Alto Quepos Real Estate - Coastal highlands properties for sale

Alto Quepos REAL ESTATE Specializes in Manuel Antonio / Quepos Highlands properties for sale near the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica

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* Bird Watching

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Alto Quepos Real Estate Frequently Asked Questions


Costa Rica Information


General information about Costa Rica.
Why travel to Costa Rica?
Is Costa Rica a good place to vacation with children?
When should I visit Costa Rica?
Why choose the Manuel Antonio area of Costa Rica?
What type of weather can I expect?
Do I need to speak Spanish?
Is there a place I can learn Spanish there?
What currency is used? Are ATM's available?
What are national holidays of Costa Rica?
Arrival and Departure Information
How do I get to Costa Rica?
Do I need a passport or visa?
How do I get from San José to the Manuel Antonio area?
If I rent a vehicle, what should I expect?
How do we gain access to the vacation home once we arrive?
Isn't $26 US Departure Tax included in my air fare?
What immunizations are required before I travel to Costa Rica?
What is the street address? or Directions for the Taxi
Activities
How do I book a tour?
What activities are available during the day?
What activities are available at night?
How close is the home to activities?
I just want to relax: is there a spa close by?
Is it safe to swim in the Pacific Ocean?
House Information
Is the home air conditioned?
Do I need an electrical adapter?
What should I pack (clothing and other items)?
How can people contact me while I'm there?
I want to keep in touch by email. Is internet access available?
Do you accept credit cards?
Should we tip the staff?
Dining Out & Tipping
What restaurants are nearby? What is the price range?
What do I tip? or Is service included?
Safety and Health
Is the area safe for tourists?
Do I need to worry about bugs and insects?
Is the water safe to drink?
What if I become ill during my vacation?
What immunizations are required before I travel to Costa Rica?


General information about Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is located in Central America, between Nicaragua on the north and Panama on the south. It's capital city is San José.
Time is -6 hours from GMT. (Same as Central Standard Time in the US.) - No Daylight Savings time. The sun rises at 5:45 AM and sets at 5:45 PM +/- 15 minutes year round.
Over 32% of Costa Rica's land is protected, compared to 0.1% of the land in the U.S.
Population is over 3 million with nearly one-third living in the Central Valley around the capital of San José.
The majority of Costa Ricans are descendants of Spanish immigrants.
Costa Rica's government is a democracy similar to the U.S. with 3 branches of government.
The literacy rate (95%) and life expectancy are similar to the United States and Canada and much higher than most Latin American countries.
Agricultural exports include coffee and bananas, but tourism continues to grow as a contributor to economy.


Do I need a passport or visa?
It is now a requirement that all persons entering Costa Rica carry a passport that is valid for at least 6 months (expiration date must be 6 months after your entry date) to enter the country. A birth-certificate and photo id are no longer accepted by the government due to 11-September security requirements.
Citizens with valid passports of the U.S., Canada and most Western European countries are allowed to stay in Costa Rica for 90 days without a visa.
US Citizens check here for document requirements .
Citizens of other countries check here for Visa Requirements . Back to top.

Why travel to Costa Rica?
Only .03% of planet surface but 6% of world's bio-diversity. The country provides a huge opportunity to view fauna and flora that you will never see again in a lifetime. The landscape of Costa Rica remains unspoiled by humans.
Polite and well-educated people are the standard in Costa Rica. Its people are very friendly and helpful. Back to top.


Is Costa Rica a good place to vacation with children?
There are plenty of exciting activities and educational opportunities for all ages. Experiencing the fauna and flora of the Manuel Antonio area will be an experience your children will not soon forget. Horseback riding, hiking, swimming, sailing or enjoying the beach. Back to top.


When should I visit Costa Rica?

The country is relatively unspoiled by tourism and foreign greed. Now is a great time to visit.
The dry season is December through April. A mini-summer also exists July and August
Green Season is the rest of the time. You will experience sunny mornings and afternoon rains during the green season.
Temperatures are consistent year round but vary by elevation within the country. Back to top.


