8835, janine@turya.info.
 
 2020 CIA INFORMATION ON COSTA RICA:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cs.html
Costa Rica Flag
Costa Rica Locator Map
 
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COSTA RICA
 
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  • Population field listing
    5,097,988 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Costa Rican(s)
    adjective: Costa Rican
    Ethnic groups field listing
    white or mestizo 83.6%, mulatto 6.7%, indigenous 2.4%, black of African descent 1.1%, other 1.1%, none 2.9%, unspecified 2.2% (2011 est.)
    Languages field listing
    Spanish (official), English
    Religions field listing
    Roman Catholic 71.8%, Evangelical and Pentecostal 12.3%, other Protestant 2.6%, Jehovah's Witness 0.5%, other 2.4%, none 10.4% (2016 est.)
    Demographic profile field listing

    Costa Rica's political stability, high standard of living, and well-developed social benefits system set it apart from its Central American neighbors. Through the government's sustained social spending - almost 20% of GDP annually - Costa Rica has made tremendous progress toward achieving its goal of providing universal access to education, healthcare, clean water, sanitation, and electricity. Since the 1970s, expansion of these services has led to a rapid decline in infant mortality, an increase in life expectancy at birth, and a sharp decrease in the birth rate. The average number of children born per women has fallen from about 7 in the 1960s to 3.5 in the early 1980s to below replacement level today. Costa Rica's poverty rate is lower than in most Latin American countries, but it has stalled at around 20% for almost two decades.

    Costa Rica is a popular regional immigration destination because of its job opportunities and social programs. Almost 9% of the population is foreign-born, with Nicaraguans comprising nearly three-quarters of the foreign population. Many Nicaraguans who perform unskilled seasonal labor enter Costa Rica illegally or overstay their visas, which continues to be a source of tension. Less than 3% of Costa Rica's population lives abroad. The overwhelming majority of expatriates have settled in the United States after completing a university degree or in order to work in a highly skilled field.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 22.08% (male 575,731/female 549,802)
    15-24 years: 15.19% (male 395,202/female 379,277)
    25-54 years: 43.98% (male 1,130,387/female 1,111,791)
    55-64 years: 9.99% (male 247,267/female 261,847)
    65 years and over: 8.76% (male 205,463/female 241,221) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 45.1
    youth dependency ratio: 30.2
    elderly dependency ratio: 14.9
    potential support ratio: 6.7 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 32.6 years
    male: 32.1 years
    female: 33.1 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Population growth rate field listing
    1.08% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Birth rate field listing
    14.8 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Death rate field listing
    4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Net migration rate field listing
    0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Population distribution field listing
    roughly half of the nation's population resides in urban areas; the capital of San Jose is the largest city and home to approximately one-fifth of the population
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 80.8% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    1.400 million SAN JOSE (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    27 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 7.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 8.2 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 6.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 79.2 years
    male: 76.5 years
    female: 82 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.87 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    77.8% (2015)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved:
    urban: 99.6% of population
    rural: 91.9% of population
    total: 97.8% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0.4% of population
    rural: 8.1% of population
    total: 2.2% of population (2015 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    7.3% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    1.15 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    1.1 beds/1,000 population (2014)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved:
    urban: 95.2% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 92.3% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 94.5% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved:
    urban: 4.8% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 7.7% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 5.5% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.4% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    15,000 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <500 (2018 est.)
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: intermediate (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    25.7% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
     
    Education expenditures field listing
    7.4% of GDP (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 97.9%
    male: 97.8%
    female: 97.9% (2018)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 15 years
    male: 15 years
    female: 16 years (2016)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 20.6%
    male: 17.6%
    female: 25.9% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63

US Money’s Practical Check-off List for Overseas Home Purchases

When shopping for a new home for your overseas retirement, the most important thing is to follow your instincts. Choose a new home for your new retirement life in another country because you like it and it feels right to you. Here is a check-off list to consider when thinking through your overseas home purchase.

Original Article Text From US News Money:

10 Questions to Ask About a Retirement Home Overseas

When shopping for a new home for your retirement overseas, the most important thing is to follow your instincts. Allow yourself to be led by your heart and your gut. Choose a new home for your new retirement life in another country because you like it and it feels right to you.

You aren’t buying a retirement home to make money. Perhaps the property you buy ultimately will be worth more than you’re paying for it and turn out to have been a smart investment, but don’t allow that agenda to get in your way.

Of course, there are also many practical considerations when making any real estate purchase. Here is a list of some quantifiable things to consider when thinking through the purchase of a new home in another country. The answers to these questions will help you to pin down the lifestyle you imagine for yourself in retirement. You can then work backward from that lifestyle to the house that would best support it.

