I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
I’m NOT an expert (an "expert" 2 ME knows 101%-NOT me). I believe in sharin info•helping where I can! And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise. At least you have some basic info to get you started.
Better yet - do you have extra time on your hands & looking for a volunteer project? Since this blog is a labor of love & RARELY does anyone share a donation (even though MANY have said how much it's helped them), I could REALLY use help updating info. Spanish speakers ESPECIALLY welcome since my VicLish can be somewhat limited at times!!

Has my blog helped in any way? Helped find something•brought more EASE? More exposure or business?
I welcome you to show YOUR appreciation for my efforts!
(see below other ways to show your appreciation)
The easiest way is with PAYPAL - Attn: LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com
(you do NOT need to have a PayPal account to do this - just a credit or debit card)
Do YOU have/know of a Business•Event•News•Place•Things 4 Sale•Rent to add? Email:


• APPLE LAPTOP - Do you have a Laptop you're not using? Mine recently broke so I'm using a lender. Must be new enough to run current Skypes & have an SDCard slot.
• Amazon.com or GoDaddy.com Credit•Gift Certificate (attn: SarongGoddess@gmail.com)
• Something else to share?? A gift certificate or invite for your business? I'm open!! (at times I'll add other things here that I'm seeking)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

MOTHER'S DAY • DIA DE MADRE en Costa Rica - 15 de Agosto - Where to Celebrate Costa Rican Mother's Day - August 15, 2015

CURRENTLY the information below is from 2014.  I will be adding 2015 things as I find them which based on how things are often done in Costa Rica - might not be till a week or so before!  I'll indicate 2015 on those current ones but here's some interesting info & at least you have an idea on some of the places in the past for now. 
So please BookMark this page & keep checking back!!

2015 - Saturday - AUGUST 15
(it's ALWAYS celebrated ON August 15.  FYI - Costa Rica and Antwerp, Belgium are the only countries celebrating it this day. [for a list of when other countries celebrate Mother's Day go to:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_Day

in Costa Rica is one of THE BIGGEST "Holidays" in Costa Rica!!!  
It's literally a national holiday where everyone gets the day off (or gets Double Pay), which means banks, government agencies, etc. will be closed 
(and since it should have been a payday, most people will have gotten paid the day before on the 14th so lines will probably be long at the banks on the 14th)!! 
NOTE:  Since this is a legal holiday - the Driving Restrictions are NOT in enforcement on Friday.


In Costa Rica, it seems the typical way to celebrate Dia de Madre are to:
•  Go out to eat (so reservations are best)
•  Eat at home (yes - believe it or not some mom's STILL have to cook their own Mother's Day meals!!)
•  Go to the cemeteries to visit mom's that have crossed over.
•  If it falls close to a weekend - LOTS of people will take advantage and go to the beach or the mountains.

Do you know anyone else doing something for Mother's Day anywhere around CR??

KARAOKE CONTEST benefit for Animal Welfare in Grecia with music from the 50's, 60's & 70's - August 9, 2015

"What's all the Howling About?"
Bring Back memories singing karaoke style our favorite songs from the
50's, 60's & 70's!!!

Animal Welfare in Grecia, Costa Rica

Pura Vida Para Mascotas
facebook.com/PuraVidaParaMascotas  • 

Sunday - August 9, 2015 - 1pm

Audiences Vote • Cash Prizes • Food & Drinks


Bar Acuario
Grecia, Costa Rica

Space is limited so RSVP ASAP!!





Tuesday, June 23, 2015

MISSING AMERICAN - Brian Lynn Hogue - Age 64 - Disappeared while driving from San José, Costa Rica to his home on the Caribbean slope town of Guápiles on June 1, 2015

Still no word:

American ExPat Brian Lynn Hogue - 64 years (formerly of California) has been missing since June 1 after he disappeared while driving from San José, Costa Rica to his home on the Caribbean slope town of Guápiles, where he's lived on a farm for 5 years with his wife, Susan, and their son.

He was last seen in San José on June 1, 2015. When he did not arrive home, a neighbor filed a missing-persons report with the OIJ on June 12.

What's most alarming & makes this "questionable circumstances" is he had planned to return to the U.S. that week to attend his daughter’s wedding.

He also owns property on the Nicoya Peninsula, near Cóbano, Puntarenas where he's involved in reforestation projects (he does that on both properties).

You NEVER KNOW who might know/have heard SOMETHING)!!  Hence why I'm sharing it here. 

