Costa Rican FAQs

Costa Rican FAQs

Costa Rican FAQs

Hostel Casa Colon in San José, Costa Rica at 07:30 on the day your program starts. It is essential that you are on time.

Transport service: from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. the day before the start date of your project. You are responsible for your own accommodation before the program, this is not included in the price of the program.

Most volunteers organize international flights to arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose (IATA code: SJO) at least one day before the start of the project.

On the day your project starts, staff from will accompany you to the project in Cimarrones, which is approximately 2 hours away by bus.

If you arrive earlier than expected, you can wait for our staff to arrive at the airport or arrange your own transport to Casa Colon. Official airport taxis are orange and cost around 30 USD to the hostel.

You can also arrange airport pickup with Casa Colon for around $25 or take a bus outside the airport (around $1 USD, every 20-30 minutes each day).

Those arriving earlier will need to arrange their own accommodation. Our partner can help you by showing you different options.

You will transfer to San José on your program end date.

Please note that our partners on the ground cannot be held responsible for missed connections. You should remain flexible or allow a day or two after the end of the program before arranging the rest of the trip.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct visa for your trip.

The staff on the ground advises you to enter the country on a 90-day tourist visa.

For most nationalities, it is not necessary to make arrangements in advance. Check with the immigration authorities of the countries you intend to visit, or visit Make sure you have enough days to cover your stay.

Our professional and experienced team will be your main point of contact in the field and will do their best to help you solve the problems you encounter and answer your questions.

You will have daily access to long distance communications during the project, but storms and power outages can make contact somewhat uncertain.

So make sure your friends and family know how often they can expect to hear from you, and that there may be times when the internet connection is down. Participants can purchase a relatively inexpensive cell phone while in Costa Rica, which can be used with prepaid minutes, available for purchase in town. These cards are readily available in stores.

Facilities will be more basic than you are used to – please travel with an open mind and a willingness to adapt to local conditions. Accommodation is in mixed dormitories with shared bathroom, running water (note: no hot water on the base) and basic equipment. There is a common kitchen and lounge where volunteers can plan their lessons and enjoy their free time. It is a Central American country where the standard of living is different. However, the accommodations are quite comfortable.

Food will be prepared in the traditional local style (lots of rice and beans) and vegetarians can have dishes adapted. Everyone makes their own breakfast with the products of the house provided by GVI which is mainly composed of porridge, bread or cereals with fresh fruit and coffee or tea. During working days, you have lunch there, which is usually rice and beans with salad or potatoes, plantain, yucca, etc. Dinner will be prepared by the group, with rotation of cooking responsibilities. A typical evening meal may include beans, rice, pasta, fresh fruit and vegetables. For environmental reasons, we provide meat or chicken twice a week.

Hand washing facilities are available. Laundry facilities are also available at your expense.

The local currency is the Colones.

US dollars are often accepted, but smaller denominations are much easier to exchange. Change is usually given in colones, even if you pay in US$. For an up-to-date currency conversion, see the website: .

Plan to budget around US$50-100 per week, depending on what you choose to spend on activities, meals, and excursions.

It is advisable to contact your bank before you fly and inform them of your trip, as some banks block credit cards for security reasons in case fraud is suspected.