FAQs: Visiting Bodhi Surf + Yoga During Covid-19

Bodhi Surf + Yoga / Surf + Yoga Camp Blog / FAQs: Visiting Bodhi Surf + Yoga During Covid-19

The Costa Rican border is opening slowly to the rest of the world, and global travel is beginning to resume. Here at Bodhi Surf + Yoga, we are starting to receive inquiries for our surf and yoga camps. Yet understandably, there are many questions. The situation changes frequently, so we have done our best to consolidate the information that we know, as well as point to some very useful and trustworthy resources for our guests. We will do our best to keep this post updated as the circumstances are constantly changing.

We are very excited by the prospect of hosting our surf and yoga camps again, and we hope to see you here soon!

The Bodhi Surf + Yoga promise during Covid–19

At Bodhi Surf + Yoga, we believe in using our business as a force for good. We know that we can and must be the change we seek in the world. Our mission is to educate, inspire, and empower our stakeholders to live more sustainably through surfing, yoga, nature immersion, and community engagement. We are proud to be a 2020 Tripadvisor Travel Choice Winner, a “Best for the World” award-winning Certified B Corporation for the last three years, and 1% for the Planet member. We hold ourselves to the highest of standards, and will continue to provide the best quality service while offering a clean and safe environment. We know that the Bodhi Surf + Yoga experience will enable travelers to renew, rebalance, readjust, as well as awaken purpose.

Surf and yoga camp Covid policy

Reservation questions

Is Bodhi Surf + Yoga open?

Yes, Bodhi Surf + Yoga is open. However, the various travel restrictions in Costa Rica as well as people’s own home countries are preventing some guests from flying to Costa Rica. This is a continuously changing situation, so we recommend you check the latest news on The Tico Times (Costa Rica’s leading English language newspaper) to see the latest on whether you can travel to Costa Rica, and if not, when that may be.

What is the Bodhi Surf + Yoga cancellation policy?

See outlined version here.

Reservation and Payment Policy

Bodhi Surf requires a USD $500.00 reservation deposit per person for vacation packages. Once the reservation deposit is received, your desired dates and accommodation preferences are booked. The deposit is credited to the total amount of your Bodhi Surf + Yoga vacation package.

Reservations are to be paid in full no less than 30 days prior to your arrival date.

For vacation package reservations made less than 30 days prior to your arrival date, packages must be paid in full immediately upon notification that your reservation has been confirmed and reception of invoice from Bodhi Surf + Yoga.

Cancellation Policy

Reservations may be canceled and refunded based on the following:

  • Less than 60 days prior to arrival date: No refund of deposit
  • Less than 30 days prior to arrival date: No refund of payment or deposit

Is Bodhi Surf + Yoga waiving its cancellation policy due to Covid?

No. However, should you be unable to visit due to a Covid-related emergency, we will credit your account and allow you to redeem the credit for travel before March 31, 2022.

Has Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s cancellation policy changed due to Covid?

Yes, temporarily, for guests who had made reservations prior to September 1, 2020. From September 1, 2020 onward, we have reverted back to our normal cancellation policy (see above) and will handle situations outside of the “norm” on a case-by-case basis.

If I am unable to travel to Costa Rica during my scheduled week, what happens regarding my reservation?

The cancellation policy will apply if you cannot travel due to reasons other than a Covid-related emergency. Should you be unable to visit due to a Covid-related emergency, we will credit your account and allow you to redeem the credit for travel before March 31, 2022. Covid-related cases will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Can I reschedule my trip?

Yes, but we cannot guarantee there will be spaces, as we operate on a first come first serve basis. We do fill up in advance, as we limit our week-long experiences to 10 guests per week.

If I am unable to travel to Bodhi Surf + Yoga due to Covid, can I have a credit?

Should you not be able to visit due to a Covid-related emergency, we will credit your account and allow you to redeem the credit for travel before March 31, 2022. Again, we will handle these situations on a case-by-case basis.

