*ENVISION FESTIVAL 2017 GUIDE COMING SOON*
Hello Beautiful People <3 <3 This guide was created back in January of 2016, so some of the information below is no longer valid.
HOWEVER there is still a LOT of useful advice in here that will be relevant for Envision 2017 as well so feel free to peruse through this guide and stay tuned for the updated version I’ll post sometime in December or January.
In the mean time, start planning and preparing for your festival by checking out:
WakenMake Official Recap Video
Envision Festival 2016
Envision Festival’s Official Video Recap of 2016
Here is a guide with all types of tips and resources to help you plan your trip.
Type of Event
Music, Arts, & Yoga Festival
Rancho La Merced in Uvita, Costa Rica
Date / Duration
February 23 – February 26 2017*4 Days of SpEcTaCuLaRnEsS*
Climate / Season
HOT…very very hot, and humid. Be prepared!
Enjoy these playlists that contain many of the artists who will be performing at Envision 2016 while you browse this guide.
(Sorry 2017 Version has not been updated)
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
1. Getting There
3. On Site Lodging
4. Off Site Lodging
5. On Site Amenities
6. Off Site Amenities
7. Packing Suggestions
8. Additional Tips, Tricks, and Resources
Coming Soon: (Subscribe for Updates)
Envision Festival Bucket List
DIY Festival Gear
Great Trip Planning Ideas for Costa Rica
It takes about 4 hours to get to Envision Festival from San Jose.
- The two closest towns to Envision Festival are Uvita, and Dominical.
- Uvita is only a couple of kilometers from the actual festival grounds, while Dominical is 18.4.
- In both towns you’ll find a grocery store, a bank/atm, hotels, restaurants, and shops, and a beautiful refreshing waterfall near Uvita.
- As long as you have your wristband you can enter and exit the festival at will, so if you need to purchase any food, water, or supplies at any point throughout the weekend it’s very easy to catch a cab into Uvita, from what I recall it shouldn’t be more than $5.
- I wouldn’t depend on phones for meeting up with friends, it’s better to set a few meeting spots and times within Envision or the towns of Uvita / Dominical.
- A good meet up plan is to choose one location such as the merch tent, and set a couple of different times to meet there in case someone hasn’t made it to the festival yet.
- Set a range of time in which you’ll wait for them.
- For example: You’ll hang around the merch tent from 6:00 pm on Thursday until 6:20. If they don’t show up, meet again at the merch tent from 9:00 pm – 9:20 pm. If they still don’t show up, plan to meet at midnight, etc.
- This way you don’t stand around waiting forever and miss out on all the fun, and you can guarantee that you’ll find them eventually.
Verizon User Phone Advice:
- If you have Verizon wireless and an I-phone 6, you can go to your local verizon store and obtain a global sim card for free. This means you can use it in other countries where there’s either coverage or wifi.
- *Very Important* If you get this global sim card, be sure to ask for “Call the World Plan,” it costs $20 for $1,000 shared minutes, otherwise you will get charged out the wazoo per minute.
- Another option is purchasing a burner phone in San Jose when you arrive. They’re sold all over the place in corner stores. I purchased one last year for about $100, and added minutes and an internet package to it for an additional $60. Having this phone really came in handy during a few crucial times.
- Click HERE for an example of the costs of prepaid SIM cards
- Phone / internet service was shotty in Costa Rica last year. My burner phone worked well when I was near populated areas and towns, but it rarely worked in rural areas so I couldn’t depend on it for navigation / GPS.
- If you’ve rented a house that’s very high up on a hill top you may not have phone service either which can make it difficult to call a cab to bring you to the festival.
- These apps are great for sending messages or making calls while traveling:
- Facebook Messenger
Sprint Users: ~thanks Philippe Lewis for this info 🙂
- For those of you using Sprint as their cellphone carrier, they have two free international plans you can use when traveling to Costa Rica from the US:
- Sprint Open World: Free voice, free text, free 1G of 3G data (then $30/GB after that, prorated for how much you use of each extra GB)
- Click here for more info. http://goo.gl/ws4ikS
- Sprint Global Roaming: $0.20/min voice, free text, free unlimitedf 2G data (or buy 1GB of 3G data for $50)’
- Click here for more info.
- On your phone you’ll need to enable international voice and data as well.
- The Sprint Open World plan will disable your Google Voice integration (for texting and voice mail), so you’ll need to get it turned on again after you get back.
- You need a passport, and they state here that you will be refused entry if your passport expires within a 6 month period of trying to enter the country, or if it is in bad condition.
- You will also need proof of a return / departure flight before they will allow you to enter the country.
- You do NOT need a visa to enter Costa Rica, unless you’re staying for longer than 90 days.
