top of page
Image by Agence Olloweb


Can we still use our phones in Costa Rica?

Yes, however, there are a few phone settings you'll need to adjust, and you can do this before traveling.

  • First, go to your cellular phone settings and turn on data roaming. Without it, you can't access the web while in Costa Rica unless you're connected to Wi-Fi. 

  • Download the Google Maps app or Waze. Apple maps is worthless in Costa Rica.

  • Make sure your cellular setting allows Wi-Fi calling. The condo is just out of reach of cellular (weak signal), but Wi-Fi is good, so you'll have full phone functionality. Should Wi-Fi go down while you need to work, you'll have to head down the hill or go into town and find a coffee shop. 

  • WhatsApp - if you're communicating with anyone in Costa Rica for tourist activity, there's a good chance they'll be contacting you on WhatsApp. They seem to use it instead of Cellular for most communications. 

  • You can always check with your phone provider before traveling and ask what your best options are.

raph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

What is the best way to get to Costa Rica?

Fly to Liberia airport. It's near the coast, and about 20 miles (40 mins) from Ocotal, your destination. It's a small airport and is easy to navigate. Currently, due to COVID, some extra steps are needed to travel to Costa Rica. These will be explained by your airline, but here's a lowdown on the current travel situation:

  • Outbound:  You'll need to follow your airline's instructions. Make sure your passport is up to date. As of now, it is no longer required to show proof of vaccination before traveling to Costa Rica.

  • Return: The US is no longer requiring a negative COVID test before traveling back into the country

  • Before traveling: Check for any updates to the International travel policy for both Costa Rica and the United States.

Do we need to rent a car?

A rental car is highly recommended because our condo at Azul Paraiso is not within walking distance of anything. You can get a cab to town and back if you plan to drink or don't feel like driving.


Book your rental car in advance. When you land at Liberia airport, you'll find rental car booths inside customs by the baggage claim. Don't panic if nobody is at the booths (we have yet to see anyone there). Exit customs, and you'll find your agency holding a sign for your rental car company. They will shuttle you about 2 to 5 miles (depending on your rental car company) to the location where you'll pick up your vehicle. We have had no issues with any rental car company there, but found Europcar (aka Fox) to be among the most efficient. It's also a right turn out of the airport, which is on the way to Coco & Ocotal. 


Rental cars can be pricey ($350/week) and you'll also need to either purchase car insurance for about $30/day or put down a very big deposit on your credit card toward car damage. In the US it's common to decline car insurance when renting. That's not an option in Costa Rica unless you put down a big deposit. Note that rental cars are offered in stick shift or automatic. If you are not confident in a stick, get the automatic because you'll have to drive in steep terrain, including the drive up to Azul Paraiso. Also, note that you may get a car that is definitely "used." Don't worry about it, it is normal for cars to be well used. Make note of any damages you see on the car including taking photos of any dents, scratches, etc.

How do we get to the condo from the airport?

Please visit the Directions page here

There are videos with detailed directions to the condo from Playas del Coco. We recommend that you download these videos and transfer them to your phone, in case you have any connectivity issues when you first land. Be prepared for pedestrians, bikes, and slow trucks on the roads. Have someone help you navigate as you make your way to Ocotal so you can keep your eye on the road. Remember - Safety Third!!

Where do I get the key to Azul Paraiso 3B?

You will get instructions before departing the US on where to pick up your key. Usually, you will just drive directly to Azul Paraiso and pick your key up from the security guard when you first enter the complex. They should have your name and dates when you're in residence. Keep the key during your stay, and return it to the guard when you leave. There may be occasions when you will need to go to the main office to pick up your key. You will be instructed before you arrive if that's the case.

Is Costa Rica safe?

The locals (Ticos) are known for being friendly and welcoming. While no country is free of crime, we have found this reputation to be true, without exception.  

The towns in Costa Rica will not look like you're used to seeing in America.  As you drive from Coco to Ocotal, you'll see razor wire and bars on windows.  You may wonder if you are welcome or safe in this place. We've asked many of our contacts if there should be a reason to be concerned when off the beaten path, and all have indicated you should not have to worry about your safety.  Nevertheless, whenever traveling you should be aware of your surroundings, travel in numbers at night, and never leave valuables unattended.  Every country has some crime.    

There is one place in Coco where we have seen more vagrants and been approached for money; the U-turn at the end of the town where you reach the beach. There are some nice bars in this area, and we've found them to be safe in the daytime and at night.  But if you want to avoid being approached, steer clear of this spot.   

bottom of page