Bring all the medications you need. As well bring (or store in your phone) legible photos of your
prescription bottles - we have a pharmacy in the event of loss. (Note that if your photos are stored in
the “cloud” you may not have access to them.)
Golfito has excellent medical and dental services and a hospital should the need arise. We have standard
first aid on board and the crew is CPR-trained. USCG medivac is available.
You are at latitude 8 in Golfito or 7 at the Banko. The weather is hot, powerfully sunny, and prone to
afternoon downpours. The following gear is recommended:
Call your card issuer prior to traveling and give them the dates you will be out of the country. ATMs
are few and far-between; do not rely on the use of an ATM. Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards
are regularly accepted; Amex, Discover, Diners Club are not, though there are a few exceptions.
However, this is the third world and sometimes the CC systems are out of commission. Bring extra cash in
new-style hundreds and standard/new-style 20's. American 50’s are "suspect" in CR and not regularly
accepted. Exchanging dollars for colones is generally unnecessary. Dollars are accepted by most vendors;
your change is often issued in colones so you will have pocket change. Rule of
thumb: ₡600 CR Colones = $1 USD (i.e., 6,000 Colones = $10).
Why and alternatives
Some prefer the road-trip to Golfito from San Jose - especially if it’s their first time in the country.
The 4/5 hour trip thru the mountains and along the Pacific coast is gorgeous yet long. Given 24+ hour notification, our agent can pick you up at the airport in San Jose and drive you to Golfito. Should you desire, stops at various sites/landmarks/restaurants can easily be accommodated. You can discuss this with our agent upon arrival.
If your trip is to be extended for Costa Rican touring and you intend to rent a car, your valid US or
Canadian driver’s license is good for 90 days. You must also carry your passport (or a copy certified by a Costa RIcan lawyer) to show a traffic officer that your entry stamp in the passport is not beyond the 3 month period that allows you to drive as a tourist with a foreign driver’s license. We do NOT recommend renting a car. You would be better served hiring licensed bilingual drivers, which we can arrange.
Red is the official color for regular taxis around the country. Official Red Taxis have a yellow
triangle with the cab registration number on the door and a photo ID of the driver inside the cab,
usually on the sun visor.
Fares depend on whether the driver uses his meter called a “Maria” which is calibrated to the official tariffs for trips under 5km which results in a very economical fare. For distances over 5 km ask for a quote before starting your trip. We have found that red ”pirate” taxis (without the yellow triangle) are acceptable for use in Golfito. A trip from the Golfito airport to the Marina is $2-4 depending on the number of occupants.
The official Airport Taxis in San Jose are orange in color and cost about $30 to $35 for the 12 mile
trip into San Jose for 4 passengers in a 4-door sedan. Vans are available for larger groups/large
amounts of luggage and cost about $45 for the same trip. USD are widely accepted. Tips are expected.
MODERATE B.Y.O.B. is acceptable. HOWEVER, it’s dangerous enough. Don’t make us babysit to maintain safety on the boat.
Meals and beverages
We will provision with enough store-bought food for the trip. However, the “catch” often serves us well.
Fresh yellowfin sashimi or served grilled/sauteed, mahi-mahi ceviche and flash-fried or sauteed calamari are regular fare. We serve local fresh fruits and vegetables which are of enviable quality, and stocked beverages include plenty of bottled water, energy drinks, sodas, fruit juices, local beer, and our world-class Costa Rican coffee. If you have specific dietary restrictions please inform us prior to your trip.
Seasickness is rare in the calm Pacific however if you are prone, bring and use Dramamine. If you prefer a Scopolamine patch, bring them along as is in the US, Scopolamine patches are not available over the counter in CR. We carry fresh ginger on board.