Airport Hotel San Jose, Costa Rica, Bed and Breakfast near San Jose Airport, Hotel Margarita de La Garita, Alajuela, Costa Rica
You are here: Margarita's Airport hotel, San Jose, Costa Rica Home Page > Extra information for our guests
    Below we give you some useful information about our hotel and Costa Rica
    which you should know before arriving in Costa Rica

  1. Our location in Costa Rica incl. driving directions and taxi transfers
  2. How others can reach you in Costa Rica
  3. Car Rentals in Costa Rica
  4. When should I start my car rental?
  5. Local taxis and buses.     Ground transportation within Costa Rica
  6. Arriving passengers can buy tax-free at San Jose airport
  7. You have to pay departure tax when leaving Costa Rica
  8. Domestic flights within Costa Rica
  9. Stay in our beautiful, tropical villa in Manuel Antonio
  10. Exchange rate US Dollars - Costa Rica Colones   -   Money   -   Checks
  11. Online checkin before your departure from Costa Rica
  12. Avoid problems with your credit or debit card abroad
    Other links you can find on our website:
  13. FREE Cell Phone + GPS for $2 a day for guests who rent a car thru us
  14. Passport Validity - Very Important
  15. Avoid the Credit Card Chargeback Scam
  16. Taxi transfers FROM SJO Airport to our hotel
  17. Taxi transfers TO SJO Airport from our hotel
  18. Driving directions from SJO Airport by (rental) car to our hotel
  19. Our Guestbook and Reviews
  20. Check-in and check-out times
  21. When leaving home or a hotel, check this list
  22. Costa Rica has high traffic fines
  23. Costa Rica hotels recommended by our guests
  24. Latest news about Costa Rica from news sources worldwide
  25. 300+ Links to Costa Rica information sites

    1.   Our location in Costa Rica

    Our GPS location:
    http://Margarita.cr/gps-info.htm
    See http://www.etntalk.com/view-map/bbsjo for our exact location and for driving directions
    to our hotel from different locations in Costa Rica.
    Our location doesn't have a street name or house number!
    We are located 2000 feet north of Latitude 10

    Taxi transfer from San Jose International Airport (SJO) to our location:
    Make sure you print this page before you arrive in Costa Rica:
    Driving directions to show your taxi driver (Spanish, English)

    Driving from San Jose International Airport (SJO) to our location by rental car:
    Print these instructions before arrival in Costa Rica (English)

    2.   How others can reach you in Costa Rica

    Most GSM (not CDMA) mobile phones work fine in Costa Rica.
    Quadband (4-band) GSM mobile phones will always work in Costa Rica.

    3.   Car Rentals in Costa Rica

    FREE Cell Phone + GPS for $2 a day for guests who rent a car thru us
    Before your arrival you can rent a car in Costa Rica on our site AutoRent.co.cr
    which only uses domestic car rental companies.
    Rates include third-party liability insurance, taxes, airport fees, unlimited mileage,
    unlimited additional drivers, free surf rack, free cooler box, free child seat.

    Your rental car will be delivered and picked up from our hotel for $9 each way.
    No credit card information has to be given before your car is delivered in Costa Rica.

    CDW insurance which covers damage to your rental car is optional.
    CDW insurance is often covered by your North American credit card if you pay with this card.
    Unfortunately AutoRent.co.cr has a limited number of cars available.

    4.   When should I start my car rental?

    Picking up a rental car at night CANNOT be advised because

    A. Safety
    Roads and highways in Costa Rica are at night also used by pedestrians, dogs,
    bikes and motor bikes without any lights.
    Most roads don't have street lights and road signs are not illuminated.
    At night you have a bigger chance it will rain and driving in the dark
    when it rains is no good recipe for a safe ride.
    Also, IF you get an accident at night it will take longer before the police
    and/or ambulance arrive !!

    B. Money
    If you leave Costa Rica in the morning you will save 1 day (24-hour period)
    car rental if you pick up the rental car in the morning too.
    Many car rental companies will deliver for a small fee the rental car to your
    hotel the morning after your arrival.

    5.   Local taxis and buses.     Transportation within Costa Rica

    A bus ride to downtown Alajuela from our nearby bus stop
    (8-10 minutes walk) is US$ 0.60 per person
    A taxi ride from our hotel to Alajuela downtown is $7 or less

    From Alajuela downtown you can take every 10 minutes a direct TUASA bus
    to San Jose downtown for ca. US$ 1 per person (30 - 40 minutes ride)
    The name of the bus company is TUASA

    Every 10 minutes a direct bus is leaving the TUASA bus terminal in
    San Jose downtown (corner of Avenida 2 and Paseo Colon) to the
    TUASA bus terminal in Alajuela downtown and v.v.

    The TUASA bus terminal in San Jose downtown is next to the main pedestrian
    street in San Jose with many shops, restaurants and only 10-15 minutes walk
    to San Jose's main square next to the National Theater.

    SHARED MINIBUS TRANSFERS
    You find the shared minibuses of Interbus on
    http://www.InterbusOnline.com
    Click on Rates top-right and click in the left column on 'From San Jose Hotels'
    Rates listed are per person.

