Posted on 4/15/2021

Costa Rica Private Villa & Travel FAQ: 2021 Version

So, you're thinking about traveling to Costa Rica this year? We'll bet you have questions. Luckily, we also have answers. We won't cover the standard FAQ fare – where is Tamarindo? (northwestern Costa Rica, in the province of Guanacaste) or do Costa Ricans speak English? (not as their first language, but English is widely spoken) – but rather, we'll touch on all those things that can and do frequently change – especially after the 2020 we all had.

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Tamarindo Travel FAQ

Okay, so you know where Tamarindo is and you know you'll get along fine in English, but do you know whether your Costa Rica private villa rental is equipped for video conferencing, or how to get from the airport to Tamarindo? You will now!

What's the best way to get to Tamarindo from the airport?

Don't worry, we have you covered! There are several "good" ways to get from the airport to Tamarindo, whether you're flying into Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) outside San José, or the conveniently located Daniel Odúber International Airport (LIR) in Liberia. And then, there's the best way: a private shuttle. If you're looking for the absolute easiest, completely private, stress-free, and sanitized-before-you-ride way to get to Tamarindo, then look no further than our private airport transportation. As soon as you step out of the airport, your private driver will be waiting for you. S/he'll pack your suitcases into a comfortable, air-conditioned car or van, and will then chauffeur you to the doorstep of your Costa Rica private villa rental. (Check out our full guide on how to get to Tamarindo from the airport.)

Can I hire a private chef?

Yes! And, in related news, welcome to paradise. Truly. There are few things more indulgent than a vacation, upgraded to the luxury of your own private chef – a personal chef who visits your Costa Rica private villa rental, understands your palate, and crafts fabulous meals from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Whether it's a special occasion or every day of your trip.

Do your Costa Rica private villa rentals have high-speed internet?

Yes! Many of our vacation rentals have been upgraded to 100 Mb high-speed internet with battery backup (modems) and mobile routers available (upon request), enabling remote working and school, including bandwidth-intensive video conferencing (e.g. Zoom).

How should I plan and book my activities?

Carefully and with much excitement! There are so many things to do in Tamarindo and there's never enough time. Because, Tamarindo is a travel hotspot for a reason: the list of things to do, see and experience is almost endless! From heart-pumping canopy zip lines, to world-record sport fishing, to incredible nature-watching, our Pacific beach town is a place where you never have to stop moving and doing. Unless you want to. And in that case, we're happy to point the way to the pool. So, first: Start narrowing down your must-haves and would-like-to-haves. (Here's a teeny tiny list of our 23 favorite area activities to get you started.) Ask your travel companions, too. Start building your wish lists. Here's our rule of thumb: Don't pack your days too full – we're talking a max of two activities a day, and know that that will be a full day! – and always schedule in some time for relaxation, too. And, here's another tip: Don't be afraid that, after all your meticulous research and hunt for the best Tamarindo activities and attractions, you'll miss out on that one, irreplaceable, life-changing, can't-miss experience. You know the one – that special thing that you'd finally remember at the eleventh hour, when there was no time left, and then forever regret that you had missed? Because that's what we're here for. Speaking of...

Do you offer concierge services?

Yes! When you book one of our Costa Rica private villa rentals, you're also reserving the complimentary services of our incredible in-house concierge, Cristina (aka Cris). Think of Cris as your real-life guidebook, friend, and confidante. Tell her anything (and everything) and she'll align your needs and wants with the Tamarindo reality. And, lest that sound expensive, we'll clarify: Cris can work with your budget. Really. Cris will build your custom itinerary and suggest activities, tours, and attractions tailored to your specific interests, activity levels, wish lists, and budget. It all starts with our welcome packet, which includes an intro to many of the most popular Tamarindo activities, tours, and attractions. Have a look. Get a taste of what Tamarindo has to offer. Start building your must-do and would-like-to-do lists. Then, talk with Cris. Buckle up, because this is where the magic happens. Because, while your standard, run-of-the-mill travel agent can add Tour 1 and Tour 2 to an itinerary, Cris is more in the business of Tamarindo vacation alchemy: Add up one (or ten) wish lists, tack on a few once-in-a-lifetime experiences (sailing at sunset or only-in-Tamarindo activities, anyone?), and Cris will rearrange the puzzle pieces until she creates a complete and lovely picture. It's that easy.

Spotlight on: Casa Ventana

5 Bedrooms | 5.5 Baths | Sleeps 12 When you crave space, privacy, and luxury, look no further than just-for-you Casa Ventana. This spectacular home is perched high on the Tamarindo hillside, with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, sun-drenched coastline, and tropical forest. Here, you'll nurture your soul and feed your wanderlust at the full-length private infinity pool, while you whip up an unforgettable BBQ feast. And, did we mention? Daily breakfast prep is included! Of course, we saved the best part for last: Casa Ventana is walking distance to the beach. That's walking distance to the iconic Tamarindo surf, walking distance to local hotspot Pangas, and walking distance to everything you want to do – from fishing and sailing, to kayaking and SUP.

