Frequently Asked Questions

Traveling to and within Costa Rica is very easy. With all options of transportation readily available in Costa Rica nothing can stop you from exploring this amazing country. Important information on how to make your travels as easy, affordable and safe please consider the following information. Find what you need to know to ensure a safe travel. Costa Rica is a very popular travel destinations, as with all travels worldwide to best ensure a safe travel it is recommended to become familiar with medical, safety, and general travel information provided herein.

 

 What are Hostel Casa Colon Check In and Check out times?

 Check-In: 3:00 pm

 Check-Out: 11:00am

 

 

Do you have secure parking?

 Yes we do offer 24 hour parking service, and it’s no charge for our guest

 

 

Is breakfast included?

 The breakfast it’s included in all the Privates rooms, in the shared dorms are not included but have the option to buy it on the morning. The breakfast it served from 6:00am to 9:30am

 

Can I exchange money at the hostel?

Yes we do, also in front of the Hostel is located a Bank and cross the street and exchange house.

 

 Is allowed to smoke on the Hostel?

Smoking is prohibited inside the Hostel, in Costa Rica exist Very strict non-smoking legislation, therefore we would appreciate collaborating with our policies.

 

What are your Cancellations and Refund Policies? 

All cancellations must be received by email 24 hours prior to arrival date for a fully refundable payment.

 Cancellations received within the 24 hours prior to arrival will be refunded only 50% of payment.

 Cancellations received less than 24 hours before arrivals, will result in a one night penalty fee per person booked.

 The same will apply to “No Shows”.

  Emergencies

  • 911: Is for any type of emergency, the operator will then connect the person with the police, ambulance service, firefighters, or the OIJ (Costa Rica's FBI).
  • 118: This will conncet directly to the fire brigade known as bomberos.
  • 128: This will connect directly to red cross.
  • 800/2376-4266: For drug control police in the OIJ.

    For car accidents or stolen vehicles you will need to call:
  • 2222-9330/9245: For the Transit police.
  • 800-8000: For car insurance support call INS.

    If someone is a tourist call the Instituto Costariccense de Turismo (ICT), the Costa Rican tourism board, has set up a special 24 hour hotline: 800-868-7476 or 800-997-4766.

  Crime and security

  • Most crimes can be avoided if one keeps on ones toes. Here are some Safety tips that can literally save your life or at least safe you from an unwanted situation:
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings, especially while driving.
  • Avoid bad areas of town that are known for high rates of crime and appear on the news frequently. Try not to live in these areas.
  • Always tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back. If you are not going to be back in time make a call to that person explaining why. If you do not call the other person will know something is wrong.
  • It is sad to say, but don't trust anyone you do not know.
  • Never leave anything of value in a visible location, even just for a moment.
  • Do not flash all of your belongings if you have ipods, cameras, laptops, and fancy cell phones try to be cautious of who is around you when you take them out to use them.
  • Do not drink and drive, not only is it against the law but you could seriously injure or kill someone else or yourself.
  • If someone suspicious approaches your vehicle while you are stopped at a traffic light or sign, honk the horn in a way that draws attention.
  • Never carry your actual passport with you. However, you must make a copy of the front page and the page that contains your entry stamp from immigration in case you are stopped by any officials.
  • Just because a person speaks your native language does not mean you should trust them. In fact, beware of overly friendly people.
  • If you become lost, try to find a public place, like a service station, in order to read your map or ask for directions. Stay calm.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers under any circumstances. Even women with children hitchhikers can be an unsafe move. There are plenty of buses and taxis that are affordable.
  • Be extremely cautious when using an ATM. Try to not be alone, stay in areas that are well lit, do not flaunt your money around, do not take out excessive amounts of cash, and try not to use ATMs at night.
  • If you suspect that you are being followed, head immediately to the nearest well lit public area and call the police.
  • Keep a close eye on your drink and do not receive any closed beverage that has been opened already, especially for women.
  • If someone is armed then take the threat seriously. If you feel your life is at risk try and make the person see you more as a person and less of a target. Tell them as many personal things you can, tell them about your family and ask them about theirs.
  • When encountering a threatening or hostile individual, do NOT resist. If that person wants is your belongings so give them to them; NOTHING you carry is worth your life or serious injury. In case of emergency call 911 from any telephone. 911 operators may not know English so try and know some basic emergency Spanish.

