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I am planning to go on an internship to Costa Rica where I will be accommodated with a family. I would like to know, how accessible is the internet? Do most people have internet in their homes? How is the crime situation? Do most houses have cable tv? Also I am a huge soccer fan and I would like to see the World Cup Soccer 2010 this summer. Is there any channel over there where I can watch it or are there places that show the games? Also will my T-mobile phone work in Costa Rica? Thank you
If the family owns a computer, they will likely have internet access. The speeds aren't the same as you are used to at home. Their speeds are like DSL, at best. If they don't have internet, there are internet cafes everywhere, and they cost only about $1-1.50/hour. I think people usually have cable TV, unless they are really poor. There is soccer on TV every day. You can also go to the stadiums to watch the club teams live. T-mobile does work in CR, but you must call them and turn on international roaming. It's $4.95/mo and $1.99/min. It wil get costly fast. There is a cheaper option. You can buy a pre-paid SIM card at the airport, put into a GSM phone, and you can have about 300 minutes of talk time and texts for ¢10,000 ($18). The phone must be unlocked and operate on teh 1800Mhz band. Most tri-band and all quad-band phones qualify. But they must be unlocked. If your T-mobile operates on 1800Mhz, you can get T-mobile to give you the unlock codes and you'll be able to pop the pre-paid SIM and use it, instead of paying $2/min + taxes. Costa Rica has seen an increase in crime in the past few years due to the world economy tanking. It's mostly property crimes, but it can get violent. Unemployment is high and inflation is ridiculous, so people will do whatever they have to. Here are some basic safety tips: -Use common sense and trust your instincts, just like you would anywhere abroad -Stay in a group (if possible), don't wonder off alone (NEVER WALK AROUND AT NIGHT) -Leave valuables at home (no need to bring any jewelry, fancy watch, flashy electronics, etc) -Don't flash the cash in public (don't attract unwanted attention to yourselves) -Tourists are required by law to carry a photocopy of their passport (bio page with name & picture and also the page with the immigration entry stamp; leave the real passport in the hotel room safe-most have one; in the past, tourists were required to carry their actual passports on them at all times, but it was changed after a lot of passports were being stolen to be sold on the black market, so a they now accept a photocopy; the probability that the police or any authority will ask you for your papers is low, but you'll be sorry if you don't have it on you if they do. -DON'T EXCHANGE MONEY AT THE AIRPORT pennsylvania CR. The exchange rate is horrible. They will rip you off for 15% of your money. Hotels will exchange too but their rates aren't good either. It's best to exchange at a bank. You can find the current rate (official bank rate) here: right in the center of the page... the Compra (Buy) rate is the rate to buy Colones. Currently, it's at ¢544 per dollar. The higher rate is how many colones per dollar it will cost you to exchange back to dollars.) -It's relatively safe to walk around town during the day, be careful of pickpockets and watch out for scam artists on the streets who will try to separate you from your $. -TAKE A TAXI EVERYWHERE AT NIGHT, EVEN A COUPLE OF BLOCKS -- NO EXCEPTIONS! -Do not walk around the streets drunk-it's an invitation to get robbed and possibly hurt -In case you are getting robbed, give up your stuff easily, do not resist. You can replace money or a watch (if you're wearing a inch-thick gold chain and you get robbed, I have no sympathy for you). They only want your money, they won't hurt you if you comply. Don't try to be a hero. -Try to blend in and not stand out and put a target on your back. It's really not bad AT ALL if you use your head and take certain safety precautions (like not counting money in the street). ENJOY YOUR TRIP.
San Jose is where you want to start and an international flight into SJO will take you there so that works! This region is the population and cultural center of Costa Rica. This is where you will really be able to get a sense of Tico life. Great museums nightlife and world class Universities can be found in the San Jose/San Pedro area. The Southern Pacific Zone has the most biodiversity and amazing geological features in Costa Rica. Primary growth rainforest mountains fall into the ocean in this part of Puntarenas. Monkeys, toucans and parrots are everywhere. Playas, tortuga, ventanas, arco, ballena, hermosa, dominical and hatillo are all must sees and they are within one hour of eachother! Limon is another great place to visit. It is a cool Port City and the Caribbean side of Costa Rica has its own unique culture. (Very cool)
Internet is very accessible. If your family doesn't have the internet, there are tons of internet cafes. Crime is a non issue if you are smart. Don't walk around alone at night. Don't wear a lot of jewelry. Don't carry a lot of cash. Don't get drunk. Pretty common sense stuff. Most homes also have cable or direct TV. Oh Lord, you won't be able to get away from the soccer if you wanted. As far as your phone, you will have to contact T-mobile. My AT&T phone worked, but i had to call to get it turned on, and it was pretty expensive. No texting.