Costa Rica FAQs:
Do I need to bring money with me?
Our trip's are designed to be all-inclusive which means, technically you do not need to bring any extra money with you. That being said, if you would like to purchase souvenirs or purchase additional snacks or personal items, then you should bring spending money. On average guests typically bring $100-$150 extra depending on their interest in shopping.
What form of payments are accepted in Costa Rica?
The majority of the places will accept your standard credit cards or the US dollar, however, more remote shops may only take the local currency of colones. If you would like to have the local currency with you, it is suggested to exchange money prior to leaving for the trip. This can be done with prior notice at most banks or a currency exchange center.
What are the accommodations like?
The majority of this trip is spent in more unconventional accommodations. Those include homestays and remote lodges. During one or more of the nights on this trip, we are staying with local families. While there homes are beautiful, spacious and clean, they are not your standard hotel rooms and will not have many of the same luxories as what we are used to. This may include: no/limited electricity, cold/room temp showers and shared living areas. While these locations may lack these items, they are the most authentic living experiences available and support the local economy opposed to a large hotel chain.
How are the room configurations set up?
All of the rooms will be in the same area to ensure we are always nearby. All rooms are based on double occupancy and students may be asked to share a bed with a fellow classmate of the same gender. For our adult groups, there is no required seperation of guys/girls unless requested. For school groups, students will be seperated based on gender and teachers preference prior to the trip.
How many trip leaders will be on the trip?
There will be one trip director and guide from Beyond the Map. We also work closely with a number of local guides throughout the trip as well.
How do flights work?
We will book the flights for the students. The airline will depend on the lowest available price at the time of booking, however, common airlines include JetBlue, Spirit and Southwest. Flights details will be shared with the students. A BTM guide will meet the group at the airport in Costa Rica unless otherwise requested. Students will be required to use the same flight to ensure the same arrival/departure times.
How long have you been traveling to Costa Rica?
We have been traveling to Costa Rica for over 10 years. We also partner with local guides that are from Costa Rica. We have guided students groups all over the world and also in the United States.
How difficult are the activities on the trip?
The trip is designed to be challenging yet enjoyable for the students. The activities are meant to provide growth and learning opportunities. Some activities are very easy and consist of walking at most, while others require both mental and physical strength. We have taken travelers of all abilitiy and fitness levels to Costa Rica and each one of them were able to complete and enjoy the activities. We always say, anyone can do it as long as they have an open mind and adventurous spirit!
What should I pack?
We provide a packing list for each trip which you should find on your personal webpage. In general, packing should be light as the student will be toting around their bags through the airport and throughout the trip. If you need more details about a specific item on the packing list, we recommend contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or waiting until the in person gathering the month before the trip.
Do I need a passport?
Yes, each traveler is required to have a passport. VISA's are not required. A passport is also required to book international plane tickets. Please have this available as soon as possible.
Do I need an adaptor for my electronic devices?
Nope. The plugs are the same there as they are here in the US.
Do I need any vaccines?
There are no mandatory vaccines, but the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that travelers be up-to-date on routine vaccines (MMR, DPT, etc.), as well as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and typhoid.
How are Costa Rican medical services?
Costa Rica is internationally recognized for its top-notch medical services, both public and private, thanks to its wealth of skilled surgeons and state-of-the-art facilities. For minor aches and pains, visit a local pharmacy. All pharmacies are required to have a licensed pharmacist on staff, and they can diagnose certain ailments and prescribe medication on the spot.
Will each student have travel insurance?
Yes. Each student is provided with their own personal travelers insurance that covers expenses such as trip interuption, medical services, lost luggage, etc. More information will be provided to each student about the coverage of their travel insurance.
What will the weather be like in June?
We will be traveling throughout various landscapes in the country. Because of that, weather can vary depending on the location. In general, the temperatures in June will vary between 70's and 80's. This is the beginning of their rainy season, or as the locals like to call it, the green season. Expect morning rain showers and variable conditions that make for one of the best months to visit. We are traveling between varying elevations and environments but if you follow our packing list, you will be well prepared! Please check the weather at least a week before the trip for current conditions. We will also notify the group of current weather conditions just before the trip.
Will my student be able to contact home?
There will be some nights where the accommodations will have wifi and then some nights where we will not. If the cell phone has an international plan, then there will be more opportunities for contact. That being said, we encourage students to disconnect from electronic devices on this trip to enhance their experience. The Beyond the Map guide will be updating the private Facebook page each day so that family members at home can stay informed.
What will the food be like?
Costa Rican cuisine is mostly mild and savory. Spicy food is uncommon, and traditional dishes go heavy on the Latin American favorites of rice, beans and local produce. Many meals are homemade with ingredients from the local gardens and are often vegetarian but at times also contain meats.
Do students have free time?
Generally the days are filled with activities. There are some occassions where the students will have some free time in the evenings while we are at our accommodations for the night.
How are payments made?
Payments can be made through our online system. Please check your personal trip page for a link to make your payments. Trip costs are also generally broken up over the course of a few months- when paying the deposit, please make note of the payment due dates.
Are you able to accommodate special dietary restrictions?
Yes! Because meals are planned in advance, we ask that you give us 30 days notice of any food allergies or restrictions.
What are the physical requirements of the trip?
You should feel comfortable in the water for certain activities. We always accommodate for various levels of fitness, however, it helps if you are able to walk/run at least one mile without stopping.