- You do however have to pay an exit fee /tax before you can leave the country which is $29.
- I recommend arriving in Costa Rica by February 24th at the latest.
- If you fly into San Jose it will take at least 4 hours to get to Envision.
- You’ll also want to stop at a store and get food and supplies, you don’t want to have to do this on Thursday because you’ll miss the beginning of the festival, so it’s better to arrive on Wednesday to get prepared.
- You can camp for free on the beach in Dominical if you arrive early, just be careful with valuable possessions because theft on the beach is not uncommon.
Transportation To & Around Envision (2016 info)
- Envision Offers shuttle rides to and from SJO directly to the event, or the nearby town of Dominical depending on the date.
- Here is more info + the shuttle schedule, you can book it here at the Envision Travel Page.
- Sat 2/20 – Tues 2/23 – SJO Airport to Dominical
- Times: 10 am, 3 pm, 7 pm
- Wed 2/24 – Thurs 2/25 – SJO Airport direct to Envision!
- Times: 10 am, 12:30 pm, 3 pm, 7 pm, 11 pm
- Friday 2/26 – La Sabana (downtown San Jose) direct to Envision!
- Sunday 2/28 – Envision direct to SJO Airport
- Times: 7 am, 7 pm (& 1 am Monday morning)
- Monday 2/29 – Envision direct to SJO Airport
- Times: 1 am, 6 am, 1 pm
- All Attendees must be packed up and offsite from Envision Venue by 12PM on Monday 2/29 – the following Shuttle is from Dominical ONLY
- Tuesday 3/1 – Dominical direct to SJO Airport
- Times: 1 am, 6am, 1 pm, 4 pm
- There are other options for private shuttles that go from San Jose, to Dominical and Uvita.
- They are all about the same price, varying from $55 -$60.
- The Envision Shuttles would be my top choice. However if those fill up, or the schedule doesn’t work out for you, here are a few other options:
- Prices vary, but you can pretty much book a private shuttle anywhere you need to go in Costa Rica. I definitely recommend coming early, staying late, or both, and exploring this beautiful wonderland.
- One advantage to booking a private shuttle is that you can ask them to stop at one of the Maxi Pali stores on the way to Dominical / Uvita. These stores are similar to Walmart and they sell very affordable camping /outdoor gear.
- Renting a car is a good idea if you plan on doing some traveling throughout Costa Rica before and / or after Envision, or you and your group are not camping on site and need to get back and fourth to the festival.
- You will have to pay to park in the Envision Parking Lot / either $20 1 time entry, or $30 unlimited.
- Apparently Envision will be offering rental car services, however I can’t seem to find any solid info about that at this time. Keep checking their website for more information.
- In the meantime, here are some other rental companies located in San Jose where you will likely fly into.
Click this LiNk for a great resource I found about everything you need to know about renting a car in Costa Rica. There is lots of good info in here.
Here is more information comparing car rental companies – prices, etc.
Here is additional info from Philippe Lewis who attended Envision Last Year:
Renting a car for Envision:
Car rental is cheap in Costa Rica ($5-6/day), but you need to make sure that you have collision insurance or the car rental company will charge you $30/day for it. Many credit card companies (like Citibank) offer $100,000 collision insurance as a perk without deductible. Call up your own company and they will send you a proof of insurance you can print.
Alternatively, when you rent the car through a car rental website (like www.kayak.com, you will often have the option to add insurance for around $9/day.
Driving from San Jose to Envision is about a 3-4h drive and very easy and you can stop on the way for supplies and food and ride with other peeps going to Envision too.
Last bit: be sure to map out the drive so you take the highways around the mountains and not the scenic route through the mountains (I made that mistake last year and the trip was 7h and I had an accident)
PM me with questions!
- Taking a bus is the cheapest option and very doable, although it takes a few more hours than a private shuttle.
- Unfortunately as far as I know, you can’t purchase tickets online ahead of time. You must go in person to the bus station. If the bus happens to be full, (which is likely around the time of Envision,) you’re out of luck. (There’s always the shuttle option as a back up.)
- Sometimes these buses can be very crowded and hot, but last year I took one and it was not bad at all. There was plenty of space and a breeze coming through the open windows. However, it was 4 days after Envision had ended so a lot of people had cleared out by then.
- Here is one schedule I found:
- As mentioned above I recommend arriving in San Jose at least one day before the festival starts because you will need time to get to Uvita, and get supplies etc.
- Advice if you’re renting a car:
- I recommend a car with 4 wheel drive, especially if you’ve rented a house on a hill.
- There are a lot of steep inclines and roads that aren’t paved.
- The road from San Jose to Uvita is nice and doesn’t require 4 wheel drive.
