FAQs

Tourists



What’s included in the nightly rate?

Our nightly rate includes three freshly-prepared meals per day; taxes; wireless internet in the main areas of campus; and a number of activities here at UGA Costa Rica. 


What are the rooms like?

Be prepared for rustic luxury! The Ecolodge San Luis (=Cabinas) are a scenic 8-10 minute walk from the main campus and Dining Hall, along an unpaved country road. They are beautifully built to include private balconies with rocking chairs, ceiling fans, hot water, plenty of towels, and coffee makers. The Cabinas do not have telephones, TV, internet, alarm clocks, or hair dryers. For picutres and more complete descriptions, please visit our residential facilities page and photo gallery.


When are meals? What is the food like?

Your stay at UGA Costa Rica includes three typical Costa Rican-style meals per day, freshly prepared using local ingredients. Meals are served buffet-style in our dining hall, and include typical dishes such as rice, beans, chicken or meat, fresh vegetables, salad, and others. Breakfast includes the traditional “gallo pinto” along with fresh fruit and locally-grown coffee.  

 

Meals are served at 7:30 am, 12:00 pm, and 6:00 pm. We’ll be happy to set up an earlier breakfast time, or a lunch packed to-go, in order to best accommodate your day’s activities... just be sure to let us know the night before!  Also, if you have special dietary needs (vegetarian, food allergies, etc), please let us know in advance so we can best meet your needs.


What kind of activities are offered?

We offer a variety of activities that are included in the nightly rate: natural history hikes, bird watching, botanical garden tours, night hikes, workshops on insects and plants, and much more. We also provide a translator/guide for other local activities such as coffee farm tours and cooking workshops. During your stay in San Luis, you can also take advantage of the many attractions in nearby Monteverde and Santa Elena: the world-famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, ziplines, the Butterfly Garden, horseback riding, and much more. For a complete list of activities, please visit our activities page.


Is UGA Costa Rica a good destination for families with kids?

Yes! All of our activities, from guided hikes to cooking workshops, can be adapted for families with children. We would be happy to tailor your itinerary to meet your family’s needs – please contact us for more information.


Is there internet?

Wi-fi is available in the main areas of campus: Student Union, classrooms, Rec Center, Faculty House, and student residences. In addition, six computers are available for use in the main building. There is no internet in the Ecolodge (Cabinas). Internet use is included in the nightly rate.


Is there laundry service?

Laundry service is available for $10.00 per medium-sized load. Laundry dropped off at breakfast is typically ready by 3:00 pm. For more information please inquire at Reception.


What is the weather going to be like during my visit?

The rainy season typically begins in mid-May and ends in early December. December and January (the “rainbow season”) tend to be windy and misty. The months of February, March, and April tend to be a bit warmer and dryer. In general, San Luis and Monteverde tend to be cooler than lowland and coastal areas of Costa Rica, so you’ll want a sweater or jacket at all times of the year. Generally it's best to be prepared for rain regardless of season, and stash a small umbrella in your bag!  For up-to-date weather data, be sure to visit our weather station page for real-time information.


What do I need to bring?

Make sure to bring a reliable flashlight, a watch or battery operated alarm clock, and a fleece or jacket- it can get chilly up here in the mountains! During most of the year, rain gear is a “must” in Costa Rica. A complete list of “What to bring” is provided below.

 

Must Haves

  • Reliable flashlight or headlamp, and spare batteries (batteries are also typically available for sale at our Gift Shop)
  • Watch and/or battery operated alarm clock
  • Rain gear (poncho and/or umbrella and/or rain jacket)
  • Day pack to carry your rain gear, jacket, flashlight, and lunch on hikes
  • Ziploc bags to protect camera, binoculars, etc. from the rain
  • Water bottle
  • Toiletries and personal items, including: sunscreen, insect repellent, and anti-itch cream
  • Any medications you normally take or might need; including extra contacts or glasses
  • International calling card (calling cards are also available for sale at our Gift Shop)
  • Camera + extra batteries or charger, and all the memory cards and/or film you will need
  • Passport + at least 2 photocopies
  • Student ID (if applicable)
  • Important names and phone numbers: family members, emergency contacts, credit card companies in case of loss or theft, etc.

Clothing

  • Long sleeves and long pants provide the best protection from bugs, sun, and scratches, on hikes and around campus.
  • Shorts and t-shirts for around campus during the day, and especially if your itinerary includes a trip to the beach!
  • Warm jacket, fleece, or sweatshirt - it can get chilly up here in the mountains!
  • Hat (for protection from sun and rain)
  • Comfortable, sturdy walking shoes (tennis shoes, trail running shoes, or lightweight hiking boots). For wet/muddy conditions, rubber boots are widely available in stores; we also have an assortment of rubber boots that may be borrowed.
  • Shoes or sandals to change into when the others are wet and muddy.

 

Other Items

  • Digital memory storage device, such as a USB flash drive [essential for anyone who will be using computers on campus!!]
  • Journal
  • Small notebook to take notes in the field
  • Spanish-English dictionary or phrasebook
  • Binoculars

Where is UGA Costa Rica located? Can I get driving directions? Where is the nearest gas station?

UGA Costa Rica is located in the town of San Luis, Monteverde. Our unique location allows visitors to enjoy the relatively remote and scenic San Luis valley, while still having easy access to attractions in nearby Monteverde and Santa Elena. (We’re about a 25 minute drive from the main town of Santa Elena, and a 15 minute drive from the village of Monteverde.) For driving directions please visit our directions page.  There are two gas station in Monteverde. The closest one is located in Santa Elena and is open daily from 5am-10pm. That being said- it's still a good idea to fill up your tank before leaving the Interamerican highway- or if you are coming from the Arenal/Fortuna area, in Tilarán.


What are the options for ground transportation?

The most common ways to get to and from San Luis include private transportation; Interbus; public bus; or rental car. We will be happy to provide you with more information on each of these options.

 

By Bus
There are two direct buses daily from San José to Monteverde, leaving at 6:30am and 2:30pm. We recommend the early bus, in order to travel during daylight hours and thus see more along the way. Buses leave on the same schedule (6:30am and 2:30pm) from Monteverde to San José.
 

Shuttle

There are serveral private shuttle companies that run between Monteverde and a number of popular destinations in Costa Rica.You can make reservations directly with the companies, usually online.  Interbus and Quality Transfers are two such companies. 


Private Transportation (“Hired Car”)
If you are interested, we can arrange for a vehicle and driver to pick you up and bring you here directly from either of the airports or from wherever you are in Costa Rica. Please ask us for a quote.

 

Rental Car

Depending on your itinerary and comfort level driving in Costa Rica, it may make sense to rent a car. Rental cars for Monteverde should be 4WD during all times of the year, but especially from May to December. UGA Costa Rica does not make car rental reservations but we can and provide directions and help you determine approximate driving time.


How do I make a reservation?

Please visit our reservations and payments page for information.


When and how do I pay?

A 50% deposit is required to confirm your reservation. This can be made online using your Visa or Mastercard. Payment in full is required at the time of check-in; this can be paid in cash (US dollars or Costa Rican colones) or credit card (Visa or Mastercard). We also accept payment via international wire transfer.