Welcome to our Q&A page. Please scroll down to find information about electricity, internet, currency, climate, items to bring and more.
A visit to PachaMama is a rich experience to digest. In order to facilitate this, we request a minimum stay of 10 nights, to help you get oriented and experience the essence of the village.
Shorter stays are possible if participating in a workshop, as this will also help to integrate oneself into the spirit of PachaMama
To be certain of your Visa status, contact the Costa Rican Consulate or Embassy in your home country. Visitors from most European countries, Israel, Canada and the USA can stay 90 days without applying for a visa.
Every Work Exchanger staying in PachaMama is required to have health insurance. Contact your health insurance provider, air carrier or credit card company to see if you have coverage. If not, there are several options for travel insurance including worldnomad.com Please bring your policy number with you. For Visitors we recommend you have it for your own protection, but it isn’t required.
It is not necessary to get Colones prior to arrival. PachaMama accepts U.S. currency, credit cards and debit cards for payment, however we do not accept travelers cheques or any other foreign currency. There is no ATM machine in the commune. (The closest one is in Nosara, 30 mins away). The best is to bring Dollars in small bills, or Colones. There are NO additional fees for using a credit or debit card in PachaMama EXCEPT when purchasing vouchers which are used in the shops and restaurant. If you use a card to purchase vouchers we do need to charge an extra 17% currency, so we suggest you bring cash for vouchers.
Only 100% biodegradable soaps and shampoos are used in PachaMama. All the products that you bring should be natural, including skin and hair products, deodorants, insect repellents, shaving creams, toothpastes, etc. All these can be purchased in the PachaMama Shop. Bring a refillable water bottle, re-usable bags for shopping, and a good flashlight (one that doesn’t use batteries, otherwise rechargeable batteries only). PachaMama provides bedding for casitas and cottages but bring your own towel for showers and for the beach. For campers who can not fit their camping needs into their luggage you can buy them in San Jose (in Universal). Comfortable clothes for yoga and meditations, a yoga mat, sandals with a good grip and a shawl or warmer clothes for chilly evenings. One white outfit and some ‘stylish’ clothes for events is also recommended.
PachaMama is taking major steps towards zero impact and a no-waste policy. Therefore we ask that you not bring disposable plastic containers, plastic water bottles, plastic bags, industrial/individually wrapped snacks & tetra packs. Our water is excellent drinking quality (see below) so no need for bottled water. Please use common sense and remember recycling is the last resort (and limited in Costa Rica).
If you bring anything electrical, Costa Rica runs on 110 Volts, 60Hz.I f you bring 220V equipment, a voltage converter is needed. Bring only rechargeable batteries!
Starting July 30, 2007, Costa Rican authorities demand that all travelers coming from the following countries (Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador as well as the Republic of Guyana) have a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
It depends on your cell phone whether you can use it it here or not. If you have roaming capabilities you will most likely be able to connect with the Costa Rican cellular network. If your phone doesn’t connect through roaming you can buy a pre-paid cellphone sim card at ICE or any cellphone provider but this requires that your cell phone is unlocked. Be aware that reception also depends on topographic features and distance from cellular antennas. Note that you can only buy a SIM card outside PachaMama, for example at the airport. If you are planning on being in PachaMama the best server is Kolbi or ICE.
Yes, you can access wi-fi at our Internest, a lovely spot with a beautiful lookout. You may use the computers there or your own device. Every visitor will receive a code for 5 hours of free internet access upon arrival and more time can be purchased in the welcome office. Please keep in mind that we are in the forest and internet availability is also affected by weather systems.
There is full service laundry available. Our wash/dry service is $7 a load or for $4 you can have just a wash or dry. You can also hand wash items and hang them on our communal drying lines.
Yes and it‘s easy. You can either arrange it with the major car rental companies before you come or you can do it once you are here. There are several companies that will drop off your rental car here in PachaMama. You will need a driver’s license, passport and credit card.
It is good to ask your credit card company what if any insurance they provide for you when renting a car in Costa Rica as this will help reduce the cost of renting.
Yes in fact we have two. Our Veggie Mart offers 100% Organic fruits and vegetables and The Jungle Shop offers non perishable items, toiletries, health foods and everything else necessary for your stay in PachaMama.
During the high season PachaMama has a daily taxi service to the nearest beach in San Juanillo. The beach bus charges $4 roundtrip.
Nosara is 30 minutes away by car. It has a small airstrip for domestic flights, banks, a post office, restaurants, private or public medical aid and several car rental companies.