- People in Costa Rica drive pretty crazy. Be very careful when slowing down to make a left turn, often times the car behind you may try to pass you and could result in a car accident.
- I know two different people who have gotten in crazy accidents turning left. Get car insurance.
- You will have to pay to park in the Envision Parking Lot. I recommend buying a weekend parking pass for $30 rather than having to pay $20 every time.
- Be careful that you don’t run out of gas late at night. There are only a few gas stations near the festival and almost all of them close early.
On Site Lodging (2016 Info)
- Unless you purchase a separate car camping ticket *from here,* ($140 per car after taxes and fees) you will not be allowed to camp next to your car. This means you will have to carry all of your belongings into the festival with you.
- Last year we arrived around 10:00 am on Thursday and there was an epically long line to get in. Many people reported waiting for 4 – 6 hours. However, by evening time the line had died down tremendously to barely anyone. Either arrive early, or late! Here are the box office hours:
- Tues: Main Gate: CLOSED / Box Office: 12pm-4:00pm – Staff, Volunteer & Artist check-in ONLY
- Wed: Main Gate: Early Arrival Only / Box Office: 12pm-6:00pm – Staff, Volunteer & Artist check-in ONLY
- Thurs: Main Gate: 10:00am – 2:00am / Box Office: 10:00am – 2:00am
- Fri: Main Gate: 8:30am – 8:30am / Box Office: 10:00am – 2:00am
- Sat: Main Gate: 8:30am – 8:30am / Box Office: 10:00am – 1:00am
- Sun: Main Gate: 8:30am – 10pm / Box Office: 10:00am – 3:00pm
- If you have a big group, with lots of camping gear, and you are getting dropped off at the site my advice would be to place all of your stuff in one big pile (in the shade) somewhere out of the way. Take turns having one or two people stay with the stuff while others wait in line. This way you don’t have to keep picking up and moving your gear every few minutes while waiting in line.
- Pack smartly, only bring gear that you really need.
- I recommend renting camping gear from Envision, my friends and I did last year and it was really convenient and the tents were in good condition.
- Between San Jose and Uvita there is a store called Maxi Pali. It’s owned by Walmart and has a lot of similar items as them including *Affordable Camping Gear.* I recommend getting a private shuttle and asking them to let you stop at this store. Here you can buy coolers, chairs, reusable dishes / water bottles, lots of water, and cheap snacks (trail mix, nutrition bars, etc.)
- It’s really humid so once you open food items such as chips, cookies, etc. they will get soggy within an hour or two. Canned goods is a better option.
- Although Envision has potable drinking water, THEY RAN OUT LAST YEAR a couple different times, for several hours. It’s hot as shit out there, people were freaking out. Buy enough water to last you all weekend, don’t depend on their water. You can always take a $5, 5 minute cab to Uvita and buy more supplies if necessary.
- It gets unbelievably hot throughout the day at Envision, camping in the shade under the trees is so crucial! It felt 20 degrees cooler in the shade last year.
- Go to The Waterfall!** I went every single day last year to beat the heat. It’s shady, and the cold water feels like heaven.
- I recommend checking anything valuable into the bag check, it’s totally worth it! Many things went missing and / or got stolen last year from peoples campsites all around me. *Be extremely careful with your passports!* They’re worth a lot of money down there.
- $120 per car, after fees and taxes = $140
- Adjacent to General Camping, so not a long walk to the festy.
- 3.6 m x 9m
- Envision offers multiple VIP package options.
- Envision is such a sick festival, if you can afford it you might as well go all out and splurge on a VIP package so that you can enjoy yourself without having to worry about having to plan ahead and be responsible for shit 🙂
- There are sweet lounges at the festival where you can relax in the shade, they provide transportation, airport shuttles, and some of them even provide on-site or off-site lodging.
- Here are a few of the perks that are included + additional upgrades depending on the package:
ALL PACKAGES INCLUDE:
- 4-Day VIP Event Pass
- 24hr Access to the Solo Bueno VIP Lounge
- 24hr Access to VIP Villa amenities
- 24hr Concierge service
- Villa Courtyard
- Salon Boutique
- Private bathrooms/showers
- Complimentary Envision Airport Shuttle from SJO to the venue at pre-set times on Wednesday (only if ticket holder has pre-purchased an Early Arrival Pass), Thursday and Friday returning to SJO on Monday
- Envision stainless steel water bottle
- Envision Tank top
- 8 Complimentary drink tickets for Solo Bueno Lounge
- A Community Carbon Tree donation in your name
*Click Here* to visit Envision’s site and learn more about VIP packages.
*Click Here* to Purchase a VIP package.