What if I can fly to Costa Rica, but I cannot arrive on my arrival date due to limited flights?

If the limited flights available mean that you will arrive a day or more later than your scheduled arrival date, you will be responsible for booking your own lodging for those nights (if necessary) as well as arriving to Bodhi Surf + Yoga. You can book a shared shuttle using EasyRide or Monkey Ride. Alternatively, you can reserve private transportation via Bodhi Surf + Yoga starting at USD $250 one way (San Jose – Bodhi Surf + Yoga). We will do our best to make up any missed surf and yoga sessions.

Entering Costa Rica

Note: we have an entire blog about the Covid pandemic in Costa Rica, which you can access here

I’m a U.S. Citizen / hold a U.S. passport. Can I enter Costa Rica?

Beginning September 1, 2020, U.S. tourists will only be welcomed if they are residents of the following states: New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. On September 15, Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan and Rhode Island will be added to the list. On October 1, California will be added to the list. Passengers must prove their residency in one of those states using their driver’s license.

U.S. passport holders from states that are not approved can arrive in Costa Rica on one of the approved flights, as long as they have remained in the approved country for at least 14 days before flying to Costa Rica.

The approved country list has now been updated as follows: Australia, Canada, Swiss Confederation, Vatican State, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Principality of Liechtenstein, Principality of Monaco, Kingdom Belgium, Kingdom of Denmark, Kingdom of Spain, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of Sweden, Kingdom of Thailand, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Czech Republic, Cypriot Republic, Republic of Austria, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Korea, Republic of Croatia, Republic of Slovenia, Republic of Estonia, Republic of Finland, Republic of Hungary, Republic of Iceland, Republic of Latvia, Republic of Latvia, Republic of Lithuania, Republic of Malta, Republic of Poland, Republic of San Marino, Republic of Singapore, Slovak Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, French Republic, Hellenic Republic (Greece), Italian Republic, Republic of Uruguay, People’s Republic of China, Portuguese Republic, Romania.

What are the requirements to enter Costa Rica?

To travel to Costa Rica you must:

  1. Have tested negative in a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours prior to flight departure time from the country of origin.
    *Does not apply for Costa Rican citizens, residents, or diplomats.
  2. Have travel insurance that covers accommodation and expenses generated by the COVID-19 disease, offered by one of the authorized insurers in Costa Rica or another international provider that complies with the above.
    You can purchase your travel insurance through any of the following insurance providers if you don’t have one:
    Grupo INS
    Sagicor
    *Does not apply to Costa Ricans, residents, or diplomats.
  3. Have remained for at least 14 days in one of the countries to which Costa Rica has opened its air borders to.
  4. Not show or experience symptoms associated with COVID-19, such as: fever, cough, loss of smell or taste, signs of respiratory infection, diarrhea, among others.
  5. Carefully read, complete, and accept the conditions presented in the LEGAL TERMS of the digital epidemiological form “Pase de Salud / Health Pass” of Costa Rica.
    *Note that tourists must submit their insurance policy number and upload the result of their negative COVID-19 test (as a PDF or JPG) as part of the epidemiological form.

IMPORTANT: Do I have to purchase travel insurance?

Yes, you have to purchase travel insurance.

Starting immediately, international tourists entering the country will be allowed to do so with a travel insurance policy that meets the following requirements, according to the Costa Rica’s Institute of Tourism (ICT) document (you can read the full Tico Times article here):

  1. The policy is valid throughout their scheduled visit to Costa Rica.
  2. It covers medical expenses in Costa Rica related to COVID-19 of at least USD $50,000.
  3. It includes a minimum coverage of USD $2,000 for accommodation expenses related to COVID-19.

Can I purchase a Costa Rica national insurance plan?

Yes, you can purchase a plan through the Costa Rica National Insurance company (INS). The INS plan varies in cost based on the age of the tourist and their length-of-stay in the country. As an example, the plan is USD $280 for a two-week stay for a 30-year-old.

