FREQUENT QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Do I need a passport for a Costa Rica vacation or trip?
Yes, a valid U.S. passport is necessary for entry into Costa Rica. As is the case in a variety of jurisdictions, your passport substitutes as your de facto form of ID and proves your status as a U.S. citizen. It is imperative that you keep your passport in a safe place, and preferably maintain a photocopy on you at all times while traveling within Costa Rica.
Do I need a visa to travel to Costa Rica?
No visa is required for US and Canadian citizens, unless the duration of the stay is greater than 90 days.
What to pack?
Because of the tropical, humid climate, short sleeves and shorts are the preferred form of attire to wear. If you are traveling during the country's dry season (January through May), worrying about rain isn't necessary and you can usually get away without bringing an umbrella. A bathing suit, toiletries, camera, sunscreen, and insect repellent are suitable extras to bring along that may enhance your experience. Remember to consult TSA carry-on policies before packing items for lodging in the cabin.
How much extra money should I bring along?
How much money you want to bring with you is a matter of personal preference. Depending on your trip most of your meals will be included, so there won't be many out-of-pocket food expenses. However, there will be plenty of opportunities to indulge in restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops, so we recommend having some cash on hand (small villages likely won't accept credit cards). Depending on the duration of your trip, and the amount you may be willing to spend, a cash value between $250 and $500 is sufficient. Don't forget that some of this cost will go towards paying the approximately $26 Costa Rican exit tax (upon departure) along with tips and gratuity for your tour guide and bus driver (if you have one on your trip). Remember to consider traveler's checks in lieu of cash if you are looking for an additional layer of security for your funds.
How is the weather in Costa Rica?
The Costa Rican climate is a tropical one with the temperatures staying in the 80s (F) for most of the day. December through April is considered the dry season with limited precipitation and consistent temperatures. The air cools down at night pushing the temperature down into the 60s (F)
Is the water safe?
Yes it is. All tap water has been properly tested for impurities and is safe to drink, because it is obtained from the clean mountain rivers.
I signed up, is it possible to cancel the trip?
Please reference our Terms and Conditions page for all information in pertaining to trip policies.
When do I have to pay?
We take full payment in advance of the trips to reserve you a spot in your next adventure.
How long in advance do we need to book to ensure we get a spot on your tours or Vacation Packages?
Reservations in advance are highly recommended to ensure your space in any of our tours. You can book your excursion with several months in advance if you want. We recommend to book with 2 months before the arrival date. Last minute bookings are subject to availability, but we normally have space for all of our customers unless the buses are full. For special dates such Christmas, New Year, Holy week, we recommend early bookings.
Do you have an emergency number in case we couldn't find you at the pier OR Airport? Where I can find a phone for make the call?
Yes, our main office number is 2297-0889 and the emergency number is 8337- 3581. In case you need a phone, you can find them in the main building terminal. However, you can ask someone at the pier to borrow the phone. We are sure you will get assistance on this matter.
Have Greenway Nature Tours children rates?
Yes. For children under 10 years old, we apply a 20% discount of the regular adult’s rates.
Is Traveler's Insurance included in price?
Yes, Greenway Tours have 2 different insurances for cover to all our customers.
One is for the buses and it is a mandatory policy in case of a bus accident. Cover medical expenses.
The other one is a policy as a Travel Agent and Tour Operator Professional Liability Insurance Program including medical expenses. This policy covers during all the time you use our services.
Note: Not many companies working with Shore Excursions in Costa Rica have insurance. We recommend that you check for these documents before to book a tour. You may get a better rate at the pier, but the risk can be very high.
Bus insurance is very limited and only is useful is the accident happens during the driving. You are not covered out of the vehicle. Small operators at the pier, independents and cab drivers will tell you that they have the insurance, but please, keep in mind this issue.
Is your company certified by Tourist Board? Are you members of some International Organizations?
