Guest PortalAll the things you need to know (and probably MORE) about your time here at Flō
Hello & Welcome!
If you’re on this page, you’re attending and/or interested in an event being offered at Flō Retreat Center here in Uvita, Costa Rica. That might be an event hosted by one of the owners of Flō (Ben & Steph) or a Friend of Flō! Either way, we want you to feel prepared, whether it’s your first time visiting the area or you’re a regular Costa Rica connoisseur. This page is designed to offer you detailed information about the following topics:
- Traveling to Flō
- Maps + directions
- Local attractions
- Packing list suggestions
We try to be as informative as possible, but please feel free to email us at [email protected] if this page doesn’t answer your question or reach out to your event host to confirm specifics! Thanks again for your interest, and we can’t wait to see you in paradise!
For more information about RENTING FLŌ + availability, please click HERE.
Getting to Flō (Uvita)Travel methods + tips for an easy trip!
Flō is located in Uvita, Costa Rica, a small town on the South Pacific Coast. We are about 3.5-4 hours by car from the main airport (SJO) located in San Jose. For most international travelers, we recommend flights into SJO (not Liberia). SJO, which is technically in Alajuela, is right next door to the capital city of San Jose. SJO is an international airport, and you can find flights to/from pretty much any country in the world, and most US airlines have either non-stop or 1 stop flights from major cities.
Considering the airport is FAR away from Flō, booking flights with reasonable arrival and departure times is SO important. This is going to depend in part on your event, but in general here is what we recommend…
Arrival into SJO
On the day that you are supposed to check in to Flō (probably after 2pm), it best if you land before 4pm Costa Rica time. Why? It may take you up to an hour to pass through customs and immigration. Then, if you’re utilizing a shared shuttle (more on that below), the ride can take up to 5 hours. You don’t want to arrive at Flō too late or you’ll wake up the other guests and you’ll be tired the next morning.
If you cannot find a flight that lands before 4pm Costa Rica time, it may be best to fly in the day before (if available) and spend the night in Alajuela or San Jose. We regularly utilize www.alajuelabackpackers.com , a hostel near the airport where private rooms are around $40 (with wifi/AC), and prices include a free shuttle back to the airport in the morning so that you can catch your next round of transport to Flō. Any of the official airport taxi drivers know where this hostel is, and it shouldn’t cost more than $10 USD to drive you there. Plus, you’ll be rested and ready for the drive in the morning, and better prepared for your event at Flō.
Example: My arrival day is Nov 14th. I’m supposed to check in after 2pm Costa Rica time. I find flights from my city that arrive at 9am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, and 8:40pm. I would definitely want to book one of the first three choices, and not the 8:40pm, or take the 8:40pm the day before and stay overnight!
Departure from SJO
On the day that you are supposed to check out of Flō (probably by 12pm), it is best if your departure time is 12:30pm or later. Why? Remember that it takes 3.5-4 hours to get to the airport from Flō, and possibly longer if you’re doing a shared ride with multiple stops along the cost. In addition, Costa Rica recommends that you arrive at the airport 3 hours before your flight time. Yikes! We know that sounds like a lot, but with check-in and security, you absolutely want to arrive at least 2 hours before hand. Plus, even if you’re lucky and there’s no lines, the Costa Rica airport has some pretty nice restaurant and coffeeshop options to hang out and prep for your flight.
If you cannot find a flight that leaves at 12:30pm or later, you have the same option as coming in. You can take the last offered shared shuttle (or book your own transport later) to the airport on the day of departure. And then you can book a hotel in Alajuela or San Jose for the night and head to the airport in the morning via taxi. All hotels should be able to help you pre-book taxis so that you don’t have to worry about airport arrival. Some even offer free shuttles if they are close by.
Example: My departure day is Nov 21st. I’m supposed to check out by 12pm Costa Rica time. I find flights to my home that are departing at 9am, 10:30am, 2:30pm, and 5:00pm. I would definitely want to book either of the 2 later flights to avoid having to leave really, really early. Even if I choose the 2:30pm flight, that means I should try to arrive at the airport by 11:30am, which means I need to leave Flō by 7:30 or 8am. If is ALWAYS better to have too much time, as sometimes trees fall on the road or there are mini mudslide which shut down lanes of travel on the already limited road.
