General Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the process for enrolling in a program?
A: All our programs are designed to accommodate groups. Except in the case of our Travelers 50+ programs, a group leader from your school, college, organization, or business will fill out the following online Request Form to begin the enrollment process. A member of the Immersion Abroad Costa Rica team will contact you within 48 hours of filling out this initial program request.
Note: Any individual interested the Travelers 50+ programs can fill out the request form.
Q: What is the cost of your programs?
A: Due to the customized nature of each program, prices are not listed. IACR works hard to meet your group’s requested accommodations including budget, size, and length of stay. Please contact IACR for more information. Special discounts apply to groups 10 and larger.
Q: How do I pay for a program as an individual participant or trip leader?
A: Trip leaders will collect money from group participants and either pay by one main check or transfer funds via wire. Please contact IACR for further details.
Q: Which documents will I need upon entering Costa Rica?
A: If you are a U.S. citizen you will just need your passport. NOTE: Your passport must be valid for at least 90 days after your departure date. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with your local Costa Rican consulate.
Q: How can I apply for or renew a passport?
A: If you are a U.S. citizen, please go to http://travel.state.gov for a step-by-step description of the passport process.
Q: What is included in every program?
A: Please visit the our Inclusion Page for more information.
Q: Do you book airfare for participants?
A: IACR wants you to find the best airfare price for your budget and group needs. Because of this we do not handle or book any international flights for our participants.
Q: Is health/travel insurance included in the price of the programs?
A: It is not, but we can offer a list of recommended health/travel insurance websites. Please contact IACR for more information.
Q: How do I use, withdraw, or spend money while Costa Rica?
A:The common way to pay in Costa Rica is in the national currency of colones. You can withdraw money in colones from ATM machines in addition to exchanging dollars for colones at the local bank (must present original passport at bank). You can also often pay by credit card or USD in most restaurants, shops, supermarkets etc.
Q: What are your minimum and maximum group sizes?
A: Group sizes can range from 10 to 30 participants however IACR can work with you to accommodate your group needs.
Q: How late can someone be added to a trip?
A: A new addition must be made 30 days before the group departure date, but be aware that your specific group or institution may have its own policy for late additions.
Q: How do I get from the airport to the Atenas?
A: IACR staff will pick you and/or your group up at the airport and transport you to the Program Center in Atenas. If for some reason you have to move by yourself, you can take any of the orange taxis at the airport.
Q: What kind of clothes will I need in Costa Rica?
A: IACR will provide you with a recommended packing list after you have enrolled in the program. Much of the packing recommendations will be determined based on the time of year (dry or rainy season) and destinations within your specific trip itinerary.
Q: When are the dry and green (rainy) seasons?
A: The dry season begins in December and continues through April. Warm and sunny days are free of any rain and tempered in January and February by cool winds. The warmest months are March and April, coinciding with the end of the dry season. The coolest temperatures are found from November through January. As a general rule, the dry season brings greater temperature variations between the days and nights, with fluctuations as much as 14-18 degrees. The rainy season runs from May through late November, bringing sunny mornings splashed by bouts of warm afternoon rain. Also known as the green season, these months are punctuated by a brief dry spell that occurs in July and August. In September and October, look for dramatic downpours that drench the hillsides and fill the rivers.
Q: Is Costa Rica safe?
A: Security, like anywhere in the world, is something to be aware of to minimize the chance of inconvenience or accident. That said, Costa Rica is one of the safest Latin American countries. However, as in any country, particularly in the capital, use common sense. Do not be alone in poor or isolated areas at night. In the city only use red taxis. Do not carry large amounts of cash or expensive items on your person. Immersion Abroad staff will give you additional tips upon arrival.
Q: Will I need any vaccinations before arriving?
A: Not in general, but we recommend checking with your primary care physician before traveling abroad.
Q: What is the minimum age to participate in your programs.
A: As some participants may travel with younger family members, please contact IACR for specific age eligibility.
Q: Do all participants stay with host families?
A: Not necessarily, it depends on the program and desire of the participant. We can offer both host family and lodge/hotel options. This subject can be discuss directly with the IACR staff.
Q: Can more than one person stay with the same host family?
A: Yes, up to three students can stay with the same host family.
Q: How do you choose your host families?
A: Click here to learn more about our homestay experience.
For more questions regarding specific programs, visit the individual program pages.