Information about staying at Las Cumbres Inn

When Is the Best Time to Go to Las Cumbres?

Is Las Cumbres Child Friendly?

What Is Las Cumbres Food Like?

Can I take my pet to Las Cumbres?

 

Information about Traveling to Costa Rica

Do I Have To Pay a Departure Tax?

What Documents Do I Need To Visit Costa Rica?

Where Are Costa Rica’s Airports?

 

Information about Staying in Costa Rica

Do I Need an Adapter for My Electronics?

Is It Easy To Get a Sunburn In Costa Rica?

Are There Many Mosquitoes in Costa Rica?

What Kinds of Gifts and Souvenirs Can I Find?

Are there English written newspapers?

Can I use my cell phone in Costa Rica?

Do Costa Ricans speak English?

What is Costa Rica’s time zone?

 

Information about Transportation in Costa Rica

 

Can I Use Public Transportation to Get Around?

Should I Rent a car?

 

Information about Safety in Costa Rica

Is Costa Rica Safe?

Is It Safe To Eat the Local Fruits and Vegetables?

Is the Water Safe to Drink?

Is Costa Rica safe for solo female travelers?

 

Information about Money and Paying in Costa Rica

How Much Do I Tip Drivers And Other Service Workers?

Are Credit Cards Accepted?

Where Can I Exchange Money?

What is the sales tax in Costa Rica?

Do I Tip in Costa Rica?

 

Information about Health in Costa Rica

Do I Need To Take Malaria Pills Or Get Certain Vaccinations?

If I Need Medicine, Can I Easily Get It?

What Are the Medical Facilities Like in Costa Rica?

Is it convenient and safe to plan a medical procedure or surgery during my vacation in Costa Rica

Information about staying at Las Cumbres Inn


When Is the Best Time to Go to Las Cumbres?
Any time is a good time to visit Las Cumbres. Our hotel accommodations are available year-round; just be sure to confirm your booking with enough time, in order to be sure you get the room you want.

Most visitors come during the dry season (December to March). The dry season offers consistently sunny weather, although there are occasionally bouts of rain. Nevertheless, the green season (June to October) boasts beautiful natural landscapes and isn’t to be dismissed lightly.

The green season throughout Costa Rica is usually characterized by morning sun and afternoon rain. However, Costa Rica’s tropical climate and varied terrain does create unpredictable weather patterns throughout the year.

Although there is more rain in the afternoon, during the rainy or “green” season, the areas of Escazú and downtown San Jose are not dramatically affected. Some rain and lightning can be expected, though there are rarely any floods or other rain related disasters to be concerned about.

Is Las Cumbres child friendly?
As a medical recovery retreat, we have no accommodations for children. Our guests here are post-procedure patients recovering from procedures such as tummy tucks, breast augmentation, facelifts, liposuction, dental surgeries among others. Unfortunately, under such circumstances, children do not fit in well.

There are alternatives that we can help you arrange. Do not hesitate to contact us for assistance or advice in this matter.

What Is Las Cumbres Food Like?
You may inform us of your preferred foods and allergies ahead of time, or at check in.

Our foods are healthy, fresh, and have a generally low to medium calorie content. We serve a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.

You are certainly welcome to do some grocery shopping for yourself when you are here. All rooms have a refrigerator and coffeemaker, and many rooms include kitchenettes.

We serve the most delicious meals you can imagine, have always received wonderful comments from our guests. We are well-known, not only for our excellent care, but for our fresh, healthy, carefully cooked meals.

Every morning, we have fresh fruits, cereal, and different breakfast options, such as eggs, gallo pinto, cheese omelets, etc.

Typical lunch and dinner menus feature a protein portion such as salmon, steak, pork chop or chicken with vegetables.

Everything is wrapped up nicely with a sweet dessert that can be anything from cheesecake to chocolate mousse.

We also prepare special meals, such as gluten-free or vegetarian, upon request.