I got to SJO….now what?
Great question! There are a few ways to get to Flō from SJO, but please always confirm details (especially about shared shuttles) with the manager of your event! Once you’ve made your way to the main airport, you have the choice to either:
- *Take a shared shuttle arranged by your event manager (if applicable)*
- *Take a shared shuttle from a service provider*
- *Rent a car*
- Take a private cab/shuttle
- Take a mini-flight + shorter cab ride
- Utilize the public bus system
* = Recommended methods
- Shared Shuttle (We Arrange)
- Shared Shuttle (You Arrange)
- Rental Car
- Private Cab
- Mini Flight + Short Cab
- Public Bus
Some events may offer a shared shuttle service during a window of time on arrival and departure day. This is specific to each event, so please check with your event manager to confirm details. The shared shuttle is the easiest way to get to/from Flō. Why? You will simply need to walk out of the one airport exit, turn right, and head down 40M to the restaurant on the side of the airport pick up area called Malinche. There you can grab a cold beverage and be on the lookout for someone with a sign that says Flō Retreat Center. Once everyone in your group has arrived, the shuttle will take off and bring you either to Flō directly (if 4×4 capabilities) or drop you off in Uvita Central, where your event manager will have arranged for 4×4 pickup OR instructed you on getting an affordable 4×4 cab up the mountain. Typical Price Range = $50-70 each way, depending on size. Unless otherwise notified, please assume that shared shuttles can only accommodate flights that arrive at 4pm Costa Rica time or earlier.
Maybe your event isn’t offering shuttle service OR you’re interested in coming to town a few days early and/or staying a few days late. There are multiple shared shuttle services that have transport to/from SJO airport to Uvita and the surrounding towns. These are best booked in advance, as the amount of shuttle rides changes with the seasons, and during the busy season, prime time shuttles can fill quickly!
We regularly use and recommend Monkey Ride Costa Rica & Easy Ride Costa Rica. They have pre-set leavings times from central Uvita for trips back to the airport, and for trips from the airport to Uvita, they usually have 1-2 shuttles per day to accommodate a morning and afternoon group. You must personally verify with them if your specific flight will work with their shuttles and pre-pay via Paypal. Please click on their respective websites for more info, and know that you may have to wait a few hours on either end if you utilize these services! You will still need to arrange for transport from Uvita up to Flō, but there is a taxi stand across the street from where the shuttle drops you off, so that isn’t difficult!
There are many rental car agencies in Costa Rica, with some of the more popular being Vamos & Hertz. If you rent a car at the airport (SJO), there will be rental counters right after you exit customs. These counters will then get you all set up with a shuttle to your rental car pickup, and you can drive on out from there! There are a few important things to remember if you decide to rent a car. The first is that you 100% need a 4×4 vehicle to drive to Flō and to many of the surrounding adventures. That is pretty typical here, but please make sure to tell the customer service agent this. Also, please specify if you want an automatic or manual transmission. Many of the cars are manual here, so if you only drive automatic, it’s best to share that right away.
If you didn’t get an international plan on your phone (so that you can use WAZE navigational app), you’ll want to rent a GPS. There are no addresses in Costa Rica, so you utilize the POINTS OF INTEREST function on the GPS. Put in Uvita Information Center and drive there. From there, you can follow the directions below to get to Flō. If using Waze, also put in Uvita Information Center and then use the directions below. There is gravel and loose rocks on the road here in CR, so getting coverage of tires and windows is usually a good choice! We recommend you ALWAYS take the coastal route (27–>34), not the route through the mountains and central valley.
There are dozens of cabs ready and waiting outside of the single airport exit at SJO. All cab drivers waiting there are supposed to be airport certified drivers, and we have mostly found that to be true. Not all cabs, however, will be willing to drive you to Uvita, as that is a long way back for them! So if you’re trying to find someone as you roll out of the airport, expect a few solid No Thank Yous and probably steep prices anywhere from $250-$300 USD.