San Juanillo is 15 minutes away by car. It is a small village with several cafe’s, a mini market and a fish shop. This is the village that the beach taxi will take you to.
PachaMama’s restaurant offers 3 fresh vegetarian meals a day. We do not use any refined sugar, cow milk products or wheat flour. We do use small amounts of goat milk or cheese, as well as a variety of nuts.
In addition the “Wild Treats” raw-food bar is open all day long offering fresh juices, smoothies, mini-meals and a variety of delicious raw dessert goodies.
Often in the evenings there are activities e.g.. movies, dancing, singing or other events. The schedule of evening activities is posted in PachaMama on the blackboard.
PachaMama is located about 5 km from Playa Ostional, one of the most important nesting sites of the Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) in Latin America: Thousands of females arriving in huge “arribadas” during several nights, digging a hole in the black sand and laying their eggs ( 100 – 110 per animal) into this nest. The biggest arribadas normally occur from July to December. During these mass arrivals, thousands of nests of the turtles having landed early are destroyed by the later arriving ones; for this reason the local people from the village are allowed to collect eggs during the first phase of each arribada. Turtle arribadas in Ostional are supervised by the national wildlife protection authorities. During nesting time, we sometimes organize tours to see this spectacular event or you can visit the site on your own.
Yes, the water in PachaMama is safe to drink from every faucet on the property. We filter the underground well waters. Remember to bring a bottle you can refill and carry with you.
All bathrooms are unisex. Bathrooms in the bungalows are private. There are public showers and toilets set in a few locations around PachaMama. Toilets and showers are in separate buildings. As part of our conservation efforts, we have converted most of the public toilets to compost toilets as traditional toilets use between 5-7 liters of water per flush.
None of the Casitas are equipped with refrigerators. There is a small fridge in the Cottages, the Family Casitas, the Bungalows and the Villas. There are fridges available for everyone to use in the communal kitchen.
All cottages have AC. The year round temperature is 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit (25-35 degrees Celcius) during the day with mild nights.
The standard Casita is simple but comfortable. They come with a full size bed, mosquito net for the bed, a small table, a low (meditation) chair and a reading lamp. See also the accomodation page.
All the Casitas have doors without a lock. PachaMama is a relatively safe property but we are in Latin America so it is good to use caution on leaving your valuables out. Additionally, there is a safe in the office to store small items or lockers to lock up larger items (computers, ipads, phones, etc.)
Of course you may bring your children. There is a playground at the school, they may go to the beach, explore the forest and playdates are very common. Many of the local women or some of our work exchange offer baby sitting options for parents. Kids between 2-5 that stay for more then 2 months can join the preschool/kindergarten. For more details check the children’s page.
From December until May it is “dry season” in Guanacaste, where PachaMama is located, with average temperatures ranging from 80-100 degrees Fahrenheit (25 to 38 degrees Celsius). The climate is tropical with some chilly nights. From April, there are occasional short tropical rains, increasing into some hours of rain during June, July & August. The mixture of sunny days and tropical rains creates a unique and beautiful climate. The ‘green’ or rainy season is from September on, decreasing in Mid-November. If you arrive in San Jose, long pants and a sweater may be needed, as it is high in the mountains and cooler.
Encouraging people to dive deeper into the PachaMama experience, a minimum stay of seven nights is asked. Unless booking for a specific workshop, please plan your stay for atleast seven nights.
Yes, but it is strongly advisable to use a 4-wheel-drive.
During the Retreats, PachaMama is in Silence. All public places in the commune are silent zones and no children activities are planned during this time. If you are a couple, one of you may participate, but as a single parent this would be impossible as you would be required to be in silence and it is a full time schedule.
Yes, there are many beautiful camping spots. Toilets and showers are nearby. You need to bring your own camping equipment. See Price List for camping fees.
As much as you are comfortable carrying around. There is no luggage carrying service in PachaMama, although we are glad to help. Please note that the terrain is hilly and depending on the season, sometimes muddy, so pack only what you need. To lighten your load, you may choose to leave some of your items in a locker downtown.
Sending packages sometimes takes a long time and there are occasional uncertainties with deliveries. There can be long delays or disappearing packages that the post office (and PachaMama) do not claim responsibility for. If you stay in PachaMama for a short period, it might only arrive after you leave. It’s recommended to use private courier services like Fed-Ex, DHL and TNT. It’s more expensive but reliable.