The family is offering a ₡2.5 million ($4,638ish) reward for anyone with information on his whereabouts.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Brian Hogue should contact the OIJ’s confidential hotline at 800-800-0645 or email cicooij@poder-judicial.go.cr.

The family has separate contact info for information related to Hogue’s disappearance at (506) 4-001-7998 • FindBrianHogue@gmail.com.




MOST movies are in English with Spanish sub-titles BUT their websites are only in Spanish so you can “highlight, Copy and Paste and go to the websites are in Spanish so bring up a Translate site if you need it.  I like http://translate.google.com ).

Wednesdays in Costa Rica are
about 1/2 PRICE DAY*!!!  
Most movies don't start till around 2pm weekdays and noon-ish on weekends (except when the kids are out of school)

Costa Rica has a NEW, REALLY NICE, 8 screen theatre with the MOST COMFORTABLE chairs in Costa Rica!!! 
Nova Cinema even has Costa Rica's first (and only) iMax Theatre and 2 REALLY AWESOME VIP Theatres with a luxurious Lounge
Details at:


Cinemark Movie Theatre 
8 Theatres.
SCHEDULE:  CineMarkca.com/es/multiplaza-escazu/portada/index.php DISCOUNT WEDNESDAYS - Just 1,800-c (for EVERYONE)
MATINEES (the first showing during the week)  -  2,300-c
•   D-BOX  -  Cinemark even has a theatre designated (I need to check into it if it's a theatre with all seats - or just some seats - 12 Chairs in the BACK
as it looks like with the D-Box system that gives motion to your chair during those types of movies (one of which was for "San Andreas" about a 9.0 earthquake in California [to actually experience what that feels like could really freak one out!  I KNOW it would me having lived through numerous California and Costa Rica earthquakes!!!])  (Adults - 7,500-c

• Seniors & Kids - 7,100-c)  •   Plus they have Real D and 3D (Adults - 4,100-c • Seniors & Kids - 3,700-c) and regular screens (Adults - 2,900-c • Seniors & Kids - 2,300-c). 

NOTE:  You can ONLY do this via INTERNET EXPLORER 10.
Note there is a 150-c Service Charge•Convenience Fee attached to each ticket ordered online.
•  Select the movie you want.
•  Seleccionar Butacas = Select Seats
•  Then it takes you to Seat Selection but be WARNED - they ONLY give you 5 MINUTES to choose which seat.  Brown are seats that are ALREADY reserved (meaning all the others are open) so just click your cursor on to the seat you desire and it will turn Green.  NOTE - a couple times I tried doing this for just 1 seat, they wouldn't allow me to select a seat where there was 1 seat empty in between but it wouldn't even let me take 1 of 2 empty seats for the D-Box seat.  If all they have left is 1 or 2 seats - you HAVE to be ordering 2 seats. Hmmm!!
•  Siguiente = Next
•  Then start putting your credit card info:
    •  Correo Electrónico = Email
    •  Nombre tarjeta habiente, como aparece en la tarjeta = Name as it appears on the card
    •  Número de tarjeta = Credit•Debit Card #    •  Fecha de vencimiento de tarjeta = Expiration Date    •  Código de seguridad de tarjeta = 3 Digit Security Code    •  Tipo de tarjeta = Type of Card (Visa, MasterCard . . . )
•  Press Comprar Ahora = Buy Now

To redeem your reservation, make sure to BRING THE CARD YOU CHARGED along with your government issued ID (Cedula or Passport).

LOCATION: Multiplaza-Oeste/Escazu - near the Food Court - on the South Side of the OLD mall.

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈For the SCHEDULE of OTHER MOVIE THEATRES around Costa Rica go to:

•   CineMania.co.cr/content/categories/En-Cartelera
•   Click on “Buscador de Peliculas - Cartelera” 
•   Then select the theatre you want under “Por Cine” (“Todos los cines”). 
•   Then it will bring up all the movies playing there under “Por Peicula” - Todas las peliculas” (in Spanish). 
•   Go to the movie you want to see.•   Then go to “Por Fecha” to input the day/date (FYI - Lunes = Monday • Martes = Tuesday • Miercoles = Wednesday • Jueves = Thursday • Viernes = Friday • Sabado = Saturday • Domingo = Sunday)
•   Press “Buscar” (“Search”) and it comes up. 
For more info on the movie go to “Mas de la pelicula” just above the times.  

