To ensure your Costa Rica vacation is the best experience, please take some time to get to know our policies, terms and conditions. Questions? Give us a call and we'll be happy to help (1-866-853-9426).
In this statement the terms "us, we, our" refer to Pacific Trade Winds S.A., the terms "you, your" refer to you as our client. By agreeing with our policies and making payment on behalf of yourself and others, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our policies. You also acknowledge and accept responsibility that anybody you are paying on behalf of has also read and understands our policies. Each payment method we utilize references our policies. Therefore, by processing the payment, you agree that you have thoroughly read, understand and agree with the policies, terms and conditions written on this page.
All policies are subject to change without notice. We are on your side at all times, but there are times when policies of our providers, unforeseen circumstances which are out of our control, or the laws or taxes of the Costa Rican government supersede our policies. For clarity; in the event of a tax increase between the time you reserve and the time of the actual service, you will be responsible to pay the difference. Similarly, if there is a tax decrease within that period of time, you will be credited that amount.
*Please keep in mind we are a travel service, not an insurance company.
Please choose your plan wisely as the Super Saver policies are not flexible under any circumstance. We always recommend that you purchase trip insurance, but strongly recommend obtaining trip insurance for this plan as change fees and cancellation policies are much more strict and costly than with the Preferred Plan.
Itineraries that are eligible for the Super Saver Plan will list the side-by-side policy differences between these plans just below the pricing section of the itinerary. To see the differences, simply click the link “Click here to learn more about pricing and payment policies”. These differences are also located on this policy page.
*Again, we are a travel service, not an insurance company.
We strongly recommend buying trip insurance to protect you and your investment. You wouldn't drive your car without insurance, so why would you travel without insurance? We are not an insurance company and cannot be held liable for any situation not incurred directly by the services that we provide including: missed or cancelled hotels, tours or transportation, flight delays or cancellations, natural causes, rain, thunder storms, tornado, hurricane, fire, theft, flood, land slide, flat tire, automotive problems, construction, health problems etc..
We are also not responsible for situations that can occur based on clients not providing reasonable or adequate information such as incorrect flight information, health issues, age, dietary, height or weight restrictions and / or limitations etc.. This includes any situation that could be reasonably deemed as inadequate information provided by the client. We recommend that you check the CDC website for travel warnings. We also strongly recommend that you check with your physician to see if you are fit for the itinerary you choose as well as travel in Costa Rica in general.
We are not responsible for any injuries (including death) while riding in any conveyance reserved / arranged by our company, or on any tour reserved / arranged by our company. You agree that there are inherent risks to travel, and agree to hold us blameless for any loss experienced while traveling. Please contact a travel insurance provider to obtain appropriate coverage.
By authorizing us to make your travel arrangements or by making a payment to us, you agree to be bound by the above stated policies, terms and conditions and acknowledge that you have shown these policies to all members of your travel party in which you represent by making payment for them. Please contact a travel insurance provider to obtain appropriate coverage.
Reservations are not made or guaranteed until a deposit has been received. Availability will be checked prior to sending an invoice, but due to the nature of a dynamic itinerary with numerous components, we cannot guaranty availability of all aspects of it for more than 5 minutes unless we otherwise specifically state so in writing.
When creating an itinerary, we will first consider your requests and then make recommendations based on what is possible logistically, practically, reasonably and as close to your proposed budget as possible. Some items that are requested may not be included, or we may substitute an alternative if it seems to be a good match for you according to the previous statement. We will also apply our own experience of working with thousands of clients over the years. However, we recognize that everybody is unique and therefore, we will always work with you to fine tune your vacation to your requirements prior to your reservation. You are ultimately responsible to inform us if there is something you would like to add or remove from your itinerary.
Our recommendations, proposals, inclusions of items in an itinerary are just suggestions and in some cases during high demand seasons, simply what is available at the time you are planning. When we include a hotel or other item this does not mean that we endorse or recommend it. The items we include in your itinerary should never be viewed as the only option. You as a client are responsible to independently research the destinations, hotels, tours and transportation options that we include prior to reserving your vacation. We will provide third party information about hotels and destinations upon request.
