FINCA de VIDA FARM of LIFE COSTA RICA Vacation for Health Wellness Retreats Raw Food Detox

Visiting Us

 

FAQ

Weather...

Contrary to popular belief, it is not blistering hot in Costa Rica. As one moves closer to the equator, temperature ranges become less extreme — at Farm of Life it is generally between 70-95 F degrees from January – April and 60 – 85 F degrees from May – December . At our elevation, we enjoy cool evenings. During the day, the sun is hot and the shade is just right. The sun is strong year round since we are only 9 degrees from the equator.

December to April is the dry season with the warmest temperatures. In May, rainy season begins with more cloud cover and cooler temperatures. [The weather is often electrical in May with storms and lightening.] It is rainiest in October and November. The farm is often closed in November because the weather isn’t conducive to operating a hotel in the tropics. December is when the weather transitions back to dry season. All this said, weather patterns have not been predictable lately. Insects are light from January – April, and more of a nuisance from May-December.


Food...

We provide organic produce from the farm and local area. If you have specific food preferences, particularly for cooked food items, specialty groceries, grains, nuts and seeds, then you are welcome to purchase them from the local markets or bring them with you in your luggage. It is difficult to find raw nuts and seeds and some types of grains in Costa Rica. If you are transporting food through customs, we recommend you keep them in their sealed, original containers. We can provide you with pantry and refrigerator space in our communal kitchen.


Utilities and Telecommunications...

We have high-speed Internet and cell phone service. The Harvest House has Wi-Fi - bring your laptop and plug-in.

Our water comes from a spring. It is clean, pure and mineralized.

Flush in confidence! Farm of Life has a composting septic system. We use biodegradable toilet paper, but otherwise you won’t notice the difference.

We are wired for electricity and are pleased to offer you hot showers. Hair-dryers and other high-powered devices will strain our system. Please leave those behind.

We have great cell phone reception; the carrier is called ICE - the national monopoly. Call your cell phone carrier, and check online information and blogs (e.g. Costa Rica Blog Central) to find out if your phone will receive service here. At a minimum, you’ll need an international service plan and an unlocked phone. At the time of this writing, the GSM phones work here, which is the technology of ATT and TMobile, however with GSM our cell reception is often intermittent and will interrupt downloads. The tri-band phone / world phones (Verizon, Sprint) with an unlocked SIM card (and not a CDMA provider) should work too. This is all we know at the time of this writing - there may be other requirements that we don’t know about. Call your carrier, check your plan (unlimited, roaming) and read the current blogs!

Another way to communicate is on the computer with Skype. Bring your laptop, but first download Skype on your computer and possibly also your loved-one’s computer. You can use Skype to call phones for a low rate (Skype will need your credit card on file), or to call other computers with Skype for free. We have a laptop available for guests to use for email and Skype when necessary.

Our personal phone can only be used for in-country calls within Costa Rica. Our phones are not serviced to make International calls, although we can receive International calls.

If you want to leave your loved ones with our contact information so that they can contact you in case of an emergency, please give them our Costa Rica cell phone number of 506 (country code) 8893 - 7407.


Transportation and Directions...

Fly in and out of the San Jose Santa Maria International Airport. We are a 4-hr commute from the airport. Guests can travel to Farm of Life via:

  • Rental car (about $55 - $95 per day). 4x4 required. There are rental car agencies in San Jose, San Isidro or Dominical Beach. We can email you detailed driving directions.
  • Airport shuttle-taxi combo, about $100 one-way
  • Bus-taxi combo, about $80 one-way
  • Commuter plane to Quepos airport and then a $120 taxi to the farm

We have very specific transportation instructions and driving directions that we can send you by email once a reservation is made.

There are paved roads along the beaches and to San Isidro. To access our farm, one must also travel 10 kms of bumpy, rock road. The route is along rural roads that have no street signs. We do not recommend you drive here for the first time at night, although our taxi drivers can drive here at night without any difficulty since they are familiar with our roads. While the final 10-km of the drive is daunting, there is refuge at the end of the road. The sheltering arms of Farm of Life await you!


Travel Times (non-stop) by car:

  • San Jose: 4 hours. We recommend guests drive the beach route, passing Jaco, Quepos and Dominical.
  • Jaco: 2.5 hours
  • Quepos: 75 minutes
  • Dominical: 45 minutes
  • Palmar Sur: 1.5 hours
  • San Isidro: 45 minutes

Brief Driving Directions:
Please email us so that we can send you complete driving directions.
From Dominical Beach, take the inland-heading road towards San Isidro. When you arrive in Tinamaste, turn right onto the Las Tumbas gravel road, located about 200 meters after the white church. Follow this gravel road for 7-kilometers, beware of the closed bridge (use the temporary bridge), pass Las Tumbas (market, soccer field, school), and into the town of San Salvador. When you see San Salvador’s minisuper sign, take the left turn indicated here. 4x4 is now required. Follow this road for 3-kilometers. Pass over several bridges. The road splits at an orange house – stay left and follow the electric lines. The Private Property sign marks the entrance into Rancho Tranquilo and Linda’s horse farm (stables on the left). Continue straight, stay left, pass the water tank and arrive at Farm of Life. If you get lost, call us at 8893-7407 or ask for directions to San Salvador and to Linda’s, the horse lady.


