Reservation Policy

(scroll down below Covid-19 updates)

Surf Expedition Coronavirus (COVID-19) | September 5 , 2020 UPDATE

As of September 5, 2020, Costa Rica is gradually reopening its border to some countries.

Tourists from the following countries can travel to Costa Rica:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • France
  • Luxembourg
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Thailand
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal
  • Liechtenstein
  • Monaco
  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Poland
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • Uruguay
  • Romania
  • Slovak Republic
  • Swiss Confederation
  • United Kingdom

USA:

 

  • Connecticut (September 1)
  • Maine (September 1)
  • Maryland (September 1)
  • New Hampshire (September 1)
  • New Jersey (September 1)
  • New York (September 1)
  • Vermont (September 1)
  • Virginia (September 1)
  • Washington, DC (September 1)
  • Colorado (September 15)
  • Massachusetts (September 15)
  • Pennsylvania (September 15)

The Ministry of Health expanded the list of states from which tourists can enter Costa Rica.  As of September 1, 2020, U.S. citizen tourists who are residents of New York, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia may enter Costa Rica.  As of September 15, residents from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Colorado will also be allowed to enter Costa Rica.  As of September 1, U.S. tourists from authorized states can arrive in Costa Rica via a flight with a layover in a non-authorized state or country.  For example, a Colorado resident can fly from Denver to Houston to Costa Rica, as long as they do not exit the airport in Houston.

To enter Costa Rica, visitors will need to do the following.

1) Present a Negative Test result of COVID-19 

This test must be done within 72 hours of your scheduled flight to Costa Rica (previously the requirement was 48 hours). The specific type of test required is a PCR-RT test. Other tests like the rapid test will not be accepted.

A negative Covid-19 test is required for all travelers over age 12.

2) Complete an Online Epidemiological Form (Health Pass) 

This short-form called the Health Pass (found here) asks for personal information like your name, age, nationality, passport number, and flight details. You will also need to provide your hotel/accommodation in Costa Rica.

The form asks if you have been tested for COVID-19, on what date, and the results. You will need to upload the results.

In addition, you will need to provide your travel insurance policy number (see below).

The form can only be filled out within 48 hours of your flight, not sooner.

The Health Pass ends with making you agree to declarations that you do not have symptoms of Covid-19 now and that you will tell health authorities in Costa Rica if you begin to show symptoms. A QR code then will be generated, which you can show on your mobile phone at the airport or using a printed document.

English Language Option: The Health Pass defaults to Spanish, but there is an option at the top right to change to English.

3) Get a Travel Insurance Policy 

Overview

Visitors must purchase travel insurance to cover their expenses in case they get Covid-19 during their trip. The insurance must cover medical expenses and accommodation expenses for 14 days of quarantine.

You have two options for insurance. One is to purchase it directly through a provider in Costa Rica. These have been preapproved by the Costa Rican government (Superintendencia General de Seguros (SUGESE)) to offer Covid-19 insurance, so these policies will be automatically accepted when you arrive in-country.

Alternatively, you can buy insurance that meets the requirements through an international insurer of your choice. Then you will need to go through a verification process before you will be allowed to enter the country. See below for more details.

Costa Rica Insurance Options

Currently, there are two companies in Costa Rica that are approved to sell COVID insurance, INS (the government insurer) and Sagicor (a private company). You can buy the INS insurance in conjunction with the Health Pass by following the link provided in the form or by following this link. You can buy a policy from Sagicor directly through their website.

Sagicor’s rates are around $10-13/day for travellers under age 70. Here is a link to their rates chart.

International Insurance Options

International insurance policies are also acceptable, provided they meet the minimum requirements. Specifically, the insurance must cover at least $50,000 for medical expenses associated with Covid-19 and $2,000 in accommodation expenses to cover at least 14 days of quarantine. You can find these requirements on the tourism institute (ICT)’s website.

Verifying Your International Policy

The country’s tourism institute is in charge of verifying that international policies comply with the requirements. They are currently working on making a digital process. Until then, ICT will be working with travellers directly at the airport.

To show compliance, the tourist will have to request from the international insurer a certification (issued in English or Spanish) stating:

  • The validity of the effective policy during the visit to Costa Rica.
  • That it guarantees coverage for medical expenses associated with the pandemic disease COVID-19 in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000 (US dollars).
  • That it includes a minimum coverage of $2,000 for extended lodging expenses due to pandemic illness.

