Costa Rica: Pre-Fest Country Checklist

This February the Central American country of Costa Rica will be hosting two popular music festivals. The first one, Bamboo Bass, will take place from February 16th-18th in the jungle near the little beach town of Jaco. The second is Envision, which will take place the following weekend in Uvita. I am very excited to be able to attend both these festivals and explore some of this beautiful country.

Entry Requirements

Not only do you need to ensure that you have a valid passport but it needs to not expire for at least six months. If you are an American citizen then you do not need to apply for a Visa beforehand to enter. Also be sure that you have booked a return flight or bus ticket before. Sometimes they will not let you enter the country without proof of planned departure no more than 90 days after arrival. A $29 USD tax is required when exiting but sometimes it is included in your plane ticket. More information can be found here.

Getting There

Both festivals offer a shuttle from the San Jose (SJO) airport that run a few days before and after each festival. Almost all major airlines fly into SJO. Be sure to book early for the best deals. For the truly adventurous, one option is to fly into Mexico (which often has very cheap flights from the states) and then bus your way through Central America to the festival.

What to Pack

Glitter, glitter and more glitter (of the biodegradable variety of course). In addition you will also want to pack light, warm-weather clothing. The festivals take place during the countries dry season but it can’t hurt to pack a light rain jacket just in case. Bug spray, sunscreen, beach towel, and hat are also recommended for this international trek. Be sure to throw other festival essentials in your pack like a reusable water bottle (or hydration pack), headlamp, and comfortable shoes. While beach and festival wear is fine while your toes are in the sand or you are dancing the night away, be aware that if you plan to go into the city that pants are the proper attire. In the cities locals almost never wear shorts as it appears too casual.

Two festivals: one small tropical oasis. It is sure to be a packed couple weeks down in Costa Rica. Learn more about Bamboo Bass and Envision.

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