San Jose Stopover

4 Days from $515

START: San Jose

FINISH: San Jose

AGES: Over 15

THEME: Short Breaks

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Description

Take four days to find the true Costa Rica on a city escapade in sultry San Jose. Savour a stopover in the country’s capital by discovering the historical neighbourhoods and markets jammed with local treasures and colourful characters. See more of the area by whizzing through the mountains by train to sleepy Cartago and exploring its colonial streets by bike. Let San Jose surprise you with its cultural richness and culinary flair as you get a local look around town.

Start: San Jose

Finish: San Jose

Ages: Over 15

Theme: Short Breaks

Accommodation: Hotel (3 nights)

Destination: San Jose

Highlights

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See San Jose the local way with time to get under the skin of this Costa Rican centre. With the best bits organised and plenty of time to explore by yourself, you’ll get to know the real San Jose.
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Wander through San Jose’s massive Central Market, tasting exotic fruits and learning the secrets behind a proper cup of Costa Rican coffee with your expert local guide.
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Get active with an included short hike up the hills of San Jose, a train ride on the Atlantic Railroad and a guided bike ride through the laidback beauty of Cartago.

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icon check Day 1 : San Jose

Hola and welcome to Costa Rica! A welcome pack will be waiting at the hotel including all the information you need for your tour. With over half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a bustling capital city with lively markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. A good place to start exploring is the main plaza – ideal for some people watching. Artisanal booths are common here and you never know when there'll be a spontaneous art fair. If there's time, perhaps have a look at the Gold Museum and see its amazing collection of indigenous gold art, or head to the outdoor markets at Plaza de la Cultura and Central Market, where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood.

icon check Day 2 : San Jose

Rise early and meet your local leader at the Borbons Market for a food tour. There’s no better place to experience local cuisine and the colourful characters that sell it than at some of San Jose’s bustling marketplaces, full to the brim with traditional and fresh Costa Rican food and drink. Here you can sample local delicacies, learn about the herbs used in local medicines, and hear about the unique chorreado coffee brewing method while sipping on your second (or even third!) coffee of the day. Your expert local guide will take you past different stalls, tasting as you go, so you can better understand the coffee and food culture of Costa Rica and unearth all the secrets hidden in the markets. Who knows – you may even have the opportunity to test out the local lingo!

icon check Day 3 : San Jose

Get ready for another early start, this time meeting another local leader near Espana Park. There’s a lot of ground to cover today so the group will be meeting at 7 am sharp. Grab a cup of coffee and then take a 10-minute hike into the hills of San Jose, arriving at the Atlantic Railroad, where you’ll hop on a train. This scenic 45-minute journey travels past the San Jose University campus, through coffee plantations and deeper into the mountains. At the end of the journey lies beautiful Cartago – a historic town where many of the locals still get around by bike, and what you’ll be doing too! Saddle up and then cycle the streets, stopping to visit the key sites with your leader. Pull up at the Cartago Central Market for another round of delicious local food before catching a local bus back to San Jose. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore. Perhaps freshen up and get back out into San Jose this evening with dinner in the trendy Barrio Amon.

icon check Day 4 : San Jose

With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave the accommodation at any time, provided you comply with the hotel’s internal check-out times.

What's Included?icon readmoreicon minus

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Meals

3 Breakfasts
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Transport

Train, Bicycle
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Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights)
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Included Activities