If a policy does not meet these requirements, the visitor will be required to purchase coverage from one of the approved Costa Rican insurance companies.

4)  Abide by the Regulations Put in Place by Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health During Your Visit 

You must abide by all government regulations regarding Covid-19 during your visit. We cover below the requirements at the airport and throughout your trip.

5) Proof of Residence – Applies to Travelers from the US Only

Visitors from the United States will need to show their driver’s license or state identification card to prove they are from one of the approved states. The announcement that states IDs are also acceptable was made during the press conference on August 27.

This requirement does not apply to minors travelling with their parents.

Other Entry Requirement Information – Quarantine 

These are the only requirements for tourists entering Costa Rica. Notably, Costa Rica does not require tourists to quarantine. The 14-day quarantine requirement only applies to Costa Rican citizens and legal residents reentering the country (see below for additional detail). Tourists do not need to quarantine.

Flight Schedule

The government wants to begin reintroducing tourism in a very slow and controlled way to limit the virus’ spread. So they are limiting flights into the country.

Only up to five flights per week (total, not per country) have been scheduled to start from Europe.

Travel originating in the United States begins in September. Four flights into San Jose are expected to start and one to two into Liberia Airport. The first flights will originate in Newark, LaGuardia, and JFK Airports.

Click here to see flights from the US to Costa Rica that have been approved by the Ministry of Health for September.

Here is a link to the SJO Airport website where they list when each airline expects to begin offering flights again.

Trips postponed due to Covid-19.

If your trip has been postponed, you were issued a credit of the full amount that you’ve paid toward your trip, to travel on another confirmed trip date before December 31st, 2021. 

Here are your options:

  • Move your booking to later in December 2020 or 2021. We will be offering surf camps from December 2020 and you can change your booking to next year, our 2021 surf trip calendar is already online.

  • Keep your travel credit for now and decide later when to book in 2021.  You will receive a full travel credit and can use the code on the gift card to apply the credit when you have a better idea of when you can travel. New travel must be completed by December 31, 2021.

 

We continue to monitor WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations and government advisories and we will be in contact with our guests if other major changes occur. We will be updating the status of our trips as early as possible so that you can plan accordingly, up to 21 days before departure to have a certain margin to react if the situation changes.

For the latest updates and information concerning the COVID-19 outbreak and for recommendations, including travel advice, how to protect yourself while travelling, please refer to the WHO website at the following link. It also has a detailed Q&A section.

While it is up to each guest to make the decision to travel or to postpone travel plans, we understand some of you may be impacted by strict travel restrictions depending on your country of departure.

As such, we have adjusted our booking policy for all our surf trips:

Travel bans or border closing

If the authorities of your country of departure or the authorities of the trip destination bans travel or closes it’s border, we will issue you a full credit to rebook at a later date on a confirmed travel date. No admin fee will be charged.

Cancellations by Surf Expedition

If we have to cancel a trip due to any Force Majeure event, we will issue you a full credit to rebook at a later date on a confirmed travel date. No admin fee will be charged.

Cancellations by Client

Pre-departure cancellations must be submitted in writing via email with receipt confirmation by us. It is your responsibility to ensure that adequate trip cancellation and interruption insurance is purchased to cover any forfeited portion of your trip cost if a cancellation is necessary. The best way to protect you trip if you decide to cancel your travel plans is to get a “cancel for any reason” travel insurance.

Any cancellation by you will incur a cancellation fee** plus a 5% admin fee. The minimum charges will depend on the time of cancellation and are as follows:

  • Within the first 48 hours of booking only  – 0%;
  • More than 90 days before departure – initial deposit of $300/person can be applied for another confirmed trip date*
  • 46-90 days before departure – $300/person deposit forfeited, remaining balance can be applied for another confirmed trip date *within the next two (2) years.
  • 31-45 days before departure – 50% of payments forfeited, remaining balance can be applied for another confirmed trip date* within the next two (2) years.
  • 30 days or less before departure – 100% of payments forfeited

*Trip date to be confirmed by Surf Expedition. We will try our best to transfer our offer to another date, but we might not be able to guarantee this at the time of cancellation. You can only rebook one time to a new confirmed trip date but in the even where we would have to cancel the new trip date, your deposit will be held as credit for future trip within another extra one (1) year. You will need to pay the difference if the booking is more expensive and there will not be a refund if the booking is less expensive. 

