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By No owner — last modified Jul 11, 2018 09:07 AM

 Costa Rica - General Info

Time Zone

UTC -6

Yachting Essentials

Electricity

Voltage: 120 V
Frequency: 60 Hz

American Export Import
Tel:011 506 2430 9077 Fax:011 506 2430 6792
Recommended by cruisers if in need of boat parts. Contact Oswaldo Perez Torres. Warehouses in Miami, Florida and San Jose, Costa Rica.

Opening Hours

Normal government business hours are 08:00 to 16:00, Monday to Friday.

Money

Colon of 100 centimos.

Communications

International dialling code for Costa Rica is +506

Note: All Costa Rica numbers are now changed from 7 digits to 8. Land lines are preceeded by a 2, and cell phone by an 8. (2009)

Cell phone coverage in Costa Rica is on the global GPRS network. There is cell phone coverage in almost every corner of the country.

ICE (ee cee) is the government supplied utility company and very inexpensive. There are also competitors to ICE (such as Claro) who offer competitive packages. A cellular sim card will give you 400 texts for $1 and approx. $4 for voice and text and data for over 1 month. ICE provides excellent coverage all down the coast for
about $22 a month.

Last updated January 2015.

American Export Import
Tel:011 506 2430 9077 Fax:011 506 2430 6792
Recommended by cruisers if in need of boat parts. Contact Oswaldo Perez Torres. Warehouses in Miami, Florida and San Jose, Costa Rica.

Transport

The roads in Costa Rica are pretty good - much better than those of their neighbours to the north - and the public buses provide good access to most of the country.

Diplomatic Missions

Events

Holy Week: most places are shut during the week, and everything closes from Friday to Saturday.

October: Costa Rica Yacht Club Regatta in Puntarenas, visiting yachts are welcome.

Emergencies

Police- emergency number is 911, or 2222-1365. Although they should have someone available who speaks English, it is not a given.
For the Judicial Police call 2222-1365 and 2221-5337.
For the Traffic Police (Policia de Transito), call 2222-9330 and 2222-9245.

Dial 113 for directory assistance and 124 for international directory assistance. Although only in Spanish, for the exact time dial 112.

Police Tel. 117 (127 outside cities).

Ambulance (west coast) Tel. 2221 5818.
Cruz Roja (Red Cross) Tel. 128.

Publications

IMRAY AND ADLARD COLES PILOT BOOKS are available at a discounted price for Noonsite.com users via World Cruising Club

Explore Central America - Part 2
Continually updated guides available in PDF, EPUB, MOBI. Go to www.svsarana.com

The most comprehensive guides ever written about cruising the Pacific coast of Central America from Mexico to the Panama Canal. In a two part set, these books provide over 325 GPS waypoints, over 112 charts and city maps, detailed weather descriptions, forecasting information and surfing locations. These books highlight dozens of anchorages not in other books and tons of local information that sailors care about. Also included are detailed procedures for clearing into and out of the Central American countries as well as Ecuador, the Galapagos and Mexico.

Charlie's Chart of Costa Rica
By Margo Wood
Publisher: Charlie's Charts (3rd edn 2007)
ISBN: 09781346-0-5
This is a guide for yachtsmen cruising the coast of Costa Rica. All anchorages and marina facilities are described with an accompanying sketch of the coastline. Information is provided giveing the location of shore facilities such as fuel stations, water, bakeries, grocery stores and hospitals. Beautiful color photographs of this unique coast are provided.

Cruising Ports:The Central American Route
By Pat Rains
Publisher: Point Loma Publishing; 6.5 edition March 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0963847027
See www.MexicoBoating.com for further details.
This book covers Pacific Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Pacific Panama) plus Mexico’s Gulf Coast to Veracruz, then NW Yucatan, NW Cuba, Yucatan Channel, Belize, Rio Dulce, Honduras and the Bay Islands, the Western Caribbean islands & banks, Panama’s Caribbean cruising grounds. This book culminates in Panama Canal Transit.

Update History

March 2018: Formalities updated, health, links, publications etc also updated.
August 2016: Golfito outboard and dinghy thefts updated in security section following theft report by SY Sirena.
February 2016: Clearance & Immigration checked.
June 2015: Publications checked.
January 2015: Pet information updated from report on Yahoo Cruisers Network Online.
January 2015: Latest information for Isla del Coco updated via Island website. 
March 2014: Latest information for Isla del Coco from Yahoo Southbound Group. 
February 2014: Immigration and Clearance checked.
March 2013: Clearance fees from Dave Wyness of SY Cypraea.
January 2013: Customs updated with information about the Permisode Permanencia. Details confirmed by agent Ernesto Conejo.
November 2012: Permit information for Isla del Coco added to Documents from www.svsarana.com/guide with news of enforcement from Jan Klintegaard of SY Anaconda. Also clearance fees paid at Golfito.
February 2012: Information on fees charged from Arnstein Mustad of Mustad Marine Yacht Delivery.