  • San Jose - Cartago Bike & Train Tour - Urban Adventures

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Starts
Ends
Price
Availability
Nov 24, 2019
Nov 27, 2019
$1,000
Fully Booked
Nov 25, 2019
Nov 28, 2019
$1,000
Fully Booked
Nov 26, 2019
Nov 29, 2019
$1,000
Fully Booked
Nov 27, 2019
Nov 30, 2019
$1,000
Available
Nov 28, 2019
Dec 01, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 01, 2019
Dec 04, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 02, 2019
Dec 05, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 03, 2019
Dec 06, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 04, 2019
Dec 07, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 05, 2019
Dec 08, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 08, 2019
Dec 11, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 09, 2019
Dec 12, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 13, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 14, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 12, 2019
Dec 15, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 15, 2019
Dec 18, 2019
$1,000
Available
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Dec 19, 2019
$1,000
Available
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Dec 20, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 18, 2019
Dec 21, 2019
$1,000
Available
Dec 19, 2019
Dec 22, 2019
$1,000
Available
Jan 06, 2020
Jan 09, 2020
$975
Available
Jan 07, 2020
Jan 10, 2020
$975
Available
Jan 08, 2020
Jan 11, 2020
$975
Available
Jan 09, 2020
Jan 12, 2020
$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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Feb 07, 2020
$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
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$975
Available
Jun 20, 2021
Jun 23, 2021
$975
Available
Jun 21, 2021
Jun 24, 2021
$975
Available
Jun 22, 2021
Jun 25, 2021
$975
Available
Jun 23, 2021
Jun 26, 2021
$975
Available
Jun 24, 2021
Jun 27, 2021
$975
Available
Jun 27, 2021
Jun 30, 2021
$975
Available
Jun 28, 2021
Jul 01, 2021
$975
Available
Jun 29, 2021
Jul 02, 2021
$975
Available
Jun 30, 2021
Jul 03, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 01, 2021
Jul 04, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 04, 2021
Jul 07, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 05, 2021
Jul 08, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 06, 2021
Jul 09, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 07, 2021
Jul 10, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 08, 2021
Jul 11, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 11, 2021
Jul 14, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 12, 2021
Jul 15, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 13, 2021
Jul 16, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 14, 2021
Jul 17, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 15, 2021
Jul 18, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 18, 2021
Jul 21, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 19, 2021
Jul 22, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 20, 2021
Jul 23, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 21, 2021
Jul 24, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 22, 2021
Jul 25, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 25, 2021
Jul 28, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 26, 2021
Jul 29, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 27, 2021
Jul 30, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 28, 2021
Jul 31, 2021
$975
Available
Jul 29, 2021
Aug 01, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 01, 2021
Aug 04, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 02, 2021
Aug 05, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 03, 2021
Aug 06, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 04, 2021
Aug 07, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 05, 2021
Aug 08, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 08, 2021
Aug 11, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 09, 2021
Aug 12, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 10, 2021
Aug 13, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 11, 2021
Aug 14, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 12, 2021
Aug 15, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 15, 2021
Aug 18, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 16, 2021
Aug 19, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 17, 2021
Aug 20, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 18, 2021
Aug 21, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 19, 2021
Aug 22, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 22, 2021
Aug 25, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 23, 2021
Aug 26, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 24, 2021
Aug 27, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 25, 2021
Aug 28, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 26, 2021
Aug 29, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 29, 2021
Sep 01, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 30, 2021
Sep 02, 2021
$975
Available
Aug 31, 2021
Sep 03, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 01, 2021
Sep 04, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 02, 2021
Sep 05, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 05, 2021
Sep 08, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 06, 2021
Sep 09, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 07, 2021
Sep 10, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 08, 2021
Sep 11, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 09, 2021
Sep 12, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 12, 2021
Sep 15, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 19, 2021
Sep 22, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 20, 2021
Sep 23, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 21, 2021
Sep 24, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 22, 2021
Sep 25, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 23, 2021
Sep 26, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 26, 2021
Sep 29, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 27, 2021
Sep 30, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 28, 2021
Oct 01, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 29, 2021
Oct 02, 2021
$975
Available
Sep 30, 2021
Oct 03, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 03, 2021
Oct 06, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 04, 2021
Oct 07, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 05, 2021
Oct 08, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 06, 2021
Oct 09, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 07, 2021
Oct 10, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 10, 2021
Oct 13, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 11, 2021
Oct 14, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 12, 2021
Oct 15, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 13, 2021
Oct 16, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 14, 2021
Oct 17, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 17, 2021
Oct 20, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 18, 2021
Oct 21, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 19, 2021
Oct 22, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 20, 2021
Oct 23, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 21, 2021
Oct 24, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 24, 2021
Oct 27, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 25, 2021
Oct 28, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 26, 2021
Oct 29, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 27, 2021
Oct 30, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 28, 2021
Oct 31, 2021
$975
Available
Oct 31, 2021
Nov 03, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 01, 2021
Nov 04, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 02, 2021
Nov 05, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 03, 2021
Nov 06, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 04, 2021
Nov 07, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 07, 2021
Nov 10, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 08, 2021
Nov 11, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 09, 2021
Nov 12, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 10, 2021
Nov 13, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 11, 2021
Nov 14, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 14, 2021
Nov 17, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 15, 2021
Nov 18, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 16, 2021
Nov 19, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 17, 2021
Nov 20, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 18, 2021
Nov 21, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 21, 2021
Nov 24, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 22, 2021
Nov 25, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 23, 2021
Nov 26, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 24, 2021
Nov 27, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 25, 2021
Nov 28, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 28, 2021
Dec 01, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 29, 2021
Dec 02, 2021
$975
Available
Nov 30, 2021
Dec 03, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 01, 2021
Dec 04, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 02, 2021
Dec 05, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 05, 2021
Dec 08, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 06, 2021
Dec 09, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 07, 2021
Dec 10, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 08, 2021
Dec 11, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 09, 2021
Dec 12, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 12, 2021
Dec 15, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 13, 2021
Dec 16, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 14, 2021
Dec 17, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 15, 2021
Dec 18, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 16, 2021
Dec 19, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 19, 2021
Dec 22, 2021
$975
Available
Dec 20, 2021
Dec 23, 2021
$975
Available

