Frequently Asked Questions

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Preparing for your Travel

• Do I need a passport or a visa to travel to Costa Rica?
As of December 31, 2002 all Canadian, US and EU citizens who travel to Costa Rica for tourism and pleasure purposes need a valid passport. Please check your passport to make sure you have at least 6 months validity from the time you enter Costa Rica. If not, you should get a new passport before you come to Blue Osa. A visa is not required.

 

• Is there a departure tax when leaving Costa Rica?

There is a departure tax when leaving Costa Rica that must be paid at Juan Santamaria International Airport. This fee is $29 USD and is payable in either colones, U.S. dollars, or Visa/Mastercard.

 

• Do I need any shots before visiting Costa Rica?

You do not need any shots or vaccines before visiting Costa Rica. However, we always suggest speaking with your Doctor and referring to the World Health Organization’s website before traveling anywhere.

 

• Should I drive to Blue Osa from San Jose?

Driving to Blue Osa from San Jose is a wonderful way to view and experience the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Contrary to some of the stories that you hear about Costa Rican roads, the fact is that Costa Rica actually has a very stable infrastructure with a great road and highway system so, if you’ve got the time and patience for the 8 – 10 hour drive, we would highly suggest it!

 

• How long is the flight from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez?

A much simpler, faster, and more direct route to getting to Puerto Jimenez from San Jose is to use one of the two trusted air-carriers Costa Rica has to offer- Nature Air and Sansa. Both of these air-carriers offer numerous flights daily from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez, with the one-way trip taking approximately 50 minutes. It should be noted, however, that there are no late afternoon or evening flights with either air-carrier. The last flight into Jimenez is at approximately 3 in the afternoon in the high season, and in the green season is usually around 12. Visitors arriving into the country in the late afternoon or evening should take this into consideration.

 

• How much baggage can I bring?

This depends upon the carrier you fly. The general rule is a 25-pound baggage limit (including carry-on’s) enforced on the “in-country” flight to/from Blue Osa. Baggage over 25 pounds will incur a surcharge, so pack light! Besides, how much clothing does a person really need in the tropics? (Please double check with airlines to find out exactly how much weight your baggage can be.)

 

• What should I pack?

The tropical climate here makes it very comfortable to wear simple, lightweight clothing and footwear. Quick-dry clothes and tennis shoes, sandals, and water shoes (Tevas, Crocs) work best. The Osa Peninsula is characterized by warm, breezy days, with highs between 82 and 92 degrees, and lows in the range of 70-80. Keep in mind that Blue Osa is surrounded by jungle so it is also often humid here.

 

For a full list of what to bring on your next Costa Rican adventure, please click here.

 

Here is a good, basic, ideal packing guide, based on a week long stay here:

 

- If coming to participate in a yoga retreat, bring your yoga mat. We offer yoga mats for rent at $5.00 per day or $30.00 for the week. Yoga blocks and other yoga props are available at no charge.

 

The proceeds from the mat rentals and sales help to fund our community outreach projects. Your mat rental is greatly appreciated.

 

- For yoga retreats, a notebook and pen for taking notes or a small journal is usually considered essential.
- A flashlight or headlamp. Perfect for those fond of midnight walks on the beach.
- 3 or 4 tank tops or lightweight T-Shirts
- Bathing suit
- 3 or 4 pairs of shorts
- Sunscreen is available in the Blue Osa shop.

- Bug spray is available in the Blue Osa shop

 

Safety
• Is Costa Rica safe?
Generally, Costa Rica is quite safe. Like any place, normal precautions and care should be taken depending upon where you are visiting. Violent crime is rare in Costa Rica while theft of personal property (from automobiles and hotel rooms) is more common. Big cities, beach areas and any place with a concentration of tourists is more likely to draw thieves and such.

 

• Is Blue Osa safe for single woman to visit?

Yes, our property is very secure. The area around Blue Osa is also safe to walk around in and many people (male and female) enjoy a walk or run in the surrounding neighborhood, the beach, and the rain forest.

 

• What happens in the case of a medical emergency in the middle of the rainforest?

There is a 24-hour medical clinic located in Puerto Jimenez, only 20 minutes away from Blue Osa. We always have a vehicle on property in case emergency transport is necessary. Additionally, Puerto Jimenez has a 24-hour flight service that transports patients to the nearby hospital in Golfito (an eight minute flight) or to San Jose (a fifty minute flight). And, in case of an extreme emergency, a helicopter can be ordered from San Jose and land in a nearby field.

