About Costa Rica

Do I need a passport or visa to travel to Costa Rica?

Yes, a valid passport is required to enter Costa Rica. A visa is not required for US Citizens. Please check your country requirements. The arrival airport is Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). DO NOT FLY to SJU, that is in Puerto Rico. U.S and Canadian citizens need an entry and exit ticket. The exit tax is currently set at $29 and normally included in your airfare, please check.

Do I need any vaccines or other medical attention before going?

No vaccines or immunization are required to enter Costa Rica.

Where does The Hooker depart from?

She is located at “charter boat lane” at Marina Pez Vela. You can see her upfront while standing at the marina shops.

Can I fly a private plane to Quepos?

At this time no, only small commercial flights are available. The Quepos runway is being upgraded to accommodate larger planes.

Is it kid friendly?

YES! We’ll teach them how to hook your own billfish, and everything in between. Our Crew are well versed in teaching children how to hook their own fish, and at times children are even better learners as they don’t have any bad habits yet! Children 12 Years of age and under fish for free! Please inquire for more information with our Miami Reservations Office.

About The Fishing

What is the fishing style? Trolling, live baiting, bait and switch?

Trolling with natural baits – bait and switch, fly and light tackle.

How is the fishing spread setup?

CLICK HERE for a typical 4-man angler position with Bait.

CLICK HERE for a fly fishing spread.

Your Captain will explain to you how his boat is setup, and feel free to ask questions. Some Captains have certain preferences and may vary from the typical spread.

What gear do I need to bring down?

The boat is outfitted with all the tackle, rods and reels you need to catch the big one. The Hooker is well equipped with fly, conventional or spinning tackle, you simply choose. The leader is built to IGFA standards (#20 Mason hard nylon tippet). If you prefer a lighter class tippet, feel free to bring it with you and our mates will tie it for you. Some choose to bring their own equipment.

Can I play my own music on the boat while out fishing?

Of course, and we recommend it! If you have an I-Pod, iPhone, Android, or MP3 player, please feel free to bring it for personalized listening pleasure onboard. Let your Captain know and he’ll get the tunes flowing!

What kind of fishing can I expect?

We expect that you will have an incredible overall fishing experience aboard The Hooker, but it depends on what time of year you’ll join us. Take a look at the Season & Species if you are catch specific.

Do I need a fishing license?

Yes, and we’ll provide it for you and the Captains will have it on board.

What is a typical itinerary, daily, trip?

7:00a-5:00p  Fishing Hours

Beer, soda and water onboard and the mates will prepare a hot lunch.

Can I take all the meat fish with me?

Typically, mates will prepare hot sandwiches with your catch on board. If you would like you can take any meat back with you and you can have a restaurant prepare it for dinner.

Unfortunately, we are not a meat boat, and can’t pack your fish to go back to the flight with you. Also keep in mind that an estimated 30lb Mahi Mahi, does not equate to 30lbs of meat, there is a just a few fillets that can be used for consumption that day and the rest of the fish (the head, and skeletal) is tossed back into the ocean.  If you haven’t tried sashimi before, please don’t test your luck with us!

How physically demanding are the trips?

It is not physically demanding but depending on the weather it can get bumpy. The mates are there to provide you with assistance of getting in and out of the vessel and will welcome you on board every morning. We have had ages 3-91 years old aboard our boat reeling in billfish!

A member in our group is in a wheelchair, will he have to stay back?

Of course not! We can assist with getting in and out of the boat, and they can chose whether they want to fight from the fighting chair or their chair. We will take care of you no matter what, everyone is fighting the same billfish battle out on the water!

Can we take a trophy fish photo?