**Cancellation fees cover non-refundable expenses that need to be paid in advance (such as your accommodations, transportation & services). These fees aim to minimize the financial impact on our business and on our partners. When you book your trip and we confirm the trip, your inscription is accounted to make sure we are covering our basic operation costs. Your decision to cancel means we might have to operate a trip without covering our minimum cost because we’ve already confirmed the trip to other participants who have booked their flights. Once you’ve booked your spot, it also means that the spot becomes unavailable for someone who could have booked otherwise. The best way to protect you trip if you decide to cancel your travel plans is to get a “cancel for any reason” travel insurance

You can however transfer the trip to a friend if you are unable to participate, as long as it represents a new booking (can not be used to pay for the balance of a friend already booked on a trip). Admin fee applies.

 

General Terms & Conditions

 

How do I make the payment for this trip?

 

If you already know on which trip and date you would like to travel, please select the trip date of your choice on the respective trip page and pay a $300 deposit to confirm your spot.

 

The balance of the trip will be automatically charged to your credit card 90 days before the departure date (or later if we haven’t received the minimum amount of participants to confirm the trip 90 days before departure. The latest date for us to confirm the trip is 30 days before departure.) Let us know if you are travelling with other people, and make sure they reserve their spot as well. You can forward them your booking using a link on the payment software.

 

You can read our FAQ section to get all the important information before booking.

 

If you would prefer to be contacted by a booking agent to answer some of your questions – that we might have forgotten in the FAQ section – before paying the deposit, and you would ultimately like to reserve a spot on one of our trip, please use this reservation form.

 

1- Please specify :

 

– What kind of package do you want “Guided Surfing” or “Learn to Surf”,

– If you know your travel dates or if you are flexible in your travel dates,

– How many people are travelling with you and their names and emails (you can write it at the last question of the reservation form),

– What kind of accommodation do you want (shared bedroom, double occupancy),

– Your questions (you can write it at the last question of the reservation form)

 

2- Wait for our confirmation by email for the availabilities and other details of your reservation.

(Please make sure to check your junk mail folder in the next 48h if you haven’t heard from us.)

3- When you are ready, you can book your spot online through our secured online payment platform, with your credit card.

4- The balance of payment is due 90 days prior to departure (or later if we haven’t received the minimum amount of participants to confirm the trip 90 days before departure The latest date for us to confirm the trip is 30 days before departure.)

 

Accepted Payment Methods

 

At this moment, we accept payments by Credit Cards only.

 

 

Credit Card Payments

 

The payment software we use has a 2048-bit encryption system and runs on the same infrastructure trusted by Netflix, Airbnb, Lyft, Comcast, and millions of others.

Both our booking platform and website are securely encrypted over SSL and affiliated with Stripe payment solutions.

A booking fee of 6% (on your deposit only) will be charged by our booking system. The balance will be charged on your credit card 90 days before departure or as soon as the trip is confirmed between 30-90 days before the trip departure.

 

Payment Options

 

We offer two payments options to suit your needs:

  • Full Payment – One payment in full upon reception of invoice, if the reservation date is less than 90 days prior to departure.
  • $300 deposit + balance 90 days before departure

Reservations received less than 90 days prior departure must be paid in total.

 

Accepted Payment Methods

 

All required documents must be submitted to SURF Expedition by email when doing the deposit (Medical Insurance proof, other important  medical or allergies information we should know about, passport details if booking a flight through our partner agency.)

 

Late Payments & Cancellations

 

Accounts are due in full no later than 90 days prior to departure. If accounts are not paid in full by the due date, then rates and tour space cannot be guaranteed and Surf Expedition reserves the right to treat your booking as cancelled. All missed or late payments of more than 10 days are subject to a $50 fee per missed due date. Spots are available on a first come first served basis so do not wait because your booking is accounted once the deposit has been paid.

 

Late Bookings

 

Reservations received within 90 days prior to departure must be paid in full and all required documentation must be provided to Surf Expedition via email at the time of booking.