NOVA CINEMAS - VIP & iMAX Movie THEATERs at Avenida Escazu Mall - Costa Rica

(updated June 23, 2015)
In December 2009, Repretel (owners of Channel 6 and 11 - Repretel.com) opened:

For MY taste and body, the Nova Cinemas is BY FAR THE BEST movie theater in Costa Rica!!!  #1 because of the VIP Theatre (more on that later) but #2 - because ALL their seats are some of the MOST COMFORTABLE CHAIRS I've found in a movie theatre in Costa Rica!!  

They also have Costa Rica’s first (and only) iMax theater / movie theatre / movie screen with a 6-channel digital sound system!!!


AND - you can order your tickets ONLINE - so you don't have to go a separate time & wait in line or get sold out!
To do that, just go into the link below under "Current Schedule" • Click on the movie • then at the bottom, click on the day and time you want (it looks like you can only do it 2 days in advance) and follow the instructions.  IMPORTANT - make sure that whomevers credit card you use is there to pick up the tickets along with their official id (cedula or passport)


(click on the "Imprimir el horario de los eventos" in the top right corner)

(Ticket Window)


As well as being 3 times the size of a traditional movie theater (21 mts. wide x 12 mts. high - 69' wide x 39' high).  This theatre also has 3D and regular 35mm.  
CAPACITY:  276 people
COST: 6,500-c (for EVERYONE [NO Wednesday discounts])


MY FAVS!!!! What an EXPERIENCE!! Recently opened, this cozy theatre is a REAL VIP EXPERIENCE!!!!  They have REAL Leather RECLINERS, Recliner LoveSeats (for 2!!) with digital electric controls, plus a few 4 person regular leather couches!! Waiters come around and serve you Sushi, Panninis, Wraps, Nachos, Pizza and other tasty treats as well along with a bar with wine, beer, scotch, vodka, rum served in their VIP LOUNGE which is tres chic!! (you pay extra of course for those!)!! They even have WiFi!!  35mm only.
CAPACITY:  VIP #1 - 46 people. VIP #2 - 52 people
COST: 7,000-c (for EVERYONE [NO Wednesday discounts])

Sanita, Diane (all sprawled out getting comfy) and Brenda (with Ruth and Simon up at the top in the Love Seat Recliners) at  "Sex in the City 2"!!

(part of our group in the VIP Lounge after "Sex in the City 2" [notice our COOL Shoes most of us have on!!!].  That's me in the middle in the turquoise and purple!!).  

(this was the Mango Chicken Wrap and Cosmopolitan the waiter brought me to my MEGA COMFY Leather RECLINER Chair DURING  "Sex in the City 2"!!  Now THIS IS THE LIFE!!
[notice the sexy shoes we had on in honor of the movie's shoe fetish!]!)


CAPACITY:  Sala #2 (Orange) - 159 people.  Sala #3 (Yellow) - 255 people.  Sala #4 (Purple) - 257 people
COST: Adults-4,100-c. Kids and Seniors-3,700-c (NO Wednesday discounts)


CAPACITY:  Sala #1 (Red) - 139 people.
COST: Adults-3,400-c. Kids and Seniors-3,100-c 


(ONLY in the Regular Theatre - #1)


In total, these 7 theaters that seat 1,184 peopleMORE PICTURES:


August 10, 2010 Repretel opened
that services theatre and non-theatre goers!  

It's located to the LEFT of the iMax Theatre and out the back of the VIP Theatre.
The restaurant has "Bar Foods" like Fried Calamari, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Spinach/Artichoke Dip, Loaded Potato Skins, Chicken Wings, Bbq Grilled Sticky-Oriental Wings, Chicken Nachos, Mozzarella Sticks, Chicken Tenders.  As well as healthier options like Salads - Caesar, Cobb, Honey-Crisp Chicken or Sesame Chicken Salad.  Soups, Burgers, Pizza, Sandwiches, Wraps, Pasta and Entrees like a Honey Balsamic Grilled Tenderloin, Grilled Salmon, Roasted Chicken, Fish and Chips and Argentinian Churrasco, Baby Back Pork Ribs
are such yummies as Macadamia Fudge Brownie, Green Apple-Caramel Cheesecake, Nutella-Almond Nanina Cotta, Caramel-Orange Custard, Sorbet or Banana Split Flambee!!!!