It is important to recognize that if you provide a low budget, but request luxury accommodations, it does not mean that we will include luxury accommodations in your proposal. In such a case, we will provide accommodations that are closer to your proposed budget or will provide luxury accommodations along with a luxury price. It is your responsibility to independently research the options to ensure they meet your requirements.
We provide accurate amenity lists in descriptions of accommodations and include a comprehensive summary of what is included in your itinerary. We base star values on ICT ratings when possible. If the hotel has not been officially rated by the ICT, we base star ratings on the average score of internationally recognized sites such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, etc..
Our ultimate responsibility is to provide you with secure reservations for the items that are listed in the summary of what is included. It is imperative for you as a client to understand that while we will do everything we can to provide you with an amazing experience, we are not responsible for anything more than what is explicitly stated in this summary.
Due to the nature of an evolving, dynamic itinerary which can change significantly from the beginning of your planning stages to the time you reserve, we include a comprehensive summary of what is included in each itinerary. You are responsible to carefully review the Summary of what is Included on the itinerary that you intend to reserve PRIOR to reserving your vacation. We are not responsible for providing anything that is not listed in this section or the footnotes of the itinerary.
You should never assume that something is included unless it is expressly written by us as included in the itinerary ID that you reserve. Please do not make an inaccurate assumption that if we said something was included in a prior itinerary, that it is included in your latest itinerary. If it is not explicitly written on the same itinerary that you reserve, it should not be considered included. If you have any doubts or questions about this, please ask us immediately and always prior to your reservation. This is for both your protection as a consumer and our protection as a vendor.
You should be aware that the better accommodations reserve solid 6 - 12 months in advance (some more than that) for December 20 – January 5. It is the same for the week before and after Easter. The better accommodations are reserved solid for the months of January through April and mid-June through mid-August 3 – 6 months in advance (some more than that). Therefore, we will include the next best options when there is not availability at the better accommodations. This can and often does trickle down to hotels at the bottom of the list which we would normally not include in an itinerary. We cannot be held accountable for these recommendations/inclusions as it is not our fault if you choose to reserve after the best accommodations are no longer available. In fact, it is common to include accommodations that we do not recommend as they are the only destinations, accommodations, tours, transportation options available at the time of reservation.
While tours, transportation options and rental cars do not sell out as far in advance as accommodations, the better options can and often do sell out in advance for peak season and some high season dates. We utilize the best companies first, and will include the next best options based on availability. Similar to accommodations, we cannot be held accountable for these recommendations/inclusions we are not responsible if you choose to reserve after the best options are no longer available.
Unless otherwise specified, all vacations are private vacations (please see below for a detailed explanation of tour and transportation policies). All vacations can be modified by adding or subtracting days, tours or transportation methods prior to reservation (see below for policies on rescheduling or cancellation after a vacation has been reserved). Children's prices are based on children less than 10 years of age sharing occupancy with 2 adults unless otherwise specified.
Times, tours, hotels and locations are subject to change without notice on this website. We reserve the right to change hotels, tours or transportation based on availability to hotels, tours or transportation of equal or greater value. In the case that this cannot be provided, you will immediately be notified of available options.
We provide rates based on regular hours of service (between 8am - 6pm) and flight times that are provided. If there is a delayed flight or flight time outside of regular hours of service and we are required to pay additional money to the transportation company to wait, then we must bill this to you.
You must inform us of the weight of any member of your part if they are over 200 pounds as this can affect eligibility for tours.
You must inform us if you are over 60 years old and if so, your actual age as this can affect eligibility for tours.
You must inform us of any health problems. You are also responsible to consult with a doctor to see if you are fit for adventure activities and travel.
Do not assume that your hotel is located on the beach if you are visiting a beach destination. In fact, the vast majority of beach area hotels are not within walking distance to the beach due to strict maritime zone regulations in most areas of the country. We include a GPS map for all hotels in your itinerary. To access the map, simply click the details link under the small photo of the hotel in the itinerary section. If for some reason it does not display or you do not understand how to use it, please ask us PRIOR to reserving your vacation, and we will show you how to access it in order to make an informed decision.
