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Tuesday December 1st 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

Administrative Preparations

What forms do I need to fill out?

You will need to fill out:

You may also need to provide:

  • Proof of health insurance/coverage
  • Flight information and other travel information (copy of tickets/itinerary).
  • Proof of travel insurance (including repatriation coverage) for international travel.
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) Country Profile or other relevant documentation (hard copy of Country Report must be attached)
  • Vaccinations and Other Medical Information
  • Outline of Risk Assessment and Management Strategies

Course Preparations

Where can I find the Manual for Researchers document?

Do I need to read anything before I leave?

  1. You must read the book Tropical Nature by Adrian Forsyth before the trip.
  2. Read the chapter on coffee from the Silence of the Songbirds by Bridget Stutchbury
  3. Read the Manual for Researchers Document (to be revised)

Travel Preparations

What should I pack to go to Costa Rica?


  1. Travel Light: One large backpack or duffle bag per person plus one day pack.
  2. Pack Items that are easy to wash and dry quickly (e.g. No Levis).
  3. Pool items with friends whenever possible.


  • One gift for community ($5-10 each)
  • Maple leaf pins (local MP)
  • Notebook and journal
  • Spanish-English dictionary (can be shared)
  • Costa Rica Manual for Researchers (abridged version, can be shared)
  • Money belt (optional)
  • Light cotton trousers, shirts, blouses, t-shirts (both long and short sleeve)
  • Tank tops not recommended except on the beach
  • Walking shorts – but not too short
  • Walking shoes/Hiking shoes
  • Sneakers
  • Sandals
  • Rain jacket (with hood)
  • Hooded sweatshirt
  • Hat/Cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Bathing suit
  • Umbrella (but cannot be on carry-on luggage)
  • Camera and film card
  • Flashlight and/or headlamp
  • Spare batteries (for camera, flashlight, headlamp), these can usually be shared and most batteries are readily available except camera batteries
  • Binoculars
  • Towel (quick dry towel from Mt. Equipment Coop)
  • Water bottle and water purification tablets (tablets not mandatory as potable and bottle water are available)
  • Whistle
  • Watch
  • Toiletries (some items can be pooled)
  • Imodium (or what ever is recommended by for family doctor)
  • Soap bar
  • Waterless soap and hand sanitizer
  • Shampoo
  • Tissues/Wet wipes
  • Sunscreen (30 spf)
  • Aloe Vera or Solarcain
  • Plasters (Band Aids)
  • Compede for blisters
  • Laundry detergent (although soap bar works too)
  • Gravol and Tylenol
  • Polysporin

· Bug repellent
· Travel alarm clock
· Ziplock bags
· Snacks for plane
· Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife (must be in checked baggage)

· Passport
· Photocopy of passport
· US dollars (aprox. US$100 in 5s, 10s, and 20s; more if do not plan to use ATM)
· Remember! You will need US$26 to pay the departure tax in Costa Rica
· Bank card
· Credit card
· Photocopy of your flight information, health insurance emergency contact information and bank cards and credit cards


Where is the Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica - SAN JOSÉ, Embassy of Canada
Address: La Sabana Executive Business Centre, Building No. 5, 3rd Floor, behind the Contraloría General de la República, San José
Postal Address: P.O. Box 351-1007, San José
Tel.: 506 2242-4400 Fax: 506 2242-4410
E-Mail: sjcra@international.gc.ca

Do I need a visa to travel to Costa Rica?

Generally, Canadians and Americans do not require a Visa to enter Costa Rica if the stay is less than 30 days. For more information, read the Department of Foreign Affairs' Country Report for Costa Rica. If you are in doubt and/or not a Canadian citizen, check out Costa Rica's entry requirements.

Do I need any vaccinations to go to Costa Rica? Should I bring malaria pills?

Generally, when traveling internationally, it's a good idea to get vaccinations against Hepatitis A and B, and Typhoid, and to make sure that all your other immunizations are up to date. We strongly recommend that you arrange an appointment with your doctor or visit a travel vaccination clinic at least six weeks before you leave Canada. Please read the most up-to-date information available through theDepartment of Foreign Affairs, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control. Also, here is some information about malaria.

Do I need to register my trip?

It's always a good idea to register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad before any trip, which you can do online and before you leave.