NOVA CINEMAS is located in the most Southern Building near the open parking lot in the

For more information on Avenida Escazu Mall check out:

The main building (home to Nova Cinemas) has a Food Court with:
Cafe de la Torre  (HOURS:  Mon.-Fri. 7am-7pm, Sat. 9am-4pm  /  Facebook.com/pages/Cafe-de-la-Torre/75487883344  /  CafeDeLaTorreCR.com  /  2-208-8124)

Gen•Ki Sushi and Deli  (HOURS: 11:40am-9:30pm  /  GenkiSushiCR.com  /  2-228-1710)  -  Japanese and Sushi

il Padrino Pizzeria (HOURS:  11am-9:30pm / 2-288-6057 / IlPadrinoCR.com/foodcourt/menu/index.html).  EXPRESS/Delivery.  Food Court

KafeHaus  (HOURS:  8:30am-8pm  /  2-289-4010)  

La Divina Comida  (HOURS: ? / 2-208-8899 / LaDivinaComidaCostaRica@gmail.com)  -  Fusion Peruana

La Gelateria (HOURS:  11am-7pm [I also saw Mon.-Thurs. noon-11pm, Fri. and Sat. noon-mid. and Sun. noon-10pm]  /  2-289-7929)  -  Gelato!!!  This is the same one as in Plaza Itzkazu which I hear from MANY that they make THE BEST Gelato in Costa Rica!!!  Food Court

La Tetera ??

M and M store.  Food Court

McDonald’s  (HOURS:  11am-9pm  /  Facebook.com/McDonaldsCostaRica  / McDonalds.co.cr  /  2-228-2731).  Food Court

MeKong (MekongAsiaFusion.com  / 2-208-8998).  Asian Fusion.  $$$$$ but I hear really positive things about it.

Nova Sports Bar and Restaurant (Facebook.com/NovaRestaurante  /  NovaCinemas.cr/restaurante-y-sports-bar.php  / 2-299-7492).  Upstairs to the left of the iMax theatre

Popeye's (HOURS:  11am-7pm  /  Facebook.com/PopeyesCostaRica  /  PopeyesCostaRica.com  /  2-288-3545)  -  Southern Fried Chicken.  Food Court

Subway  (HOURS:  10am-9pm  /  SubwayCostaRica.com  /  2-290-9494-EXPRESS/Delivery  /  2-520-1650).  Sandwiches.  EXPRESS.  Food Court

Taco Bell  (HOURS:  10am-9pm  /  2-217-2723  /  Facebook.com/TacoBellCR  /  TacoBell.co.cr)  -  Fast-Food Mexican.  Food Court


(but not in the food court)

L'ile de France  (HOURS:  Mon.-Sat. noon-11pm, Sun. noon-5pm  /  Facebook.com/LileDeFrance  /  LileDeFrance.cr)  -  Marriot Residence Inn

Product C  (HOURS:  Tues.-Sun. 11am-11pm - closed Mon. /  Product-C.com  /  2-288-5570 / 2-288-5593) - same seafood company as in Santa Ana (but more $$$$$) and Malpais

Saga  (HOURS:  Mon.-Sat. noon-11pm, Sun. noon-6pm  /  SagaRestaurant.com  /  2-289-6615) - I've ONLY heard INCREDIBLY POSITIVE things about Saga (ESPECIALLY their DESSERTS!!).  Reservations HIGHLY suggested.  $$$$$

They also have an Apple/Mac Authorized store (WAYYY FASTER to get things fixed here than iCon)
iOne Apple Store
Escazu (2-588-2592)
PLEASE tell them Vicki with Living Life in CR blog Connected you!
Tamarindo  (2-653-2400)
Alajuela  (2-430-2000)

And in the area is the new Residence Inn by Marriott.

In time, Avenida Escazu plans to have 12 buildings total made up of offices, medical offices and in time, even a 50 room/5-star boutique hotel!


NOVA CINEMAS is located in one of the buildings in:

Nova Cinema is located one block East of CIMA Hospital•Medical Center.