Yes, Greenway Tours is a certified Travel Agency & Tour Operator by the Costa Rican Tourist Board (ICT) and you can check our certification on line at: http://www.visitcostarica.com/ict/paginas/categoriaDetalle.asp?idCate=67&idItem=342&sPais=14
At International level we are members of the American Society of Travel Agents ASTA, The ecotourism Society and NTA (National Tour Association).
Are the buses in good conditions and have A/C?
Yes, all the buses are recent models and equipped with AC, Microphone and cooler, comfortable and with good leg room.
Are the tour guides Bilingual? Do they speak good English?
All our tour guides are bilinguals with excellent English skills. We also have guides in French, German , Russian, Spanish and Italian.
Are your tour guides certified and knowledge?
Yes, our tour guides are professionals and all of them have a valid license by the Costa Rica Tourist Board. Some of them have an University degree in Biology or History, and all are very knowledge about Costa Rica in general: Culture, economy, society, nature, etc.
Is your price the final price, or I should expect hidden costs?
Yes, all the prices indicated in our web sites are the final prices and you don't have to pay anything extra unless you request something additional during the tour development.
Note: Be careful with some local operators that offer you Great Deals at the pier. Normally they charge a rate for the transportation service only and once you arrive to the different attractions you have to pay the additional fees and they get a commission. At the end of the day, you probably will be paying more than a pre-arranged tour. Besides this, in order to full up their vans, they will mix you up with other people and with different interests and you can be disappointed with the experience.
Who own Greenway Nature Tours ? What level of experience does he have for run Shore Excursions or Vacation Packages in a safety and high quality level?
The company is owed by Mario Leon (43), a Biologist with more than 18 years experience in the travel industry. He starts as a Naturalist Tour Guide when he still was at the university. Mario is a biologist and use to teach tropical ecology for a special program for tour guides. He has been in about 40 countries and used to work for Windstar Cruises as a naturalist on board and Holland America Line as an assistant Shore Excursions Manager for the Caribbean region, where he gets his experience on shore excursions.
Besides the travel Industry, Mario worked with the United Nations in New York and Switzerland Headquarters as a Consulting Leader for the UN Conference about Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro , Brazil in 1992.
I will be traveling with a group. Can I get a special rate or discount?
Yes, if you are an independent or Travel Agent leading a group with 15 or more people, we can offer you a 10% discount of the regular adult's rates. If you have a group and need a special tour or negotiation, we are open to discuss the different possibilities.
I'm a travel agent and interested in your tours? Can I get a commission if I book the tour through your company?
As long as you travel with a group with more than 15 people, we can give you the group's discount.
Our policies regarding Travel Agents or Companies is that we give 15% commission, but when the agents sell our tours in a regular basis and after to sign a formal business contract with us.
Am I supposed to tip or is it an insult?
Tipping is always appreciated, and you can follow the same guidelines you use in your country of origin!
What is included in the trip?
Please refer to the specific trip packages for more details. The trip proposal was sent along with the confirmation form.
Can I customize a Package listed in your web site?
Yes, you can customize any of the packages we have. Please send us your particular request and we will prepare a special trip proposal and quotation for you.
Do I need to be concerned with finding transportation
Generally all transportation to and from Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José will be provided for you based upon your chosen package. Once at the airport and finished the immigration process, please look for one of our representatives holding a sign with your name on it.
What about public services and electricity?
Electricity is measured in 110 volts. The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), a governmental entity, oversees telecommunications services. A modern telecommunications network encompasses: direct communication to the rest of the world through an automatic telephone system called MIDA, telex service, telegram, faxing, cellular, Internet and data transmission by means of satellites and microwaves.
In case of an accident, what I should do?
Any foreigner who is temporarily in the country has the right to receive health attention at hospitals and clinics in case of an emergency, sudden illness or a chronic disease. Costa Rica boasts a modern and renowned medical health system, under the administration of the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social (CCSS). In case of accident during our tours, please contact our office for assistance.
Important Phone Numbers
Greenway Tours Office
Fire Department and Rescue Units
Rural Police Department
International Calls with Operator Assistance
ONE DAYS TOURS:
How big are your groups for tours?