Click here to purchase INS plan and follow the link “Seguro de Viajeros.”

Do I have to purchase insurance through a national (i.e. Costa Rican) insurance provider?

No, you can purchase a foreign travel policy (i.e. not Costa Rican). If you purchase insurance through a foreign travel policy, then the ICT will require the following:

  1. A signed declaration indicating the policy meets the requirements.
  2. Proof from the insurance company indicating the policy covers the tourist(s).
  3. Tourists will receive a response to their request within 24 hours on workdays, or 48 hours on weekends/holidays.
  4. If the policy does not meet the requirements, the tourist will be notified. They will have 24 hours to correct the issue, or they can purchase a plan that has been pre-approved by the General Insurance Superintendency.
  5. If the policy meets requirements and is approved, ICT will send the tourist a QR code that must be shown to Costa Rican immigration authorities at the airport. The relevant documents from Step 1 must also be submitted as part of the digital Health Pass that is required for all travelers.

Is there a quarantine period?

Tourists will not be required to quarantine (self-isolate).

However, if a tourist is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip to Costa Rica, they will be issued a 14-day quarantine (isolation order) and will not be able to leave the country until the isolation order is complete. The extended stay would be covered by their insurance plan.

*Please make sure that you confirm any quarantine guidelines in your home country for your return home.

How long is the COVID-19 test valid for entry?

The sample for the test must be taken a maximum of 72 hours before your flight to Costa Rica. For example, a flight for September 5th at 2pm will mean that the passenger must have the sample taken after September 2nd at 2pm.

The RT-PCR is the only test that will be accepted by Immigration Authorities. The results must be in English or Spanish. A negative test is required for anyone ages 12 years and older.

If I’m a passport holder of an approved country, can I fly through the US?

Yes, you can fly through the US. However, you cannot stay more than 12 hours if you are making a connecting flight in a state that hasn’t been authorized by Costa Rica. And you cannot leave that airport. Example: California is not an authorized state, but your connecting flight is in Los Angeles. As long as your layover isn’t more than 12 hours and you haven’t left the airport you will be allowed to visit Costa Rica.

Why do some U.S. airlines show upcoming flights?

Some U.S. airlines are preparing to resume service once Costa Rica gives them the authority. If Costa Rica has not approved flights from the U.S. by the specified date, it is likely that flights will be cancelled or pushed back.

Departing Costa Rica

Is there a COVID-19 test center at the Costa Rica airport upon departure?

Not at the moment.

Will I have to quarantine in my home country?

Please check your home country’s requirements.

What a week at Bodhi Surf + Yoga looks like during Covid

What is the community of Bahia Ballena, Osa, Costa Rica doing to ensure a clean and safe environment?

The public and private sectors in our community have collaborated to build a “best practices” guide for implementing Covid protocols. The guide takes into consideration the protocols developed by the Ministry of Health, Costa Rica Tourism Institute, and private sectors organizations like Airbnb and Tripadvisor. Local businesses have been following protocols and the community has created its own internal certification process. Additionally, the community has invested in entrance and facility improvements for the Marino Ballena National Park so that health protocols are being met.

Are the beaches open?

Some of the beaches within the Marino Ballena National Park are currently open, including the Whale Tail (Punta Uvita) entrance (daily, hours dependent on tides) and the Colonia entrance (daily except Tuesdays, from 7am-4pm).

The public beaches are currently open from 5am to 2:30pm.

How will my week be different from a pre-Covid week?

We will continue to provide the highest quality of service while offering a clean and safe environment that will enable travelers to renew, rebalance, readjust, as well as awaken purpose.

What you can expect during your stay:

  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to guests and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas, and surf and yoga equipment
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Contactless check-in and check-out
  • 24-hour minimum vacancy between guests
  • All restaurants and stores that we recommend will be pre-authorized as clean and safe to visit by Bodhi Surf + Yoga
  • Day off activities that we recommend will be pre-authorized as clean and safe to visit by Bodhi Surf + Yoga
  • All shared spaces at Bodhi Surf + Yoga are outdoors and well-ventilated
  • Surf lessons in the Marino Ballena National Park will be scheduled respecting its health protocols and will take place between 7am and 4pm
  • Surf lessons in Playa Hermosa will be scheduled respecting the new public beach health protocols and will take place between 5am and 2:30pm.