Can I take my pet to Las Cumbres?
Unfortunately, pets are not allowed. Unlike a tourist hotel, we work under antibacterial conditions with post-operative medicine and medical/hypoallergenic supplies. Our guests here are post-surgery patients recovering from dental procedures or surgical procedures such as tummy tucks, breast augmentation, facelifts, liposuction, etc. and pets do not fit in well.

Information about Traveling to Costa Rica


Do I Have To Pay a Departure Tax?
Yes. Everyone leaving Costa Rica through SJO or LIR airports must pay a $29.00 departure tax.

Most major airlines now include this fee in the price of the ticket, though you should check ahead of time. This fee can be paid at the airport, if not included in the flight purchase. The departure tax counter is always open and can be paid in U.S. Dollars, Costa Rican Colónes, or Visa debit/credit cards. Paying at either airport usually takes about 10 minutes.

What Documents Do I Need To Visit Costa Rica?
To visit Costa Rica, all you need is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the entry date to Costa Rica. In most cases, a return airline ticket to leave Costa Rica within 90 days of your arrival is also requested.

Citizens from the United States, Canada, and most European countries don’t need a visa to enter Costa Rica.

To find specific visa requirements or restrictions on your home country, visit the Costa Rican embassy page.

Where Are Costa Rica’s Airports?
There are two international airports in Costa Rica: the Juan Santa María International Airport (SJO), which is in Alajuela, and the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR), which is located in Liberia.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please choose the SJO airport as your place of arrival if you are planning on traveling directly to Las Cumbres Inn. Liberia is located approximately 5 hours away from San Jose and for this reason we do not offer transportation to or from LIR airport.

Passing through immigration at the international airports is usually stress-free. Once you arrive, our VIP welcoming service will greet you as soon as you enter the main lobby. This person will help you collect your luggage, after which you will pass through a checkpoint where officials X-ray baggage and collect customs forms. After this, you’ll be able to leave the terminal and meet our driver outside.

Usually travelers can expect it to take about 45 minutes to exit the airport after they land.

Information about Staying in Costa Rica


Do I Need an Adapter for My Electronics?
The voltage in Costa Rica is 110 volts – the same as in the United States. Simply plug your device into the wall outlet. You may find adapters that change outlets from two to three-pronged outlets useful for travelers from outside the United States.

You will only need to bring an adapter if you have devices that require European outlets.

Is It Easy To Get a Sunburn In Costa Rica?
We recommend you use sunscreen if going on a walk around Escazu or San Jose. We can also provide you with wide-brimmed hats if you cannot use sunscreen or want extra protection. However, the sun is not as strong in the Central Valley as it is on the coasts.

Are There Many Mosquitoes in Costa Rica?
As a tropical location, mosquitoes are common in Costa Rica, though mostly during the green season (June to October). Mosquitoes are more common in the Caribbean because of the warm, humid climate.

Escazú is located in San Jose’s Central Highlands, therefore you won’t have to worry about swarms of mosquitos.

What Kinds of Gifts and Souvenirs Can I Find?
In Costa Rica, you’ll find amazing coffee, hand-crafted wooden bowls, figurines, jewelry boxes, T-shirts, colorful beach towels, sheets, paintings and more.

You can go to several gift shops in Escazú or take a day trip to San Jose where you will have access to an even larger number of stores that specifically cater to souvenirs and crafts. The SJO airport also has a wide selection of shops, however, the prices are significantly higher.

Are there English written newspapers?
There is one called The Tico Times. You can find the digital version at http://www.ticotimes.net/

Can I use my cell phone in Costa Rica?
If you have an unlocked smart phone, you can purchase a Costa Rican SIM card with a local number.

You can also arrange your phone for international calls through your home carrier. Cell service is usually good in San Jose and decent outside of the major cities.

If you don’t have an international plan, be sure to check with your provider about roaming charges before you arrive, as it can be expensive if turned on while overseas.

Do Costa Ricans speak English?
Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica, however, you will notice that many Costa Rican speak some level of English, from the basics to near fluency.

