General Information

Hotel Costa Rica Marriott

PPPAmericas 2017 will take place at the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel, located 700 meters west from Bridgestone/Firestone, la Ribera de Belen (Province of Heredia).

Belén, Heredia

Heredia is one of Costa Rica’s 7 provinces, located in the north-central part of the country. Bounded in the north by Nicaragua, in the east by the Limón province, in the south by San José and in the west by Alajuela.

Belén is a town in Heredia that is part of Costa Rica’s Great Metropolitan Area. Its economy is based on industry, commerce and services. New industries include technology, hospitality, manufacture among others.

Some places to highlight in Belen are: la Casa de la Cultura (the House of Culture) built in 1908, the former Pacific Train Station, and the San Antonio de Padua church.

Juan Santamaría International Airport

Juan Santamaría is Costa Rica’s main airport. Located in the province of Alajuela, 5,7 kms from the Marriott hotel, and 18 kms away from downtown San Jose.

The airport take its name from Juan Santamaría, a Costarican national heroe that played an important part in defeating the filibuster William Walker during the National Campaign that took place in 1856-1857

Climate

Costa Rica is a tropical country. Due to its proximity to the equator, its exposure to both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and its elevation, there is no summer or winter per se, but rather a rainy or dry season.The dry season is from December to April, and the rainy season extends from May to November.

The average temperature in Belen is 22.4° C.

Dress

Semiformal dress is recommended for both the daytime sessions and evening events. Remember that temperatures in conference rooms may vary.

Electricity

Costa Rica’s electrical voltage is 110V. The frecuency is 60 Hz.

Several electronic devices are 110V -240V, so there is no problem in using them. Please check the specifications in your devices before plugging them in.

Emergencies

In the event of a medical emergency, whether due to illness or some other ailment, please go to the emergency medical service, located inside the convention center. For any other type of emergency, please contact your country’s embassy or consular office, where you will be able to receive appropriate guidance and obtain the necessary support to resolve your problem. PPPAmericas 2017offers information services in the registration area to participants in need of assistance.

Safety

Participants are advised to observe the same general safety precautions that they would abide by when traveling to any major city.

For example, participants should safeguard their documents and valuables by using the safety deposit box in their hotel room.

Similarly, participants should only use trusted transportation services that are duly identified and mobilize in metered taxis to ensure they are charged the right fare. Taxis can be arranged through the hotel or by using mobile applications such as UBER which work well and are very safe. The trip on a red taxi has a cost of approx. US$1,2 for the first kilometer and US$1,75 every additional kilometer. Smoking is prohibited in all public transportation vehicles.

The use of UBER service is recommended; it works well in Costa Rica, it is safe and it is usually lower in price.

In general, drinking water in Costa Rica is completely safe for ingestion. For people who are generally more susceptible to changes in their environments, we suggest drinking only bottled water during your first days in Costa Rica. Bottled water is commonly found in supermarkets, stores and restaurants.

Although Costa Rica is a safe country for foreigners, we recommend that you pay attention to your personal belongings at all times, especially in crowded areas. Please abstain from walking by yourself during the night and from going alone to places that are far from the place where you are staying.

Travel and Health Insurance

Neither the Congress, nor the logistics firm are responsible for participants’ medical or travel insurance, or any theft or personal accidents they may encounter. Participants are advised to take appropriate precautionary measures in this regard.

Language

Simultaneous interpretation services will be available in English and Spanish at all of the event’s sessions.

Value Added Tax

The Value Added Tax, or VAT, is 13% on purchases or consumption. Service tax is 11% (included in most service bills).

Local Currency – Costarican Colon (C)

The official currency of Costa Rica is the Costarican Colon (CRC). Participants are advised to always travel with US Dollars or make use of the money exchange stations at the airport or hotels. 1 dollar is equivalent to 566 colones approximately.

Time Zone and Business Hours

The official time zone in Costa Rica is UTC -6.

Business hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Shopping centers are open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Sunday.

Visas

Some nationalities require a travel visa to visit Costa Rica. We recommend that you check with the Costa Rican Consulate in your country to verify whether you require a visa. Obtaining the appropriate visa is a personal matter. Neither PPPAmericas 2017 nor the logistics firm will be held responsible if a participant is unable to attend the event due their failure to obtain an appropriate visa.

Vaccines

Check with your closest health center. If you are traveling to Costa Rica from South America and/or Sub-Saharan Africa, you will need a yellow fever vaccine. The countries concerned are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, French Guayana and Venezuela. You will be allowed to travel to Costa Rica ten days after getting the vaccine. All those visitors that during their travel to Costa Rica visited any of these countries and their airports or prots must get the vaccine: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.