by Maxwell Bronson
photo by Daniel Zetterstrom for Envision
Most people heading to Envision are not native to Costa Rica. The truth is that coming down from elsewhere in the world during the often cold month of February can be a bit of a culture shock. To help you prepare, I, a US to Costa Rica expat, and Costa Rica Adventure Guide, have some pro-tips for you…
Embrace the weather – Costa Rica during February and March can be toasty HOT. Do your best to take advantage of the sun’s toasty rays.. This will revive you and charge you up. Coconut oil has natural SPF 8 and will leave you smelling like a warm toasty coconut. Get some coconut oil, apply liberally to body, and take full advantage of the direct beach access from within the festival. Also, if rain comes? Dance and embrace it! Do yourself a favor and don’t fight whatever weather comes our way 🙂
Fear the sun – Yes it is important to get direct sun every day however the UV rays in Costa Rica are VERY strong. Wear sun protection – hats, shirts, sunscreen, coconut oil (SPF 8), or just avoid the sun when you’ve had enough. There are plenty of shaded areas within the festival. Make use!
Drink pipas – What are ‘Pipas’? A pipa is the Costa Rican term for a young green coconut that has sweet coconut water within. This coconut water aka ‘agua de pipa’ (in Spanish) will replenish all your electrolytes and hydrate you better than any high fructose corn syrup packed sports drink. Pipas cost about a dollar each and are sold within the festival grounds. You’ll spy locals with piles of pipas and a machete whom are happy to crack open a coco (pipa) for you.
Bring cash – Sometimes the ATMs can run out of money. Have cash on hand. US dollars work fine. Smaller than 20 dollar bills work best. Don’t bother with bills over $20. You’ll have people searching for change for you. Remember, there are no ATMs within the festival itself and the closest ATMs are about a 10-15 minute drive.
Bring earplugs – How important is your hearing? How important is sound sleep? The camp grounds are bordering the festival grounds and the bass bumps well into the morning. At Envision 2016, Shpongle didn’t start their set till 3:30am, Random Rab didn’t begin til’ 5:30am, and The Human Experience didn’t start til’ 6:30am!
Take power naps – There are hammocks within the festival grounds. In 2016, there was a hammock village… There is a lot to do and see at Envision therefore strategically timed naps are lifesavers. 15-20 minute power naps can revive you so you can stay up to see those sunrise performances.
Drink plenty of water – The water in Costa Rica is potable aka drinkable. There are free refill stations within the festival. Bring your own refillable containers. And remember, it will be very hot during the day, water will keep you going strong.
Be friendly and respectful to the Costa Rican locals – Smile to everyone and wave! Also, most times a simple ‘hola, pura vida’ is enough. Many locals live nearby the festival grounds every day… We are very lucky to enjoy the land for the short festival experience. Be sure to show everyone your best by being respectful and ‘leaving no trace behind’. Envision Festival has many recycling, compost, and trash, receptacles… Use them!