Looking to get away from winter and enjoy a little sun & sea? Costa Rica is a beautiful destination, extremely popular for retirees. Below you’ll find answers to some of the most asked questions about this year’s group trip. Please have a read through to see if your questions are answered. If not, please feel free to email me for further information.
WHO IS THE TRIP FOR?
Technically the trip is for anyone who wishes to escape Canada for two weeks in the winter to sunny Costa Rica. The trip is being marketed primarily to the Halifax Retirees Lunch & Travel Club. It is not a requirement for you to be part of the club to participate (although we’d love to have you as a member, and it’s Free!), nor do you have to be retired. However, with the trip being for two weeks in length, most people who join are likely to be in the later years of their jobs, or fully retired.
Friends and family from other provinces are welcome to join. While I suspect most participants will be from Halifax, Nova Scotia. This is not a requirement.
WHAT IS THE COST OF THE TRIP?
FEB 18 – Mar 3
$1799 USD per person, based on double occupancy
Deposit: $660 USD
Deposit Deadline: Sept 6, 2019
Final Payment: Nov 1, 2019
Flights: $800 – $1200 – to be booked after Nov 1st.
Flights (more details below)
Travel insurance – Quotes will be provided, but vary based on age, health, length of stay and coverage amount
Optional excursions or car rental (optional)
Groceries / Meals – Cost will vary greatly depending on how many meals you cook in your apartment and how often and extravagantly you eat out.
Tipping – restaurants / hotel staff at your discretion
HOW MUCH WILL GROCERIES AND EATING OUT COST?
It is impossible to predict this as everyone’s preferences are different. Breakfasts are included at all of your accommodations, so you will only need to buy groceries for lunches and dinners.
You can expect meals and groceries to be less expensive than in Halifax. If you buy fruits / vegetables at the market they are cheap. The grocery stores will be slightly more expensive. Most of the restaurants in the community are small, locally owned. There are not a lot of American chains. This also keeps costs lower. It will be hot in Costa Rica this time of year which also tends to suppress appetites, so you will likely eat far less than you do in the Winter at home.
Note: You should have no concerns with the cleanliness standards of food / restaurants in Costa Rica.
HOW MUCH WILL FLIGHTS COST?
You can expect flights to cost from $660 (on sale) – $1200 as we get closer to departure. Both Air Canada and WestJet have great options. Flight prices change all the time. This gives you a ball park. Travel time (not flight time) is 8 – 12 hours depending on the routing and how long stop overs are. There are no direct flights from Halifax, so you’ll go through Toronto or Montreal or possibly Newark.
Once we have 10 people registered, I will look into group flights. Group flights are usually an average price. Not the cheapest, not the most expensive, but allows everyone in the group to fly together and pay the same rate, rather than 1 person paying $900 and another paying $1500. And sometimes group flights provide extra perks like additional luggage, additional weight in your luggage or free seat selection. However, I won’t look into this until 10 people have registered.
Should you wish to use frequent flyer / loyalty points for your flights, you are certainly welcome to. Please check with me before booking to ensure that you will arrive on time to join in on the group transfers.
NO FLIGHTS SHOULD BE PURCHASED UNTIL MINIMUM GROUP NUMBERS (12 people) HAVE BEEN MET AND SHARI GIVES THE FINAL GO AHEAD. SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO PURCHASE YOUR FLIGHTS PRIOR TO THIS, IT IS AT YOUR OWN RISK.
WHAT IS THE PAYMENT SCHEDULE?
Deposit: $660 USD
Deposit Deadline: Sept 6, 2019
Final Payment: Nov 1, 2020
Flights: Due upon booking, any time after final payments have been finalized.
WHAT HOTELS WILL WE BE STAYING AT?
In San Jose, you’ll be staying at the beautiful Park Inn San Jose which is walking distance from city centre. Here you’ll find Costa Rica’s largest art museum, Jade museum, National Theatre, loads of restaurants and Cafes.
In Jaco Beach, you’ll be staying at Oceano Jaco Boutique Hotel in a 1 bedroom kitchen suite with two balconies. The hotel is located in town and is approximately a 10 minute walk to the main beach (less than 1 km).
IF I WANT TO TRAVEL ALONE IS THERE A SINGLE SUPPLEMENT?
At the moment, I only have double occupancy rooms on hold. If you’d like a single room, check with me for price and availability, but it is likely to be close to double the cost.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE ROOM?
You will have a full luxury kitchen with stove, microwave, fridge, coffee maker and necessary cookware and utensils. You will need to purchase your own condiments and supplies such as salt, pepper, sugar, coffee and tea. These are not standard items in the units.
Air Conditioning | Fans | Safe | Washer & Dryer | Dishwasher | 2 TVs (32″ & 39″) | Hair dryer | Toiletries | Towels & linens
WHAT OTHER SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE HOTEL?
Oceano Boutique Hotel has a beautiful outdoor pool with loungers, on site art gallery, mini market & souvenir shop, tours desk, fitness centre, spa and restaurant. They also have 24 hour security.
WILL THERE BE ORGANIZED EVENTS?
The idea behind this trip is for it to be independent, with the option for you to do activities with your newly made friends from the group, as you please. Once in San Jose and Jaco, your time will be free to explore on your own, or make plans with other group members. There is a local tour desk at the Jaco hotel, or various tour desks in town.
I will arrange a few optional activities that you can book ahead if you wish. These will not be offered until minimum numbers for the group have been met, but may include walking tours of San Jose, Food & coffee tasting tours, cycling, volcanoes & rain forests, snorkeling & more.
WHAT TOURS AND EXCURSIONS ARE AVAILABLE IN JACO?
Snorkeling | Dolphin watching | Sunset boat rides | Fishing | Surfing | Bird watching | Ziplining | Manuel Antonio Park | Car rentals | Carrara National Park | Neo Fauna Butterfly Farm | Sea Turtle Refuge Centre | Crocodile Tours | ATVs
WHAT CURRENCY DO THEY USE IN COSTA RICA? SHOULD WE TAKE CANADIAN OR USD?
The currency in Costa Rica is the Colon. You can access local currency through bank machines in town, use your credit card at most shops & restaurants, or you can travel with USD. Canadian currency is not widely accepted. You could exchange it at a bank, but you will not get a favorable rate. Best to use USD or the local Colon.
READY TO BOOK?
Contact Shari by email or Phone 902 402 7646 today.