The event manager may be able to help you arrange a private cab for less and/or you can email [email protected] at least 2 weeks prior to your arrival for assistance. We can generally find reliable private cabs through friend referrals in the $175-$200 range, but please be aware that these are not guaranteed during high season, and you are always in charge of paying in CASH for your cab. If you do pre-book a private cab, expect them to be waiting with a sign with your name on it, or Flō retreat center, probably down by the same Malinche restaurant described in the shared shuttle details. Remember that most airport cabs are not 4×4 vehicles, so they will only be able to bring you to Uvita. You can then find a 4×4 cab at the main intersection in Uvita to take you up to Flō.
Don’t really feel like a 3.5-4 hour drive after traveling all day? We get it. If you walk out of the SJO airport and turn LEFT, you can head down the sidewalk maybe 50M to the SANSA airport. This small airport manages domestic flights inside of Costa Rica through Sansa Airlines and Nature Air. Before you read any further, please know that these are TINY planes, so if you’re opposed to tiny planes that are a bit bumpy and fly low, this might not be the option for you! But, if you think that sounds like a fun adventure, please read on!
Both airlines offer a variety of flights throughout Costa Rica. You would want to fly into Quepos (also sometimes called Manuel Antonio) or Palmar Sur. Quepos is about 45 minutes north of Uvita, while Palmar Sur is about 45 minutes south. Once you land in either location, you would still need to take a taxi to Uvita & Flō. The flight time is about 30 minutes, and prices can be tricky because there is a base fare + weight allowance, and anything over that weight allowance gets charged by the kilo. Please make sure you read all details on their websites to understand your anticipated price! Note: At this time, Quepos is under construction. At times (and in good weather) there are still flights available there at an alternative airstrip (Naranjo), but these are often cancelled due to rainy weather.
Looking for the cheapest option? That would definitely be taking the bus! It can be a bit long, however, as well as a bit complicated. You will first need to take the airport bus from SJO to the TRACOPA bus terminal in downtown San Jose. The information desk as you exit the airport should be able to direct you how to do this. Once you arrive at TRACOPA, the bus line you’re looking for is Delio Morales. You’ll need to pay for a ticket to Uvita, but you can technically get off anywhere beforehand as well (if you feel like spending a few days in our northern neighbor town of Dominical).
At this time, there are about two buses each day, and the buses briefly stop at Orotina and Quepos before another quick stop in Dominical and finally, Uvita. The bus leaves at 6am and 3pm and takes 5-6 hours to get to Uvita, but should cost under $25 each way. Once you arrive in Uvita, you will need to walk north on Highway 34 about 200M to get to the taxi stand outside of the Super Mercado del Pacifico. Find a 4×4 taxi to take you up to Flō!
Finding Flō in UvitaMaps + Directions in Two Languages!
For almost all transport methods, you will be dropped off in the middle of town in Uvita, Costa Rica. This is typically at Uvita Information Center, where they can easily help you book a 4x4 cab up to Flō. Or…if you’re feeling adventurous, you can walk across the street to the Supermercado al Pacifico and that specific corner is technically the taxi stand. There is a small sign on the street corner that says taxi, and if you stand around looking confused for 30 seconds, someone will come up and ask if you want a taxi. Again, they are happy to help you arrange for this at the Info Center as well. If you drove, you’ll have put Uvita Information Center into your GPS or Waze. From here, follow the directions below. If you intend to take a taxi up, it might be nice to save the Spanish directions in your phone somewhere so that you can show them to any driver, any time. Cabs from the Info Center to Flō should not cost more than 10 mil or $17, and are often less.
If you’re heading south on Hwy 34 (coast road), the first big intersection in Uvita (no traffic light) will have… Banco de Costa Rica & SP Groceries on the SE corner, Maracuya on the SW corner, Gollo Electronics on the NE corner, and a small restaurant (currently Burrito Hub) on the NW corner.
TURN LEFT on the paved road at this intersection (there is a turn lane), heading east toward the mountains, passing between the Gollo on your left, and the bank, on your right.