1. How much space will you need? Do you want an apartment or a house? One bedroom or two? (You probably won’t need more than two.) Two levels or only one? A guest room or even a guest house? Will you have guests often, for example? Will you want them to be able to stay with you, or would you prefer if they came and went from a hotel nearby?

2. Do you want a front yard, a back garden, or a swimming pool? All of these things require care and maintenance.

3. Do you want to be in the heart of downtown or out in the country?

4. Do you want a turn-key, a renovation project, or something in-between?

5. Do you like the idea of living in a gated community, or would you prefer a more integrated setting, such as a neighborhood where you could become part of the local community? This is a key consideration. Going local means you have to learn the local language (if you don’t speak it already). Or perhaps you’d prefer to be off on your own with undeveloped acres between you and your nearest neighbor. In this type of rural setting you will need to build your own in-case-of-emergency infrastructure.

6. Consider traffic patterns and transportation. Where you base yourself determines whether you’ll need to invest in a car, which is an important budget consideration.

7. Consider the convenience factor. How far is it to shopping, restaurants, nightlife, parking, and the nearest medical facility?

8. Do you want a furnished home? You may have no choice but to buy unfurnished (unless you buy, say, from another expat who’s interested in selling his place including all contents). Buying unfurnished means you’ll need to purchase furniture locally or ship your household goods from home.

9. What’s your budget? This is the most practical guideline of all, of course. Be clear on your finances before you start shopping, and, if your budget is strict, don’t be tempted to consider properties outside your price point. You’ll only be disappointing yourself unnecessarily.

10. Finally, ask yourself what kind of view you’d like from your bedroom window each morning. This can be an effective way to focus on something important that might otherwise be overlooked until it’s too late.

Link to Original Article: From US News Money
 

 

  NEW !   SCROLL DOWN FOR NEW U.S. VETERANS' INFORMATION
UPDATED JAN. 17, 2019

Veterans Affairs info to get you started:
https://cr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/veterans-affairs/
http://alcr10.org/    
AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY SON OF THE AMERICAN LEGION Harold L. LeClaire American Legion Post 10 (CR) NEXT MEETING 

 Meeting location- San Jose, CR; Casa de Espana First WEDNESDAY of the month-12 Noon CONTACT   MAIN NUMBER(506)4034-0788 ...

 FOR CLINICA BIBLICA:

http://www.hcbinternational.com/web/ 


Health Care for Veteran's in Costa Rica

 

The Clínica Bíblica now accepts medical coverage through Tri Care Latin America and CHAMPUS for hospital and pharmacy services.

Here are the requirements for medical benefits for U.S. military retirees and their families:

  1. A current U.S. military retiree ID card (20 years of active duty)
  2. 65 years or over and have Medicare Part B.
  3. Current ID cards for all dependents under 21 years of age if in college with proof of enrollment
  4. Unmarried widows must have the related documents above for their husband. Medical benefits for U.S. veterans: The disabled veteran can only be treated for the disabilities listed on the Treatment Authorization Sheet from the VA. If the veteran is 100 percent disabled, all dependents will receive total health care, not including dental and glasses.

    The following documents are required:
  1. Current CHAMPUS VA card.
  2. Current ID card for all dependents under the age of 21 and up to 23 years of age if in college with proof of enrollment.
  3. Copy of DD 214
  4. Unmarried widows must have the related documents above for their husband.

E-mail: seguros@ clinicabiblica.com.

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

What are some of the top reasons people are visiting Costa Rica today?


The majority of visitors to Costa Rica come seeking the beaches and water related sports as demonstrated by the fact that 76.6% of exiting respondents have listed this as activities they participated in during their stay.
67.3% participated in the observation of the flora and fauna, of which we assume a majority visited one or several national parks or reserves.
49.2% went on hikes (guided or self-guided)
47.2% listed birdwatching and or other species watching
15.1% went rafting or kayaking
12.6% surfed
7.0% listed special interests.
(72.5%  Declined to state the real reason!)

What is the currency in Costa Rica?


The Costa Rican currency is called Colon, however the plural (colones) is usually used and pronounced "co-LO-ness"
1000 colones equals about $1.70

   

CENTRAL BANK
Reference Rate

JULY 21, 2020

BUY ₡ 573
$586 TO BUY $

 

Sept. 25th, 2020
BUY colones:  594c
BUY u.s.d. $   606c


 

This means 1000 colones equals $1.68 U.S. in most banks.
or multiply the colones amount by 2 and drop the 000
thus 10,000 colones is about $20 - minus 15% when it's over 550 colones, 

so about $18  or exactly $17.45.  However today its higher than its been in years!

To convert Colones to Dollars, you lose on the exchange rate, usually by 12-13 colones, so it will cost 606 colones to exchange into 1 US dollar             
 
You will always need to bring your passport to the bank to convert U.S. dollars into Colones, even $5.
Don't even bother trying to argue, it won't do any good.
 
