Travel to Costa Rica from the United States takes approximately 4 hours by airplane. USA passports do not need a visa and are allowed to visit for 90 days. Other countries may have restrictions. For a listing of Visa requirements, please see the Costa Rican National Chamber of Tourism website.

view from Rafiki's Lekker Bar


Having lifted my share of heavy luggage to people's tents, I can tell you that people bring WAY too much baggage to the tropics. The weather is pleasant, so spare yourself the back pain of bringing dress shoes, more than one pair of pants, and more than one long sleeve shirt. San Jose can get a bit chilly but besides that you will not even look at warm clothes. We suggest you bring light weight quick dry clothing. Dinners are casual, flip flops are appropriate footwear. These are the important things that we recommend that you Do bring to Rafiki.


or shoes with good grip

Rafting sandals

or watershoes


and bug spray


Dry bag

for your camera or phone

small backpack

Sun hat

Rash guard

or Water shirt


  The country's climate is usually very pleasant with average temperatures ranging from 25° to 32° C (80° to 90° F) on the coastal regions and 13° to 25° C (55° to 80° F) in the high mountains and San Jose.
On the Pacific slope, the months of December through April are dry. This is the peak tourism time of year due to the perfect sunny days. From May to November, afternoon rains become more prevalent with October and November being quite rainy. While this time of year is wetter than the rest, it also brings cheaper travel fares, availability at lodge, better wildlife viewing, and for those interested in rafting, the river is at its prime!


There are several ways to get to Rafiki. We recommend flying into San Jose. SJO is the airport code. When searching for flight, if you plan to come to Rafiki first, please try to get intop the country as early as possible. IF you flight lands after 2 pm, we suggest you stay in San Jose your first night.

Once in the San Jose, you will have to make your way to Quepos, it is the nearest City to the lodge. This can be with a privatre shuttle. a ride service or small plane. There is a chart below with some options of how to get there. From Quepos we can arrange transportation (via taxi) .  The cost is roughly $100 for private shuttle from Quepos.

You can also rent a car in San Jose. Although it is only about 160 km from San Jose, getting to Quepos can take up to 4 hours depending on the traffic. Lately Google maps and waze have made it a snap to get to us. Just type in Rafiki Safari Lodge, and you will get a route right to us. Apple Maps do not work in Costa Rica.

Here are a couple of basic maps and some travel options below.

Mode of transport
Estimated travel time

Small Plane

$10-110 per person one way20 min to Quepos,

Flights are out of the international airport in San Jose, Arenal or Liberia to the town of Quepos The flights  only take 20 minutes and it is a wonderful way to see the country from the air. After the flight you will need to get a shuttle to get the lodge ($95) or you can have a rental car waiting for you...

Check for flight reservations.

Private Shuttle Bus

$300 to Rafiki

3.5 hoursA Private shuttle bus will pick you up the international airport or any your hotel in San Jose or and drop you off at the lodge. This is the most convienient way, and probably the fastest way to get to Rafiki!
Rental Car
Depends on the car, time of year, type of insurance. Liability insurance is mandatory in Costa Rica, even if your credit card provides such insurance...3-4 hours to the lodgeA Rental Car gives you the most amount of freedom. The downside is you have to navigate yourselves on narrow roads. Things have improved lately and map apps such as google maps and waze have made life much easier. Road signs are merely suggestions in Costa Rica, so aggressive defensive driving is the safest way... Although not for the faint of heart, having your own vessel does make you feel like the captain of your adventure.


 If we don't have a room for you at Rafiki, check to see if we have space at our new beach camp. It is only 45 minutes from Rafiki. The place is called the Rafiki Beach Camp, www.rafikibeach.comFrom the Beach camp you can access Rafiki's tours with day tours. Write us to find out more!

If you have to stay in San Jose for the night, there is a great B&B in Escazu(suburb of San Jose) called the Costa Verde Inn (20 minutes from the Airport). They will pick you up from the airport, provide you with comfortable accomodation and serve you a full breakfast in a wonderful tropical setting. If you stay here, and want to fly to or from Quepos, make sure to book your local flight with Nature Air, it is much closer! 

  Additional Attractions in the area (less than 1 hour away from the lodge)
Matapalo Beach (45 minutes)
There are many secluded beaches in the area, with Matapalo being the most hospitable. This beach has several small hotels and restaurants, and is home to some of the most beautiful sunsets on the planet! Rafiki Beach Camp is Rafiki's new camp on the beach. It offers four safari tents on the beach with a swimming pool and a laid back atmosphere. Getting there by sea kayak is the an unforgetttable experience! See the new website at for further information. You can sign up for our kayak tour, which will allow you to float to the ocean, and spend a few hours on the beach!  
Manuel Antonio
The Quepos/ Manuel Antonio area, is one of the most visited places in Costa Rica. Manuel Antonio National Park offers great wildlife on pristine beaches. While in Quepos you can choose from a variety of tourist attractions ranging from deep sea fishing to visiting Manuel Antonio National Park. The area also features zipline (canopy) tours, snorkeling trips, and hosts some of the areas best night life opportunities.