The official tourism board, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT), has a small desk in the baggage claim area at Juan Santamaría airport. It contains a few brochures but is staffed only sporadically. Visitor information is provided by the Costa Rica Tourist Board in the United States.
Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (2299-5800; 866/267-8274 in North America. www.visitcostarica.com. Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría, 20109. 2437-2400.)
Online Travel Tools
InfoCostaRica has a website with good cultural info, and chat rooms. Horizontes is a tour operator that offers nature vacations but also has extensive information on Costa Rica and sustainable tourism on its website. The U.S. Embassy's comprehensive site has health information, travel warnings, lists of doctors and dentists, and much more. The REAL Costa Rica slips in a bit of attitude with its information, and is a bit lax on updating, but scores high marks for overall accuracy. Scope out detailed maps, driving distances, and pictorial guides to the locations of hotels and businesses in some communities at CostaRicaMap.com. The Association of Residents of Costa Rica online forums are some of the region's most active and informed, with topics ranging from business and pleasure trips to the real-estate market.
Association of Residents of Costa Rica (www.arcr.net.)
The REAL Costa Rica (www.therealcostarica.com.)
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