Noonsite welcomes information and updates especially regarding clearance, customs and immigration procedures from cruisers visiting this country.
Please E-mail noonsite with any new information, updates or corrections. Even just a short email confirming that the current data is accurate would be most helpful.

Suzy Carmody
Suzy Carmody says:
Jul 10, 2018 09:19 PM

Hi from Distant Drummer

We’ve just been through the process of getting a permit for Isla del Coco and thought it was worth sharing the “latest” information.

You can download the forms from www. isladelcoco.go.cr
Fill in the application form for entry to PNIC and deliver it or send it to the Director of the ACMIC at the address below. Allow a minimum of 15 days prior to the date of expected arrival in PNIC.
Área de Conservación Marina Cocos
Parque Ecológico SINAC
Santo Domingo de Heredia (antiguo Inbio Parque)

The form must be sent with a cover letter giving the following additional information:
1. Full name, gender, passport number, nationality, date of birth for each person
2. Diving certification number of each diver
3. Itinerary of the activities planned in PNIC for each day of the visit including the number of persons carrying out each activity
Support documents:
1. Certified copies of passports for each person
2. Certified copy of certification of seaworthiness or equivalent documents which specify the range of the vessel *
3. Evidence of permission to operate in Costa Rican waters. We submitted copies of our Zarpe and our Certificate of Temporary Importation
4. An affadavit stating that the vessel complies with the following requirements:
a) effective systems for handling emergencies
b) a holding tank for sanitary waste
c) a radio with marine frequencies
5. If you are planning on diving an affadavit stating that if the vessel meets the following requirements:
a) a life vest for each passenger
b) equipment necessary for a marine rescue
* We did not have a “Certificate of Seaworthiness” so we included in the affadavit a statement outlining our sailing experience on board Distant Drummer. We included certified copies of our arrival documents in French Polynesia and Hawaii to demonstrate nautical miles covered.
Notes:
They ask for an address or fax number to receive notifications but you can use an email address if you prefer.
If you deliver the documents to their office by hand they will want to see the original copies of all the support documents. If you are sending the application in by mail you will need to get all the support documents certified.
Make sure you clearly understand the fees as they are pretty high and stack up quickly. The document explaining the tarriffs is Decreto Tarifas ASP - No. 38295.pdf and is 25 pages of Spanish. Read the parts about Isla del Coco (PNIC). In summary for us:
• Admission: $50 per person per day
• Anchoring for vessel <15m: $40 per day
• Snorkelling: $10 per person per day
• Diving: sorry – not sure about this but there will be a fee
A very good contact for information and questions is Johanning Corrales Vega ([email protected]). He answers emails promptly and completely and was very helpful to us.
Hope this is useful
Suzy Carmody
S/V Distant Drummer
www.carmody-clan.com

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Dec 14, 2017 10:51 AM

Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Diver Killed by Tiger Shark
As reported by https://scubadiverlife.com
On Thursday, Nov. 30, a tiger shark at Cocos Island, Costa Rica bit and killed a diver and injured the instructor she was diving with while they were awaiting pickup from their liveaboard’s skiff. This is the first fatal attack to ever happen in the area.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 09, 2017 11:52 AM

Posted on Women Who Sail Facebook Page
Re: Tropical Storm Nate - 5 October 2017
Here in Costa Rica we are being hit hard by Nate, and it's all about the flooding. Mudslides, bridges out, roads closed, six confirmed dead so far, 600 reportedly homeless, 5000 in shelters, houses sliding off mountains. We are moored up a tidal estuary in Puntarenas, and when the tide and the river are going the same way, it's pretty intense; lots of uprooted trees going by, or sometimes getting hung up on us. Costa Rica will recover, but it's going to be grim for Nicaragua.

jtregunna
jtregunna says:
Sep 28, 2016 01:05 AM

Just to update Paul's comment above. If you're a CR resident and your boat isn't registered in CR, the tax is not 85%. As of 2015, it's 69%. An official telling you it's a higher rate, it may have been changed, but as of 2016 it's still 69%. Still outrageous, but mildly better.

Paul Sommers
Paul Sommers says:
Mar 29, 2015 12:35 AM

Do not enter this country on your non-CR registered vessel if you are a CR resident (pensionado, rentista, etc.). CR Customs will hit you with the import tax at 85% of the value of the boat and the news that residentes are not allowed cruising permits. I was ordered to pay up or leave immediately when I asked for a cruising permit at Golfito in March 2015. I left!

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