We cannot control wildlife and therefore cannot guaranty that you will see it. We also cannot guaranty weather, conditions of the sea, tour cancellations or modifications which are out of our control or anything that is not directly provided by us.
We are not responsible for any inaccurate preconceived notions you may have in regards to any aspect of your vacation. While we regret to have to include this in our policies it is unfortunately necessary.
Please be particularly careful to research accommodations in Monteverde, Rincon de la Vieja, Samara, Dominical, Uvita, Drake Bay, San Gerardo de Dota, Tortuguero, Cahuita, Puerto Viejo de Limon, Sarapiqui or any other off the beaten path destination as accommodations in these areas are generally much more rustic than those in other parts of the country. While it is never a good idea to judge a hotel based on its price, this holds particularly true for these areas. Hotels are more expensive, but generally offer far less amenities. This is due to the high costs of building materials, supplies, creative communication or electrical systems, food, etc. that are all required to maintain a hotel in a remote area.
We are not responsible if you do not read the information we provide to you. For example; if we include a hotel and the hotel description does not state that there is a television or air conditioning and then you arrive to the hotel and are surprised to see that there is not a television or air conditioning, we cannot be held responsible as we did not list it as an amenity. Again, please be very careful when you read descriptions. We are careful to use accurate amenity lists, so please do your part to ensure the hotel meets your requirements. We are also not responsible if you do not read any other information which is included in your itinerary such as that included in the Important Info, Destination Info, Details link for each item, and links at the bottom of the itinerary page. All of this information is provided to you so you can make informed decisions prior to reserving your vacation.
We are not responsible for third party problems such as electrical, phone or internet outages, nor are the hotels. These are common problems in Costa Rica due to the tropical climate deteriorates service equipment used for these things much faster than in other parts of the world.
Costa Rica is located in the tropics and therefore you will encounter bugs. If for example, a sugar packet were to tear just a little when the chamber maid was preparing your room or if you were to leave a candy wrapper in the trash, this could bring on an onslaught of ants or even a Central American cockroach (very common and not associated with a place being dirty as they are everywhere). As there are bugs, there are often geckoes. These should be expected and are your friends as they eat insects. The easiest way to prevent a situation like this is to be careful and never leave food out or in a trash can for extended periods of time. If you do encounter bugs in your room, call the front desk and they will take care of the problem. We cannot control the environment or tropical location and therefore are not responsible in any way for insects, geckoes or any other critters.
Costa Rica in general is considered a rain forest area. Though there are seasons that are drier than others, it is impossible for us to predict or be held liable for inclement weather. We are not responsible for the weather in any form such as tour, hotel or transfer cancellations. If you choose to cancel a tour, hotel or transfer, you assume full liability to do so and should understand that it is unlikely a refund will be given by us or the operator. This is what trip insurance is for.
Domestic flights are frequently cancelled or postponed. We are not in any way responsible when this occurs. We will work with you to find an alternative solution, but cannot be held responsible in any way for the flight or other components of your vacation which may be affected by the cancellation or delay. By reserving a domestic flight in your itinerary, you acknowledge and accept the inherent risk.
We utilize the following options for payment; Visa, Master Card, Bank Transfer. These options are included in your quote. We also offer PayPal to accept American Express and Discover.
Online Payment: We offer secure online payment processing through Banco Nacional Costa Rica. We also offer online processing via PayPal.
Phone Orders: We can accept phone orders through a credit card terminal in our office. With this terminal, we accept Visa and MasterCard. If you choose this option, you will be required to complete a credit card authorization form administered by Echo Sign or the one in our website within 48 hours of reservation. If your vacation is within 60 days of reservation, you will be required to complete the credit card form within 24 hours.
We are located in Costa Rica and your transaction will be processed in Costa Rica. We recommend that you check with your bank to see if they impose a foreign transaction fee. If they do, you should change your credit card plan accordingly or use a different card.
