Time: Costa Rica is 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. In this equatorial zone sunrise is always about 5am and sunset always around 6pm. (If you are coming from the US, Costa Rica is on the same time as Chicago, but think Denver during daylight savings.)
Electricity: Electrical outlets are those of standard North American voltage (110/220 volts AC). Bring 3 pronged adaptors if your electrical devices have a ground plug, as the outlets in our house are only 2 pronged. It is always good to pack a small flashlight as the electricity in Costa Rica frequently shuts off.
Papers: If you are coming from the US you will only need a valid passport for entrance into Costa Rica. You will be issued a 90 day travel visa upon entry. When traveling from other countries please check with your local Costa Rican Embassy or Consulate for entrance requirements and visa restrictions. If you plan to drive bring your driver’s license. Make a copy of all your important travel documents to include: passport, driver’s license, traveler’s checks, credit cards, debit cards etc. Leave the copies at home with someone who can always be reached in time of need. Some people like to pack extra copies of their passport and driver’s license to bring with them.
Tipping: It is not common practice to tip taxi drivers. Restaurants include a 10% service fee in the bill, but excellent service can be acknowledged with an additional 10%. (Please be aware that in a restaurant you will never be handed the check without asking for it). It is customary to tip porters as you would at home. The tipping of tour guides may be addressed per company policy, but again feel free to tip extra for exceptional service.