 

Medical care in Costa Rica is of very high quality and considered to be the best in Central America. San Jose especially has excellent hospitals, medical facilities and doctors that attend almost exclusively to foreign residents and travelers.

 

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Location – Osa Peninsula

 

• What is eco-tourism? What is an eco-resort?

Ecotourism is defined as responsible travel to natural places, which conserves the environment and sustains the well being of the local people. Blue Osa practices sustainable tourism through recycling, water conservation, low impact tourism, organic gardening and education to our guests through awareness on and off the property. We ask all guests who come to visit Blue Osa and the Osa Peninsula to help us in keeping this beautiful environment pristine.

 

• Is Blue Osa near the ocean?

Blue Osa is situated right on the beach, with tropical rainforest surrounding us on every other side. The beach is a 30 second walk from Blue Osa, making it easy for guests to wake up in the morning at sun rise and stroll down to the ocean for a morning swim as the jungle awakens.

 

• Can I swim in the ocean? What is the ocean and beach like?

The beach is normally quite deserted, very scenic and serene and offers some wonderful walking and exploring. There are no rip tides or undercurrents, which makes for some excellent swimming.

 

• Can I sunbathe nude on your beach?

The beach is very quiet and normally quite deserted. You will see the occasional fisherman or family strolling by, usually on Sundays or holidays. If you do decide to sunbathe nude, we ask that you be sensitive to anyone that walks by and to respect the local Catholic customs of the country. We ask any guests wanting to sunbathe nude to practice “conscious nudity”.

 

• Can I surf?

We have world-class surfing right in front our property. In town you may rent a surf board and bring it to Blue Osa and from here, explore. We can even arrange for you to take surf lessons for those interested in learning.

 

Weather – Climate

 

What is the weather like in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a tropical country located between 8 and 11 degrees north of the equator. It has twelve micro-climates, three different rainfall regimes and many micro climates.

 

Although Costa Rica is considered to have a stable climate, it is important to note that different temperature and weather conditions may be experienced within the same day, or within short distances, due mostly to the rugged terrain of this mountainous country. There are two well defined seasons: the rainy/green season (invierno) and the dry/summer season (verano), with one main difference between them: rainfall averages. Dry season runs from December to April and the green season from May to November. Rainfall averages for the country may reach the highest point during the months of September and October — approximately 650 mm per month. Seasonal changes don’t bring significant changes in temperatures, although nights may be cooler in some areas during the rainy season. Mornings will most commonly be sunny all year round.

 

What is the weather like at Blue Osa?

The Osa Peninsula (where Blue Osa is located) is characterized by warm, breezy days, with highs between 82 – 92 degrees, and lows in the range of 75 – 85. Please take note, however, that the Osa Peninsula IS part of the rainforest, and is surrounded by jungle.

 

When is the best time to come to Blue Osa? When is the green season?

Because the Osa Peninsula is blessed with wonderful weather year round, there really isn’t a “best” time to visit. Though most guidebooks list the ideal time to travel to Costa Rica as December through May, we enjoy a stable climate of 75-85 degrees relatively year-round.

 

Of course, don’t try looking for that information via online weather reports. Our private oasis is so off the map, Google has yet to find us. FUN FACT: The 19,730 miles (about the size of West Virginia) that make up Costa Rica actually house 20 different climate zones! The bottom line?

 

The time to visit is whenever you want! Take a moment to check out our weekly weather report and see for yourself!

 

Reservations
How early do I need to book the space at Blue Osa?
Rooms here at Blue Osa tend to fill up two to six months in advance, sometimes even earlier. If you know the dates you would like to stay at Blue Osa, we suggest that you inquire now to ensure space availability and to make your reservation as soon as possible to guarantee the dates you want. Also, we would like all of our prospective guests and clients to know that we do not recommend staying for less than five nights here if you are leaving or arriving by plane. From our experience, a minimum of five nights is needed in order to experience all that there is to do and see while staying at Blue Osa.

 

Do you accept large groups?
Yes we do. Please email us and tell us about the nature of your group and how many people you would like to bring, and when. We offer a special discount to those who would like to bring a group of 10 or more and can happily send you our group information package.

 

What are your cancellations and refunds policy?
We ask for a deposit for all individual bookings. The individual deposit and group deposit is non-refundable. If a reservation is cancelled within 60 days, the deposit is forfeit. If the reservation is cancelled before 60 days, the deposit may be used towards another reservation. Another deposit will be required to make that reservation.

