$1 is worth about 500 Colones, and you can use US dollars just about everywhere throughout Costa Rica. Exchange kiosks at the airport are a rip-off.
Tipping is highly appreciated, not necessarily expected, and can make a huge difference in people’s humble lives here. At Iguana Lodge, we suggest $10 per guest / per day.
Banking and Credit Cards:
Iguana Lodge now take most major cards, including VISA, MasterCard, Amex, and Diners. Many places only take Visa and MasterCard. There are ATMs available for cash – although the ones in Puerto Jimenez often don’t work. Credit cards are accepted more and more throughout the country. All charges at Iguana can be put on plastic.
The Exit Tax to leave Costa Rica is presently $29, can be paid with a credit card, and purchased at the International Airport, the Nature Air Terminal at the Tobías Bolaños Airport in San Jose, and Puerto Jimenez Airport.
Costa Rica is both on Central Standard Time (Nov. – early March) or Mountain Standard Time (mid-March – Oct.).
Bugs are rarely a problem at the lodge. (We think it’s paradise.) There are definitely a lot of insects here on the Osa, but not many that cause problems. Some folks are natural bug magnets (or naturally abhorrent of any insect), and these folks may suffer. You can buy bug juice on the Osa, or bring it with you. Every once in awhile Costa Rica (like all tropical locations – yes, even in Florida) may experience a dengue outbreak, and during those times in those places, one should wear mosquito repellent (15%+ deet recommended)
Medicines and the Local Clinic:
We have a clinic in Puerto Jimenez that can handle small injuries and a pharmacy that has quite an extensive selection of drugs. We have a first aid kit at the lodge and thankfully haven’t had to use it for anything more serious than band-aid applications. Serious emergencies require evacuation to San Jose or Golfito. Flights to San Jose are only available during daylight hours, but there is emergency boat service 24/7 to Golfito. Generally vaccinations are not required, but check with your physician if you like. Malaria has not been an issue here on the Osa for over fifteen years. Proof of Yellow fever shots are required for people arriving from South America and some Asian and African countries.
Weather in the tropics can be hot and humid at times, although not nearly as bad as summer in south Florida. Our lodge’s proximity to the ocean gives us a daily breeze. From December through April the temperature is normally in the high 80’s. Rainy season starts in May and the daytime temperature is a few degrees lower; it is a surprisingly pleasant time of year to visit as it normally just rains in the afternoons and evenings. September through early December marks the real rainy season. Usually for about one week out of that period (who can guess when?) we will have a solid downpour for a week, nonstop. Flooding may occur. San Jose weather is different than Osa weather, as it is in a mountain valley and can be quite cool and windy.
Drinking water is chlorinated and drinkable almost everywhere in the country. Bottled water is also available everywhere (as is the ubiquitous plastic bottle on the side of the road). At the lodge we have an excellent source of well water which we filter, and bottled water is available as well (we recycle), but we recommend the beer or one of our refreshing mocktails.