Finding anything useful in the tsunami of advertising and search engine optimization garbage returned by a simple Google search is nearly impossible any more. We created this webpage as our personal resource to keep track of good information and we’re happy to share.
The fastest way to find things here is to search within the page. We have included real keywords in the descriptions and zero advertising or promotion in the results.
- Excellent personal page of do it yourself birding information for Costa Rica – Quetzal by Car.
- Merlin from the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology is the only birding app worth having for Costa Rica and it’s totally free.
- Asociacion Ornitologica de Costa Rica – Ornithology Association facebook page with excellent photos & website
- Official bird list of all species known in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica Government Press Releases covering things like bridge and highway improvements, airport construction, social initiatives, legislative plans – good search function.
- Road outages and closures, construction, planned projects – Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes – MOPT – Ministry of Public works and Transportation
- Official MOPT roadways map showing the entire official Costa Rica highway system with route numbers and the future route of road projects like the new circumvalacion norte
- the government of Canada issued dire warnings to “Exercise a high degree of caution due to crime” and other dangers of travel in Costa Rica
- Embassies & Consuls – Costa Rica’s offices everywhere in the world
- Embassies & Consuls – Other countries’ offices in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica Embassy in the U.S.
- Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación – SINAC – National System of Conservation Areas
- Autoridad Reguladora de lo Servicios Públicos de Costa Rica – ARASEP – Public Service Regulatory Authority
- Ministerio de Gobernación y Policía Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería – Ministry of Governance, Police and Public Safety Directorate General of Immigration and Foreignness [sic] Services
- Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes – MOPT – Ministry of Public works and Transportation
- Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias – CNE – National Emergency Commission. The webpage alert system is frequently crashed or not updated. The CNE facebook page seems to be more reliable.
- Instituto Meteorológico Nacional de Costa Rica – IMN – National Meteorological Institute
- Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto de Costa Rica – MREC – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Culture
Avenida 7/9 & Calle 11/13, Apartado 10027-1000, San José – (506) 2539-5300 or 2223-7555 or 2223-0522
- Ministerio de Hacienda República de Costa Rica – MH – Treasury & Taxes
Avenida 2 Calle 1/3, diagonal al Teatro Nacional, San José – M-F 8a-4p
(506) 2284-5000, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguro Social – MTSS – Ministry of Labor and Social Security
Edificio Presbítero Benjamín Núñez, Barrio Tournón San José – (506) 2542-0000
- Consumer Fraud & Complaints – Ministerio de Economia, Idustria y Comercio
400 m al Este del Periódico La Nación, Oficentro ASEBANACIO, LLorente de Tibás. Apdo 10.216-1000, San José
Línea del Consumidor 800-266-7866 – Spanish website for complaints and consumer hotline.
- Comisión Nacional del Consumidor y Dirección Apoyo al Consumidor – Consumer Protection & Support Agencies accept complaints and maintain a list of protection suggestions like “keep your receipts” if you want to pursue a court case.
- Center for Disease Control – U.S. CDC – health information for travelers to Costa Rica and avoiding bug/mosquito bites
- World Health Organization – WHO – zika virus in Costa Rica
- Coast to Coast hiking route with community associations, guides, campesino loding, home stays – Camino de Costa Rica
- IOverlander – directory list of camp sites (the map is broken) in Costa Rica
- National parks, refuges and reserves official webpages and contact information – Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación – SINAC – National System of Conservation Areas
- Hiking & trekking trips Ticos a Pata – basic and inexpensive guided and/or outfitted
- Online Topographical Map viewer (see Mosaicos Hojas 1:5mil layer for best topo detail and Mosaico 1000 for ultra close aerial view) – Infraestructura Nacional de Datos Espaciales de Costa Rica – SNIT/IDECORI – National Spatial Data Infrastructure of Costa Rica – a division of the National Registry
- AM Costa Rica has a pretty relaxed style and hometown feel. You can view the classifieds online and list employment and rental property wanted classifieds for free.
- La Nacion posts their top stories online in English as well as the full version in Spanish for registered users (free registration).
- The Tico Times, Costa Rica’s leading English Language Newspaper posts its top stories online for free. They also sell online and print subscriptions to the full text version world wide.
- Howler Magazine has articles on lifestyle, travel, real estate and a bit of news occasionally.
- La Prensa Libre is an online newpaper in Spanish
- Inside Costa Rica is a daily news magazine
- The Voice of Guanacaste, A monthly online newspaper for the Guanacaste region.
- Repretel Representaciones Televisivas Television Networks
- El Observador – the Observer online news blogs
Regulations & Documents
- Entry Visa Requirements by country – Dirección General de Migración y Extranjeria – Ministry of Governance, Police and Public Safety Directorate General of Immigration and Foreignness [sic] Services
- Entry requirements (passport validity, return tickets, solvency) – Dirección General de Migración y Extranjeria
- Translators – officially registered to translate documents into Spanish for submission to the courts, immigration etc.
- Bus Schedule – good public bus route finding tool with semi-reliable information about schedules and pricing
- Taxi fares – government regulated taxi fares for rural, urban and airport cabs
- Public bus fares – official costs on every route between each of the more than 3,500 bus stops in Costa Rica – Autoridad Reguladora de lo Servicios Públicos de Costa Rica – ARASEP – Public Service Regulatory Authority
- U.S. airport delays – FAA – Federal Aviation Administration
- Flight tracking arrivals & departures – LIR (MRLB) Daniel Oduber International Airport, Liberia
- Flight tracking arrivals & departures – SJO (MROC) Juan Santamaría International Airport, San José
- TRACOPA – southern zone public bus routes – ticket offices and terminals (online sales not available).
- Carbon footprint calculator – interested in the environmental impact of your “ecotour” vacation?
- History of Natural Disasters in Costa Rica – earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and weather related from 1723 until 2017
- Minimum legal wages for every job in Costa Rica
- Slang dictionary – diccionario de Costariqueñismos
- Pet travel from the U.S. to Costa Rica regulations and recommendations for dogs, cats, birds etc. – United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
- Pet travel from Costa Rica to the U.S.
- Report & map for tropical storms on the Pacific side of Costa Rica – U.S. National Hurricane Center
- Report & map for tropical storms on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica – U.S. National Hurricane Center
- Simple 2 week weather/storm forecast for Costa Rica – U.S. NOAA and National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center
- Costa Rican Emergency Alert System – Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias – CNE – National Emergency Commission – provides information for ongoing disasters…sometimes. Not terribly reliable considering the situation may be life and death… the CNE facebook page may be better.
- Surf report/forecast – weather with wind, wave height, swell size, direction and period
- Ventusky – interactive Costa Rica weather forecast map – use the date/time selector to see weather predictions for the next ten days
- Weather predictions by region & meteorological advisories – Instituto Meteorológico Nacional de Costa Rica – IMN – National Meteorological Institute
- Water temperatures and tides – the oceans are always warm in Costa Rica but this will tell you exactly how warm
*actually useful – If you have a better resource for any of these topics we’d appreciate a heads up. If you find a “404 – page not found” error or other problem with any of these links please let us know. Please note that links for Costa Rican government agencies hide tons of helpful information in notoriously unreliable, poorly designed and sporadically updated websites – have patience and be persistent.