CONTINUE STRAIGHT (~1km) along the paved road past some small shops and the cemetery. Do not turn on any of the left side off-shoots that head up the mountain.
Once the paved road ends (at cemetery), continue straight (this road is called Calle la Faralla, but you won’t see any signs). STAY RIGHT where the road splits and the left side heads up the mountain.
Another 300M past the final split will bring you to the river before the bamboo forest. You’re lucky. There’s a new bridge there. Last year’s crew drove through the water. Do a little dance. #PuraVida
Continue through the magical bamboo forest, or stop to marvel at its beauty. We know. It’s fabulous. In approximately 300M, the road will split again. Take the larger road to the LEFT that goes UP, not the smaller road to the right that angles down. You will see a sign for Flō Retreat Center with an arrow here. Get excited because now you know you’re in the right place. Before, you were just guessing.
CONTINUE along Calle La Faralla (again…no street sign, sorry) for ~0.5KM. It’s a bit bumpy, but rest assured, we have flattened out the worst bits.
You will come across another very small river. That means you’ve almost made it. Again, take caution crossing, but this little guy is usually no more than 3-4 inches deep.
100M after the second river, you’ll see a gate ON THE RIGHT SIDE (which will be open) and a sign for Flō retreat center. Turn and head down the ½ KM driveway to the off-loading zone and main building. Someone will be there to greet you shortly.
If you miss the first gate, you’ll see Steph & Ben’s gate another 20M up the road. Turn around and head back down to Flō.
Local AttractionsFun & Important Things to Know About Uvita & Dominical
Why We Love Uvita
Uvita is both a tourist and working town with both the beauty of the mountains, and the nearby beaches/national parks. It is famous for the Whales Tale, a long sand and rock bridge that can be explored during low tide. Flō is 2KM from the center of town, which means easy access to grocery stores, doctor’s offices, restaurants, and more.!? But seriously, this little piece of paradise has grown substantially over the last few years, and despite it’s tiny size, it has a lot to offer as far as food, fun, and shopping! Here are some key places we think you might like.
- SP Grocer 1/Bank 1/ATM 1/Taxi Stand (42) – Closest grocery store, ATM, and bank to Flō. Simply drive down the main road from the center, and right before you hit Highway 34, the bank will be on your left. The grocery store (SP) is right next to it). This is also where the taxis usually hang out (near the electrical pole).
- BM Grocer 2 (19) –Both groceries generally carry fairly different items. So if you can’t find it at one, try the other grocery store just south on 34. You’ll see it on your left just after crossing the Rio Uvita on 34.
- Bank 2/ATM 2 (49)– Did the first ATM run out of money? That’s not as unusual as you think. Try the ATM just a bit south on 34. It will be on your right hand side (when driving South), just across from Marino Ballena restaurant and BM #2.
- Road to Whales Tail (39-23)– If you want to go to Playa Uvita, you can head south on 34, turn right just after the second bank/ATM, and take the paved road all the way to the beach entrance (23). This is a national park and costs about $6 for nonresidents to enter, but is worth it, especially during low tide! Lots of vendors and restaurants near the beach entrance.
- DOME Shopping Center (17/18/43)– Named after the Dome Restaurant (which is delicious), this shopping center is quite handy to know. It’s shortly south of Rio Uvita on the right hand side, across from BM #2. Here you will find a lawyer (which hopefully you don’t need), a doctor (again, hoping no), and a dentist (dental care is waaay cheaper down here and still great!). There are also some shops, a gym, and the iconic restaurant!
- Farmer’s Market (10)– Instead of turning R or L on Highway 34, just cross it and continue another 50 meters. On Saturdays from 8am-12pm, there is a Feria or farmer’s market, where you can find local produce, chocolates, souvenirs, and more.
- 4x4 Rental (27)– Right across from the Farmer’s Market is the big quad rental place in Uvita. Here you can rent quads for a daytime adventure or longer period of time. There are also group tours which are so so fun!
- Info Center/Coffee Shop/Electronics Store (9/11/13)– On the SW corner of 34 and the Flō Retreat Center road, there is a small strip mall that has the Uvita Info Center (great for booking shared rides, finding out about real estate, or just asking a question), Sibu Coffee (great food and dessert and gluten free pizza), and JetBox, the electronics store (in case you break your phone charger).
