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Costa Rica's
Ballena Marine
   National Park  


Getting There:

Depending on your U.S. departure city, airlines that service San Jose, Costa Rica include American, Continental, and Lacsa. U.S. firms offering auto rentals include Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, and Thrifty. If you plan to rent a car, it is recommended to reserve it prior to your travels to obtain the best pricing. See the Travel Info section for airline and auto rental Web links and 800 phone numbers.

Options for travel from San Jose to La Cusinga Lodge are listed below:

By plane:
Fly with Sansa or Nature Air and reach Palmar Sur. Take a taxi (approximately $30) or rent a car for the 45-minute drive north to La Cusinga.

By bus:
The bus from San Jose to San Isidro leaves from MUSOC terminal, Calle Central/Ave. 22-24 starting at 5:30 a.m. This trip is about three hours. To get to Uvita the same day, leave no later than 11:30 a.m. Buses to Uvita leave San Isidro at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. from the main terminal. The trip is about two hours. Arrangements can be made with the Lodge for a pick-up from Uvita.

By car:
Take the Inter-American Highway to San Isidro, then the southern coast highway toward Dominical. The lodge is five km south of the Uvita Bridge, 15 km. south of Dominical.

Costa Rica map
Map courtesy of La Cusinga

Staying There:

La Cusinga Lodge provides all of your meals as well as a number of guided tours and options for third-party tours and sporting activities. For additional travels, there are a variety of lodging alternatives in San Jose, the Central Valley, along the Pacific Coast and in the mountains north of San Isidro. Country inns are a popular alternative in the other areas of Costa Rica. The Web sites listed below will provide information on a number of these establishments. Good guide books for Costa Rica include The New Key to Costa Rica, Frommer’s Costa Rica and Lonely Planet Costa Rica. They provide excellent information for planning your tour, including rankings for accommodations and dining.

Fast Facts:

Costa Rica is roughly the size of West Virginia, with a population of 3.5 million, 2/3 of which is centered around San Jose. 25% of the land is in public or private protected status. Costa Rica has the longest standing and purest democracy in the Central America region. Climate in San Jose and the Central Valley is fairly moderate due to the 3,000-4,000 foot elevation. Tropical conditions exist in the lowland areas. The dry season runs from December to April, which is also the busiest tourist season.

Health Considerations:

In general, Costa Rica has a very low incidence of travel health problems, but there is some risk of malaria and other tropical ailments. It is recommended to visit a U.S. travel clinic before traveling. You’ll receive information on the current health conditions and can obtain shots or medications appropriate to your personal travel plans. Travel clinics can also give you food and emergency treatment advisories to minimize risk during your travels.

Useful WWW sites:
La Cusinga Lodge
Costa Rica Handbook Web guidebook by Moon Publications
La Nacion Digital: all the news of Costa Rica, in Spanish
Costa Rica's Travel Net: Costa Rica tourism
TravelWeb Costa Rica: hotels, cars, etc.
AmeriSpan: Spanish Immersion, Volunteer/Intern and Educational Travel programs

Return to Costa Rica's "Rich Coast" article.

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