 

Which credit cards and debit cards are accepted?
Visa, Mastercard and Discover cards are accepted at Blue Osa.
Should you be in need of cash, the Banco Nacional in Puerto Jimenez does have an ATM cash machine, however it is often in need of servicing and has a tendency to eat cards. We recommend bringing whatever money you need with you, as all of our rooms are equipped with secure safes for your valuables. Canadians should also be aware that the ATM at the Banco Nacional in Jimenez does not recognize Canadian debit cards.

 

Do you accept US dollars?
Yes, we accept U.S. Dollars.

 

What time is check-in and check-out?
Check-in time is: 2:00 PM
Check-out time is: 10:00 AMFor guests leaving later than 10:00 AM, or arriving earlier than the 2:00 PM, we are more than happy to keep your luggage secure and safe for you as you wait for your room to be ready, leaving you free to enjoy Blue Osa.

 

Meals included in your stay: Dinner on the day of arrival;breakfast,lunch and dinner on each full day; and breakfast on the day of departure.  Lunch on your day of arrival or departure is $20.

 

Do I need to tip?
Tips for services rendered are very much appreciated by Blue Osa’s hardworking staff. At the end of the week, you may either leave a cash tip in an envelope provided or have it charged to your credit card. All tips will be pooled and divided evenly among our staff of about 15 people who work in the kitchen, garden, office and housekeeping staff. If you would like to tip individually, you may do that also at check-out. As a guide, may we suggest a tip of $15-$30/day. Likewise, tips for individually booked spa treatments and eco-tours are left to your discretion.

 

Shuttle Request

• Please Contact Us to arrange a Blue Osa shuttle to and from the Puerto Jimenez Airport. Include your full name, arrival and departure times on Nature Air or Sansa.

 

• If you are visiting Blue Osa with a group retreat, give this information to your group leader to schedule with Blue Osa as soon as it’s available.

 

• Once the shuttle request form is received by us, a shuttle confirmation will be emailed to you.

 

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Other Frequently Asked Questions
• How much money should I convert to local currency?
For Americans, it is really not necessary to convert any money to local currency (colones) as all businesses happily accept U.S. dollars (however, expect your change to be in colones). In fact, we suggest strongly that you do not change any money. Bring many small bills so you do not have to receive any change in colones. The current rate of exchange fluctuates and is around 500 colones for every 1 US dollar.

 

• Do you have a gift shop?
We have a gift shop available providing yoga cloths, t-shirts, local artwork and jewelry, sun tan lotion, bug repellant, etc. Additionally, during our high season or when we have large groups, Blue Osa will typically host a “Farmers Market” for our guests.

 

• Do you have yoga mats available?
Yes we have yoga mats available. You may purchase yoga mats in our gift shop. We also have yoga mats available for rental. They are extra thick mats, and the price is $5 per day, or $30 for the week.
Our yoga studio is fully equipped with yoga props: chairs, blankets, sandbags and blocks.The proceeds from the mat rentals and sales help to fund our community outreach projects. Your mat rental is greatly appreciated.

 

 

• Are children allowed at Blue Osa?
Although Blue Osa is an ideal location for a family vacation, we discourage you from bringing children less than five years of age along with you as we do not have any babysitting services on property or children’s day-care. With that being said, however, we accept children of all ages and welcome families of all sizes.

 

• Is there laundry service at Blue Osa?
Laundry service is available at Blue Osa. The cost for this service is $25/load. Please expect them to be returned within 24 – 48 hours.

 

• What kind of food do you serve?
At Blue Osa we take a lot of pride in our food and what we service. Our guests have given us high ratings on Tripadvisor, and we continue in our commitment to serve fresh, healthy and tasty food. As an all-inclusive hotel we serve three or four meals daily: 3 regular meals, or two smaller meals and two larger meals. Our vegetarian-oriented meals are served family style, and usually we serve meat or fish at the evening meal. Although we typically provide a buffet style presentation, the meals provided are not all you can eat and are proportioned accordingly. Since we are not a full service restaurant, we do not offer individual choices from a menu. If you do have any dietary allergies, please let our kitchen know and we will do our best to accommodate you. Blue Osa is devoted to serving the freshest food possible that is delivered daily to our kitchen. This is truly “farm to table dining”.