Greenway Nature Tours work with small groups. Normally, we operate our tours in small Vans for 15, 20 or 25 passengers with a naturalist tour guide on it. Large buses are used only for large group's bookings and when the customer requests a compact group. Due we visit wilderness areas and we take care of the environment, we prefer small groups in order to guarantee to all our customers a personalized experience.
SHORE EXCURSIONS / TOURS FOR CRUISESHIP PASSENGERS.
Can we book the shore excursions once at the pier?
No. All the formal Tour Operators Companies working with shore excursions have restrictions to sell tours at the pier and if we sell any, the local authorities can cancel our license. This policy is in order to guarantee a professional operation and certified that our company has all the permissions and documents in order.
Our company has to request a special permission to get into the pier and report the number of passengers, the buses we will use for the operation, the license plates, ID's of all the staff and all insurances the day before the tour. This permission has to be approved by the local authorities and according with National and International regulations for the safety of all the cruise passengers visiting Costa Rica .
However, once you arrive at the pier, you will see some locals and cab drivers offering tours. They have a different special permission and are regulated by the local authorities as well, but normally they use less quality transportation, lack of certifications and you travel under your own risk.
Can we make the reservation in advance and paid at the pier?
No. All the bookings have to be paid in advance and once you receive the confirmation form from our main office located in San Jose . This is for security reasons due we don't want a tour guide carrying a bunch of money with him. Besides this, we need a 100% guarantee that you will take the tour. In special situations we can negotiate a deposit by credit card and final payment in cash once you arrive.
Does your company use the same places the cruise line normally uses? Are you bringing us to crowded locations and mix us with many other passengers?
No, Greenway Tours always is looking for exclusive experiences and we try to bring our customers to locations where not too many tourists come. We have special contracts with suppliers in order to guarantee that our groups will be attended in a professional basis.
Have Greenway Nature Tours children rates?
Yes. For children under 10 years old, we apply a 20% discount of the regular adult’s rates.
Do you guarantee that we will be back in time at the port before the ship leaves?
Yes, all our tours have been designed according with the cruise ships schedules and they finish at least 2 or 3 hours before the ship set sail. For this reason you don't have to be worry about this situation.
Where is the Pick Up and Drop off of all your tours?
All our tours include Pick Up and Drop Off at the pier. All our buses are very well identified with our logo in front and our tour guides wear a uniform.
How do we know where to find you when we arrive?
All the tours depart from the tour buses parking lot. You should walk a short distance to this point and once in there, our tour guide will be waiting for you with a sign and your name on it. To find us at the pier is very easy.
Do your work with Local Time or Ship Time? Some ships are one hour ahead the local time.
In order to make it easy for you, we work with Local Port Time. In our records we know which ships are working with local and ship time and which ones have different time.
In case the ship cancels Port. Do you have a refund policy?
Yes, Greenway Tours guarantee a full refund in case the ship can't dock due really bad weather conditions or any other special reason. However, if the ship docks, trips operate rain or shine and we can't accept last minute cancellations due normal rainy conditions.
If the ship arrives late, do you wait for us?
Yes. For cruise passengers we will wait for the necessary time if there are delays with the docking procedures or clearance by the local authorities.
How can I book a shore excursion with Greenway Tours ? What information should I have to send for make a reservation?
Once you check our tour options listed in our web sites, you have to send an email to us indicating the name of the tour you want to book, the arrival date, number of people interested in the tour, cruise line, ship name and arrival port: Limon, Caldera or Puntarenas.
With all this information we will proceed with the reservation and prepare the Confirmation and Booking forms. We will send these documents to you by email and you have to fill out the booking form and return it to us by email or fax. For provide your credit card information, you can call us by our Toll Free number in the USA 1-800-895-6978.
Are your tours as good as the ones offered by the ship? Are they less or more expensive?
Our services are very competitive in terms of quality and price. Actually our tours are better due you don't have to travel in big buses and visiting crowded places. Our rates are lower and you get a more personalized service. Due we are a small company; we can be more flexible with our tour's development.