Getting Here - top
We are located in Carate, on the southern coast of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica,42 km from Puerto Jimenez. Passing Matapalo, you’ll find us at the end of the road that accesses the Parque Nacional Corcovado, before the airstrip. See links for hotels in San Jose and Puerto Jimenez, Airline websites, and Bus Travel websites.
By Air: - top
Commuter flights from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez are a great way to arrive on the peninsula: the flight takes about fifty minutes. There are two airlines flying daily from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez: Nature Air and Sansa, they charge around $100 to $130 one way. Both airlines offer discounts to children under twelve. It is important to book flights early as they do fill up. We can also help you charter planes, directly to Carate.
San Jose has two airports. Nature Air flies out of the smaller Tobias Bolaños Airport which is located in Pavas; Sansa flies out of the main airport, Juan Santamaria International Airport. The airport in Pavas is about thirty minutes away from the International Airport, and Pavas is closer to central San Jose.
Both airlines have a minimum 45 minute check-in time and there s a baggage weight restriction of 30 lbs per person - extra weight costs 55 cents per pound (see packing list for suggestions, and remember than ten extra pounds means you pay only an additional $5.50, so don't stress too much when it comes to packing). Surf boards less than seven feet long are generally not a problem.
From Puerto Jimenez the scenic drive to Carate takes 2 hours. A private taxi will charge you about $75,-. The Collectivo leaves Puerto Jimenez 6:00am and 1:30pm, costs $8,-p.p. and is kind of adventurous.
Driving Or By Bus: - top
Direct bus to Puerto Jiménez. It leaves San Jose at 12:00 noon everyday for an 8-hour drive. AutoTransportes Blanco offers 2 departures per day from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez. Transportes Blanco-Lobo. Phone: +(506) 257-4121.
The trip by land on a 4X4 or bus from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez can be from 7-10 hours, depending on the weather and road conditions. Please be careful if you drive a rental car.
About Costa Rica - top
Costa Rica is a fabulous country, diverse in terrain, climate and wildlife. It has one of the highest literacy rates in the world, one of the oldest democracies south of the United States border, no standing army - and very good salsa dancers. A smile goes further here than almost anywhere else in the world. You should expect to meet wonderful, friendly Costa Ricans called Ticos/Ticas. They are a gentle people, sometimes a bit shy until you look them in the eye and smile. They are not to be feared as thieves or rip-off artists, and unlike other Latin American countries, Ticos rarely bargain over prices but may give you a discount for payment in cash.
Costa Ricans are a soft spoken yet prideful people, who love children. They shake hands when meeting you, as do their children. They expect you and yours to do the same. Once Ticos are past infancy they do not lose their temper in public. Pura Vida, right? Hence, the only way to really not get ahead in this country, make a fool of yourself, and guarantee to not get what you want, is to lose yours. On the other hand, when you smile, lighten up a situation, try to crack a joke, they will go to any extreme to help you out. They are a genuine people, and appreciate connecting with you on the same level.
If you are traveling with young children, especially toddlers, consider for a moment that the Osa is a jungle: a wild and remote place with all sorts of flora and fauna, often beautiful and intriguing but at the same time dangerous. The beach is gorgeous and generally family friendly but is also an ocean, inviting but unpredictable. There is no life guard or other beach supervision. Moreover, Costa Rica doesn't have much in the way of building codes or other safety concerns - nor legal concerns. Few know what a child car seat is, and you definitely will not find buildings outfitted to protect little ones, such as balcony railings that kids can't climb or fall through. If you decide to bring your Little Ones, plan to keep your eyes on them. Pura Vida.
Changing Seasons in the Tropics - top
Most visitors to Costa Rica are used to the change of season in temperate northern countries but may not be accustomed to transitions in the tropics. Many people divide Costa Ricas’ seasons into two – the dry season (summer) and the rainy season (winter). However, if you delve into the more subtle changes and explore the opportunities presented therein, it is much more dynamic than that.
July and August are great for those looking for a more authentic experience of jungle living – with sunny mornings and rainy afternoons that provide the perfect excuse to lay in the hammock and read, pull out the chess board, or go for a hike beneath the raindrops. From September to November most of the country is inundated with water but that doesn’t mean that it loses its appeal! This is the best time to witness one of four species of endangered sea turtles come ashore to lay her eggs or look on while the babies emerge from their nest by the dozens to race to the sea. If you’re really eager to make a difference, you can volunteer in the conservation of sea turtles during these months.