It is very easy to find doctors and medical staff who speak English. Las Cumbres has a fully bilingual staff as far as the manager, receptionist, nurses, and drivers. Cleaning and kitchen staff are not fluent, but will understand your requests.

What is Costa Rica’s time zone?
Costa Rica does not use daylight savings time. It operates at GMT-6 year-round. From mid-March through early November, Costa Rica is in the Mountain Standard (MST) time zone. The rest of the year, Costa Rica is in the U.S. Central Standard (CST) time zone.

Information about Transportation in Costa Rica


Can I Use Public Transportation to Get Around?
Public buses are the most common means of transportation for Costa Ricans and connect nearly every city and town. Public buses are economical, but are less comfortable, slower, and less secure for your belongings.

Additionally, they are not the most appropriate mean of transportation for when you are fresh out of a medical or dental procedure.

Regarding our private transportation and taxi rides, Las Cumbres will arrange all transportation to appointments, running errands, shopping or even sightseeing upon request.

Our transportation rates are set amounts, therefore you will not need to worry about taximeter or other fees.

Should I Rent a car?
Renting a car in Costa Rica will give you the freedom and flexibility to travel wherever  you please. Price ranges can differ greatly from one company to another. Please do not hesitate to ask us for help with finding the best option for car rentals.

You should note that both road infrastructure and laws differ greatly from American, Canadian, and European standards. Our roads are not commonly marked with streets names. We recommend getting a GPS system with the car so you can avoid navigation difficulties.

Also, due to rugged terrain, curvy single lane roads, and slow moving trucks, it will take you longer to get most places than the actual distance would seem to indicate. Be prepared to stay focused on the road and drive defensively.

If you are thinking of doing some sightseeing or going on tours, there are plenty of tourism companies that provide pick up / drop off service here at Las Cumbres. You can also consider getting a private driver for the day.

Our receptionist can help you with either of the above options.

Information about Safety in Costa Rica


Is Costa Rica Safe?
Costa Rica is quite safe. You will feel welcomed by the “pura vida“ culture that Costa Ricans (or Ticos) are famous for, as soon as you arrive.

There are, however, a few precautions that are recommended:

– Only use licensed taxis or transportation we arrange.

– Carry a copy of your passport, rather than the original. Keep your important documents and other valuable objects in the in-room safe.

– If you are going out, especially at night, avoid wearing obviously expensive jewelry.

– Don’t go out with large amounts of cash if you don’t really need to. Most places of interest, including physician’s and dentist’s offices, accept credit or debit cards.

– Although people can be the friendliest and nicest, always use common sense. Don’t let yourself be a victim of a street scam.

– Avoid leaving the hotel premises for walks after dark.

Overall, crime is not a critical problem around here. However, it’s best to be safe and avoid placing yourself in dangerous situations. Please visit the reception to ask about the best places and times to go sightseeing or to get a taxi. We are always happy to help.

Is It Safe To Eat the Local Fruits and Vegetables?
It is very safe to eat the fruits and vegetables in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is an agricultural country. There are many small farms throughout the country that grow products to sell at farmers markets, along the side of the road, or to local supermarkets. We recommend exploring local markets around San Jose downtown or in Escazú to see and sample the diversity of Costa Rica’s bounty.

Is the Water Safe to Drink?
Yes. Tap water is safe to drink here, however, chlorine and other chemicals are put in it and can make the taste less than appetizing. We recommend buying bottled water to ensure appealing water.

We provide bottled water tanks at the common areas that can be used to refill your water bottle for no extra charge. Additionally, our Studio Rooms, the Deluxe Suites and Mini Suites feature a small tank of bottled water in the room, that can be replaced as many times as you need.

Is Costa Rica safe for solo female travelers?
Costa Rica has a good reputation for safe travel. Women traveling alone rarely encounter problems.

In any case, remember that Las Cumbres will always arrange your transportation to appointments, sightseeing, or errands so that you don’t have to worry about finding the right taxis or getting lost.  