Important Detailsicon readmoreicon minus

icon readmoreicon minusJoining Point

Autentico Hotel

Calle 40 with the corner of Avenida 5

San Jose

10101

COSTA RICA

Phone: +506 22225266

icon readmoreicon minusFinishing Point

Autentico Hotel

Calle 40 with the corner of Avenida 5

San Jose

10101

COSTA RICA

Phone: +506 22225266

icon readmoreicon minusPhysical preparation

None of the activities featured in this trip require special training or skills, just a reasonable level of fitness and a willingness to participate. Cobblestones and uneven roads are common and you may be required to walk in hot and humid conditions. If you are in any doubt, please share these concerns or issues with your sales consultant so that your leader is aware prior and can pre-empt your needs.

icon readmoreicon minusImportant information

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.

2. This Short Break Adventure is a ‘join in’ group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader. Instead, our local representative in each location will fill this role and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip. This trip will run with a minimum of one person, so you may be joined by other travellers booked on the same date as you, or you may be on your own.

3. Please be careful when booking flights to/from San Jose; make sure you fly into/out of Juan Santamaria International Airport [SJO]. Please do not book flights to/from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport [SJC] as this is located in California, United States.

icon readmoreicon minusGroup leader

The aim of our local guides is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. On this Short Break Adventure you will get to enjoy the variety of having someone different for each day and/or activity. They will be able to provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and, where possible, introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

icon readmoreicon minusSafety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-field

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

MONEY WITHDRAWAL: In order to avoid fraud and theft, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

WATER SAFETY: Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.

LOCAL LODGINGS: On this trip you will be staying in some restored houses and local lodges - these are one of the charms of this journey, but their staircases, balconies and passages etc may not always comply with western safety standards. Please do not expect elevators in these properties as they are preserved to their original state.

FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

icon readmoreicon minusVisas

If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the 'Money Matters' section of this document. 

Costa Rica - Passport holders from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and The United States of America are not required to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Some nationalities will require a visa but be aware that you cannot get it at the border. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Costa Rica for the most up to date information. To enter the country visitors are required to have a return or onward travel ticket. Visitors generally get a 90-day stamp in their passport upon entering Costa Rica.

USA Visa Waiver - Applicable if arriving via the United States of America.

Many countries now operate under a visa waiver program, meaning a visa isn't required, however you still need to obtain an authorisation which confirms that you have been approved to travel. This authorisation must be obtained in advance of travel. See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visa-waiver-program.html

All travellers from Visa Waiver Program countries must obtain an electronic travel authorization prior to their flight from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov

All ESTA registration applications or renewals require a US$14 fee to paid by card. Apply for ESTA no later than 72 hours (we recommend 1 week prior to travel) before departing for the USA. Real-time approvals will no longer be available and arriving at the airport without a previously approved ESTA will likely result in being denied boarding. If there are any discrepancies between the name on your ESTA, your passport, your tickets or even your frequent flyer membership, you may be detained at Immigration and subject to a secondary inspection which could take a few hours. If you have recently changed your name, please check that your details have been updated everywhere.

If you are from a country eligible for the visa waiver program but are a dual citizen of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan, or if you have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan since 01 March 2011, you will not longer be eligible for the visa waiver program and will instead need to apply for a non-immigrant visa. Please see the Department of State website for more information: http://travel.state.gov//content/travel/en.html

icon readmoreicon minusWhy we love it

See San Jose the local way with time to get under the skin of this Costa Rican centre. With the best bits organised and plenty of time to explore by yourself, you’ll get to know the real San Jose.

Wander through San Jose’s massive Central Market, tasting exotic fruits and learning the secrets behind a proper cup of Costa Rican coffee with your expert local guide.

Get active with an included short hike up the hills of San Jose, a train ride on the Atlantic Railroad and a guided bike ride through the laidback beauty of Cartago.

icon readmoreicon minusIs this trip right for you

This trip is what we call a Short Break Adventure – a getaway that’s all organised but doesn’t have the same structure as what you may expect from an Intrepid trip. Each day a small-group day tour is scheduled, you’ll be met by a local representative. Your transfers and accommodation are all taken care of, but you won’t have a group leader or the same travel pals for the duration of your break. The best thing is that these trips run on a join-in basis, which means there’s a minimum of one person to guarantee a departure – so you could get this local knowledge all to yourself!