Why choose the Manuel Antonio area of Costa Rica?
The Central Pacific Coast offers many activities for you, your family and your friends.
Manuel Antonio remains green in the dry or high season and doesn't experience the strong "Papagayo" winds of the north Pacific area.
Temperatures are consistently in the 80s F throughout the year.
Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the smallest parks, but offers a vast array of wildlife.
The beaches of Manuel Antonio are the most popular in Costa Rica. Locals from San José travel to the area for the weekend.
Sport fishing is extremely popular in the Quepos area.
All activity stops around 6 PM to experience the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see.
Despite its small size and great popularity, Manuel Antonio has managed to remain one of the premiere nature spots in the country. The rain forest and mountains literally meet the sea here and the ecosystem is teeming with land, sea and air species. If there is one place to visit in this country and be assured of seeing animals in the wild, this is it. Just a couple of hours walking the park's trails are likely to present various colorful and majestic birds, white-faced monkeys, two and three-toed sloth, coatis, pacas, brilliantly colored land crabs, a variety of multi-hued butterflies, and interesting insects. The endangered squirrel monkey and a subspecies of the squirrel monkey endemic to Costa Rica are also frequently seen. In all, over 100 species of animals and nearly 200 species of birds have been identified in this park. Back to top.


Do I need to speak Spanish?
The official language is Spanish. Most people in San José and Manuel Antonio/Quepos speak English too. You can also find people who speak German, French and Italian.
Knowledge of the basics hello (Hola) and thanks (gracias) goes a long way. Try to learn a few phrases and numbers before you come.
English is spoken in most areas where tourism exists. Back to top.


Where can I study Spanish?
There are three spanish schools in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area. They are all high qualified schools and you can even get college credit by studying at these schools.
The school we recommend is walking distance from our home. La Escuela de Idiomas D'Amore


How do I get to Costa Rica?
Most major airlines fly into San José from their hubs in the U.S. and Canada. Most European flights connect through the U.S.
Please see Rates & Travel Page for specific flight information. Back to top.


How do I get from San José to the Manuel Antonio area?
You may rent a car, take a bus or fly to Quepos.
Travel by car from San José to Manuel Antonio will take from 3 to 4 hours, depending upon you driving skills and speed.
Travel by bus generally takes 3.5 hours and cost around $5 US. If you travel by bus, make sure you take the express bus. The local bus takes 5.5 hours and should be avoided.
Several daily flights leave San José International Airport to Quepos. You may book these flights through Lynch Travel (located in Quepos)
Please see Rates & Travel Page for recommended travel agents. Back to top.


What is the street address? or Directions for the Taxi
Costa Rica has no street names except in the downtown areas of cities. Even then, there are no street signs giving the street numbers. So, how do you tell a taxi to take you to an address when there is no address?
Taxi drivers get directions by landmarks. Even landmarks that no longer exist. The most famous being 300 meters west of the Coca cola plant in San José. That plant moved over 10 years ago, yet everyone uses those directions. Same thing in smaller towns. In Quepos, directions can be given using the bull ring as a reference, but that was torn down 3 years ago.
Directions to give to the taxi driver in Quepos to get you back home:
Tome la primer calle en el derecho después de Hotel Villas el Parque. (Calle es abajo de la Hotel Villas el Parque.) Maneje 350 metros al oeste. Baje el primer camino en la izquierda. Géminis del Pacifico es la casa azul más baja.
We suggest you print these directions out.


If I rent a vehicle, what should I expect?
An International Drivers License is a great thing to have, but it is not necessary.
Insurance of $15 to $20 US per day is MANDATED by LAW. Don't bother trying to convince them that you have credit card insurance. It doesn't matter to them. The insurance company is owned by the government
Subcompacts are available but most tourists rent a 4x4, especially if you plan to travel the back roads where high clearance is necessary.
Expect to spend at least $60 per day for a 4x4. There is a wide variation in prices among the rental agencies, so shop around.
If you're going to drive from San José, make sure the agent reserves a car for you in San José, COSTA RICA (SJO). We know of two cases where the reservation and/or agency didn't exist because the reservation was made for San Jose, CA.
Wear your seat belts. (It's the law.)
If a police officer is on the side of the road and waves you down, you are expected to pull over. Don't give them your drivers license to keep, don't pay them, take the ticket to your rental agency and pay it there.
Maximum speed is 100 kph, but there are very few places where this is possible. Speed limits are posted on signs or painted on the road itself. Be aware of school speed zones that are 25 kph. Most roads are 60-80 kph and you'll be lucky to go 40 kph on dirt roads. Take your time on the drive; just relax and enjoy the scenery, it's beautiful.
Bridges are everywhere and most bridges are one lane. At these bridges, there is a yield sign on one side of the bridge. Traffic from one direction must yield to the traffic from the other side. On busy days it can take some time to go over a well-travelled bridge.
Costa Ricans (or Ticos) are like everyone else behind the wheel of a vehicle. They may be the most polite people we know, but in control of a car, they can be aggressive. The mountains and hills make most roads necessarily curvy with many blind corners. Passing in a blind corner is a common trait for drivers. Be safe.
If you come across a bunch of branches in the road, it's likely that just ahead there is an accident or a car is stalled in the middle of the road. Use caution.
Most roads have no shoulders, so stopping in the middle of the road to fix a flat or pour water in a radiator is common. Back to top.