 

Cancellations by Surf Expedition

 

If at 21 days prior to departure there are not enough clients booked for your chosen trip date, Surf Expedition reserves the right to cancel the trip. Clients will be given the option of a full refund or alternative trip dates (only in the event where there would not be enough participants to travel on the your travel date).

Trips could be canceled due to circumstances of major forces, including but not limited to war, threat of war, demonstration, natural disaster, pandemic, state of emergency, border closing, fire, volcanic eruption, strike, significant fluctuation in exchange or other external event that would not make the trip safe or viable.  In the event of cancellation of the trip for these reasons, no refund will be given for unused travel services (in whole or in part), and the price or value of unused services may not be exchanged. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself in case of trip cancellation or interruption. (UPDATED March 29, 2020 : If we have to cancel a trip due to any Force Majeure event, we will issue you a full credit to rebook at a later date on a confirmed travel date. New travel must be completed by December 31, 2021.)

 

Cancellations by Client

Pre-departure cancellations must be submitted in writing via email with receipt confirmation by us. It is your responsibility to ensure that adequate trip cancellation and interruption insurance is purchased to cover any forfeited portion of your trip cost if a cancellation is necessary. The best way to protect you trip if you decide to cancel your travel plans is to get a “cancel for any reason” travel insurance.

Any cancellation by you will incur a cancellation fee** plus a 5% admin fee. The minimum charges will depend on the time of cancellation and are as follows:

  • Within the first 48 hours of booking only  – 0%;
  • More than 90 days before departure – initial deposit of $300/person can be applied for another confirmed trip date*
  • 46-90 days before departure – $300/person deposit forfeited, remaining balance can be applied for another confirmed trip date *within the next two (2) years.
  • 31-45 days before departure – 50% of payments forfeited, remaining balance can be applied for another confirmed trip date* within the next two (2) years.
  • 30 days or less before departure – 100% of payments forfeited

*Trip date to be confirmed by Surf Expedition. We will try our best to transfer our offer to another date, but we might not be able to guarantee this at the time of cancellation. You can only rebook one time to a new confirmed trip date but in the even where we would have to cancel the new trip date, your deposit will be held as credit for future trip within another extra one (1) year. You will need to pay the difference if the booking is more expensive and there will not be a refund if the booking is less expensive. 

**Cancellation fees cover non-refundable expenses that need to be paid in advance (such as your accommodations, transportation & services). These fees aim to minimize the financial impact on our business and on our partners. When you book your trip and we confirm the trip, your inscription is accounted to make sure we are covering our basic operation costs. Your decision to cancel means we might have to operate a trip without covering our minimum cost because we’ve already confirmed the trip to other participants who have booked their flights. Once you’ve booked your spot, it also means that the spot becomes unavailable for someone who could have booked otherwise. The best way to protect you trip if you decide to cancel your travel plans is to get a “cancel for any reason” travel insurance

You can however transfer the trip to a friend if you are unable to participate, as long as it represents a new booking (can not be used to pay for the balance of a friend already booked on a trip). Admin fee applies.

 

Unused Services

 

There will be no discounts or refunds for missed or unused services, which includes voluntary or involuntary termination/departure from tour i.e. sickness, death of a family member etc., missed flights, late arrival on the tour or premature departure, either voluntary or involuntary. All transportation, airfare and accommodations are secured and paid for in full prior to clients arriving in their destinations and as such no refunds or credits are provided to Surf Expedition for missed or unused services. This is one of the reason why travel insurance with trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage is advised.

 

Airfare and Flights

 

We recommend booking by yourself and checking daily www.skyscanner.ca, Google Flight or www.kayak.com (select “show flexible dates”) to find the best available deal.

A flight will be suggested to you 30-60 days prior departure date to try to gather everybody on the same arrival time. You are free to take this flight or not. If you choose to take this flight, the arrival pickup at the airport to our 1rst destination and the airport drop-off at the end of the trip will be included to match the suggested flight.

