Frequently Asked Questions
Once I get to San José, how do I get to the villa?
There are three ways to get to Manuel Antonio from either the San José airport or a San José hotel.
1.) Car rental
Many guests rent a car in San José, and we can assist you with that. Rates vary depending on the type of car and the season, but a 4x4 or SUV is recommended. Once your villa reservation with us is confirmed, be sure and tell us you need a car, what type you want and we will make the arrangements for you. Driving directions to our office are on our site, so be sure and bring those along with you. It is a scenic 3 and 1/2 hour drive to Manuel Antonio from San José. Information about what to do once you get to Manuel Antonio and how to contact us are also included with the driving instructions.
2.) Private van service
We can arrange for a private van or Coaster pickup either at the airport or at your San José hotel. The private van accommodates up to 8 guests. Coasters accommodate up to 22 people. Return transportation to the airport is also available.
The price for San José airport transportation in an 8 person van is $180. A Coaster that holds up to 22 people, from the San José airport is $300.
For transportation from your San José hotel, the cost is $175 for up to 6 passengers and $20 for each additional passenger.
3.) Domestic flight
There are two local airlines servicing the Quepos/San José route. The fare is approximately $72 or $75 (depending on airline) per passenger and the last flight time is around 2 PM, so make your plans accordingly. Let us take care of the details and we will see that you get to your villa to begin your Costa Rican vacation smoothly. Go here for international flights to San Jose, Costa Rica.
Will my US cell phone work in Costa Rica?
Your cell phone from your home country will not work unless you have an international plan. Make sure you turn your US phone off in Costa Rica. Most US companies may charge a fee per minute for roaming charges so every minute your phone is on you are being charged.
Can I buy a local phone?
There are now several cell phone providers offering pre-paid services. You can buy a basic local phone (less than $100), or bring an unlocked 3G or 4G phone with you, to use with a Costa Rica SIM card that can be purchased for approximately $5. The main telecommunications companies are Kolbi ICE, MoviStar and Claro and they have branches throughout the country. If you are staying in one of our Manuel Antonio villas you will find offices in nearby downtown Quepos. If staying in the Tamarindo and Flamingo areas you will find all provider offices in Liberia and Santa Cruz. Kolbi ICE is located at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose.
What is the best way to reach family and friends while I'm away?
We recommend communicating with friends and relatives back home via Skype, Viber, Whatsapp or Costa Rica calling card. Skype and other apps can be accessed from your Smartphone, iPad or computer via free Wifi in all Escape Villas’ rental properties – making keeping connected easy. Pre-paid calling cards with toll-free numbers from other countries usually don't work in Costa Rica, but you can buy local calling cards at most grocery stores and pharmacies in town at very affordable prices.
Is there an additional charge for laundry and maid service?
Be sure to ask your Escape Villas representative as our many homes listed on the site differ with these services (Daily, every other day, 3 times a week, set days, extra charge, etc...).
What time of year can I get the best rates?
September, October and November are considered off-season and rates are adjusted accordingly.
Do you have any good restaurants there?
Popular beach area's such as Manuel Antonio, Tamarindo, Jaco, Flamingo, etc... have a wide variety of restaurants to choose from due to the international community. You can find everything from Sushi, continental cuisine, American-style food, Mexican, Italian food and of course the freshest fish is served in many fine restaurants. However there is less of a selection in smaller beach destinations. Ask your Escape Villas representative.
Can I hire a private chef?
Private chef services are one of the most popular services that we offer. Based on your menu choices, our talented chef will come to your home and create an unforgettable meal. A chef can be arranged for your entire stay, to cook for a full day or for one or two special meals. The cost of the food is extra.
What's the surfing like in Manuel Antonio?
For beginners, Quepos and Manuel Antonio offer great opportunities to improve their skills. More experienced surfers will probably want a bigger challenge, as there is a bay here that partially blocks the waves. Beginners and intermediate surfers can take advantage of the surfing schools that operate in Manuel Antonio.
For surfers looking for a bigger challenge, we recommend Playa Hermosa, just one hour North of Manuel Antonio. Playa Hermosa is a very popular surfing spot in Costa Rica. Also nearby are Playa Esterillos and Playa Bejuco, just 30 minutes away. An hour and a half south of Manuel Antonio are good conditions at Playa Dominical. For the best waves, a 4 1/2 drive south will take you to Pavones with great surfing year round. For current surfing conditions, WetSand has up-to-date reports.
What if I don't know any Spanish?
The Villa's property manager is always there to help you. He can help you call a taxi, get groceries, book a sportfishing charter or any other tour or activity you need, or answer any questions that you have about the area. When you're in town or at the beach, you can usually find someone who speaks English if you need directions or assistance.
Do you have handicapped access in your homes?
Let us know if you have any special needs and we can make accommodations for you.
Do you have any restrictions on bringing children?
Children are always welcome, but keep in mind that our houses have high balconies, pools and jacuzzis, so you should keep a close eye on toddlers and infants at all times.
Is smoking allowed?
Our houses are smoke-free.
Can I bring my pets?
For the comfort of all our guests and future guests, we do not allow pets.
How safe is Costa Rica?
Costa Rica has a very low level of violent crime, however care should always be taken with your valuables. A safety lock box is provided in your house for this purpose.