Do I need an electrical adapter?


Costa Rica follows the U.S. standards of 110/220V AC 60Hz. The vacation home is equipped with standard U.S. flat-prong type outlets and will accommodate your electrical needs.
However, if you stay in a hotel in San José or some other place, you may need a round prong adapter for your flat prong device; the voltage is the same. Back to top.


What type of weather can I expect?

Average high temperatures are 85-90°F (26-32°C) on the Pacific Coast during dry season (December-May). Low temperatures range 65-70°F (18-21°C)
During the green season (June-November), mornings are sunny with clouds coming in during the afternoon. It might rain during the afternoon, but most likely will rain during the night. Back to top.


What activities are available during the day?
°Sunning °Diving °Hiking °Surfing
°Sunset sailing °Sea kayaking °Jungle canopy tours °White water rafting
°Snorkeling °Bird watching °Horseback riding °Sport fishing

Back to top.


Is it safe to swim in the Pacific Ocean?
There are no life guards at most beaches. Most beaches are fine for swimming, but there are also many places that can have strong undertows. Always be cautious.
Flotation devices are not a substitution for swimming ability. Strong breezes and tide changes can cause dangerous drifting.
Inexperienced swimmers should stay in wading deep water.
Be careful around surfers.
Keep an eye on your children at ALL times!
Don't swim alone.
Be aware of rip currents in the area you are swimming. Rip currents have a noticeable difference in water color, a gap in the breaking waves and foam or other objects moving steadily out to sea.
If caught in a rip current, DON'T PANIC! Swim parallel to the shore until you are clear of the current. If you can't break free of the rip current, let it take you out beyond the breakers. Then swim diagonally toward shore. Never try to swim against the current. Top


How do I book a tour?

Contact Information:

 

----------------------------

Mailing Address:

Alto Quepos Real Estate
200 N MAG
San Marcos de Tarrazu
San Jose
Costa Rica 8055

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Email: info@altoquepos.com


What activities are available at night in Quepos?
Star gazing
Open-air restaurants
Discos
Casinos
Relaxing by the pool
Listening to the wildlife
Movie Theatre (in English)
Renewing old friendships and making new friends. Back to top.


What restaurants are nearby? What is the price range?
There are at least ten good restaurants within a short walk of the vacation home. Most of these restaurants are reasonably priced
For lower priced traditional food, take a taxi to Quepos and dine with the locals. You will be provided with detailed restaurant reviews upon arrival. Back to top.


What do I tip? -or- Is service included?

Service is usually included in the bill of restaurants. Menus will specifically say if the service is NOT included. If you are unsure, ask.
If service is not included in the bill,10% is the usual tip. Even if service is included, a few coins or change is frequently left on the table.
Taxi drivers do not expect tips but appreciate a tip. We tip around 5% of the bill.
Tip for the house staff (maid and gardener) is suggested at 350-500 Colónes ($1-2) per day per room. -For stays less than a week $2-2.50 per day per room is suggested.
Tip for the concierge is suggested at $5-10 per day.


Is the area safe for tourists?
Most crime in Costa Rica is limited to petty theft, such as pickpockets and this occurs much more often in San José. Fortunately, random acts of violence have not made their way to Costa Rica.
Never leave your valuables unattended on the beach or visible in your vehicle. Lock your valuables in the house safe.
Extremely valuable jewelry has no place in Costa Rica. Leave it at home.
At night, take a taxi if you are alone or a long distance from the vacation home.
The U.S. Department of State has a web site listing travel advisories for foreign countries. The statement on Costa Rica has basic travel safety information: U.S. citizens are encouraged to use the same level of caution that they would exercise in major cities or tourist areas throughout the world. Back to top.


Do I need to worry about bugs and insects?

Generally no. It is the rain forest, so bugs do exist. However, during the dry season, they usually aren't a problem.
If you are annoyed by bugs where you live, bring bug repellent with DEET just in case. Back to top.


What currency is used?
Official currency is the Colón. The exchange rate on 24 April, 2003 was 391 Colónes to $1 US. You can find out the current rate by going to BCCR Economic Indicators - or - Banco de Costa Rica Exchange
Notes come in 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 bills. Coins are 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, and 500.
Dollars are accepted in most tourist areas if the bills are new and not torn. Don't bring US bills larger than $20.
Major credit cards are accepted in most tourist areas. Smaller local restaurants accept local currency only.
ATMs are available for VISA/Plus in downtown Quepos. There is only one ATM that accepts Mastercard/Cirrus: it's near the red cross or just 1 block east of the bus station on the other side of the street. It's marked CooP. American Express cash machines are only found in San José Back to top.