US dollars are accepted in most tourist places only, if $20 or less but $100 bills are not easy to cash thanks to counterfeiting.
 
Major credit cards are widely accepted, mostly VISA, then Mastercard, occasionally American Express. 
 
Alternatively, many simply use their bank debit cards. If your card says "PLUS" or "CIRRUS" on the back, your card should work fine with many of the automatic tellers in the country.
 
Major banks such as Scotiabank, Interfin, Banco Uno and others have tellers available.
 
Also, the country is dotted with "ATH" cash machines (stands for A Toda Hora or "at all hours").
 
Some people bring Travelers Checks as a protection against theft. DON'T!
Be aware, some small establishments do not accept travelers checks, so it would be wise to change them at your hotel or a bank before you go to remote places in Costa Rica.
They will charge you 1% - 3% for cashing your travelers checks.

Can I drink the water?


Yes, you can drink the water in most areas of Costa Rica, and wash your produce with it, however, ITS ALWAYS A BETTER  IDEA TO BUY BOTTLED WATER.

PLEASE NOTE: Jaco's municipal water is excellent, and is continually tested, by scientists, and by yours truly, monthly.
Bottled water has similar prices to the U.S. but many people do drink the ice-tea and the fruit concentrate "naturales" that's served here, without problems. 
 

Final thoughts: Pure and suitable water for drinking does exist throughout Costa Rica, but don't be a cheapskate and risk jeopardizing your vacation.
Buy the bottles!


What kind of inoculations do I have to take to Costa Rica?


No vaccines are required to enter Costa Rica.

Among the great things about Costa Rica are the many pharmacies that do not require a prescription for most medicines.  And they will sell you a couple of pills instead of having to buy an entire box.  Some pharmacies will even give you shots. The idea is that the pharmacists are very well-trained and this service helps to take pressure off the overextended socialized Costa Rican medical system.

Yes you can buy those little blue pills without a prescription, ahem, (I've been told!)


How do I bring my pet to Costa Rica?


Pets

Important health requirements for dogs and cats 

Dogs and cats entering Costa Rica must have a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, and endorsed by a Veterinary Service (VS) veterinarian.

The examination for the certificate must be conducted within the two weeks prior to travel to Costa Rica.

Health Certificate Statements

  • The dog/cat was examined and found to be healthy and free of any clinical signs of infectious disease.
  • The animal was vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus.

 

Vaccination Requirements

  1. distemper
  2. hepatitis
  3. leptospirosis
  4. parvovirus.
  5. rabies – for animals 4 months or older

 

Requirements

  • The examination for the certificate must be conducted within the two weeks prior to travel to Costa Rica.

  • Please use a State of Federal  US Interstate and International Certificate for Small Animals.

  • Enclose rabies vaccination certificate.

NOTE

  • The Health Certificate does NOT need to be signed by a Notary Public, nor does it have to be authenticated by the Consulate of Costa Rica.

  • Animals exported in commercial lot numbers must be accompanied by an import permit.

  • Goldfish are not required to have health certificates.

 

GOOGLE FOR THE MOST CURRENT INFO, PLEASE!

 

 

 


Costa Rica Business Hours and more tips!


 

Miscellaneous Tips:

These days most banks are open from 9:00am to 3:00pm, ALTHOUGH in some tourist areas, banks will stay open till 6:00pm, such as Banco BAC. 

Some are open on Saturdays 9-1. 

Government offices are open from 8:00am - 4:00pm

Most commercial businesses open from 9:00am until 6:00pm. Stores and other businesses at commercial centers from 10:00am to 8:00pm.

Most restaurants open from 10:00am to 11:00 pm but closed between 3-5. However most Costa Ricans eat dinner after 7:00.   Hotels and some restaurants are open 24 hours.

There is a 13% sales tax at hotels, restaurants and most service industries.
ADVICE: CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR RESTAURANT CHECK ALREADY INCLUDES 13% TAX + 10% TIP (SERVICE CHARGE) ADDED (99.9% OF THEM WILL). 

MANY NEW CREDIT CARD CHARGES HAVE A LINE CALLED "PROPINA" BEFORE THE SIGNATURE SPACE. THIS IS A SNEAKY WAY TO GET FOREIGNERS TO DOUBLE TIP!  I DON'T APPRECIATE THIS AT ALL, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE SERVICE IS LESS THAN SATISFACTORY..

I ALSO URGE YOU TO BE GENEROUS IN TIPPING BECAUSE MOST WORKERS ONLY EARN $1 AN HOUR, $400 A MONTH WITH TIPS.  WHENEVER YOU GET A GREAT SERVER DO TIP WELL, AND BE SURE TO TELL THEM THAT THEIR EXCELLENT SERVICE IS THE REASON.