We are strongly encouraging all anglers away from the trophy fish or the “dead fish” photo referred to in the industry. This technique was popular years ago which consisted of the mate removing the billfish from the water for an onboard photo opportunity. This method unfortunately deprives the billfish of oxygen, which is much needed after the tough battle of being reeled in, as well as remove some of it’s protective slim. At the same time, you capture a photo of a dark brown billfish, and not the illustrious blue/purple colors it showcases when it’s healthy. With advancements in technology, it’s much easier to get a fantastic and better quality photo with a GoPro. We invite you to bring your own GoPro, as our boat has a camera stick to attach the camera too, or bring your memory stick, or use your captain’s! You will get your pictures back much faster if you use your own device, otherwise we’ll do our best to get them to you in a timely matter.

General Questions

What is the best time of year to travel?

May- September are our prime booking months for blue marlin FAD fishing. December- April the sailfish are on. Check out our Season & Species page to see what’s biting more during the different times of the season.

What is the weather like?

The weather is Costa Rica is sub-tropical and tropical. The weather is great year-round. Weather is typical to be 80-90 degrees during the day, cooling off just a little in the evenings.  We normally see rain in September/October.

What time zone is Costa Rica? Is it considered Central or South America?

Central Time Zone and does not follow day light savings time. Costa Rica is located in Central America, south of Nicaragua and north of Panama.

What currency is accepted?

The currency in Costa Rica is called “Colón” and the current rate of exchange is CRC 606.00 per $1 USD (as of 3/17/21). Local currency is not required as majority of business’ accept US Dollars and credit cards.

If you desire local currency, we suggest you exchange enough money for any souvenirs you may wish to purchase, however you will generally find most are happy to accept US dollars. We recommend you bring small denominations of clean U.S. dollars without tears, rips or other damage. US bills with any types of pen marks, or rips are not accepted by vendors.

Tips- Who, When, How much?

We recommend: Boat crews – $300 USD per day covers the captain and two mates. If you feel they did a great job – tip more, it will be appreciated.

How long in advance should I book?

As soon as possible in order to reserve your spot! We normally are booked out a year in advance, so don’t hesitate! Larger groups and corporate trips are in the books 2-3 years in advance.

Can I customize a package instead of the standard listed packages?

Yes, give us a call at our Miami Office and we can arrange customized packages as well as tours or just about anything else your heart desires in Costa Rica.

Why Casa Vieja Lodge?

At Casa Vieja Lodge, we take exceptional pride in assuring you world class vessels, run by highly respected captains. The attention to detail is unmistakable. We are the only outfitter that post daily fishing reports online at the days end. Casa Vieja lodge is a family-run business and staff and crews are an extension of the family. We take pride in allowing us to be apart of you most memorable fishing trip. As always, no request is too small and we value your feedback, it’s truly the only way we can become better!

What is the cancellation policy?

Due to our limited size, cancellations affect us greatly. Therefore, we adhere to a strict cancellation policy. Payments made on your trip are refundable for cancellations received in writing at least 121 days prior to your arrival date in Costa Rica, less a $500 per person cancellation fee. If you cancel your trip for whatever reason 120 days or less prior to your arrival date to Costa Rica all payments made on your trip are non-refundable, and non-transferable.

What is the “bad weather” policy?

If bad weather arises and your Captain determines that for safety the trip should not be taken – you will receive a credit for that day’s fishing on your NEXT booking at Casa Vieja Lodge Costa Rica.

Do you recommend Travel Protection?

We strongly recommend protecting the cost of your trip and other non-refundable travel expenses with a travel insurance we prefer the leaders in the business Global Rescue and Travelex. Safety is our top priority, but unforeseen emergencies can occur. Global Rescue’s Signature Travel Insurance allows you to insure all of your expenses and covers all fishing/hunting activities. While a Signature Travel Insurance policy can be purchased at any time, purchasing a policy within 20 days of making your initial trip deposit gives you the widest range of policy options. To purchase a policy, click here or call 617-459-4200. A Global Rescue membership will provide you with 24-hour advisory services, field rescue (evacuation from your point of injury/illness to the nearest appropriate medical facility), and also evacuation to your home hospital of choice for continuing care all at no cost to you.  Memberships start at just $119.

We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click here or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 09-0856.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. E7N