Direct Funds Transfer: We accept direct funds transfer into our Citi Bank account in Costa Rica. Please contact us for details; 1-866-853-9426.
Unless otherwise expressly written, payment in full is due at time of reservation.
Note 1: The above policies are based on single payments by one card holder or transfer per party, per payment term. If multiple people will be paying for your trip, a 50% deposit will be required by each person and then payment in full will be required based on the dates as mentioned in the policies above.
Note 2: If you require a different schedule for your payments, please let us know and we will be happy to look into possibilities. If a custom payment plan is created, it must be confirmed in writing by us at the time the agreement is made.
Note 3: Payment plans are for your convenience. By setting up a payment plan, you will lock in the availability and price of accommodations, tours and transfers, but cannot lock in the price of government taxes.
We take great pride in providing bottom line pricing, but there are some situations which are out of our control such as government taxes. We are a law abiding company and respect the local law, which means that we cannot be held responsible for changes in government taxes or not charge taxes to clients with pending balances. The rate that you have been provided is based on current government taxes. If the government changes tax policy prior to your final payment, the new tax rate will be applied to your final balance and will be based on your entire purchase price (not only the final payment). Remember, we are a travel service. We cannot control government regulations and have no way of predicting them.
ALL cancellations or modifications must be received via email and specifically state the modification or cancellation you are requesting.
Preferred Plan Cancellation Policies:
Refunds for the Preferred Plan are considered on a case-by-case basis. We will always do everything we can to assist you, but there are circumstances which are out of control such as service provider policies and/or irrecoverable expenses. The amounts listed below are based on the average cancellation policies of hotels, tour operators and transportation companies in Costa Rica that rely on advance reservations.
Regular Season Dates:
Holiday Peak Season Dates (starting on or after December 15 AND including any travel dates before January 5):
Super Saver Plan Cancellation Policies
50% of the total amount will be refunded for cancellations made outside of 60 days from your scheduled arrival date. There will be zero refund for cancellations within 60 days of arrival date.
**If an individual hotel, tour operator or transportation company's policies supersede our policies in any way, it will be added to the aforementioned policies. Example: If you cancel your vacation 61 days prior to your vacation start date and one of the hotels has already been paid that has a zero refund policy, you will be refunded all but the 3.5%, $50 processing fee per person plus whatever is lost to the hotel.
Individual Hotel Cancellations: Hotels reserved individually or separate from vacation packages will be reserved with the policies of each individual hotel or resort. These policies can be furbished upon request. In addition to the hotel policies, we reserve the right to charge a service fee and for non-refundable credit card acceptance fees (3.5% of the total amount). The service fee for cancellations is $50 or $25 for modifications.
Groups that require 10 or more rooms for any dates:
Partial Group Cancellations
Cancellations made by individuals of a larger group are considered on an individual basis, based on the amount of money credited to us by providers. This is normally a small sum as the transportation and hotel rooms are often still being used by other group members. Group rates are quoted based on the group sharing these items and we cannot ask other group members to pay more if you decide to cancel. Generally, the only credit given in these situations are for tours that are within the cancellation period of the tour operator when the total rate is not affected by the loss of the cancelling participants. Due to the aforementioned, standard cancellation policies do not apply to partial group cancellations.
Though we will send a reminder statement via email, it is the sole responsibility of the client to contact us for all payments. If a client does not make payment or other written and confirmed arrangement with us within 14 days of scheduled payment due date, their vacation will be cancelled without exception.
**Please keep in mind we are a travel service, not an insurance company.
Our Rescheduling Policies do not include rescheduling your vacation. Rescheduling your vacation requires an in depth review of individual hotel, tour operator, and transportation company policies and is handled on an individual basis.
Preferred Plan: When possible, we will accommodate requests for modifications that are made more than 48 hours prior to the scheduled service. The only fees, penalties, or restrictions will be those imposed by the service providers and/or irrecoverable expenses, both of which are out of our control. All modifications are subject to availability. Please contact us immediately for last minute changes or modifications within 48 hours.
