TRAVELING TO COSTA RICA

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.

WHAT TO BRING

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, coats, hair dryers, 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. These are the important things that we recommend that you Do bring to Rafiki.

Boots

or shoes with good grip

Rafting sandals

or watershoes

Sunscreen

and bug spray

Camera

Dry bag

for your camera or phone

small backpack

Sun hat

Rash guard

or watershoes

WEATHER

  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, availility at lodge, better wildlife viewing, and for those interested in rafting, the river is at its prime!

GETTING TO RAFIKI

There are several ways to get to Rafiki. Quepos is the nearest City. From Quepos we can arrange transportation (via taxi) or you can drive in alone(4X4 is recommended, but not neccesary). Although it is only about 160 km from San Jose, getting to Quepos can take from 25 minutes to over 4 hours depending on the mode of transportation. Lately Google maps has 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.

There are several ways to get to Rafiki. Quepos is the nearest City. From Quepos we can arrange transportation (via taxi) or you can drive in alone(4X4 is recommended, but not neccesary). Although it is only about 160 km from San Jose, getting to Quepos can take from 25 minutes to over 4 hours depending on the mode of transportation. Here are a couple of basic maps and some travel options below.

Mode of transport
Cost
Estimated travel time
Remarks
Nature Air

 

$75-104 per person one way 20 min to Quepos,

 

Nature Air offers flights out of the international airport in San Jose. The flight only takes 20 minutes and it is a wonderful way to see the country from the air. These guys are little more eco friendly, and just friendlier in general... After the flight you will need to get a shuttle to get the lodge ($80) or you can have a rental car waiting for you...

Nature Air to Rafiki

Sansa Airlines

$75-$90 per person
One way

25 min Sansa provides an alternative airline to San Jose. Their terminal is separate from the international airport, so you have a walk a bit to make the transfer.There are several flights a day, but the afternoon flight is sometimes cancelled in the rainy season. Check www.flysansa.com for flight reservations.

Private Shuttle Bus
$200 to Rafiki 3 hours A 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!
Adobe Car Rental    3-4 hours to the lodge!  A rental car gives you the most freedom, and is reccomended if you plan on traveling thoughout the country. The only downside is the you have to negociate the roads by yourself...n $9 a day for a GPS is worth it! 
Bus
$5 1-2 hours The bus leaves from Quepos to the town of Santo Domingo on Tuesdays and Fridays. If you really want a wild local experience, this is the ride for you! 

LOCAL TIPS!

 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! For the 2011-2012 season, it costs $100 with transportation to the hotel included!(check their site for details) 

  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 experienc! See the new website at www.rafikibeach.com 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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