December starts off what is generally considered the dry season. There is still a little rain in December with relatively cooler temperatures. This is a great time to have warm sunny mornings AND have the opportunity to watch baby sea turtles hatching and making their way to the Pacific. January, February and March are the driest months of the year and often the hottest. These are the months for those looking for an escape from the cold, dreary northern winters who want tropical sun all day. This is what Ticos know as the high season, as the large majority of tourists arrive at this time. These months are also marked by an abundance of naturally sweet fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple and papaya.
April marks the start of sporadic rains to cool things off and relieve the thirsty plants. This is a great month to find a lot of wildlife concentrated around the newly bearing fruit trees, eat lots of fresh mangoes and still enjoy a primarily sun immersed jungle experience. May is known around Costa Rica as a transition month – rains come and go randomly, making after lunch siestas are a welcoming proposition. The last week or two of June is the San Juan summer where Ticos are in the streets living it up with fairs and celebrations during this mini summer reminiscent of February.
The Journey - top
Most of the major airlines including American, Continental, USAir, United, and Delta offer flights to Costa Rica, as well as LACSA, owned by Grupo TACA, the Costa Rican national airline. Most flights arrive into the capital city of Costa Rica, San Jose, at the Juan Santamaria (JSM) International Airport.
Depending upon the season and your arrival time, you may be able to fly to Puerto Jimenez on the same day. On the other hand, you may need to spend the night in San Jose, in which case we can easily arrange lovely hotel accommodations. Similarly, depending upon your international departure time, you may need to leave Finca Exotica the day before your international flight, spending the night in San Jose. (If you want to get down to the Osa as quickly as possible, look for international flights that arrive in San Jose before noon; when leaving the Osa, look for international flights that leave in the late morning or afternoon.)
Sugested Packing list - top
- Passport (valid for at least six months after your arrival into Costa Rica)
- Drivers licence if you want to rent a car
- Tickets and itinearys
- Cash (American dollars are fine. No Euros, they are hard to change and extra comissions will usually be charged! We don’t recommend exchanging U.S. Dollars for Costa Rican colones before arrival into the country or at the International Airport, as the exchange rate is bad. U.S. Dollars are readily and cheerily accepted everywhere in Costa Rica.)
- Credit Card: Visa or MasterCard are the only two cards that most businesses accept.
- Keep copies of all your documents and cards at home and in a seperate luggage, just in case...
- IMPORTANT: ONE FLASHLIGHT PER PERSON!
- 1 pair of long pants (you can use these on the airplane, as a cover up against sunburn, and you may want to hike in them, although most people prefer to hike in shorts)
- 1 long sleeve shirt for sunburn protection
- Light sweater or jacket (really you just need this for the airplane ride – rain jackets don’t work too well when the rain is this warm)
- 2 - 3 pairs of shorts/skirts
- 4 T-shirts, tank tops, casual shirts and/or blouses
- 3 swimsuits (most women also like a cover up or sarong)
- 1 casual dress or skirt is totally optional and just for fun (especially if you plan on salsa dancing)
Tevas with spider rubber are the best in rainy season, Crocs are what we wear most of the time. Flip-flops are only good to go to the beach.
- Runners or hiking shoes – chances are whatever you bring will get wet, and some shoes dry better than others. We can provide you most sizes of rubber boots.
- 1 - 2 pairs of socks
- Personal medications
- Insect repellent ( thanks to a constant breeze we have very few biting insects. However, if you are delicate, try to get a brand that contains citronella or deet)
- 1 flashlight per person!!! - if you want to look for turtles (May – December), bring flashlights that have a red covering.
- Travel alarm (if planning early morning birding excursions, etc)
- Sunglasses (An extra pair of prescription glasses?)
- Camera (with a decent battery, and your charger)
- Ziploc baggies to keep things dry
- Dry bags if you are planning on doing a lot of kayaking
- A mask and snorkel if you would like to enjoy the reef and dolfin tour. We do have some masks and snorkels for your use, but many folks prefer to bring their own. We also have a large variety of fins that you may use, and may prefer these over fitting yours in your luggage. If you bring yours however, we can usually trade them from you, especially if you bring our favorites: Mares Planar Avanti, or Cressi Gara 3000!, both excellent fins for Long-gliding. If you also bring your swim goggles too (View are the best fitting), you’ll probably have a complete new under water experience and be surprised how fast you can swim!
- Bring a good book and maybe donate it to our growing library after you read it?
- Finca Exotica provides beach towels and mats.
Most of the wise and informative writing on this link is courtesy of Iguana Lodge, thank you Lauren! Check out their beautiful site: www.iguanalodge.com.