 

 

While the Blue Osa staff can make some adjustments in the menu to accommodate some requests, we are unable to accommodate individual orders. Blue Osa does not provide Kosher Meals.

 

• Is alcohol served at Blue Osa?
Because of the difficulties in maintaining a minibar service at Blue Osa, we are unable to provide for the consumption of outside food, drinks or alcohol. Our bar is open throughout the day and we offer a selection of beer and wine and refreshing specialty drinks. Please remember that we are in the jungle and that open bottles of alcohol and packages of food will attract unwanted visitors to your room such as snakes, ants, and pizotes (no kidding!). If you still choose to consume privately bought alcohol please do so in the privacy of your room or on the beach. We do not allow privately bought alcohol in the dinning room or at the pool. We thank you for your understanding and compliance.

 

• Is there air conditioning at Blue Osa?
Blue Osa does not have air conditioning. We are a low impact, beachfront eco-hotel, and we work rigorously to reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on the surrounding environment. Thus, each of our rooms is equipped with a ceiling fan, and the architectural design of Blue Osa allows for the constant flow of air through screen walls, creating a fresh and breezy environment. So while it may come as a shock to some that Blue Osa does not have air-conditioning, we have found that the vast majority of our guests are always quite comfortable.

 

• What room amenities are not provided for?
At Blue Osa, we focus on rest & relaxation and peace & tranquility; by communing with nature and getting back in touch with ones inner self. Thus, we do not have TV at Blue Osa.

 

There are no hair dryers at Blue Osa. Blue Osa is operated by solar power and as such, we have minimal power usage. Thus hair dryers are NOT allowed at Blue Osa.

 

Blue Osa does have standard North American power outlets, so you may recharge your camera battery, etc.

 

• Do you have Internet or phone access?
While there are no phones in the rooms, guests are more than welcome to make calls at our office. The fee for this service is $2.00/min

 

International cell phone service here on the Osa can be sketchy, at best. Sometimes some phones will work, sometimes they won’t. We suggest you check with your service provider and ask them specifically about service in Costa Rica. While Wi-Fi service is available at Blue Osa, we do not have any computers available for use.

 

We do invite you to leave your cell phones and lap tops at home and “unplug” from your life while you are on your vacation or retreat. We suggest you take full advantage of this remote paradise to concentrate on the peace and wilderness experience. Come, disconnect and decompress!

 

• What is the “Osa” in Blue Osa?
The “Osa” comes from the name of the Peninsula where we are located- the Osa Peninsula. Osa in Spanish means “bear.”

 

• What does the phrase “pura vida” mean?
Pura Vida (POO-rah VEE-dah), used by Costa Ricans since 1956, literally translated means “Pure Life.” Contextually, it means “full of life,” “purified life,” “this is living!” “going great” It is used as a greeting, a farewell, and to express satisfaction.

 

The phrase has become widely known in the United States and Europe. Some foreigners view the phrase as an expression of a leisurely lifestyle, and a disregard for time. However, Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, good spirits, enjoying life slowly and celebrating good fortune, whether small or large.

 

Pura Vida also means “I am doing alright”, “I am doing perfect” and “thank you”.

 

Expats who adopt the expression properly get a big smile in return. It is an acknowledgment of the Costa Rican attitude towards life.

 

The Hawaiian equivalent of Pura Vida is “Aloha!”

 

• What animals will I typically see during my visit?
Various mammals & birds:

 

• monkeys: howler, squirrel, spider, white face monkey, kinkajou
• coatimundi
• peccary
• 3 toed sloth
• bats – insect and fruit eating, tent making
• scarlet macaw
• chestnut mandible toucan and aracaris
• scarlet rumped tanager
• black-cheeked ant-tanager (only found on
the Osa)
• lizards
• basilisk (Jesus Christ)
• green iguana
• anoli
• ameba (macroteniid)
• garrobo (Ctenosaur)
• gecos
• skink
• frogs
• poison dart frogs (black with orange and green with black)
• tink
• tree
• nocturnals
• smoky frog
• insects – beetles
• wasps and bees
• forest cockroaches
• butterflies – morphos, heliconias, swallow tails, “owl” butterflies (moths)
• grasshoppers
• “sundown” cicada
• giant walking stick
• leaf cutter and army ants
• bush katydid
• spiders, tarantula, amblipigidas
• snakes (numerous)
• marine species – 4 land crab species
• blue crayfish – river
• star fish
• blue fish
• barnacles
• sea slug