Like all thriving tourist economies, Costa Rica’s tourism industry has its share of shady operators. While they are far outnumbered by the honest and friendly tour operators and Ticos, you don’t want an encounter with one of them to spoil what could otherwise be the best vacation of your life. We’ve collected just a few tips to help you negotiate your way around some of Costa Rica’s more notorious tourist traps:
Having a travel agent book your trip to Costa Rica may not be necessary and could end up costing you more than you need to pay, because some travel agents tack on as much as $50 per night to the cost of you hotel in Costa Rica. Spending a few hours to confirm your hotel reservations online could pay off with enough savings to let you extend your stay.
While you’re making your hotel arrangements, be sure to check on the distance from each hotel to the major tourist attractions. The closer they are, the less you’ll have to spend in cab or bus fare.
If you’ve decided to rent a car and drive yourself to the sights of Costa Rica, be aware that the metropolitan police have a habit of appearing out of nowhere to nail drivers on traffic violations. What most tourists don’t know is that if they are tickets, they can pay the tickets at any Bank of Costa Rica and should never hand money over to a policeman who says that for a fee he will take care of the ticket himself.
But why risk any encounter with the local law enforcement if you don’t need to? Taxi and bus service extremely easy to find in Costa Rica, and it will remove any chance of your winding up with your rental car stuck in a muddy ditch on some one-lane mountain road with the nearest help hours way. Simply include carfare in you’re your travel budget, and keep some extra cash hidden in your sock or other safe place for a cab should an emergency arise.
If you’re tempted to spend money on the Canopy or Sky Bridge Tours of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, stop and think. It’s called a cloud forest for a reason, and if the clouds are present during your visit, the chances are that you won’t see much in the way of forest wildlife. Even if you arrive at the Cloud Forest on a clear day, you shouldn’t attempt the tours unless you have a streak of daredevil.
The Sky Bridge will have you walking on a bridge high enough to clear the forest canopy, and the Canopy Tours will have you riding a ski-lift type of car attached to the forest trees. While both may provide tremendous views on the wildlife, neither is meant for people who suffer from vertigo.
One rather disturbing facet of traveling to the remote areas of Costa Rica is that the public restrooms lack not only toilet paper, but toilet seats! If you know you have an adventure in the Cost Rican wilds scheduled, make use of the restroom at your hotel or restaurant before you start, and bring along your own toilet paper to be on the safe side.
Remember to book your Costa Rica vacation at http://www.myroadtotravel.com