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Frequently Asked Questions


Manuel Antonio is very easy to get around and enjoy.  However, we know that traveling to a foreign country brings up a lot of questions.  Here are some of the most common questions we hear every year.


Where should I exchange currency?

Don’t bother exchanging US dollar to local ‘Colones’ at a bank. You can pay for virtually everything with US currency. You will get your change back in Colones so you will always have some local currency to use. Most places will take credit cards, but you can negotiate better pricing if you pay cash.

What time it is?

Costa Rica is on Central Time. However, we do not change for daylight savings time, so 1/2 the year, we are on Mountain Time.


Costa Rica has the same electrical standards as in the U.S.
No need for converters.

Can I drink the water?

The water system in Costa Rica also has US standards so you can drink right from the tap.  Of course, some people don’t like to drink tap water in the US.  There is bottled water at stores in town.

How does Manuel Antonio compare to Guanacaste?

Guanacaste is a very different part of the country. It is being rapidly developed with mega-all-inclusive-hotels. It is much more dry and flat up there to support their golf courses.
On the other hand, Manuel Antonio is much more hilly rainforest with nature and animals all around you.
If you like the ‘all inclusive, golf course, shopping mall experience’, then Guanacaste is the place for you. If you like the laid-back, bed-and-breakfast, boutique hotel, rainforest, nature reserve, then Manuel Antonio is for you.

Does it rain all the time?
Do you get hurricanes?
Costa Rica is blessed with the absence of hurricanes. Bad weather starts at the equator and gets worse as it moves away. Fortunately, Costa Rica is at 9 degrees latitude, so hurricanes have very little time to develop.  We haven’t had a hurricane in over 50 years.
However, we do get rain. Manuel Antonio has our dry season from December to April and its’ heaviest rain in September and October.  The rest of the year, we experience typical tropical light afternoon showers.
But, I LOVE the ‘green season’. It’s cooler, greener, and fewer people. The day usually goes like this… You wake up early in the morning, it’s bright and sunny. The howler monkeys are screaming at each other in the trees, the birds are singing like crazy, the monkeys pass through and play in the trees next to the pool. You can go on a day trip (white water rafting, zip line, etc). Around 1:00 or so, the clouds start rolling in and the light rain starts around 2:00. Perfect time for an afternoon siesta. About 5 or 6 the rain stops just in time for a cool, relaxing dinner. Then, around 10:00 the heavy rain starts. You wake up the next morning to another bright sunny day.
Of course, there are days that it doesn’t rain at all.
Do they speak English?
The official language is Spanish, but most Costa Ricans can understand and speak a bit of English.
As in the rest of Latin America, Roman Catholicism is Costa Rica’s main religion.
Is it safe?
Costa Rica is VERY SAFE… our big capital city of San Jose is ranked safer than EVERY major U.S. city.  Of course, our little fishing town of Manuel Antonio is even safer.
However, you should follow basic travel rules: Don’t flash lots of money around; don’t bring any family heirlooms; lock your doors and windows; put your valuables in the supplied safe; etc.
We also have a 911 system for reporting emergencies.  Your house concierge can help with this.
Costa Rica’s health care system is one of the best in the world and has actually been ranked higher than that of the United States (at a fraction of the cost). There is a hospital in Quepos that is about 15 minutes away from any home in Manuel Antonio.