The Costa Rica Quilt Retreat

Questions & Answers

Note: These are the answers to some common general questions about Costa Rica and the retreat. For specific information on pricing and scheduling, please see our separate Pricing and Scheduling page!

I want to find out about flights to Costa Rica. What airport would I be flying into?
Looking down the driveway
Costa Rica has two international airports. You want the main one. Its name is the Juan Santamaria International Airport. It is physically located just outside the city of Alajuela, but is often referred to as the San Jose airport because it serves our capital city of San Jose, and was in fact originally located there.

Costa Rica's other airport is the Daniel Oduber International Airport, located in the city of Liberia in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Don't go there!

The best way to make sure you are looking at the correct airport is to use the airport code, SJO, when you search online, or give that code to your travel agent.

Do I need a passport/visa to visit Costa Rica?
U.S. citizens must have a passport in order to enter Costa Rica, but there is no need to apply for a visa or other travel document. Your passport will be stamped upon arrival, and you will automatically be entitled to stay for up to 90 days as a tourist.

Most airlines and travel agents include airport taxes and other travel fees in the cost of your ticket. However, you must pay a $26 departure tax at the airport in Costa Rica before checking in for your departing flight, and this is not pre-paid with your ticket.

I've never quilted before - will I be able to do the project?
Absolutely! Everyone begins somewhere...where better than on a relaxing vacation and with the assistance of experienced quilters? We love introducing new people to our favorite art form!

Great, sign me up! But I can't convince any of my friends to join me. Can I come by myself?
Well, no. But our minimum group size is just three, and we hear from a lot of people who are interested in finding travel companions. Just visit our coordinate with other quilters page and fill out the form to get in touch with others who might like to join you!

Where exactly IS Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is part of Central America. Although many people believe that Costa Rica is an island, in fact we are at the "waistline" between North and South America. Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea to the east.

The view out back
How's the weather down there?
For such a small country, Costa Rica has an amazing variety of climates, from tropical rain and cloud forests to dry plains and alpine woods. The weather at Villa Rita is warm to hot; you will be most comfortable in short sleeved shirts and shorts or a skirt most of the time, with long pants and a sweater for cooler evenings and rainy days. The volcano and waterfall gardens are at a higher elevation, so long pants, short sleeves and a sweater are appropriate for that day.

Five days is not enough for me. Can I stay longer?
Sure! If you would like to explore Costa Rica on your own after the retreat program is over, we will be happy to help you arrange for tours, rental cars, or anything you wish. You can extend your stay at the cottages of Villa Rita, or move on to other parts of the country.

What should I bring?
Shorts, slacks, short sleeved/sleeveless shirts, one or two long-sleeved shirts or sweaters, comfortable walking shoes, sandals or flip-flops for the pool and hot springs, sunscreen, sunglasses, toiletries, any medication you need (in original prescription or over-the-counter packaging), camera, spending money (cash, credit card or traveler's checks), your passport and a photocopy of the front page of your passport (where your photo & signature are). If you have any favorite quilting tools, feel free to bring them, but everything you need for the retreat project will be provided here. If you do bring any quilting supplies, be sure the sharp things are in your checked baggage!