Learn the lingo with an informal lesson in the Spanish language. From Hola to Hasta Luego to the all-important phrases – like how to order a cerveza!

Costa Rica is tropical, so expect a hot and humid climate and heavy rain depending on the season. Make sure you protect yourself from the sun and/or rain, wear comfortable, light clothing and stay hydrated – especially when out on walking tours.

icon readmoreicon minusHealth

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

ZIKA VIRUS:

There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip.

YELLOW FEVER

A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

icon readmoreicon minusFood and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.

Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.

More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets we understand your dietary requirements are important, however,  sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home. 

icon readmoreicon minusMoney matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document). 

The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

CONTINGENCY FUNDS:

We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to the equivalent of an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

MEALS NOT INCLUDED:

For this trip we recommend between USD 25 to 50 per day. How do we work this out?

Breakfast - If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café.

Lunch - If you are happy with a quick snack on the go, you may get away with as little as USD5 to USD10 for a set menu at a local eatery or a sandwich and a drink at a café. On the other hand, a lunch meal at a more tourist restaurant can cost between USD10 to USD15.

Dinner - At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget, are happy to eat just local food and are not afraid of an upset tummy every now and then, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.

CREDIT CARDS & ATMs:

ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities across Latin America. Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to and what their fees and charges are. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. If bringing over cash, please note USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.

CURRENCY INFORMATION:

Costa Rica currency information - The official currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colón (CRC). You can pay with major credit and debit cards at many hotels, restaurants and stores. You can use major credit cards and some debit cards to withdraw colones from ATMs and over the counter at banks. US dollars are widely accepted except for taxi fares (so if you arrive by plane please ensure you get some local currency at the airport before taking a taxi).

Costa Rica is the most expensive country in Central America, particularly compared with its neighbouring countries Nicaragua and Panama. Expect meals, souvenirs and optional activities to cost as much as they would in western countries. That said, Costa Rica has done a great job of looking after its natural wonders yet maximising their potential as tourist attractions. So, while optional activities are pricey, you can expect a high standard of service, well maintained gear, clear paths and signalling and well trained local guides that allow you to make the most of every activity.

DEPARTURE TAX:

In most countries you must pay an airport departure tax. Nowadays, these departure taxes are added into the cost of your airline tickets and paid for at the time of purchase.

Unless mentioned below, no airport departure tax has to be paid during this trip.

Costa Rica – There is no entry fee. If you exit Costa Rica overland, there is a US$7 departure tax. If you exit Costa Rica by air, a departure tax of US$29 is normally included in the cost of your ticket. Check with your airline.

TIPPING

If you're happy with the service you receive, providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations. 

The recommended tipping amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers. We do however recommend that you tip in the local currency - Hold on to your smaller notes and coins to make tipping easier. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

- Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$5. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% of your bill.

- Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide. We suggest US$3-5 per passenger per day.

- Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest US$3-6 per day for drivers.

- Local guides: There might be times during the trip where you’ll have a specialist local guide. We suggest tipping these guides about USD$2-3 per day.

In total, we recommend you budget approx USD$5-10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

icon readmoreicon minusWhat to take

Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 15-20kg for check in luggage and a maximum of 5kg for carry on.

Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip:

ESSENTIAL:

- Warm as well as light clothing. Central America is often assumed to have hot weather, but it can get cold in the countryside, mountains and at night in the winter so we suggest you check the expected temperatures en route and bring clothing that you can layer

- Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings

- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

RECOMMENDED:

- Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, travel insurance etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary

- Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments

- Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com)

- Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and Band-Aids.

- Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both

- Swimwear

- Travel beach towel

- Tissues &/or toilet paper &/or wet wipes

- Insect repellent

- Camera with spare memory card, charger &/or batteries

OPTIONAL:

- Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate

- Phrase book

VALUABLES:

Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your safe if available. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden.

LAUNDRY:

Laundry is available at many hotels and towns during this trip, although you might need to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry at hotels is usually charged by the item, laundromats usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (about USD 2 per kilo).

icon readmoreicon minusClimate and seasonal

Please note that Hurricane season is June to October, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors these situations as they may arise, so that itineraries or activities can be amended as necessary.

icon readmoreicon minusA couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

icon readmoreicon minusFeedback

Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

icon readmoreicon minusEmergency contact

GENERAL ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at:

www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

CRISIS AND EMERGENCIES

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, please contact our local office:

Intrepid's Local Operator (located in Costa Rica): +506 6022 4721

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Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.

Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation notes

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

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Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

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ITINERARY CHANGES:

Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

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Hotel (3 nights)

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