- Bus Station (38)– In case you are taking the bus to/from the training or anytime between! This the main bus stop, but be sure to ask exactly where yours is going.
- Playa Hermosa (1)– Free beach!!! Woot woot. Playa Hermosa is one of our favorite beaches and it’s FREE! It’s not a national park, but is in general very clean, and even has life guards during the busy hours. Much more fun to go to any beach during low tide, and this one is walkable from Uvita Central, but also a cheap cab ride away.
Why We Love Dominical
Dominical is a little surfer town about 20 minutes north of Uvita, Central, about 30-35 minutes driving distance from Flō. Check this place out for its free beach, sprawling beach markets, tasty Vegan/Veggie eats, and Organic Grocer. Lots of surf shops available here too!
- Danyasa(1) – Don’t have enough yoga in your life? Hit up our favorite studio – Danyasa. There is a small boutique with all kinds of cute (but pricey) yoga and festival wear.
- Mono Congo Café(2) – An amazing café and coffee shop found near the main entrance to Dominical. They have a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes, and I believe started serving some fish as well. Try out their Monkey Balls for an amazing sweet treat, and hang out a while, checking in on their wifi and watching the river activity. NOW ACCEPTING CREDIT CARDS!!
- Mama Toucans(3) – Right next to Mono Congo, you’ll find Mama Toucans. This small, mostly Organic market is a new jewel in Domi. Find all of your favorite healthy food and snacks here, and know that they always have fresh, chilly coconuts (pipa fria) for 500 colones. Throw in an extra dollar, and you can get a bamboo straw!
- ATM(4) – There’s a new ATM in town and it’s right outside of Mama Toucans. You can get colones or dollars, but try not to rely on it completely, since especially with so many tourists in town, they have been known to run out of cash….
- Phat Noodle Café(5) – Want some Thai food? The climate in CR is very similar to Thailand, so it’s not surprising that they are able to grow some of the same fruits/veggies/spices. Phat Noodle is a fun lunch/dinner spot with a tasty menu and a really fun atmosphere.
- Beach Market(6) – If you walk toward the beach, you will see a variety of stalls set up near the sand. This is (not surprisingly) the beach market. There are also small markets sprinkled on almost every corner and alley of the main streets. Feel free to barter a little at these markets. It’s expected, but also remember that these people live off of your trinket purchases.
- Grocery Store(7) – Across the highway, you’ll find the Supermercado. This is a chain grocery in the South Pacific area and has a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, as well as imported items from America. Some stuff is cheap (ie fruits and veggies), some stuff is not so cheap (ie imported snack food from America).
- Maracatu(9) – YUM! Maracatu is a fun, global restaurant with a variety of Vegan, veggie, and fish based dishes. It’s right on the main drag, and often has live music. Great stop for dinner and maybe a little dancing???
- Sushi(10) – Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of fresh fish in Costa Rica. Snag some tasty sushi and watch the river at the round restaurant, nestled behind Mama Toucans and Mono Congo. Great for dinner!
- Dominical Info Center(11) – Can’t find something? Need help? Not sure where to go? Near the main turn off back to the highway, you’ll find Domi Information Center. You can book shuttle rides, as well as ask just about any question. Someone generally speaks fluent English.
- La Casita(12) – Need a pizza fix? People love La Casita. This small restaurant is tucked into a side street off the beach road.
- Tortilla Flats(13) – Sometimes we like to be touristy, and that’s ok. Tortilla Flats is an Ex-Pat restaurant right off the cobbled beach road. Browse the internet while sipping a beverage and snacking on local Costa Rican dishes or more American-style items like burgers and fries.
Packing ListWhat To Bring....& What to Leave
We understand that for many of you, this is your first trip to Costa Rica! How exciting! Since we always get a few emails inquiring about things to pack, we thought it might be best to write up a little list. So here’s things you should bring, and others that maybe should stay home! As always, please feel free to reach out with questions!
