You may get your own local phone number while visiting Costa Rica, and saving lots of money while being always reachable to your relatives and friends. Simple make sure that your mobile phone is set at open, and allows chip card inserts. Before you leave the custom area at the airport, there is an ICE (Government-run electricity company) shop where you can purchase the local phone number and chip card. YOu simple insert into your phone, and you are ready to go!!!! You can add minutes to the number by buying minute cards at almost any supermarket.
Take the new road via the coast (via Allujela, Jaco, Quepos) south towards Dominical. DIRECTIONS FROM DOMINICAL, take the coast highway (la costanera) south about 15-20 minutes.
Shortly after milestone 159 (milestones are located on the costanera on the
right hand side), you will cross a bridge. Once you crossed the bridge, you will see a little pink house on the left side, and a stone gate to Jardines del
Morette on the right side. Be careful: there are two entrances to Jardines del Morette. You will have to take the first one after the bridge, coming from
Dominical. Be sure to turn left into the entrance way only if there is no heavy traffic behind you (see our blog for driving tipps in Costa Rica),
otherwise stop on the right side of the road until cars have passed and
road is free.
Now, simply turn into the entrance. The property is located
in Jardines del Morette. Follow the road for about 300 meters. You will see a green wooden house. Just before the green house, turn left until you arrive at a wooden gate.
Welcome, you have arrived at
the Casa Verde!
Warning: Be careful! On certain days, usually Sundays - they close the highway from Allujela to the coast to allow only one-way traffic back to San Jose. Make sure to watch out for this, and do not get on the highway if it appears to be closed. They block it with trucks or big rocks!
One of the questions, frequently asked is "Is the tap water safe to drink?". The Casa Verde has city water, which comes from a spring in the mountains. The locals and many foreigners/tourists drink it. We usually buy bottled water, however, use the tap water for regular cooking. Brushing your teeth with the tap water is also not a problem!
Try to avoid driving at night simple because the streets are not very well lit (if at all), and markings are also poorly done (if at all). Driving at night is especially dangerous in rainy season!
When turning left or right crossing the street, be especially careful as turning signals in Costa Rica often signify “it’s safe to pass”, which can result in catastrophic situations as they may just crash full on into your car while you are trying to take the turn! If you need to turn and cross the street while there are cars or trucks behind you, simple halt at the side of the street until the other cars have passed, then take the turn.
In general, we recommend renting a 4WD drive in Costa Rica. Do not try to drive on 4WD roads with 2WD vehicles. There is nothing adventurous about it but plainly dangerous. When you go uphill with a 4WD, make sure your wheels are locked. Most cars have buttons to lock wheels automatically but other cars will need manual locking. When you are going downhill, make sure to unlock your wheels.
Police numbers are:
24 hour clinic in San Isidro:
Clinica Biblica in San Jose: 2257-5252
Cortes: 2788-8148, 2788-8003, 2788-8197
San Isidro: 2
Please put your garbage into plastic bags or garbage bags, tie it up and dispose of it in the desginated garbage platform (made of wood) at the curve of the main road bordering the Casa Verde property. The garbage is picked up every Tuesday. Please do not put the garbage anywhere else as wild animals might try to open the bags and make a mess.
There is a recycling station at Puerto Nuevo, where you can bring your plastic and aluminimum trash. You will need a car to get there as it is located on the right side of the Costanerra going north between Dominical and Uvita.
We always make fun of people equiped as if they would go on a Safari when they arrive at Palma Sur Airport. Really, Costa Rica is a very civilized and absolutley beautiful country. You won't need to fend off wildlife but just relax and enjoy living with it for awhile. We recommend bringing at least one flashlight with extra batteries, sunscreen and sunhat, long sleeve shirt and pants, boots (especially in the rainy season).
Always turn your shoes upside down before wearing them in order to get rid of scorpions and spiders that may have made themselves comfortable inside. There are none in the house but if you keep them on the porch, just be on the safe side.
Do not throw toilet paper in the toilet but use the dedicated trash can in the bathroom. Pipes in Costa Rica are just not thick enough. Dont ask me why.
Do not leave trash outside the house, but show it to the caretaker (Gumercindo) who will take care of it.
In case electricity or water goes out, stay calm. Check with the caretaker and explain the problem. In most cases, all of the area is out of it. There are candles and matches in the kitchen drawer. You should always carry a flashlight, especially when walking at night.
If you do not like bugs, then do keep the doors of the house closed at night while the lights are on.
In case of medical emergency, do not call for help but start driving to Cortez hospital which is 35 minutes south of Uvita on the Costanerra highway. You may also want to check if the doctor is in Uvita is in his office. He can perform first aid and many medical procedures.
Costa Rica has some venomous snakes; hence you should not go through high grass without proper wear (boots and long pants). Always watch out what you touch or where you step. Snakes will bite you when they feel threaten, so you want to avoid seeming a threat to them. Keep the doors of the house closed at night or when you are away. If you do see a snake, do not attempt to catch or kill it. Call the caretaker (Gumercindo). He will take care of the problem. If you get bitten, let someone drive you immediately to the Cortez Hospital, 35 minutes south of Uvita.
Author: Simone Schaerf
I first came to Costa Rica in 1998. I fell in love with the country right away for so many reasons. I have been coming, living and unfortunately never staying off and on since.