Travel Tips: Costa Rica, Panama, and Hawaii

COSTA RICA TRAVEL TIPS

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS:

Arranging your travel to and from Costa Rica can be a little tricky.  Once you have purchased you surf trip with us, we will help you organize and coordinate your travel. The following information will help you schedule your arrival and departure.

You will more than likely need to allow 1 day of travel before your stay with us. Your goal is to arrive at the San Jose (SJO) airport in Costa Rica before 12pm on Sunday.  This way you can be sure to catch the last flight of the day from San Jose (SJO) to Tambor (TMU) which leaves at 2pm on Sunday. Occasionally, there will be a 4pm flight, depending on the season. Most people will arrive in Santa Teresa ready for their vacation by late Sunday afternoon. ​If your international flight does not allow for you to connect to the last Tambor flight on Sunday, you will need to arrive on Saturday and catch a flight out the next morning. For those of you who need to spend the night on Saturday in San Jose, we will connect you with other surf camp travelers who need to do the same thing. If you must fly in on Saturday, you will spend the night in San Jose, and then catch the puddle jumper flight from San Jose (SJO) to Tambor (TMU) in the morning. We will arrange for a taxi to pick you up from the Tambor airport when you arrive on Sunday.

Flying TO/FROM Costa Rica:

You will need to fly from your location into the San Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose, Costa Rica.​

Airlines: America, United, Delta, US Air, TACA, LACSA, Mexicana, Spirit Air, COPA​

Go to www.kayak.com for best fares.​

TO/FROM Santa Teresa/Mal Pais:

The closest airport to Santa Teresa/Mal Pais is Tambor (TMU). This flight is a 35 minute flight from SJO-TMU.  Once you get to Tambor from SJO, expect a 1 hour taxi ride.. We will schedule a taxi to pick you up from the airport in Tambor and we will meet you in Santa Teresa at the hotel. If you are planning on bringing your own surf boards, please contact the airlines directly for board size restrictions.​

Sansa Air   www.flysansa.com     Ave. $210 R/T​

Nature Air www.natureair.com Ave. $210 R/T​

TAMBOR AIRPORT TAX:

You will be required to pay a $2.50 tax when you arrive at the Tambor airport and when you return back to SJO. You can pay for this in either Dollars or Colones. You must have cash on hand before you arrive. There is no ATM available.

HOTELS IN SAN JOSE:

If you have to stay Saturday night before your short flight to Tambor due to flight scheduling, we recommend the Best Western Irazu in San Jose, It is safe and has a free round trip shuttle to and from the airport. Best rates can be found on www.kayak.com We can help connect you with other surf Chicas having to the same thing. That way you have other women to share the hotel room with and meet up with that night.​

RETURNING HOME:

Schedule your international flights home on the following Sunday in the afternoon. You will need to allow enough time for you to catch an early morning puddle jumper flight from TMU back to SJO and still have a few hours prior to your flight for customs, checking in, etc.

DEPARTURE TAX: The $29 departure tax is payable at the international airport as you walk in to the right. It is required by all foreign passengers departing on international flights.

PANAMA TRAVEL TIPS

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS:​

First and foremost, you must have a valid passport to travel. Please get that squared away before you purchase your tickets.

There are  couple of options to get to Bocas del Toro, Panama. Your goal is to arrange a flight that will arrive in Bocas del Toro Sunday morning or evening, and then leave on the following Sunday. Many of you will have to take the early flight out to catch your main flight home on time.

For your INTERNATIONAL flight, you can either fly to Panama City, Panama or to San Jose, Costa Rica. Once you have arrived at either of these airports, you will need to take a flight to Bocas del Toro, Panama (it is a small airport that can accommodate private jets).​ Please check the flight times for the Sunday flights out of the small airport at Allbrook, Panama or San Jose, Costa Rica BEFORE you purchase and organize your main flight.

From Panama City, Panama: You will need to take a 1 hour cab ride to the domestic airport, Allbrook. You will then take a 45 minute flight directly to Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro. We recommend Copa airlines for your initial flight into Panama because they have flights that make the same day connection to Bocas. There is only one airline currently flying from Allbrook to Bocas – Air Panama www.flyairpanama.com . In the event that you can not make the same day connection, a night in Panama City is inexpensive with great accommodations, dining, and night life.

From San Jose, CR: You will need to take a flight to Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro on Nature Air www.natureair.com From the San Jose Airport. It looks like the only flight leaving San Jose to Bocas is 6:30AM so you will need to arrive in Costa Rica Friday night, spend the night at the Best Western Irazu, and then leave early in the AM. But always double check to see what is available.

If in case specific flights require that you come on Saturday evening, in order to catch an early Sunday morning flight into Bocas, we will connect you with other Chicas needing to do the same thing so you can all meet up and share a hotel room in San Jose, or Panama City.

TAXIS: ​​The taxis cost an average of $1-3 from the Bocas Airport to the surf camp. Taxis can also be used to go into town but you can walk to almost everything.

MONEY/CURRENCY: Panama uses the US Dollar. There is a bank on the island complete with ATM.

LOCATION AND ACCOMMODATIONS:​ Bocas del Toro province is located about twenty minutes south of Costa Rica on the Caribbean side. Within the archipelago are the three main surf islands and a seemingly endless microbiology of jungle islands, mangrove keys, white sand beaches, virgin coral reefs and coconut palms. Our surf camp is located right on the water in the fringes of downtown Bocas del Toro, Panama.

WHAT TO BRING: Bocas is an Island Paradise. Along with your favorite bikinis and pareos, you will want to bring the basics for surfing in the tropics: Rashguard, board shorts or reef booties if desired. Sunscreen, hat, basic sneakers for a hike, extra towel, a book, an ipod, a camera, and anything that you think will make your trip more comfortable. Because we are in the tropics, I would recommend a lite rain poncho. If you forget something or if you want to indulge in some shopping, the island has two great little surf shops.

WEATHER: The weather in Bocas is tropical. The average temperature is 87F during the day cooling to 78F at night. The water temperature is a balmy 85F. We do receive a bit of rain but it is usually intermittent and very welcomed​

SURF BREAKS: There is surf in Bocas all year. There are 3 main islands that make up the archipelago: Isla Colon, Isla Carenero, and Isla Bastimentos. Off hand, there are 10 incredible surf breaks, many of which we will get to check out. We will be traveling to all of the surf breaks by boat.

HAWAII TRAVEL TIPS

ARRIVAL: We will be picking you up at the Honolulu International Airport outside on the curb by the baggage claim. No need to worry about arranging a taxi or a shuttle to get to us! We recommend getting a flight that arrives early on your first day, so you can hit the beach and catch some waves!

TRANSPORTATION: We provide transportation to all activities throughout your stay as well as round trip airport pick up and drop off. Any additional places you may wish to visit that is not on our itinerary, you will be able to arrange for a taxi to take you where ever you go. If you wish to have your own car during your stay, you can rent a car from the airport prior to your arrival.

WHAT TO BRING: Hawaii is a tropical destination so bring lots of clothes for warm weather but definitely bring a sweater for the evening. Occasionally it rains so feel free to bring a light weight rain poncho. We recommend you bring a rashguard for surfing, several bathing suits, and an outfit or two for the evening time. We will be going to a luau!  You may want to bring a pair of tennis shoes for hiking, definitely a camera, even some workout clothes if you want to head out for a run or yoga class. Anything you forget to bring, you can definitely buy on the island.

SURF BOARDS: If you wish to bring your own board, please check with the airlines before you depart to check for fees and restrictions. We will be providing boards for you for the week but if you have a special one that you can’t do without, definitely bring it!