What to BRING
- Your passport. Make sure it is not damaged and doesn’t expire within the next 6 months.Many people also like to make a few photocopies of their passport and store those in other bags as well. Having some kind of small waterproof bag for your passport isn’t a bad idea either!
- Canteen. This one should be obvious. It’s hot outside. Save the world and your own health by foregoing disposable plastic bottles and bringing a metal or glass canteen. You’ll be happy for an insulated one if you like drinking chilly water in the jungle heat. =) While we love a glass water bottle, there’s no glass allowed by the pool, in the rock patio, or in the yoga studio, so stainless or plastic is preferred!
- Lady Items. We’re talking about tampons and pads. You won’t be too pleased about the selection here and it’s best to be prepared.
- Sunscreen. Surprise! There’s lots of sun at the beach, but also in the jungle. Not only that, but we are closer to the equator. So even if you’re tan, you might find yourself crisping up a bit without some SPF. Waterproof is great, since you’ll be sweating a lot and/or playing in the water.
- Waterproof Phone Case/Bag. No need to get nervous. We’re not asking you to buy a $100 LifeProof case. But if you’re bringing your phone on the beach or an adventure, chances are, it might get wet or sandy or both. Visit Amazon for Waterproof Phone Bags that are are little as $6-7.
- Bug Spray. There aren’t a lot of bugs this time of year. Hooray! But depending on how much rain we get right before/during the training, and how much time you spend hanging out down by the river, you might want to bring some bug spray. Plus, if you’re anything like Steph, then if there’s 1 mosquito in a 5-mile radius, it will find you and bite you 12 times. Why not avoid that kind of anxiety right off the bat?
- Flashlight. Guess what! It’s dark in the jungle. Yes, we will have electricity, but hey, sometimes the power goes out. Which means you can’t charge your iPhone and use the flashlight app. Wah wah. Bring a little pocket flashlight for power outages and prancing around the center after lights out. It will save you from stepping in mud puddles and/or on toads. Ew.
- Yoga Mat? Are you particular about your yoga mat? It’s ok. We are too. If that’s the case, bring your own. There will be some mats available for use at Flō, but many people like to bring their own. We have all the rest of the props, so don’t worry about those.
- Mini Med Kit. It’s always nice to be prepared. While Flō has emergency kits on hand, we recommend packing your own mini med kit with…bandaids, pain reliever, perhaps some charcoal pills for digestion, an antihistamine like Benadryl for allergic reactions, and anything else you might personally need!
- Clothes. Wait…what? But for real, bring a variety of warm weather, light clothing. Bikinis, shorts, thin leggings + workout gear. All are welcome. You might want some flowy style pants (think Harem pants) for the evenings and perhaps 1 light sweatshirt just in case a crazy cold front comes in.
- Small Bag/Backpack. If you plan on going on any free day adventures or just hiking around the area a bit, bring a small, lightweight bag. Bonus points if it’s waterproof. You’re just looking for something to fit a small wallet, Passport (sometimes), maybe your canteen, and some snacks. It’s better to have something hands free (fanny packs welcome), especially when you’re barreling across the Osa Mountain canopy at a million miles an hour (ziplinging).
- Toiletries. Flō is an Eco Friendly Retreat Center. It’s not a fancy hotel, so while they usually have soap at the bathrooms, and some people leave communal shampoo and whatnot, it’s best to bring travel sizes of your own toiletries.
- Snacks! There are two grocery stores in Uvita, quite a few small markets, and even a tiny Organic grocer about 20 minutes north in Dominical. That being said, your fancy protein bars and Vegan jerky, even if available, may be 50-100% more expensive down here due to import tax issues. There’s loads of fresh fruits and veggies here in Costa Rica, but it will be much harder to find those weird, fancy snacks you’re picking up from the neighborhood Wholefoods. Plus, that $4 bar in the States is going to cost $6-7 here, and wouldn’t you rather spend that on souvenirs!?
