How is the weather?
Outstanding. We have the traditional Costa Rica dry and wet (green) seasons. December to April is dry and May to November is wet. We also have our own unique microclimate. This is due to our altitude (2000 ft. or 609 m.) and a 1,000 foot high ridge running down the east side of the farm. This keeps us cooler during the dryer months. Average year round temperatures run from 60°F to 65°F evenings and 75°F to 85°F days. Keep in mind that during the wetter months, synthetic materials dry much much faster than natural fibers. As for foot wear, during the rainier months, rubber boots and synthetic socks are a great idea, plus a simple wind-breaker style rain jacket will make anyone's journey better. Hats are more useful that sunglasses, but both are nice.
Can I get the normal assortment of food-stuffs that I buy in grocery stores where I am from?
Mostly yes. There are grocery stores in both Dominical and San Isidro that listen to the expat population and stock a great selection of things. Also, there are small convience stores in every little village that have more basic items. Expect to pay about double what it costs "back home" though for specialty items. It might be a better idea to try what is available here though instead of trying to recreate the same eating experience that you had back home.
Do I need shots before I come there?
Totally up to you. Contact the CDC or other similar agency from your country of origin to see what they recommend. Also research the reported side-effects of vaccinations before injecting what is suggested by the authority in your area.
What is the water quality on the farm?
Awesome. Most member's homes have point-of-use filtration of various levels. Our farm is blessed with 3 springs and a spring-fed river that sources just 2 farms above ours. All of the water transported around the farm within our private lines is spring water and is free from any supplements or additives.
I will be arriving to the farm without my own transportation, how can I get around?
Lots of ways. Assuming you are able-bodied, you always have the option of using your feet. Secondly, there is a bus that runs directly by the farm entrance twice a week and goes to San Isidro. Thirdly, there are buses that run both from San Isidro to Dominical and vice-versa three times each day, stopping in our little village of Tinamastes about a kilometer from the farm entrance. Alternatively speaking, "hitching" a ride with locals is totally accepted and safe mode of transportation. And lastly, in case all else fails, taxi's do visit the farm when called.
I am afraid of snakes/spiders/hornets/monkeys, will this be a problem?
Probably not. Fuente Verde is an organic farm, which means that we do not try to exterminate all life other than the forms we are actively promoting. Yes, snakes, spiders, hornets, and possibly other forms of life exist on the farm but for the vast majority of visitors, they don't even get the opportunity to see these forms, much less be threatened by them. An encounter might just be the chance to overcome a fear and move beyond it.
I'm planning on come down in a month. What will be ready to harvest at that time?
Food. Many of the trees we are growing on the farm take years before they fruit, others have been here for a decade or more already and are currently producing. Some things take just a few months to produce after planting (which happens throughout the year). Taking into account the changes in weather patterns from year to year and what we as a community decide to plant, results in a situation where what is ready to harvest totally varies day by day.
I want to stay on the farm, but visit other things around it. What is close by that should see?
Depends on your interests. Diamonte Falls is the tallest waterfall in Costa Rica and is about a 30 minute walk from the farm to the trail-head. Nauyaca is another, incredibly beautiful falls further down the same water source as Diamonte and is a very popular attraction (a 20 minute drive to the trail-head). The beach is about a 30 minute drive and is a excellent spot to people watch and connect with the surf scene (and to purchase caught-today fish). The bustling little city of San Isidro (the fastest growing city in CR) is also a 30 minute drive (opposite direction from the beach) and is home of reportedly the largest farmers market in the country. The crown jewel of country's park system is Manual Antonio, and is about an hour north of us. Most importantly to know is that the jungle is the jungle, no matter where you go... the elevation is the biggest factor that changes what you'll see.
I am prone to getting hurt when I travel. If I get injured or sick when I am there, is there somewhere I go?
Yes. There are several specific-need clinics in San Isidro, and a hospital in both San Isidro and Quepos (about an hour drive) for more serious problems. There is definitely a slower-paced lifestyle practiced here which tends to promote healing, and moves away from the hectic pace of life elsewhere that is often the source is health problems.
I am bringing my personal electronics. Is there reliable electricity on the farm?
By Costa Rican standards, Yes. An estimated 90% of electricity is generated from sustainable sources (wind/hydro/solar) and transported across the country through jungle. The farm is currently connected to the municipal grid and gets it's electricity from there (keeping in mind a level of uncertainty). Additionally, the farm is serviceable by the telecom provider Kolbi (your unlocked phone will likely work here with the purchase of a Kolbi Sim from any cellular store in the country).
I'm an outdoors enthusiast, and am bringing my tent so I can camp when in Costa Rica. Is this permitted on the farm?
Partially. There are many places throughout the farm that are suitable for camping. We have a concrete slab, a raised-floor tent platform, and several primitive locations where a camp could be established. Often, members who are not currently on the farm, rent out their homes to visitors. Contact us directly with your needs and we will try to accommodate you.
I have a lot of farming experience (or want to acquire a lot). Is there some way to help out on the farm during my visit?
Likely. Because Fuente Verde is a working farm, there is always something to do. We employ two full-time local men, and various members all who help keep our farm moving towards excellence. What is being done at any given day changes dramatically, but rest assured, if you want to help out with something, we will find a way for you to contribute. NOTE: We have placed our volunteer program on hold and are not accepting WWOOFing or work-exchange positions at this time.
Do I need Colones or is my currency accepted?
Colones. This is the national currency and no matter where you are, they will be accepted. Most places will also accept US Dollars but the exchange rate will be at whatever the merchant decides (usually pretty close to the actual exchange rate). The closest ATMs can be found throughout San Isidro and one additional unit located across from the main entrance to Dominical.
Do I need to carry my documents on me?
Good Idea. Granted, there is always the chance of loosing your passport, so it's a very good idea to have a certified copy kept separate from your actual passport. If you do only have your passport and it gets lost/stolen, you'll have to travel to San Jose and spend at least a day going through the process of getting an emergency one made at the Embassy. Costa Rican authorities have random checks from time to time and not having your paperwork can result in problems.