 

Client Details

 

In order for Surf Expedition to confirm airport pickup and travel arrangements, clients must provide the following details necessary with the balance of the trip cost:

  • Flight details (arrival and departure time, flight number and name of air carrier)
  • Any allergies and pre-existing medical conditions
  • Any medications which will be carried with the client during the trip
  • Travel Insurance with medical coverage policy number and international phone number of insurer in case of emergency
  • Name, phone number and email of a trustworthy person to reach in case of emergency (family or friend)

 

Minimum Age

 

Our tours are for people 18 years of age and older, however we agree to make an exception for 17 year olds who have obtained a parent’s consent to join the trip. During the trip to Nicaragua, there are scheduled parties with alcoholic beverages and an evening spent in a bar. Alcohol-free options for people under the age of alcohol are available and it is Surf Expedition’s guides priority to make sure all our guests are safe, however Surf Expedition will not exercise control to prevent a Minor Participant from participating in a scheduled activity.

 

Passports & Visas

 

It is the responsibility of the client to ensure that they are in possession of a valid passport (6 months validity beyond return date) prior to departure. It is the responsibility of the client to ensure that they are in possession of the correct visas, permits or certifications prior to departure. It is in no way the responsibility of Surf Expedition if clients are refused entry because clients lack the correct travel documentation.

 

Pricing & Surcharges

 

Pricing is based on American Dollars at the time of booking. If your credit card company is in another currency, keep in mind that they might charge you an additional service fee.

Surf Expedition reserves the right to impose surcharges within 30 days prior to the beginning of the trip for the following reasons:

  • Increase in transportation costs (air or otherwise)
  • Increase in local operation costs

In the event of price increase, Surf Expedition will cover the cost of the first 5%, with the client responsible for the balance.  If the extra costs represent more than 7%, the client will have the choice to cover those costs or to cancel his trip and get a full refund, if there is more than 30 days left before to the beginning of the trip.

 

Discounts

 

All discounts and reduced pricing is applied at the discretion of Surf Expedition. From time to time we may offer reduced pricing in selected trips. The reduced pricing applies strictly to new bookings only, and bookings that have already been secured with a deposit are locked into their original pricing and are not entitled to the reduced pricing. Past Traveller Discounts are valid only for travel booked within 12 months of the initial booking. For all promotion with a promo code or coupon, you must mention it to us during the reservation request in the notes section.

 

Mandatory Travel Insurance with medical coverage

 

It is mandatory for all clients to have proper travel medical insurance, which should be purchased by you when we send you the trip confirmation. A proof of travel insurance covering medical emergencies must be provided at the latest 30 days prior to arrival at destination by the clients before he is permitted to join the group. At a minimum, coverage should:

  • Protect against accident, death and injuries from the activity of surfing and of cliff rappelling (if you intend to do this activity),medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability
  • Have a minimum of $1 Million coverage

Insurance for trip cancellation and lost or stolen luggages is also recommended but not mandatory.

 

Flexibility & Change of Itinerary

 

The itinerary provided is a representation of the activities that Surf Expedition provides, but it is understood that the route, schedule, itinerary, amenities and modes of transport are subject to change or alteration without prior notice based on local circumstances or events. While we strive to ensure that all trips are operated as described, Surf Expedition reserves the right to change the trip itinerary. If any major changes are made prior to departure clients will be informed as soon as possible. A major change is one where at least two in five days is affected. Surf Expedition reserves the right to make major changes to the itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or events outside of our control.

 

In Country Authority

 

Surf Expedition travel guides might have to take decisions on matters likely to affect the safety or well being of the clients participating in the trip. If a client fail to comply with the decisions of the guide, or interferes with the well-being of the group, the guide may order him to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund.

 

Optional Activities

 

Optional activities not included in the basic trip price do not form part of the trip or the contract. Any assistance provided by Surf Expedition in arranging or reserving optional activities will not be part of the contract and does not renders Surf Expedition liable for them. You understand that by taking part in these optional activities, you’re doing it on your own risk.

 

Errors & Omissions

 

Although Surf Expedition has made a concerted attempt to verify the accuracy of statements made in our trip documentation, including brochures, website and trip notes, we cannot be held responsible for any errors, omission or unintended misrepresentation that may occur.

 

Acceptation of our General Terms

 

If you do not understand some of our terms, write us an email at info@surfexpedition.com before booking. The act of making a reservation confirms your understanding and acceptation of our general terms. Our terms and conditions could be updated without any notice.

Surf Expedition Inc is based in Bocas del Toro, Panama and operating under the Panama Corporation Laws.