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. A minimum stay of two weeks is required in order 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 into the spirit of PachaMama.
In order to allow our guests to dive deeper into the PachaMama experience, a minimum stay of two weeks is required. Unless you are booking a specific workshop or retreat, please plan to stay in PachaMama for at least two weeks.
Work Exchange participants are required to stay for a minimum two-month commitment.
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.
(please read carefully before making any payments)
Every Work Exchanger staying in PachaMama is required to have a valid, up-to-date health insurance policy. Contact your 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. Visitors who are not part of the Work Exchange program are advised to purchase health coverage but are not required to.
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 Village. (The closest one is in Nosara, 45 mins away). The best is to bring US 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.
Please remember PachaMama is an Eco Village, committed to minimizing its impact on the environment. Please bring only 100% natural and biodegradable products for hygiene and personal care. This includes soap, shampoo, shaving cream, dental hygiene products, deodorants, insect repellent and so on. You can also buy such products upon your arrival in the Village’s Jungle Shop.
Make sure to bring a refillable water bottle and reusable shopping bags. You will need a good flashlight – please bring one that doesn’t use batteries, otherwise use only rechargeable batteries).
It is advised to bring comfortable clothes for yoga and meditation, sandals with a good grip and some warmer clothes for chilly evenings. One white outfit and some ‘stylish’ clothes for events are also recommended. PachaMama provides bedding for casitas and cottages but bring your own towels for showers and the beach.
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 of excellent drinking quality (see below) so no need for bottled water. Please use common sense and remember recycling is the last resort (and is limited in Costa Rica).
Yes, there are many beautiful camping spots, with nearby toilets and showers. You need to bring your own camping equipment. See our accommodations page for camping fees. Campers who cannot fit their camping needs into their luggage can buy them in San Jose. A good option is Universal located by Sabana park.
Please note that due to weather conditions, camping facilities are unavailable from May 1st and re-opening November 1st.
If you bring anything electrical, Costa Rica runs on 110 Volts, 60Hz. If you bring 220V equipment, a voltage converter is needed. Please bring only rechargeable batteries.
As of 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 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 mobile sim card at ICE or any mobile service provider but this requires that your cell phone be 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 of PachaMama, for example at the airport. Inside of PachaMama the best service provider is Kolbi.
Yes, you can access wi-fi at our Internest, a lovely spot with a beautiful view of the forest. Some accommodations also have wifi connections, such as the AC Rooms, cabinas, and villas. Please keep in mind that we are in the forest and internet availability is also affected by the weather.
Visitors are encouraged to purchase a local SIM card (Kolbi has the best connection in PachaMama) which are available in the airport, throughout Costa Rica, and in the small shop in nearby San Juanillo if they need ongoing connectivity beyond this free internet period.
There is full-service laundry available. Our wash & dry service is $14 a full-service load or $4.5 for either a wash or a dry. You can also hand wash items and hang them on our communal drying lines.
Yes and it is 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; this will help reduce the cost of renting.
The Jungle Shop sells 100% organic fruits and vegetables as well as 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. A round-trip on the Beach Bus is priced at $4.
Nosara is 40 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 cafes and a mini market. The beach taxi takes you to this Village.
PachaMama’s Verde restaurant offers three 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 cacao bar is open all day long offering fresh juices, smoothies, mini-meals and a variety of delicious raw sweets and goodies.
Evening activities include movies, dancing, singing and other events. The schedule of evening activities is posted on the board and regularly updated.
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 arrive in huge “arribadas” over the course of several nights, digging holes in the black sand and laying their eggs (100-110 per animal) into this nest. The biggest arribadas normally occur between July and December. During these mass arrivals, thousands of nests of the turtles that have landed early are destroyed by the later arrivals; this is why 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, PachaMama sometimes organizes tours to see this spectacular event. It is also possible to visit the site on your own.
Yes, the water in every faucet in PachaMama is 100% safe to drink. We filter the underground well waters and monitor the quality of the water closely. Remember to bring a bottle you can refill and carry with you. If you forget your bottle, the Jungle Shop has them available.
All bathrooms are unisex. Bathrooms in the bungalows and cottages 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 water 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.
Accommodation with private bathroom include upgraded bungalows, cottages, cabinas, houses, and villas.
The Cottages, Upgraded Bungalows, Cabinas, and Villas are equipped with small refrigerators. Casitas are not.
See here for a list of all accommodation types.
All Cottages and Villas have AC as well as some of the Bungalows . The year-round temperature is 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit (25-35 degrees Celsius) during the day. Nighttime is usually more temperate.
The standard Casitas are simple yet comfortable. They are equipped with a full-size bed with a mosquito net, a small table, a meditation chair, and a reading lamp. See also the accommodations page.
The casitas do not have locks on the doors. PachaMama is a safe community but it is still advisable to practice caution with your valuables and not leave them out in plain sight. There are lockers downtown where larger items (computers, ipads, phones, etc.) can be stored. To use the lockers bring your own lock, or purchase one in the Jungle Shop.
Your children are most welcome to visit PachaMama. While they are here, they can enjoy the beach, explore the forest and play in the onsite playgrounds. Playdates with resident children are also very common. Many of the local women and some work exchangers offer babysitting options. The community’s school and kindergarten are open to families who visit for an extended period of time, see the Children in PachaMama page for more information.
PachaMama is located on the Pacific coast of Guanacaste, in a dry tropical forest. From December until May, it is “dry season” in Guanacaste, where PachaMama is located, with average temperatures of 80-100 degrees Fahrenheit (25-38 degrees Celsius). The climate is tropical – warm in the day and cooler at night. From April, there are occasional short tropical showers, increasing in length 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, with rains starting to decrease in Mid-November. If you arrive in San Jose, long pants and a sweater may be needed; it is higher in elevation and significantly cooler.
Yes, but it is strongly advised to use a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
During the Retreats, PachaMama is in silence. All public areas in the Village are silent zones and no children’s activities are planned for this time. If you are a couple, one of you may participate, but as a single parent, this would not be possible. Besides requiring you remain in complete silence, the retreat consists of a full-time schedule.
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.
The forest of PachaMama is home to over 300 species of birds, several families of Howler Monkeys, Coatis, Armadillos, Porcupines, Deers, Squirrels, Raccoons, Bats and more. You may encounter scorpions on occasion – they are not venomous or dangerous. If you are lucky you may spot a snake, or one of the three species of wild cats that inhabit the forest – the Ocelot, the Jaguarundi or the Margay Cat. Nature here is not aggressive, and the Village has been living in harmony with it for many years.
The Xoco system was implemented in order to streamline the flow of money between various branches of the PachaMama community and to simplify things for our guests and residents when they are making purchases. Xoco means cacao in nahuatl – the native tongue of the Aztecs.
PachaMama is actually not owned by anyone. It is a not-for-profit project created by a group of spiritual seekers who came together to make an alternative, tailor-made lifestyle. All of the proceeds are reinvested in PachaMama’s maintenance and development.