Super Saver Plan: A flat fee of $50 per change will be imposed in addition to any fees/penalties/charges imposed by the providers.
Modification fees are enforced to cover courier costs, communication costs, re-documentation and the additional time to coordinate the changes. We are not responsible for any missed or cancelled hotels, tours, transportation or flights due to any reason not directly caused by our services, including: flight delays or cancellations, natural causes, rain, thunder storms, tornado, hurricane, fire, theft, flood, land slide, flat tire, automotive problems, health problems etc.
**If an individual hotel, tour operator or transportation company's policies supersede our policies in any way, it will be added to the aforementioned policies. Example: If you reschedule your vacation 14 days prior to your vacation start date and one of the hotels has already been paid and applies a penalty for rescheduling, you will have to pay the penalty.
Hotels, transportation and tours are subject to change based on availability to hotels, transportation and tours of equal value.
**Please keep in mind we are a travel service, not an insurance company.
Unless otherwise specified, all tours are shared tours. Private tours are usually available on request, but never provided unless it is specifically requested. Furthermore, private tours will always be referred to as "tour name - private tour". If the tour name in your itinerary does not include the term "private tour", then it is not a private tour.
Tour transportation is always shared. A tour is not the same as a transfer. Therefore, even if you have private transportation included throughout your itinerary, the pick up to the tour and drop off from the tour are shared.
Transportation terms: private transportation, shuttle transportation, transportation, flight.
Private transportation means that you and your party will have a private contract on the van and nobody else will join you. You can generally stop along the designated route for a quick stop or two, but cannot leave the designated route unless specifically expressed in writing.
Shuttle transfers are shared with other tourists that are going on the same route and cost less money as it is a shared expense.
When the term "transportation" without designation of private or shared is used, always assume that it is a shared ground shuttle unless specifically stated.
When the term "flight" is used, it is meant as a domestic flight. We do not arrange international flights, so this will never be a consideration. Unless the term "flight" is specifically stated, always assume that you are being provided a ground transfer.
Transfers that require a boat ride are always shared unless otherwise specifically stated on the item in the summary of your vacation. This includes all transfers to and from: Tortuguero, Drake Bay and between the Arenal Volcano area and Monteverde. Even if you have private transfers throughout your vacation, these transfers are considered partial tours due to the logistics and how they are performed.
Unless otherwise specified, included transportation for private, shuttle, rental car pick up, etc. includes one airport pick up and airport drop off at the same time. If your party has different arrival times, please be sure to let us know so we can make alternative arrangements. If an additional vehicle, hourly wage, additional charge is required, you will be responsible to pay for it.
When transportation is provided in an itinerary via: private, shuttle, flight, etc., the transportation that is provided is considered from and to the airport, between destinations and to and from tours. This does not include any other transfers unless specifically written otherwise.
All drive times that we provide are approximate and based on the average amount of time it takes to drive between the destinations, attractions or tours. We cannot guaranty the accuracy of this as these times can and often do vary significantly for a variety of reasons, but mostly due to the road conditions and unpredictability of other vehicles driving on them such as large trucks which can cause and often do cause traffic on a regular basis.
It is not possible to guaranty drive times or duration of tours due to the same reason mentioned above. For this reason we use the industry standard practice of labeling tours as half or full day. A half day tour is expected to be 4 hours or less including transportation to access the activity (when transportation is included). A full day tour is expected to be 4.5 hours or more including transportation to access the activity (when transportation is included).
Tours will include English speaking guides, but this is not guaranteed for transfers unless specifically written otherwise. An English speaking driver or accompanying guide can usually be added for an additional charge upon request.
Drivers must be 25 years or older. Unless otherwise specified in your travel plans, your rental car will have a manual transmission. Rental car companies usually require a refundable deposit in the amount of $750 - $1,500 on your credit card for a deductible. Please also note that most require a deposit for GPS units and/or cell phone rental with the car (when provided).
