Frequently Asked Questions
Can I drink the water?
Yes, the water at Flō comes from the mountain stream and is filtered multiple times to make sure it’s 100% safe for you to drink from the potable water taps found in multiple places around the retreat center. There are also filtered water jugs available in the commercial kitchen and yoga studio, as well as a fancy water machine that will deliver chilly water or hot water for tea. While the shower/bathroom sink water is run through a filter and cleaned, we don’t recommend drinking it, as we focus our multiple filtrations on the kitchens and water bottle fill ups!
Is there wifi?
Yes, Flō has wifi in the main building first floor. Please note, this is jungle wifi, the very best that money can buy, but jungle wifi just the same. We ask that guests are respectful of those needing to do work in this area, and please don’t stream video or spend too much time using things like Facetime Video, as everyone must share a limited upload speed. Staff wifi is available for event leads that need access to higher speeds. Note: Wifi does occasionally go out from time to time and Flō will always do our best to resolve things on our end promptly, but claims no liability and offers no discounted rates for outtages that are outside of our control.
Is it safe for a solo traveler?
Costa Rica is considered one of the best and safest places for a solo traveler to visit in Central America. Although petty theft can happen and one should always be smart about leaving values unattended, violence is very rare. And Flō is an extra safe-haven in an already safe country. Rest assured you will be well cared for here, and we have additional security staff to make it so. Our live-in employees Jhonder & Karen are a valuable part of the Team Flō, and you’ll see them traipsing around at all hours of the day and night to assure you are safe.
Can I walk to the beach?
In theory….sure. It would take you about 45 minutes to walk back down the mountain to Central Uvita. You can then walk to Playa Uvita (National Park $6) or Playa Hermosa ($0) in an additional 20-30 minutes. Or…you could easily book an affordable 4x4 taxi to take you to either. Staff will be on-site to help book car rides as needed!
What was that about water features?
Flō Retreat Center is home to 6 waterfalls, multiple swimming holes, and kilometers of jungle walking trails. Signs will take you down to the more popular swimming areas. We also have a saltwater pool up at the main center.
Should I change some money over? From dollars to colones?
That is completely up to you. Pretty much everywhere accepts dollars around here. Including the little shop owners on the beach. You will usually get an exchange rate of 500 colones to the dollar, no matter what the actual rate is. Lately, that means you’d be getting a small rip off, but maybe that’s worth it since airport exchange rates aren’t really that great either. Again, your choice, and try to bring some smaller bills because the guy selling $5 bracelets on the beach probably can’t break your $100. Whatever change you get will be in colones. Looking for an easy way to convert prices in your head? For things listed in colones, double it, then divide by a thousand (aka move the decimal over 3 spaces). For example, if something is 4,500 colones, double it to make 9,000, then move the decimal over 3 spots. It’s approximately $9. BOOM. You’re a math genius.
Will I have cell service?
Um…if you bought an international plan… Beware though! International rates are super high unless you got the fancy $10/day rate that many big carriers are now offering. Most of you will find that your cell phone automatically doesn’t work here. That’s great. You won’t get a surprise bill for $4,000 in roaming fees (now you wish that was colones!). But just to be safe, we suggest that everyone TURNS OFF CELLULAR DATA when they arrive. Go into your settings, then cellular data, and just switch it off. Problem solved. You can connect to limited wifi at Flō and a variety of restaurants in town, which means if you have an iPhone, you can still use iMessage, or you can use WhatsApp to text anyone in the whole wide world. Thanks Internet! If you did get an international plan, make sure to restart your cell when you enter/leave Costa Rica to activate it. Flō offers a wifi phone with free calls to the US/Canada for those who didn’t buy an international plan.
So…we put the toilet paper where!?
Septic systems are a little different here in Costa Rica. They have found (and it actually makes a lot of sense), if you don’t throw anything in the toilet (including toilet paper), a properly designed septic system and field will constantly renew itself, and you’ll never need to do any of that messy pumping or back jetting like we do in the States. So while most bathrooms have signs and a large, lidded trash can, it’s just safe to assume that even if there isn’t a sign, and there is a trash can, it’s better to throw the TP in the trash. Definitely do not throw any feminine hygiene products into the toilet. Flō asks that you put all the paper in the trash, where it will be emptied 2x daily.
What are the roads like? Do I really need a 4x4?
As with most small towns in CR, only the highway and 2-3 main roads are paved. In order to get to Flō, you need to drive 2.5KM up the mountain, most of which is dirt road. Compared to many roads around here, ours is not as steep, but it is bumpy. So…it is absolutely recommended that if you’re renting a car or getting a ride for a taxi, you make sure it has four wheel drive (4x4). That is fairly typical for the area, and no one will be surprised. Flō requires that you drive through 2 small rivers to arrive (6-12 inches), so having a higher 4x4 is a great plan. The larger river currently has a bridge that is being constructed over it, which is 80% down, but there’s no guarantee when it will be finished off! Drive slow. Drive careful. There are lots of motorcycles, people walking, wild animals, and free range puppies in the area.
How close am I to a hospital?
The small town of Uvita (12 minute car ride down the mountain) has multiple doctors, vets, and urgent care clinics for things like cuts, bites, breaks. That being said, if you’re looking for a large scale hospital, the nearest would be 45 minutes away, in either direction. There is a large hospital 45 minutes North in Quepos, and another 45 minutes South, just before you hit Palmar Sur.
Tell me about what else is in Uvita?
Even though Uvita is a small town, it is a “working” town, much more so that many of the nearby touristy areas. That means that we actually have a lot of useful things! Multiple doctors, vets, dentists, urgent care clinics. Two banks, four ATMs, two main grocery stores, three hardware stores, a central information center, and MORE. Chances are, unless it’s a strange or luxury item, you’ll be able to find things like cell phone chargers (at our tiny tech store), clothing (many retail shops), or food (at dozens of restaurants). Team Flō is always happy to help source your needs, and the nearby town of Dominical is also only about 25 minutes North!
Does the power go out?
You may have heard that in Costa Rica, much like the majority of Central America, the power flickers on and off. And sometimes goes out completely. This is not incorrect. ICE, the local power company, is great about correcting issues with fallen trees and lines that have been knocked down (common in the rainforest). Generally, unless there’s a pole down in the area during a storm, we do not have power outages that last for more than a few hours, which is a great excuse to disconnect! The power does, however, flicker on and off maybe 10x per day. Each room has one surge protector for the mini fridge with 3-4 extra outlets, but for those bringing delicate/expensive devices, a small surge protector is always recommended!
Can I cook my own food?
Flō has a lovely and spacious commercial kitchen. But whether you have access to it as a guest will depend on your personal retreat/event. It will be up to an event lead/host whether they will hire a chef, use one of Flō’s chefs, or let guests cook for themselves. If the event is catered by any type of chef, we ask that guests stay out of the main kitchen since fridge and counter use can get confusing! Of course, everyone has access to mini fridges, the coffee/water/tea stations, and a blender station to make smoothies!