We were indeed met at the San Josť airport by Loyd, a representative of the tour operator, but otherwise this airport was an unpleasant affair both coming and going. On arrival, we had to wait in line for almost an hour to go through immigration. On departure, one is subject to the highway robbery known as exit tax. If I were a member of the US congress, I would introduce legislation to collect an entry or exit tax in the USA from every citizen of every country that engages in this sort of abuse, and at exactly the same rate. |
It is strange that the rate in Costa Rica is apparently not set in Colones, the local currency, but directly in Dollars - at least nobody we asked knew the official rate in the local currency.
It's still stranger how it's collected. Before we even climbed out of the minivan that took us to the airport, some guy jumped from the crowd and demanded payment. Since it is highway robbery, he looked the part; but he did produce some slips of paper with colored stamps. To add insult to injury, they must be filled out by the departing victim, which Margrit did on the step of the van. For the two of us, we gave him a $20 traveler check and $14 in cash. While traveler checks had been accepted everywhere else routinely and at face value, highway robbers don't seem to like them - he kept saying we must give him "some more" because of the check.
What you don't see in the grocery store:
the business end of banana production.