What does it cost for a Tico (or anyone else in Costa Rica) to take in La Sele World Cup quarter-final game in Brazil? Between US$3.999 and US$4.500 dollars. Per person.

10491140_298295433673476_8084390547543931770_nTwo companies (I won’t mention their names ViajesColon and Credomatic) are each offering specials: 4 x3.

But, before you get all excited rounding up your three friends, your ticket won’t be entire free. The 4×3 is “Tico style”. Let me explain.

Typically, as foreigners, we know the 4×3 as, you pay three and get the fourth free. This applies to 3×2 or 2×1 or any other combo.

In Costa Rica, the 4×3 is a little different. For US$3.999 dollars at the first and US$4.500 dollars at the second, for each of your three friends, your FREE cost is US$1.350. I don’t think I can afford free.

Back to the offer. For the 4K (plus) for three and your 1.35 K you get:

  • return airfare Costa Rica – Brazil
  • airport transfers
  • transfers to stadium
  • three nights hotel tourist class (that means shared room)
  • entrance to the quarter-final game Saturday
  • taxes on accommodations and airfares (up to US$500, after that you have to dig into your pockets). This last one is strange, aren’t taxes predictably a percentage of the cost of a room or airfare? So why the caveat?

ND, very important, it DOES NOT include is the US$29 San José airport tax. No tax paid, no travel.

Moving on. Some of the conditions are: you can’t buy more than 30 packages – let’s see that would be 90 friends to get four free (Tico style) passes; departure is July 4; and you need to have your yellow fever vaccination. Last I checked the incubation period is 10 days.

Let’s do the math. If you get the shot today (about ¢35.000 colones at local pharmacies), count 10 days, that would mean the first available return date is July 11. The plans are three days only: July 4, 5 and 6.  If you got your shot today, you will have to spend 5 additional days in Brazil.

If you or your friends don’t have the cash, no problema. The second operator, being a bank, is offering payments: US$375 a month for 12 months, or US$171 a month for 36 months, interest free. To get the interest free, of course, you have to use their credit service, which means if you miss a payment, then interest will apply. You won’t see this on the advertising, but can bet it will be on the contract you sign. You have been warned.

Me, I think I will stay home and watch the game on television in Costa Rica and the head out to the streets to celebrate, no, not the Costa Rican win, MY WIN!