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Cleaning & Safety Protocols FAQ

CliffsNotes version: At  Stay in Tamarindo, we prioritize your safety:

Does Stay in Tamarindo practice special Costa Rica private villa cleaning protocols?

Yes! Among other measures, we clean and sanitize all our Tamarindo vacation homes with both chlorine-based and organic disinfectants proven effective in killing new coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2). We've equipped all our rentals with complimentary hand sanitizer.

Does Stay in Tamarindo staff wear masks?

Yes! All Stay in Tamarindo staff, including our cleaning crews, are fully masked during all moments of traveler contact.

Can I travel with my "bubble"?

Here in Costa Rica, we refer to your COVID companions as your social bubble. And here at Stay in Tamarindo, our concierge ensures your travel plans – transportation, tours, and activities – are for your bubble only.

Spotlight on: Casa Leo Loco

6 Bedrooms | 4 Baths | Sleeps 12 Tamarindo Bay views? Check. Pacific Ocean vistas? Check! Multi-level infinity pool with private hot tub? Check CHECK! Casa Leo Loco is the kind of home that fulfills both wish lists and vacation dreams. Welcome to a spacious, upscale Costa Rica private villa designed around locally sourced hardwoods and expansive terraces, environmentally friendly design and walls of glass. And then, again, are those spectacular panoramas – those windows, that terrace, this pool that overlooks the ocean and hovers so close to it all, you need only look out your window to check on the day's surf conditions. Yes, we think this is what they meant when they coined the phrase indoor/outdoor living.

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Travel has changed a lot in the past year+. Here's what you need (and want) to know about traveling to Costa Rica in 2021 and beyond.

Can I visit Costa Rica as a tourist?

Yes! As of publishing (April 2021), Costa Rica is open to tourists from anywhere in the world.

What do I need to enter Costa Rica as a tourist?

Tourists must fulfill only two requirements to enter Costa Rica:
  • A completed Health Pass.
  • Traveler's Medical Insurance (international or Costa Rican), effective for your visit and that covers at least $50,000 in medical expenses (including COVID) and a minimum of $2,000 for COVID-related (possible quarantine) lodging expenses.

Does Costa Rica accept a vaccine passport?

No – at least, not yet. While there are rumblings (as of April 2021) that the country may soon accept a vaccine passport – that is, waive entry requirements for travelers who are fully vaccinated – there has been no official word. Of course, we'll let you know if and when!

Do I need a COVID test to enter Costa Rica?

No! Costa Rica does not require a COVID test to enter the country. (You may need one to go back home, though. See next question.)

Do I need a COVID test to leave Costa Rica?

You might. The answer to this question depends on your home country. For example, among other requirements, citizens and residents of the United States, Canada, and most of Europe are required to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of their flight home. The type of test – PCR or antigen – also depends on your home country.

Where can I get a COVID-19 test near Tamarindo?

We are so happy to announce that Liberia International Airport (Daniel Odúber International Airport) is now offering onsite COVID-19 tests! Their testing center is located next to Arrivals, and both PCR and antigen tests are available. The current cost is $65 (antigen), $99 (next-day PCR), or $299 (3-hour PCR). Closer to home, you can get tested at Hospital Metropolitano Cabo Velas (Huacas, Guanacaste), Huacas -Beachside Clinic, Laboratorio Medical Huacas, and Laboratorio Clínica Huacas. Several approved laboratories also offer antigen and PCR tests in Liberia. These include: Laboratorios San José, Hospital Metropolitano, Laboratorio Clínico Navarro y Alpízar, Laboratorio Clínico Vidalab, and Clínica Bíblica. Staying at one of our Costa Rica private villa rentals? Please get in touch and we'll be happy to help coordinate your COVID-19 test.

Are Costa Rica's airports open?

Yes, both Liberia's Daniel Odúber International Airport (LIR) and Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) are open. In fact, our local airport, Daniel Oduber Airport (LIR), is the third terminal in the world to receive the ACI Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) following the Coronavirus pandemic. Among other protocols: Masks are required, you'll walk over sanitizing carpets, transparent barriers have been erected, and marked distancing is in place. (Check out our full Liberia Airport guide.)

Spotlight on: Casa Tranquila

4 Bedrooms | 4 Baths | Sleeps 14 Casa Tranquila, located within and surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Tamarindo Preserve (Costa Rica's only beachfront gated community), is a spectacular luxury villa rental. Set high on a bluff that owns sweeping Pacific views, this air-conditioned Costa Rica private villa rental is a masterpiece of tropical design: Stone floors, vaulted wood ceilings, artisan ceilings, and other design features emphasize the home's attention to detail, from its sleek modern lines to complementary rustic details. Again, we save the best for last, because the star amenity at Casa Tranquila is full, free membership at the exclusive Tamarindo Preserve Beach Club, where you'll find a beachfront pool, yoga studio, five-star bistro, bar, and gym, plus a beautiful beach safe for swimming.

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More Questions? Need Help?

That's it for our updated 2021 FAQ. If there's anything else, in particular, you'd like to know, please post a comment or get in touch! We're always happy to help.
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