Arrival at Juan Santamaria International Airport

You will be required to wear a mask while in the Juan Santamaria International Airport. Your arrival as well as the clearing of migration and customs might take longer than usual. This is to ensure that the international airport protocol is executed properly, and to protect you. There is now a sanitizing carpet, temperature measurement, sanitizing stations, visual instructions in Spanish and English, social/physical distance indicators, digital epidemiological form, luggage service arrangement, amongst other measures to ensure a safe visit to Costa Rica. There is also free wifi, restaurants, shops, etc.

Transportation to and from Bodhi Surf + Yoga

Your transportation provider will be using personal protective equipment such as a face mask and/or face covering. They will ensure the vehicle has been cleaned and sanitized using the five-step enhanced cleaning process:

  1. Prepare equipment and get the space ready for cleaning
  2. Clean each surface by removing dust and debris
  3. Sanitize all high-touch areas, appliances, and electronics
  4. Check that the space has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized
  5. Reset the room for the next guest and restock your supplies

Lodging at Bodhi Surf + Yoga

Our “small is beautiful” philosophy, limiting space to 10 guests per week, coupled with our enhanced five-step cleaning process, will help ensure a safe and clean place to visit. We have over 100 5-star reviews on Tripadvisor for cleanliness.

Surf lessons

Surf instructors will follow protocols established for the Marine National Park and Public beaches by the Costa Rican Ministry of Health and Tourism Institute. Instructors and guests will have to wear masks when entering the national park. Surf equipment and vehicles will be regularly subject to the five-step enhanced cleaning process.

Surf lessons in the Marine National Park will be scheduled respecting the new Marine National Park health protocols and will take place between 7am and 4pm.

Surf lessons in Playa Hermosa will be scheduled respecting the new public beach health protocols and will take place between 5am and 2:30pm.

Yoga classes

Yoga instructors will follow protocols established by the Costa Rican Ministry of Health and Tourism Institute. Yoga equipment and platform space will be subject to the five-step enhanced cleaning process.

Massages

Massage therapists will follow protocols established by the Costa Rican Ministry of Health and Tourism Institute. Massages will take place in open air space and equipment and massage tables will be subject to the five-step enhanced cleaning process.

Community walking tour

Local tour guides will follow protocols established by the Costa Rican Ministry of Health and Tourism Institute. They will use personal protective equipment such as masks. However, being an outdoor tour they will also be allowed to remove gear when maintaining social distance protocols.

Waterfall visit

The owners and operators of the waterfall location will follow protocols established by the Costa Rican Ministry of Health and Tourism Institute. They will limit capacity and indicate spaces where you can enjoy your social bubble while respecting others.

Eating and shopping outside of Bodhi Surf + Yoga

Bodhi Surf + Yoga will indicate which restaurants are following protocols established by the Costa Rican Ministry of Health and Tourism Institute. Personal protective gear such as masks are mandatory when visiting restaurants, stores, and other businesses. We ask that you please respect health protocols to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Interaction at Bodhi Surf + Yoga with staff and guests

The essence of hospitality is a generosity of spirit from the heart. We expect our guests to respect our local community and other guests and travelers. Please use personal protective equipment when indicated by staff, residents, and public officials. As protocols and guidelines will change, Bodhi Surf + Yoga will adapt, improvise, and communicate any new recommendations in a timely manner.

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About the author

Adrianne

Adrianne is the fun-and-food-loving socialite of Bodhi Surf + Yoga. If she's not whipping up a feast for Bodhi Surf + Yoga guests, she's probably busy writing for the Bodhi blog or keeping people up-to-date on the goings on via social media!