Due to irregularities with different rental car providers, insurance company regulations, credit card company regulations, and ever changing Costa Rican laws regarding this, we do NOT include insurance with rental cars, unless clearly stated otherwise directly on your CONFIRMED itinerary AND SERVICE AGREEMENT. We will however always display the amount you will be required to pay in a daily amount for the CDW insurance (Collission Damage Waiver, which is legally required) on your itinerary. Insurance policies and payments must be made directly at the rental car agency office. Insurance policies can be read by clicking here.
*VERY IMPORTANT: Rental periods are based on 24 hour periods. If your flight times exceed the 24 hour period (i.e.: you arrive at 9 am and depart at 2pm) and we are not informed prior to your reservation, then you will be responsible to pay the extra fee charged by the rental car company for an extra day.
Once you confirm your trip and make a payment to us we make bank transfers to the individual hotels, lodges, transportation providers, rental agencies, activities and adventure tour providers to pre-pay and absolutely guarantee your reservations.
Most people plan well in advance for international travel so if you change your plans less than 60 days before your arrival it's likely that the room you decide you don't need or the tour you're too tired to take will go unused.
Additionally there are non-recoverable costs for the time spent planning and booking your reservations, bank and credit card transfer fees, documentation and confirmations.
Take advantage of our expertise and let us help you plan the perfect trip so you won't want to make changes later and buy travel insurance to cover cancellations or changes necessitated by emergencies then have a great vacation in Costa Rica.
If you are dissatisfied with a hotel, tour, transfer or rental car we have reserved on your behalf, we will do what we can to facilitate your request for a refund from the provider. In order to do so, we require you to provide a full description of the circumstance in writing via email to management (at) entercostarica (dot) com. This must be submitted in writing so we can provide the information to the provider as a reasonable cause for the refund request. This is a standard procedure in Costa Rica, which is required. Refunds will not be considered without it. Once we receive your email, we will expedite your situation for resolution.
If you have a concern or complaint about any service directly provided by Pacific Trade Winds, please send an email to management (at) entercostarica (dot) com. Your concern will be expedited and addressed in a timely manner.
Once the Preferred Payment Plan has been selected and a payment has been processed, you cannot downgrade to the Super Saver Plan. There will be no exceptions to this policy as irrecoverable expenses, time and work is immediately created at the time the reservation is processed.
Super Saver plan holders must provide their flight information within one week of the reservation if their reservation is outside of 6 weeks of the vacation start date. If the travel dates are within 6 weeks, you must provide flight information within 24 hours of your travel start date.
Promotions cannot be combined in any way. Only one promotion per vacation group can be applied.
Promotions cannot be applied to the Super Saver Plan in any way. There will be no exceptions.
Super Saver pricing is only available for direct reservations. Third parties such as travel agencies are not eligible to use this plan. There will be no exceptions.
We document and retain all correspondences for both your protection as a consumer as well as our protection as a vendor. We will provide you with a copy upon request. We will answer questions by email or chat. We will also offer advice, suggestions or answer questions by phone, but with the caveat that we cannot be held liable for anything that is not explicitly written by us AND IN REFERENCE TO YOUR RESERVED ITINERARY. We are not responsible for any inaccurate preconceived notions you may have in regards to any aspect of your vacation. While we regret to have to include this in our policies it is unfortunately necessary.
In case of legal dispute, we reserve the right to provide this information to the proper authorities and or legal counsel.
Once you have reserved and we have received all confirmations for your reservations, we will send you a Service Agreement. The Service Agreement is nothing more than a combination of your confirmed itinerary along with the policies that you already agreed to upon reserving your vacation. This is both for your and our convenience and ease of access.
We do not like Spam any more than you do. We will not provide or sell your information to any other company that does not directly require your information to fulfill your reservations. In case of legal dispute, we reserve the right to provide your contact information to the proper authorities and or legal counsel.
Pacific Trade Winds Sociedad Anonima, Cudula Juridica Numero 3-101-488098 is a registered Costa Rica business, conducting all affairs in the country of Costa Rica. We abide all laws in accordance to those regulated by the Republic of Costa Rica.
Policies updated 07-Jun-2016
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