Communication can be a logistical challenge while traveling in a new country, and it is always good to have a communication plan to stay in touch with people back home, send emails, look up directions, or just be in contact in case of emergencies. If you plan on using your existing service provider while traveling, you may need to purchase additional international service coverage. Not all areas of the Osa Peninsula have good cell coverage, and there is no cell-phone service at Casa Roja. We do provide unlimited Wi-Fi at the casa, and free Wi-Fi is also available at the restaurants like Las Vegas or Donde Jorge in Sierpe.
Stay connected even when off the grid
WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in Costa Rica, and everyone uses it to communicate. It’s a cool texting/voice app with free text messaging, voice messaging, wifi voice and video calling, and no advertisements. Turn off data roaming so your phone isn’t downloading emails in the background, or you’ll end up with huge phone bill. WhatsApp voice and video calls use your phone’s Internet connection instead of your cell plan’s voice minutes, so you don’t have to worry about expensive calling charges. Visit whatsapp.com/dl on your mobile phone to install.
It’s important to always be aware of the tide. Whether it’s incoming, high, or outgoing, the tide influences the safety of swimming and kayaking, your likelihood of catching fish in different places, the wildlife you may encounter, where you should hike and when, and basically everything else about the boca.
Our guide will keep you informed about tidal conditions every morning. However, if you are interested in following the tide and having more information at your fingertips (a good idea in the jungle), consider an app called Tide Charts to monitor tides during your vacation. Open the app and search for tide station “Quepos-B,” the nearest tide station to Casa Roja.
If you are planning on driving in Costa Rica, Google Maps and the offline feature are a must. Google Maps has a feature that makes saved maps available offline, giving you the opportunity to navigate with Google Maps without using data or accruing roaming fees. Do not attempt to navigate downtown San Jose without this app and feature installed on your phone!
You can hold up a smartphone to someone speaking in another language, and the app will translate on the fly. Want to decipher a sign in Spanish? Just hold the phone over the words and it will translate for you. Or, just type in the foreign text you’re trying to understand—it’s like having a genius linguist with fluency in 103 languages in your pocket.
If you have a SiriusXM account, make sure you download their app before you leave on vacation to receive SiriusXM service at Casa Roja. You can stream all your favorite stations on a bluetooth speaker in the living room.