Is the water safe to drink?
Our tap water is as safe to drink as it is in the USA.
Tap water is safe to drink in most of the country.
Drink bottled water in rural areas. Back to top.


What if I become ill during my vacation?

According to the World Health Organization, Costa Rica ranks 36th in the world's health systems. The United States ranks 37th! Many of the doctors in Costa Rica have been trained in the United States. There are a number of doctors in the Manuel Antonio area who speak English.
A new, modern hospital is located near the Quepos airport.
Dial 911 for Fire, Ambulance, and Police. Back to top.


What immunizations are required before I travel to Costa Rica?

No immunizations are required or recommended, but consult your general physician before you travel.
As with any travel, check to make sure your inoculations are up-to-date. When was your last tetnas shot? Back to top.
What should I pack (clothing and other items)?
Airline Tickets & Itinerary Binoculars EarPlanes (for flights)
Passports & photocopy of passports Camera , Film and Batteries Medications
Driver's license Video Camera Prescription glasses
Rental car confirmation number Guide Books Suntan Lotion
Emergency number list Language Translator Snacks
Phone access codes (to dial your home country) Palm Pilot and Extra Batteries Sunglasses
Light weight clothes that protect you from the sun Caps and Hats Swimsuits

Good hiking shoes or boots. Sandals or flip-flops for the beach.
A hat with a brim is a must. (If you don't bring one from home, buy one in Quepos when you arrive.)
SPF 15 suntan lotion is also a must. Don't burn yourself the first day and ruin your vacation.
Leave the formal clothes at home with the expensive jewelry. Dinner attire can be casual slacks or shorts.
We suggest you look at the Costa Rican Embassy list of items you may bring in Duty Free. Back to top.
These are available at the home but you might want to bring your own:
Alarm Clocks Beach Towels & Wraps Candles and matches
Flashlights Playing Cards Umbrellas

 

I want to keep in touch by email. Is internet access available?
Yes, Quepos and San Marcos has internet cafes and internet access. Make sure you bring down your access code and password for any POP e-mail you want to retrieve.
The cost is $4 to $5 per hour. Back to top.

How can people contact me while I'm there?


Contact Information:

 

----------------------------

Mailing Address:

Alto Quepos Real Estate
200 N MAG
San Marcos de Tarrazu
San Jose
Costa Rica 8055

---------------------------

Email: info@altoquepos.com


What are national holidays of Costa Rica?
Fixed Holidays
1 January New Years Day
19 March St. Josephs Day (San José only)
11 April Heroe Day (Battle of Rivas)
1 May Labor Day
29 June Sts. Peter and Paul
25 July Guanacaste Annexion Day
2 August Virgin of Los Angeles Day
15 August Mothers Day (Assumption)
15 September Independence Day
12 October Columbus Day
8 December Immaculate Conception
24 December Christmas Eve
25 December Christmas Day
28-31 December Christmas Holiday
Floating Holidays
17-20 April 2003
9-12 April 2004 Holy Thursday - Easter Sunday
19 June 2003
10 June 2004 Corpus Christi

Isn't Departure Tax Included in my Airfare?


No. Everyone must pay $26 US (or the equivalent in Colónes) before you leave the country by plane. The fee you may see on your airline ticket receipt is for runway fees the airline must pay.
We suggest you pay by CASH (US$ or Colónes). You can pay by your VISA card but please note that it will appear as a CASH ADVANCE and your visa provider will charge you interest and your normal minimum cash advance fee. Master card it NOT accepted When you enter the departure terminal, walk through the passage and turn right. There's a row of people at computers to process exit visas. If you don't have a VISA card you'll need cash. The personel at the computers will type in information from your passports and give you your paper visa. You'll need to fill out the paper form by hand before you go to your airline for check in.


Do businesses accept credit cards?


Yes, they currently accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover Card. They also accept money orders, travelers checks, and business and personal checks (in $US)


Alto quepos costa rica quepos real estate for sale near manuel antonio national park - buy farms land and lots properties just 12 miles from the ocean,best beaches and hotels.

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Staying in the Quepos Coastal highlands
Camping around Quepos Costa Rica

 

Want to learn more about gourmet coffee and the coffee tour? Read this Interview at Specialty Coffee Retailer Magazine

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