ARRIVING TO OUR RAINFOREST BASE
We have been organizing student travel for several years and follow established protocols for arrivals and departures. The airport is small and navigable for young or less experienced travelers. We greet all students at the only public exit of Juan Santamaria International Airport (Airport Code: SJO) and personally escort them back to our rainforest base located approximately 45 minutes northeast of San José in San Ramon de Tres Ríos. Soon after arriving, students will have an opportunity to contact family to notify them of their safe arrival to Costa Rica.
A note regarding minor students (check with your airline for their definition of a minor student). Parents may opt to arrange for unaccompanied minor travel with the airline to assist with travel logistics. In that case, the student must show proof that the fee has been paid when departing, and the person receiving the student upon arrival must be identified. Please contact the Communications Office at 1.800.676.2018 for the contact information upon arrival in Costa Rica and to notify us of the contact information when the student returns home.
DEPARTING FROM OUR RAINFOREST BASE
On departure day, Outward Bound Costa Rica will escort students back to the airport at least two hours prior to their departure time, show them where to pay their departure tax, direct them to their check in counter and see them to the security check point. Due to airport security regulations, an Outward Bound Costa Rica staff member will not be able to accompany a student through security, as only ticketed passengers are allowed.
Costa Rica charges a $29 USD Exit Tax to all passengers departing the country. This tax is paid inside the departure area of the airport. Outward Bound Costa Rica does not cover the cost of the Exit Tax, and all students are responsible for having an available method of payment (i.e. cash or credit card) to cover this fee.
If students opt to travel within Costa Rica before or after course, they must contact us to establish a pick up/ drop off time at the airport or other central location. Alternatively, we can provide instructions for the student to arrive or depart our rainforest base.
BOOKING A FLIGHT
Students must book travel dates to coincide with the start and end dates listed for their course. Arriving to or departing from Costa Rica at any time on the start and end dates is acceptable, although we recommend arriving by mid-afternoon as course activities usually begin early the following day.
Students should fly into and out of Juan Santamaria International Airport (Airport Code: SJO). We reserve the right to cancel or post-pone a course for any reason up to 30 days prior to the course start date. Should that happen, we would work with the student to enroll on another course. For this reason, students may opt to wait until 30 days prior to the start of their course before purchasing airfare.
Students/parents must send official confirmation of flights to enrollment@OutwardBoundCR.org . We request to be informed if there are any changes to flight times prior to the date of travel for both arrival and/or departure flights to ensure that students do not miss their flights or do not have extended wait times at the airport.
Additionally, when a student crosses international borders into Panama and/or Nicaragua during a course, they must present their official flight confirmation from their airline at Customs.
PASSPORTS & VISA
All persons arriving to Costa Rica are required to show proof that they will be exiting the country (plane, bus, or boat ticket) and must have a passport valid with an expiration date at least six months beyond their exit date. European, British, and United States citizens are eligible for a 90-day tourist visa upon entry to Costa Rica. This is a free, renewable Visa and will be issued when the student arrives in Costa Rica. Specific country embassies or consulates are best able to answer further questions about visa requirements and restrictions.
United States citizens can obtain a passport through the Bureau of Consular Affairs – US Department of State. This can take up to three months, or can be expedited for an additional fee.