- Cash Money!!! (But not too much). Speaking of souvenirs, Uvita and nearby Dominical are two of the best places to snag fun gifts for friends back home (or for yourself…no one is judging). The small beach markets only take cash (dollars are fine), but the little stores will take credit cards. Check with your card company to A. See if there are foreign transaction fees (some cards don’t have them) and B. To alert them and let them know your travel dates. There are two ATMs in town, but it’s during high season…so there’s no guarantee that they won’t run out of cash. Stranger things have happened.
- Traveler’s Insurance. Because it is always best to be prepared!
- Other things to consider…. favorite teas, electrolyte packets, rash guard for surfing, hiking shoes/sandals, extra contact lenses and/or glasses, laundry detergent packets, small surge protector, ear plugs, JOURNAL, folder + extra paper, pens/pencils/hi-lighters
What to LEAVE AT HOME
- LOADS OF CASH!!! ..wait…didn’t we just tell you to bring cash? Yes. Bring some cash. Bring a credit and/or debit card, especially one without foreign transaction fees. But don’t load up your purse or wallet with $3,000.00. This is Costa Rica. Some people make $3 an hour or even $3,000.00 per year. No one wants to break your $100 bill to buy a $1 bag of mangoes.
- Electronics You are on the Fence About. Have to bring your laptop for work? That’s cool. Thinking about bringing your new Macbook, iPad, iPhone, GoPro, Drone, Kindle, extra iPhone, and giant DSLR camera just to showcase how up to date you are with today’s technology? Hmmm….maybe not the best plan. Most of us can take pics on our phones, and remember, there will be rain, sand, and mud everywhere anyway. Do you really want to risk all your fancy toys?
- Towels + Linens. Weird item, but someone always asks. We provide sheets, blankets, beach towels, and shower towels. If you need a variety of small towels (whether for the washroom or the yoga room) please bring those, but otherwise, we’ve got you covered!
- Judgments, Assumptions, and General Grumpiness. Save that for another time. Only smiles and resplendent optimism welcome in paradise! We’re only kidding of course. Come as you are, but DO bring a sense of adventure and an acknowledgment that you’re in a foreign country with different rules, customs, and traditions. Be nice, and leave the judgments at home. =)
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. 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!
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 30 minutes. Or…you could easily book an affordable 4×4 taxi to take you to either. Staff will be on-site to help book car rides as needed!
Should I convert my 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.
Do I have to pay to leave the country?
Yup. You’re correct. Costa Rica has an exit tax. It goes to support eco-tourism, and it’s currently around $29 per person. You pay it at the airport before checking in, and they take cash or card. BUT, most major US Airlines (Southwest, United, American, Delta) include the tax in your ticket price, so just ask the person standing near your airline’s check-in line if you have to pay exit tax. If they say yes, they will direct you to the area where you need to get that done!
Do I need a Visa?
If you’re traveling from the US, you do not need a Visa to enter the country, just proof of exit within 90 days.
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.
What was that about water features????
Flō Retreat Center is home to 7 waterfalls, multiple swimming holes, and kilometers of jungle walking trails. Signs will take you down to the more popular swimming areas.
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!
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 daily.
Should I get vaccinated?
Currently (Dec 2018), there are no vaccines required to enter CR from the USA. A few countries of origin require Yellow Fever vaccines, and always make sure to check the most updated rules and regulations with the health department.
Is it safe for solo travelers?
Costa Rica is considered one of the best and safest places for a solo traveler to visit. 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.
What if I have somewhere else to stay?
Depending on the event, Flō may have separate prices for off-site guests. Check with your event manager for opportunities to stay off-site.
Is there a way to make calls to the US + Canada?
There will be a Magic Jack (internet phone) available for those who wish to call the US or Canada to say hello!
Will I need to show proof of exit?
YES! This is important! You will only be able to enter Costa Rica from the US if you can provide proof of exit within 90 days. This can be in the form of an airline ticket, bus ticket, or boat ticket. If you’re traveling into Costa Rica from another country besides the US, please make sure to check on the most up to date requirements for entry/exit.
Can I bring my pets?
Sorry! No pets allowed at this time. We love animals and have 6 dogs living on site. But the jungle can be a dangerous place for animals that aren’t used to it! Plus you’ll likely be busy most of the time during your event, and there’s nowhere to keep your furry friend fenced in.