What to Bring and What Not to Bring...

  • Layers of clothing. Light sweaters for the evenings. Jeans for horseback riding. Long pants for hiking and to protect your legs from critters in the grass. Swimwear and quick-dry shorts. A raincoat, poncho or umbrella in the rainy season. The best sun protection is long-sleeves and a wide-brimmed hat. This is a farm - your clothes may get dirty and muddy, if not also wet. We offer laundry service for $5 per load.
  • Bring appropriate footwear and shoes with excellent traction. Trails often have wet leaves, moss on rocks, slippery red earth and steep slopes. Water-shoes or Vibrams are helpful at the waterfalls. Some guests may want to bring walking sticks. Flip flops and sandals for hanging around the farm. All of your shoes will get either dusty or muddy depending on whether it is dry or rainy season.
  • Biodegradable and natural toiletries - shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, insect repellent, sunblock and lotions. We recommend Burts Bees products for shampoo, conditioner and sunscreen, and essential oil blends for insect repellents. We use a grey water system – the water from faucets is returned to the soil. Mainstream toiletries contain harmful chemicals and carcinogens and we do not want this in our soil.
  • Earplugs, because sound travels on this campus.
  • You don’t need to bring a beach towel – we have some for you to use.
  • Book or Kindle!
  • Water bottle
  • This is a smoke-free campus. Do not bring cigarettes or pipes. We can recommend other lodging to smokers who want to visit the area.
  • Grocery items that you will want for yourself or family. We stock the kitchen with fruits and vegetables, and a few pantry items, for example olive oil and some spices. If you plan to cook or prepare raw gourmet, then we suggest you bring groceries with you, such as quinoa, millet, superfoods, nuts, seeds and raw gourmet ingredients, including sea salt, seaweed, spirulina. Milk, tortillas, salsa, bread, rice, etc can be purchased at the local markets.
  • If you are visiting long term, then we suggest you also bring a laptop, ipod, kindle, and memory stick.

Money and Banking...

We recommend you bring some cash and a debit and/or credit card. Let your bank know that you will be using your debit card in Costa Rica. Bring cash in $20 denominations. Do not carry too much cash, since theft is rampant in the tourist areas. Most places around Costa Rica accept USA dollars, and of course the Costa Rica colone. Some stores and restaurants accept credit cards. Farm of Life accepts cash and paypal.

When you depart, Costa Rica has a $28 exit tax that you can pay with cash, debit card or credit card.


Safety and Theft...

There is no theft at Farm of Life. We are a sanctuary at the end of the road, remotely located. However, the tourist areas of Costa Rica have a well-earned reputation for theft. Thieves can break into a rental car and swipe your luggage in minutes. They’ll grab your backpack at the beach and run. They are very talented. Please be wise when you are travelling this country. Do not leave any valuables unattended or in vehicles when you are out on tours or travelling.

Otherwise, Costa Rica is a very safe place to travel. There is minimal violent-crime. It is a peaceful land with a school in every village and no military. The people are kind and helpful.


Visa Requirements...

Costa Rica has a 90-day tourism visa. You are welcome to stay in the country as a tourist for up to 90-days. When crossing borders, and to obtain a 90-day stamp, you’ll need to have a copy of your return travel itinerary (by air), a credit card to demonstrate financial solvency, and of course your passport.

A 90-day stamp is not given automatically. Often, customs gives you a stamp for only the number of days that you will be in the country. For example, if your return is 10-days from your arrival, then the customs agent may give you only a 10-day stamp. Check your stamp before you depart the customs agent. We’ve had guests with a 90-day ticket get a 5–day stamp!

There is a lot of great information online about this. Please inform yourself if you plan to travel in Costa Rica for 3 or more months. If you plan to stay for more than 3-months, then you’ll have to leave the country for a 3-day minimum every 90-days (e.g. go to Panama for a long-weekend).

If you need to use our address for your Visa Application, please use: Finca de Vida, BJ, SRL; el fin del calle de Baru; San Salvador Perez Zeledon; San Jose, Costa Rica.


Vaccinations and Medical...

As of this writing, no vaccinations are required to enter the country. No malaria pills are required either. Please check online information to confirm this. We are on the West coast of Costa Rica, where there are typically no travel alerts.

In the event of a medical emergency, Farm of Life is a 1-hour drive to the nearest medical clinic or pharmacy. We prefer to take guests to a private clinic where the guest is responsible to pay out of pocket. The cost, in comparison to the USA, is very reasonable.