Many providers in the United States fly to Costa Rica. Lately, Southwest Airlines (fairly new to flying into Costa Rica has great deals on flights.)
There are two international airports in Costa Rica. One is in San Jose (the capital) and the other is located in Liberia. We advise that you fly into Liberia since it is closer to our location in Playa San Miguel.
- You will need an up-to-date passport.
- A copy of your return flight to your country.
- A local Costa Rican address: Residencial Playa San Miguel, Javilla, Guanacaste
- No vaccinations are required for the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica.
You can rent an SUV anywhere from $75 to $600 for a full week depending on the rental car company. One website to visit that compares companies is rentalcars.comThe prices above are for a Suzuki Jimmy ($65/week)to a Toyota Rav 4×4 or Prada for $640 per week)It is suggested to get a 4X4 or at least a sturdy and more elevated car for the dirt roads in the area.
If you do not plan to rent a car, PLC charges $150 round trip to pick you up from and return you to the Liberia airport.
The bus system is quite good and inexpensive in Costa Rica. There is a local bus that comes by San Miguel twice daily to take you to the closest town of Jicaral where you can change other busses to take you around the country.
Costa Rica has a fairly high cost of living compared to other Latin American countries. There are a lot of expatriates who live here which has driven up the cost of living. Do not expect that items in the local stores, food, gifts, etc. will be inexpensive. The costs are much like in the US or sometimes more expensive because of the shipping costs of the many imported items.
You may use dollars most anywhere in Costa Rica. The local currency is colones. The exchange rate varies… today it is 555 colones is equal to $1. Popular denominations and dollar equivalents are: 1000c =$1.80 , 2000 c = $3.60, 5000 c = $9.00 and 10,000 = $18.00
Your bank debit or ATM card works fine in the ATM’s (cajeros automáticos) but the closest bank is in Jicaral… about a 45 min drive) The local markets (mercados) take credit cards with your identification.
Check the Student Life page of our website for various places to visit around the area.
Our area of Guanacaste (the Nicoya Peninsula) is known for its quality of life and health benefits.
The water: Nicoyan water has the country’s highest calcium content, perhaps explaining the lower rate of heart disease, as well as stronger bones and fewer hip fractures. Click here for more intormation.
The food: Locals eat a big breakfast and then eat the largest meal at mid-day with lots of rice, beans, vegetables and fruits. There is coffee in the afternoon and a very light supper in the evening.
There are no close healthcare facilities. The closest hospital is in Liberia about 2 hours away. There are is a small local clinic and pharmacies about 45 minutes away in Jicaral.
There is no Internet connection at the home where you will be staying, however when you are in class you will be able to connect for a short time. There are local restaurants (one is on the beach very close to where you will stay) where they have Internet during business hours.
Normally the rainy season is January-June and the dry season is June to December. But as with many areas, the climate changes year to year.
The houses where you will be staying are a typical Costa Rican family home. They are simple, comfortable and have everything you will need to experience the local life and culture. You will have your own bedroom and will share a bathroom with other students. If you wish to come with your family (children are welcome), there are 3 available bedrooms in the casita for students. There is a shared kitchen with a refrigerator that you may use. However, all of your meals will be prepared by your Tica “mom” and eaten with your CR family in their house next door.
If you chose to stay in a condominio, there are a few available, but we encourage you to stay with a family to be immersed in the language and the culture.
All supplies and materials at PLC are supplied for you. Your cost of $500 per month includes everything.
We prefer to do the process personally by email and phone rather than a “paper process”. Through these conversations we try to find out your learning style and needs so that we can accommodate you in the best way possible.
Pets are not allowed in the home where you will be staying. If you have a service animal and wish to rent a condo, we can talk about the possibilities.
There are lots of books about the culture which can change from the big city to the small pueblos, but what better way to learn than by living with a family.
Payment depends on your length of stay, but in general we ask that you pay the housing (room and board) and school (language lessons) up front. This amounts to $850 to cover the first month.
We are currently working on receiving accreditation.
Neither activity is allowed in the home of the family with whom you live. However if you are of age (18 in Costa Rica) you may partake in the restaurants.
You are safe in this area. There have been no problems in this part of the country.
There are two small stores within a couple of kilometres from San Miguel. The larger markets are in Coyote (12 k) and in Jicaral (40 k)
Yes, we are very welcoming and friendly. We have a very good relationship with Americans.