Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for choosing Mareas Villas as your Costa Rica Vacation destination! We are excited to share our tropical paradise with you. It is important to us that our guests enjoy all that Mareas has to offer and that your trip is memorable and enjoyable. Below is important information to know:
San Jose is the international airport where our guests fly into. We are about a 3.5 hour drive south of San Jose, slightly south of Dominical. There are 3 options to get to Mareas:
- Private Transfer – We can arrange for a private van to pick up you and your party at the San Jose airport. We can also arrange for transfers back to the airport. This option allows you to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery to and from our resort.
- Rental Car - Now that there is a new bypass to Jaco and the highway between Manuel Antonio and Dominical is paved, the drive to Mareas is now much easier and it is a pleasant 3 ½ hour drive. Keep in mind that you need a 4-wheel drive to get up our steep gravel road and also that you should plan on arriving prior to nighttime (6 PM).
- Local Air/transfer or rental car – You can fly from San Jose to either the Palmar Sur or Quepos airports via Sansa Air or Nature Air. Mareas can arrange for you to be picked up by one of our local car rental agencies and you will then have a car for your stay. It is important that you understand complete.
- It is important that you understand all potential charges for rental cars in Costa Rica . Please see the following link for information on rental cars: http://costa-rica-guide.com/CarRentalInsurance.html
No matter how you arrive at Mareas, we do recommend a rental car during your stay. Please talk to our US sales office for help arranging this – we have great relationships with car rental agencies that offer competitive pricing, late model cars and good customer service.
Driving Directions from San Jose:
- Follow the coastal highway through Jaco.
- Turn south prior to Manuel Antonio following signs to Dominical.
- Drive through Dominical and stay on highway.
- Driving south you will pass the 155 kilometer marker just before descending a small hill. At the bottom of that hill you will see a blue sign on the left advertising “SIBU.” This is our road.
- Make that left and go up the hill for approximately four minutes or ½ mile. You will see on the left a Mareas sign. Take that left. At the fork take the left to the property.
Prior to your arrival, our US Sales office will function as your point of contact for all information and needs. Once you arrive in Costa Rica, you should use the resort as your contact point. Below is information for both offices:
VOIP Phone at Resort: (949) 484-4606 (This is a United States number)
Tim Davis Cell Number: (506) 8347-6531
Cell Phones are available for rental through car rental agencies and at the international airport.
We do allow our guests to use our VOIP phone for a small charge. However, we highly recommend that if you bring your laptop that you download Skype and purchase a Skype headset. Using our high-speed wireless internet, you will get great sound quality and will pay pennies a minute to call back to home (wherever that may be).
Tours and Transfers:
Mareas Villas is located in one of the most diverse, beautiful and adventurous area of Costa Rica. The Costa Ballena area on the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica offers the best of the rain forest and beach. We offer many great tours and can help you build an itinerary that will create memories for a lifetime. Go to http://www.mareasvillas.com/tours.cfm to see our amazing tours. If there is anything you want to do that you don’t see, let us know and we’ll get you information.
What to bring:
We aim to please at Mareas Villas and you will find many of the amenities that you will need for a great trip . However, we do recommend that you pack correctly to ensure maximum enjoyment and comfort for your stay. Below is a list of items we recommend that you bring along:
- If your shoe size is over size 10 for women or men or you are a child, bring boots (you will need these for our nature trails – we provide sizes 10 and under for adults)
- Knee socks for boots
- Bug Spray with Deet
- Hat to protect from sun
- Light jacket or long sleeve shirt (may not need but good to have)
- Light raincoat for rainy season (May – mid December)
- Sunglasses with string
- Tevas or even better, keens
- A good book for lazy or rainy days
- Laptop (we have high-speed internet if you want to surf or e-mail)
- DVDs (we have 42” flat screen and DVD player)
- Camera and/or video camera (a must!)
- Snacks (you can buy in Costa Rica but we like to bring Sour Patch kids or Gummi bears)
- Credit card/ATM card (these are accepted at most markets, restaurants and stores)
Important Information about Traveling to Costa Rica:
Customs and Immigration procedures:
Make sure to check with your carrier for the most updated carry-on baggage guidelines. Many airlines are now charging per bag for carry-on luggage. You may want to keep medications, cash, jewelry, a change of clothes and smaller electronic equipment in your carry-on luggage.
The Costa Rican currentcy is colones. US currency is also accepted everywhere. The exchange rate fluctuates but typically is between 500-600 colones to the US dollar.
Costa Rica charges all visitors a $26.00 USD departure tax that is payable at the international airport upon departure. This can be paid in cash or via credit car. Often, this is a good way to get rid of excess Costa Rica currency (colones).
Costa Rica uses 120 V, 60 Hz electrical service, similar to the electrical service used in the United States.
Food and Water:
Mareas has a water filtration system and our water if safe and delicious to drink. When eating out, most restaurants offer treated water and is safe to drink. However, bottled water is never a bad idea when going off-property. Mareas offers a refrigerator and full kitchen and grilling area if you eat on property. We also offer cooking services from our amazing owner/cook, Tim Davis, who learned his culinary skills while working at Emeril Legassie’s New Orleans and las Vegas restaurants. We are happy to recommend great restaurants in the Costa ballena area.
Heat and Sun:
It is hot down in Costa Rica. Always bring and apply sunscreen when outdoors and we highly recommend that you bring sunglasses and a hat to protect you from the sun.
It is not necessary to get shots when you come to Costa Rica, however the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a list of recommended vaccinations: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/costa-rica.aspx. We have travelled to Costa Rica and stayed in tourism areas without additional Hepatitis, Typhoid or Malaria vaccinations.
Costa Rica has a 13% hospitality tax that is standard on hotel rooms and meals. Tours typically do not charge additional taxes.
Costa Ricans are dependent on service jobs to make a living. Tipping is an important part of their wages and making a liveable wage. Typically, standards for tipping are:
- Tour guides between $5-10 per person for a day tour or $20 or more for a group of 5 or more.
- Drivers $5-$10 for shorter trips and $20 for longer ones
- Waiters 5% - 10% as a 10% service charge is typically standard on your bill
Our non-holiday payment policy is as follows:
- 50% deposit due at time of reservation
- Remaining balance due 60 days prior to reservation
- Reservations made within 60 days of reservation, entire balance is due
- 50% deposit due at time of reservation
- Remaining balance due 90 days prior to reservation
- Reservations made within 90 days of reservation, entire balance is due
Our non-holiday cancellation policy is as follows:
- Cancellations made 60 days prior to reservation, full refund minus $750 cancellation fee
- Cancellations made within 60 days of reservation, entire reservation is forfeited
Our holiday cancellation policy is as follows:
- Cancellations made 90 days prior to reservation, full refund minus $1000 cancellation fee
- Cancellations made within 90 days of reservation, entire reservation is forfeited
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