traveling by plane, you'll arrive at Juan Santamaría International
Airport. Your first stop after deboarding the plane will be at
see a orange colored sign hanging from the ceiling. Immediately after
that door you'll see lines of waiting people below. Go down the stairs
and become one of them.
The airline should have given you two forms, one for Immigration,
and one for Customs. If you are only bringing into the country your
personal belongings, just write down "personal belongings"
on the customs form. The immigration form asks for your intended address
in Costa Rica. Just write down: "familia de ILISA Instituto de
Idiomas". Have both forms ready along with your passport.
After passing Immigration, you will arrive in a hall with 2 baggage
transport belts. On one of these you should be able to find your
This can be difficult because several flights sometimes use the same
baggage transport belt, so be prepared to search around a little
locate your luggage. Be aware that to avoid too much congestion,
baggage handlers will remove luggage from the belts. This means
that if you
don't see your items on the belt, they are probably already on the
next stop is Customs. If you have two bags or less you can usually
just walk on through. For those with more than two bags there
area where you must push a button. If after pushing the button the
light turns green, proceed on through Customs. If the light
red, you will have your luggage examined. (note: Customs can check
any bag or individual they desire).
passing through Customs, take the stairs to the right. They will
take you to the airport exit. There is a conveyer belt on your
right-hand side to transport heavy pieces upstairs. Have your baggage
ticket claim tags ready because the baggage handlers at the top of
the stairs will often ask to see them. (You should have received
tags from the airline during check-in; they are normally stapled
onto your ticket envelope).
past this area, proceed through the doors in front of you. Normally
there are quite a few people standing there. Don't worry, just look
for somebody with a white ILISA sign with blue lettering and your
name on it. We will take care of the rest (note: see "Z last
word" at the end of orientation).
to Costa Rica! Who
will pick you up? One of our drivers will
most likely pick you up. They have all been working with ILISA
in airport pickups for years. They will promptly take you to your
host family or hotel upon your arrival in Costa Rica. Remember, the
Costa Ricans are not that tall so look at all levels. In case you
don't see the sign immediately, hold back a while just outside the
door. The pickup person has a trained eye for folks like you and
may indicate that he has seen you if that's the case.
if your driver is not there within 15 minutes or so, ask
somebody for a 20 colon coin and make
a phone call at the nearby booth to your host family to
see if they have heard about something. If not or if you don't feel
enough using your Spanish, you can call ILISA's director
at (506) 8817-6312 or (506) 8654-9188 to
receive further instructions.