  Border Crossings

There are several border crossings. This process can take between one and three hours depending on how crowded it is because of waiting in line, possible bag searches, buying legal stamps, making photocopies and attaining entry and exit stamps on both sides.

Nicaraguan Border:
To the north, border crossings are available via Penas Blancas along the Pacific Coast, just north of the city of La Cruz on the Pan American Highway. Twice a week one can also cross the Nicaraguan border via Los Chiles

  • Penas Blancas open from 6 am - 10 pm (Mon - Fri); 6 am - 8 pm on Sat & Sun.
  • Los Chiles open only Mo & Tue 3pm via San Carlos with a boats to/from Grenada across the lake of Nicaragua

Panamanian Border:
To the south, border crossings are available via Paso Canoas close to the Pacific Coast

  • Paso Canoas has the same hours of operation, 6 am - 10 pm (Mon - Fri); 6 am - 8 pm on Sat & Sun.
  • Sixaola supposed to be open during the same office hours as Paso Canoas

Approximate Fees:
Going into Nicaragua

  • $7 US at the Costa Rica immigration desk for exiting Costa Rica
  • $3 US at the Nicaragua immigration for entering Nicaragua

Going into Costa Rica

  • $1 US at Nicaragua gate for exiting Nicaragua
  • $0 US (yes, tourists are free) for entering Costa Rica

Panama

  • $1 US at the immigration desk.
  • $4 US at customs.

  What are the entry requirements?

  • Passport valid 6 months beyond intended stay in Costa Rica.
  • Ticket for return or onward travel.
  • Visa is not required for stay up to 90 days for citizens from the following countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France and dependences, Germany, Greece, Holland and dependencies, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America and Uruguay.
  • Visa is not required for stay up to 30 days for citizens from the following countries. During the stay it is possible to solicit an extension which allows a stay up to 90 days: Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Czech Republic, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, San Cristobal/Nevis, San Marino, St. Lucia, St Vincent, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Suriname, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vatican, Venezuela.
  • Visa is required for citizens of all countries not listed above, and must be obtained from a Costa Rican embassy or consulate before traveling there.
  • Adults and children (from 0 - 16 years old)(*) require the following documents below to enter Costa Rica:
  • A passport valid for at least 6 months(**)
  • Aa pre-paid airline ticket to exit Costa Rica or proof of financial resources ($400.00US - $1,000.00US in cash, traveler checks, and/or credit cards) to pay for the market value of a one-way airline ticket (either to return to your home country or to go to another country)
  • A visa (if required)
  • Required entry documents vary for citizens of Canada and the United States of America

  When is the best time to travel?

The travel industry designates several business seasons during the year: High Season (related to the dry season, from December until April), Peak season (Christmas, New Year and Easter), and the Green Season (also called the Low Season -related to the rainy season, from May until November). If you live in the Northern Climates, you will probably consider winter the only time to visit. However, persons from others areas of North America and Europe find the rest of the year equally pleasant. They also find it quite a bit more affordable. Other vacationers just prefer the country when there are fewer tourists -during the Green Season.

  What are the business hours?

Most banks are open from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and do not close for lunch. Credit cards are widely accepted, with Visa, MasterCard, Dinners and American Express being the most popular. Government offices are open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Most commercial business open from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Stores and other businesses at commercial centers from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Most restaurants open from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm. Hotels and some restaurants are open 24 hours.

  What taxes should I pay?

There is a Departure tax is US $29.00, can be paid in US Dollars, colones or with a credit cards. There is a 13% sales tax at hotels, restaurants and most service industries, and an additional 3% tourist tax at hotels.

  Is the water drinkable in Costa Rica?

The water is potable in most of the country. We recommend using bottled water, specially in areas around the coast.

  What is the currency in Costa Rica?

The Costa Rican currency is called Colon. US dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted.

  Are credit cards accepted in Costa Rica?

Are credit cards accepted in Costa Rica? All major credit cards are widely accepted. You will find ATM machined distributed throughout the country.

  Do I need an electric adapter?

Outlets are 110 V, with standard US two prong plugs.