Greetings from La Joya! Thank you for your interest in the retreat.
1. LOOKING FOR TRANSPORTATION TO COSTA RICA?
We can confidently recommend you use expedia.com for travel booking. Alternatively you can check with Travelocity, PriceLine, and Orbits.
2. CAN WE RENT FOR LESS THAN ONE WEEK?
YES! We suggest that in order to get some benefit from staying at our retreat, you stay a minimum of 4 nights.
3. DO WE ACCEPT TRAVELER’S CHECKS?
No. There is a bank in town that cashes traveler’s checks and/or US dollars. They charge more for this service than do the banks in San Jose or Limon. A word of caution: do not change money with the money exchangers in the streets in San Jose. The taxi drivers that transport you to your hotel at the airport will accept US currency. There is a currency exchange bank window at the airport as well. Almost all business in P.V. accept dollars.
4. WHO WILL I BE SHARING THE RETREAT WITH?
The birds and the jungle; the owner live and caretaker live at the retreat to ensure you of a comfortable stay.
5. IS IT HOT AND STICKY IN THE AREA?
The climate in our area is more or less 80 degrees year-round but can cool down in the evenings, so bring a lightweight sweater. Sometimes the humidity can build before a rain and it can get hot and sticky if you exert yourself on a hike. However, the trade winds on our side of Costa Rica tend to diminish this problem.
6. SHOULD WE BRING OUR OWN BATH TOWELS?
We supply all the linens, bedding, and towels.
7. WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
Binoculars, Snorkeling gear, Flashlight, Shorts, Light weight comfortable long pants, 3 or 4 T-shirts, mud boots or hiking shoes, flip-flops, Fanny pack, Nap-sack, Rain Poncho, Passport + copy put in safe place. Do not bring more than you can comfortably carry.
8. WHAT ABOUT SNAKES AND BUGS?
We have prepared and equipped the retreat to be a comfortable safe environment. Since reptiles like certain conditions we take steps to eliminate those conditions. As for the bugs, you will find the most beautiful insects in Costa Rica and will be surprised how few are bothersome. After all, the most beautiful birds need the most beautiful food. Please check out our “Guided Tour” section on the home page where we show some of the animal and insect life you can expect to see in our area. As for the dreaded mosquito: Our retreat is located on a hill that has a gentle breeze most of the time and that seems to eliminate almost all mosquito life. It is surprising, but true, and many of our guests comment on how cool and mosquito free La Joya is.
9. WHAT ARE THE RAIN CONDITIONS?
Our experience has been that it rains more in November and December and into January. By February, March and April, which is Costa Rican springtime, it frequently rains in the evenings and clears up during the day, becoming very sunny with clear skies: an ideal weather pattern, rather balmy with a light atmosphere. Just remember, due to climate changes all over the world, even the tropical climate can be surprising.You can get a weather report of the town of Limon, 1½ hours north of Puerto Viejo, by dialing up www.weather.com
10. IS THERE A GOOD TAXI SERVICE IN PUERTO VIEJO?
Yes, drivers are always available to bring you where you need to be. I use them frequently and pay 3000 colones (about $6.00 US) for a ride to the retreat from Puerto Viejo (approximately 3 miles). You can also rent bicycles at any one of the several bicycle rental shops around the area. The bus system is terrific too. Some of my guests have rented a car in San Jose and that is ultimately the best way to have total freedom to come and go as you please. Just make sure the rental agency gives you a car with good tires as some of the roads in Costa Rica have potholes and are not paved.
11. IS THE WATER SAFE TO DRINK AT THE RETREAT? IN COSTA RICA GEN
We have a container of spring water available to you at all times. You can purchase bottled water anywhere in the many “pulperias” (small grocery stores) in the area. You shouldn’t have too many fears about the quality of water in Costa Rica as compared to other Central American countries.
12. WILL OUR BELONGINGS BE SAFE WHEN WE LEAVE THE RETREAT TO EXP
Yes. Most definitely. The owner never leaves the retreat unguarded and the loft which is lockable is virtually impossible to break into. A word of caution for the inexperienced traveler: always keep your valuables (passport, airline tickets, money) secure. It is wise to have a belted purse around your waist for these important items so that there is no chance of them being out of your sight.
WE AT LA JOYA WISH YOU A SAFE AND HAPPY TRIP!