    If you stay in Margarita's Airport hotel, make sure you
    request a pickup or dropoff at Hotel Martino, La Garita, Alajuela
    We have a shuttle service (on request, 10 minutes advance notice)
    to and from Hotel Martino (2 minutes ride from our hotel)
    Ask the Hotel Martino reception or guard to call us after your dropoff there.

    PRIVATE MINIBUS TRANSFERS
    If you stay in our hotel and you want a private minivan with private
    driver exclusively for your party, please see http://www.Transfers.cr
    A private minivan with driver is often cheaper than Interbus if your party is 3 to 4 persons
    Rates listed are for your whole party, not per person!

    PUBLIC BUS TRANSPORTATION
    You want the CHEAPEST transportation by public buses?
    See http://www.va.cr/bus and click on Costa Rica
    Then select as your Departure city: Alajuela and enter your Destination City !
    Estimated costs by public bus: Around $4 to $5 per ONE hour driving
    Rates listed are per person.

    6.   Arriving passengers can buy tax-free at San Jose airport

    Upon your arrival at San Jose International airport, you go first
    thru the passport control of the Costa Rica immigration.
    After the passport control you arrive in the baggage claim area.

    In the baggage claim area you find a small tax-free shop where arriving
    passengers can buy alcoholic beverages like rum, cognac, champaign, wines.
    Here you can also purchase cigarettes for $1.40-$1.60 per 20.

    Each person of 18 years and older can buy a maximum of 8 bottles.
    This is the cheapest place in Costa Rica to buy liquors!
    The tax-free shop closes at 10pm.

    7.   Departure tax when leaving Costa Rica

    All passengers leaving Costa Rica by international flight must pay $28
    departure tax per person in the departures hall BEFORE check-in can take place.
    Payment can be made in cash (US dollars or Colones) and by credit card / debit card.

    8.   Domestic flights within Costa Rica

    San Jose has TWO domestic airports!

    Sansa Airlines operates flights from the domestic airport
    2 minutes walk from SJO international airport.
    Sansa planes use the runway of SJO International Airport.
    See here the Sansa website

    Nature Air operates flights from Pavas or Tobias Bolanos Airport which is
    closer to San Jose downtown but 20-30 minutes drive from SJO International airport
    See here the Nature Air website

    Our hotel is closer to SJO international airport (10 - 15 minutes by car)
    than to Pavas or Tobias Bolanos Airport (30 - 40 minutes by car)

    9.   Stay in our beautiful, tropical villa in Manuel Antonio

    On
    Rooms.cr you can rent rooms in the Jungle Villa if the villa is not rented to groups.
    The entire villa can be rented on JungleVilla.com

    10.   Exchange rate US Dollars - Costa Rica Colones   -   Money   -   Checks

    For the latest up-to-date exchange rate, please see
    www.bncr.fi.cr below 'Tipo de Cambio'

    WARNING: Never change money inside the San Jose airport building,
    arrival hall or baggage claim area.     These money changers
    give 10% less Costa Rica Colones for your dollars or Euro's

    Make sure you have some cash dollars with you, preferably $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills.
    Then you can visit next day an ATM machine which you find all over Costa Rica.
    $50 and $100 bills are NOT accepted in most places in Costa Rica.

    Most ATM's give US dollars ($20 bills only) and Costa Rica Colones.
    For security reasons the maximum amount you get per card per day is US$ 400.

    ATM's at San Jose (SJO) International Airport
    You find ATM's at SJO Airport on the Departure Hall level (1 floor above Arrivals Hall)
    One ATM is outside the departure hall against the outside wall.
    Inside the departure hall you find a few ATM's in the area where you have
    to pay the departure tax when leaving Costa Rica.

    Travelers Checks / Travellers Cheques
    These checks are NOT accepted at any place in Costa Rica!   Just forget them.
    A few bank branch offices will accept them if you have a Costa Rican bank account, but
    you have to wait 6 weeks till the checks are credited to your account.......
    Ask your bank for a debit card or credit card !!

    11.   Online checkin before your departure from Costa Rica
    ALL passengers leaving Costa Rica must first pay $28 departure tax,
    then complete the immigration form (attached to the tax receipt) and
    wait in line for checkin by a live airline agent.

    Upon checkin your passport is scanned which brings your flight details
    on the agent's screen and prints out your boarding pass(es) automatically.

    So there is absolutely no need to print your boarding passes before arrival
    at the airport.     It doesn't save you any time at the airport.

    12.   Avoid problems with your credit or debit card abroad
    Before your departure to Costa Rica you should call the special
    24/7 number of your bank which you find on the back of your credit card.
    Tell your bank when and for how many days you will be in Costa Rica

    By doing this you avoid your credit card is declined, regardless your credit limit,
    by your bank's automated Fraud Protection System.
    Car rental companies are often the first place where people discover their card
    is declined because of 'suspicious activity abroad'

    If you didn't call your bank before your departure, it's a good alternative
    to pull first some money from an ATM machine with your PIN code.
    Then your bank's system will register in which country you are.
    ATM transactions raise the red flags less quickly because they take place
    in a more secure environment.

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