If you’re coming from the AutoPista del Sol/Caldera Highway, get off at: 
Coming from San Jose:  
Go through the Toll Booth and get off at the first exit going straight.  You'll pass Fischel Farmacia, a bunch of businesses (including Jazz Cafe-West), Plaza Itzkazu (home to Outback and Hooters generic restaurants and a BUNCH of other businesses).  Go UNDER the overpass and where you come out - veer Left.  Pass Office Depot, PriceSmart, CIMA Hospital's 3 buildings and turn RIGHT into the street after CIMA and you're there!!  For Nova Cinema's and Food Court+ 

Coming from Santa Ana:
 Get off at the exit after MultiPlaza/that overpass (if you pass the Toll Plaza, you've gone too far). As you get off you veer to the left, passing Office Depot, PriceSmart, CIMA Hospital and the street after that is Avenida Escazu!
Go straight down to the end and either park in the open lot on your Left - or go to your Right to the underground (PAID) parking (I'd bet most restaurants validate - I doubt the movie theatre).


Have you found this DETAILED information in English helpful?
PLEASE consider making a GIFT•DONATION!!
Check out our payment options
in the top LEFT section of this post.


I'd LOVE to get feedback from you when you use any of these services so please e- me at LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com  



PLEASE SHARE this link with everyone you know that would enjoy this information:

Vicki Skinner (aka - the Sarong Goddess)


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Collectable 35 piece DISHES SET Waverly Garden Room Sweet Purple Violets - Escazu Costa Rica (2 cities East of San Jose)

Waverly Garden Room Sweet Purple Violets 
It was a Limited edition run from Waverly & they no longer sell it!! All collector's items in one place!!! It's a sweet beautiful set!

This set is almost new - only a few pieces were only used 4 times.


Waverly Garden Room Sweet Violets
2 Serving Bowls

Waverly Garden Room Sweet Violets
8 Dinner Plates & 8 Salad Plates

Waverly Garden Room Sweet Violets
8 Dinner Plates

Waverly Garden Room Sweet Violets
8 Salad Plates

Waverly Garden Room Sweet Violets
8 Coffee Mugs

Waverly Garden Room Sweet Violets
1 Oval Serving Dish

LOVE this design?
You can go WILD with decorating your home in this sweet design as there are SOOOO MANY OTHER things out there that you can buy in this design - everything from for the
Glasses, Dessert Trays, Goblets, Cake Plates, Pepper Shakers, Pitcher, Table Cloth, Cloth Napkins +++ & for the
Comforters, Sheets, Curtains, Valance, Fabric, Lotion Dispenser, Toothbrush Holder, Soap Holder, Tissue Box Cover, Wallpaper, Photo Frame, Ceramic Knobs, Throw Pillows, Border Trim, Utensil Holder Flower Vase & LOTS MORE!!!
Just google search: 
$900 or best offer (note we're not in a huge rush to sell this)

NOTE: Currently I'm out of the country till July 7 & I'll be returning to Escazu, Costa Rica at that time but I'm posting this now since this is not your every day cheapo dishes. This is a Collectable item that's seeking the right home to appreciate it. So if you're interested in it, please email me.

Escazu, Costa Rica




Waverly Garden Room Sweet Purple Violets 35 pieza PLATOS DE COLECCIÓN SET
Era una edición limitada de ejecución de Waverly y que ya no lo venden !! Mostrar todos los artículos de colección en un solo lugar !!! Es un conjunto hermoso dulce!

Este conjunto es casi nuevo (sólo unas pocas piezas fueron utilizados solamente 4 veces).

INCLUYE: 8 vasos, 8 platos de ensalada, 8 platos, cuencos, 8 2 tazones y 1 plato de servir

Me encanta este diseño? Usted puede ir salvaje con la decoración de su casa en este diseño dulce, ya que hay otras cosas tan muchas por ahí que usted puede comprar en este diseño - todo, desde la cocina - Gafas, Postre Bandejas, copas, placas de la torta, pimentero, Lanzador, manteles, servilletas de tela. Y para el hogar - edredones, sábanas, cortinas, Valance, tela, Lotion Dispenser, cepillos de dientes, jabonera, caja del tejido de la cubierta, Wallpaper, marco de la foto, Perillas de cerámica, Cojines, Frontera Trim, Titular utensilio florero y mucho más! !!
Sólo búsqueda de google:
$ 900 o mejor oferta 
(en cuenta que no estamos en un gran apuro por vender este)

NOTA: Actualmente estoy fuera del país hasta el 07 de julio y que voy a volver a Escazú, Costa Rica en ese momento, pero estoy publicando esto ahora ya que no es cada día sus platos cheapo. Este es un artículo coleccionable que está buscando la casa perfecta para apreciarlo. Así que si usted está interesado en él, por favor envíeme un correo electrónico.

