Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the average temperature in the area?
In Costa Rica we enjoy a pleasant climate; the average temperature is around 23ºC (72ºF) in the Central Valley, but considerably higher on the coasts. In Santo Domingo de Heredia, where our hotel is located, the temperature is around 18ºC (64.4ºF) and 28ºC (80ºF).
2. What is the time zone in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica’s time zone is the same as Central Standard Time in the United States (GMT-6). We do not have Daylight Savings Time. That means that we are the same time as Chicago and Dallas from fall to spring, but one hour “behind” them during the summer. (Example, if it´s noon in Chicago in July, it is 11 am here).
3. How high is the town of Santo Domingo?
Santo Domingo is located in the Central Valley, 1185 meters above sea level.
4. Are dollars accepted in most of the country?
Yes, dollars are accepted in many parts of the country. It is recommended to carry some local currency (colones) especially if you are travelling through rural areas, where only local currency is accepted. Credit cards –Visa and Master Card are widely accepted. American Express and Diners Club have more limited acceptance.
5. How do I exchange dollars for colones?
Our Front Desk can exchange up to $200.00 for colones for you, per day. If you need to exchange a larger amount, local and international banks are open from 8 am to 4 pm. (Some agencies work up to 7 pm). These institutions will require you to present your passport in order to exchange the money. Also at this time only BAC San José will exchange Traveler´s Cheques. (they will require to see your passport and they do charge a fee for the exchange) When you carry cash, be sure the bills are in good condition, as some merchants reject tattered or marked currency. Also, try to avoid paying with US$100 bills.
6. Do you exchange Euros?
Yes, we can exchange your Euros for a small commission. Our bank does not allow us to accept any denomination higher than €200.
7. Do you provide hair dryers and irons in the room?
There are hair dryers in each room, and irons are provided for an hour at a time upon request at the Front Desk.
8. How do I rent a car?
For car rental information, as well as for tours, you may contact our Front Desk which will assist you in making any arrangements you desire.
9. How do I get from the airport to Hotel Bougainvillea?
We recommend that you hire a taxi from Taxis Unidos (in distinctive orange cars and mini-vans) They provide reliable service 24/7. They have a booth when leaving the customs area. Tell the attendant that you want to go to the Hotel Bougainvillea in Santo Domingo de Heredia.
Our Front Desk can also help you arrange your transfers to and from the airport, for US$ 40 each way for up to four people. If you need assistance inside the airport terminal, that service can be added to the car fare for an added fee.
10. Do we need reservations for dinner at your restaurant?
We prefer that you book a table at the Vitrales restaurant for lunch and dinner, especially during high season –November, December, January, and February. Jacket and tie are not required. (tank tops not allowed, shoes required).
11. Are pets allowed in the guest rooms?
Pets are not allowed in the hotel. Certified assistance animals permitted in certain rooms.
12. What electricity and plugs are used in Costa Rica?
In Costa Rica, electricity is 110 volts, same as in the U.S., and plugs are typically 2 pronged flat type. (They are also called “Type A” North American/Japanese plugs) European devices require an adapter or converter.
13. What are the requirements to enter and leave the country?
Citizens from the United States, Canada and most of Western Europe and Latin America do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica, but a valid passport and the return-flight ticket are necessary. (If you are driving while in the country, your driver’s license is valid for a three-month period).