We can also help you out if you are going on a city tour, or simply walking around the neighborhood. We give careful directions and a way to contact us so that you know where you’re going and feel safe.

One thing we can assure is, you will never feel lonely or bored. There are always plenty of other guests to meet and socialize with, while you are here.

Information about Money and Paying in Costa Rica


How Much Do I Tip Drivers And Other Service Workers?
We work with several official taxi drivers and one official hotel driver. The red-taxi drivers are not included in the hotel’s gratuity amount that reflects on your bill at checkout, therefore, it is up to you if you tip them or not.

Hotel cleaning staff and nurses are contemplated in the gratuity.

Most of the time a tip it is not expected by drivers or service workers, but is certainly appreciated.

Are Credit Cards Accepted?
Credit cards are widely accepted in Costa Rica, in all established businesses.

If you plan on using your credit card or debit card frequently, it is very important to tell your bank that you will be in Costa Rica, before you leave. Banks often automatically block transactions in foreign countries in order to protect your account.

Also, be sure to check with your credit card company to see if there are additional fees for international transactions. Many credit cards do not charge an additional fee for purchases in foreign countries, while others do add additional transaction fees. Often, it’s about 1-2% of the total transaction cost.

Where Can I Exchange Money?
Costa Rica’s official currency is the Colón. However, U.S. Dollars are still widely accepted throughout the country. Be sure to carry low denomination bills. Bills under $20.00 are more commonly accepted.

Money can be exchanged in both public and private banks. Your passport will be required.

What is the sales tax in Costa Rica?
The sales tax is 13%.

Always check in stores and restaurants whether the sales tax is included in their pricing. Otherwise, it will be added to your bill when you pay.

Do I Tip in Costa Rica?
For transactions involving service, a 10% service tax is added to your bill, especially in restaurants. Check to see if this service tax is included in the prices listed. The service tax takes the place of tips in Costa Rica. You are not expected to tip additionally in restaurants or taxis, though they are appreciated.

Information about Health in Costa Rica


Do I Need To Take Malaria Pills Or Get Certain Vaccinations?
No immunizations, shots or vaccinations are required to enter Costa Rica from North America or Europe, though we always suggest following your doctor’s suggestions.

If I Need Medicine, Can I Easily Get It?
Yes. We are located near many pharmacies and some even offer express delivery for your commodity at no extra cost. The nurse will assist you if you are in need of painkillers or other medicines.

The majority of medications – with the exception of antibiotics and heavy pain killers – can usually be purchased without a prescription. Your doctor or dentist will provide you with a prescription note if necessary.

What Are the Medical Facilities Like in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica has universal health care that entitles all citizens to medical treatment, a fact that ranks the country very high in worldwide health care standards.

In addition to public health care centers, there are three large, private hospitals that most medical tourists in Costa Rica use: CIMA hospital in Escazú, Clinica Biblica in San José, and Hospital La Católica in Guadalupe.

By almost any standard, Costa Rica has some of the best health care in Latin America. Not only that, but systems are constantly being upgraded: new buildings, new equipment, and improvements in staff training.

A full range of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures are available in several modern clinics. With the addition of contemporary laser technology, the ability of Costa Rica’s plastic and cosmetic surgeons to provide world-class services is undoubtable.

At the same time, you can find dental procedures, from simple fillings to complicated multiple implants and periodontal work, in many dentist offices in Costa Rica. Dentists here are as qualified and skilled as dentists anywhere. Many have studied in the U.S. too!

In general, prices are much lower than in the United States, averaging around 50% of the cost.

Is it convenient and safe to plan a medical procedure or surgery during my vacation in Costa Rica?
Yes, combining your medical needs with the pleasure of a vacation is convenient and safe. We encourage you to visit some of the beautiful places in the country and have a wonderful time. You can plan your vacation before or after your medical procedure, depending on the need and scope of the medical work that will be done.