Escazu, Costa Rica




Thursday, June 4, 2015

HURRICANE & TYPHOON SEASON 2015 - Message for U.S. Citizens from the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica

Seal with blue background

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the Hurricane and Typhoon Seasons in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane and Typhoon Season will last through November 2015, though most tropical cyclones typically develop between May and October.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends that those in hurricane- and typhoon-prone regions begin preparations for the upcoming seasons now.  This Travel Alert expires on December 1, 2015.

The Atlantic Basin, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea:  Hurricane Season in the Atlantic began June 1.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center  expects to see a near-normal or below-normal hurricane season this year with a 70 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 20 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.  NOAA predicts a likely development of El Nino during the summer or early fall and a 70 percent chance of 6 to 11 named storms, which includes TS Ana that formed in May.  Of those, three to six storms are predicted to strengthen to a hurricane (with top winds of 74 mph or higher) and one to two are expected to become major hurricanes (with top winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale).  NOAA recommends that those in hurricane-prone regions begin preparations for the upcoming season now.

The Eastern Pacific:  Hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific began on May 15.  NOAA expects a near- or above-normal season, with a 70 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 5 percent chance of a below normal season.  NOAA predicts a 70 percent chance of 15 to 22 named storms, of which seven to twelve are expected to become hurricane strength.  Of those, five to eight are expected to become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale). 

Western and Central Pacific:  Typhoon season in the Western and Central Pacific began on June 1. NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) predicts a 70 percent change of an above normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 5 percent chance of a below-normal season.  CPHC expects five to eight tropical cyclones to affect the central Pacific this season.  For information on typhoon warnings, please consult the  Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu, the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center, and the  Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) Tokyo - Typhoon Center.

During and after some previous storms, U.S. citizens traveling abroad encountered dangerous and often uncomfortable conditions that lasted for several days while awaiting transportation back to the United States.  In the past, many U.S. citizens were forced to delay travel (including return travel to the United States) due to infrastructure damage to airports and limited flight availability.  Roads were also washed out or obstructed by debris, adversely affecting access to airports and land routes out of affected areas.  Reports of looting and sporadic violence in the aftermath of natural disasters have occurred.  Security personnel may not always be readily available to assist.  In the event of a hurricane, travelers should be aware that they may not be able to depart the area for 24-48 hours or longer.

If you live in or travel to these areas during the hurricane or typhoon season, we recommend you obtain travel insurance to cover unexpected expenses during an emergency.  If a situation requires an evacuation from an overseas location, the U.S. Department of State may work with commercial airlines to ensure that U.S. citizens can depart as safely and efficiently as possible.  Commercial airlines are the Department's primary source of transportation in an evacuation; other means of transport are utilized only as a last resort, are often more expensive, and will provide you with fewer destination options.  U.S. law requires that any evacuation costs are your responsibility.  For those in financial need, the U.S. Department of State has the authority to provide crisis evacuation and repatriation loans.  For more information, please visit the Emergencies Abroad page on our website, http://www.travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/emergencies.html.   

If you live in or are traveling to storm-prone regions, prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms by organizing a kit in a waterproof container that includes a supply of bottled water, non-perishable food items, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, any medications taken regularly, and vital documents (especially your passport and other identification).  Emergency shelters often provide only very basic resources and may have limited medical and food supplies.  NOAA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have additional tips on their websites,http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.phpand http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

Monitor local radio, local media, and the National Weather Service to be aware of weather developments.  Minor tropical storms can develop into hurricanes very quickly, limiting the time available for a safe evacuation.  Inform family and friends of your whereabouts and remain in close contact with your tour operator, hotel staff, transportation providers (airlines, cruise lines, etc.), and local officials for evacuation instructions during a weather emergency.

We strongly encourage U.S. citizens to enroll with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)By enrolling, you will receive the most recent security and safety updates during your trip.  Enrollment also ensures that you can be reached during an emergency.  While we will do our utmost to assist you in a crisis, be aware that local authorities bear primary responsibility for the welfare of people living or traveling in their jurisdictions.

Additional information on hurricanes and storm preparedness can be found on the Department’s  "Hurricane Season - Know Before You Go"  webpage. You can get updated information on travel to your destination from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and Canada or, from outside the United States and Canada, 1-202-501-4444. We also encourage you to check the Country Specific Information  and the  website of the U.S. embassy or consulate  with consular responsibilities for the territory you will be visiting. Follow us on   Twitter  and become a fan of the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ page on  Facebook  as well.