Off Site Lodging
- *Warning* It’s crazy hot in Costa Rica during this time of year. I’m from South Carolina so I know all about scorching temperatures and high humidity and even I was having a hard time. If you do camp, remember to try to get some shut eye at a reasonable hour when it’s dark, and cooler outside.
- There are several hotels and hostels in the towns of Dominical and Uvita, however they sell out quickly, and may already be full! Here are a few booking sites where you can search for availability:
- Air BnB
- Paradise Breezes (I booked a house through them, highly recommended!)
- Tripping.com I’d choose these guys simply based on their name.. Hopefully we’ll all be tripping @ Envision 🙂
Also never hurts to try Couchsurfing.com
- I recommend bringing in a few camping supplies and making a little campsite @ Envision even if you’ve rented a house. You may want to bring a cooler or two, some beach towels, sunscreen, water, and maybe a hammock or some chairs and place them somewhere in the festival grounds so that you and your crew have somewhere to kick it and rest, as well as not having to buy all of your food and drinks.
Rental house and transportation advice:
- A lot of rental houses are located on top of huge hills.
- If this is the case for you, make sure your rental car, or your taxi has 4 wheel drive.
- Phone service can be inconsistent on these hill tops and it may be difficult to call a cab. You may want to pre-order your cab while you’re in a place with good service.
- I recommend re-using the same cabby all weekend, get their card and you can set pick up times with them.
- Costa Rica doesn’t have addresses for their homes like we do in America, and it can be very difficult to find houses sometimes.
- If you are trying to give someone directions, be very descriptive about how to get there, use land marks, etc.
- One huge issue with renting a house is security. You can be targeted for robbery. This has happened to multiple people that I know personally.
- Robbers will wait until you’ve all left the house to go to the festival and they’ll break in and steal all of your valuables and passports.
- LOCK YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS, hide your valuables or lock them in a safe. Houses way up on the hills are very vulnerable to break-ins.
On Site Amenities
- There is delicious locally sourced food available at Envision, so plan on buying a few nourishing meals rather than trying to prepare it all.
- There are several bars throughout the festival selling alcohol at a reasonable price.
- There is also lots of vendors selling really dope steezy gear.
- You will need cash to pay for everything, including drink tickets.
- Every where in Costa Rica accepts either American money, or Costa Rican.
- *There are no ATM’s on site* You must make sure to get money before you enter the festival.
- There are ATM’s in both Uvita, and Dominical. However, they are all closed by 10:00 pm for security reasons.
- Canadians with Bank of Montreal may have to depend on the ATM in Dominical, my friends who tried to use the one in Uvita were unable to use it the entire time.
- Bring reusable cutlery if you plan on purchasing food or drinks from the vendors, they do not have disposable eat-ware. You can rent all of these items for $1 and get your $1 (ticket) back upon returning the dishes.
- There are no open fires allowed, only propane stoves. Canned goods would be a good choice.
- As I mentioned before, Envision has free potable drinking water but last year, and the year before, they ran out of it a couple different times, for multiple hours.
- This also shut down the showers so don’t bank on that either.
- The line to get water was pretty long sometimes.
- To be on the safe side- bring enough water to make it through the weekend without banking on theirs.
- You can always take a $5 quick cab into Uvita and get more supplies from the grocery store.
- The compost toilets were great, and were always well kept up with and clean and felt much nicer than having to go in a porta-pottie. (not to mention better for the environment.)
- The showers however were inconsistent due to the fact that day three and four we kept running out of water. If you really want to take a shower, get in there quick! Day one or day two, because it may not be an option after that.
- You can always rinse off in the beautiful ocean, or even better the frosty waterfall!
- Be very careful about leaving valuables unattended on the beach. The beach area is open to the public, not just to Envisioneers, so many people flock there just to go “treasure hunting.” There are always lots of cases of things getting stolen from there.
- Once it gets dark, they shut down entrance to the beach for everyone’s safety. It’s not the safest place to be at night, and the risk of drowning also is an issue.
- You HAVE to go see a sunset, or all of them, on the beach. It’s amazing.
- Bring protection from the sun, so many people had the gnarliest burns last year, a lot of them from falling asleep with no sunscreen. It looked torturous.
- Plenty of water
- Reusable eat-ware
~Be very careful with your valuables, I recommend checking them in at the bag check.
Off Site Amenities (Nearby)
Hours: 7am – 9pm every day except Sundays they close at 8:00 pm
Website: BM Uvita
300 meters south of the gas station. As you drive south through Uvita, Banco de Costa Rica or “BCR” is the first one you’ll come to. It’s located on the inland (as opposed to “ocean”) side of the highway in the main intersection of Uvita, just next to BM grocery store.
Phone number: 2743-8075 / 2743-8009 / 2743-8093
Schedule: Monday to Friday 8:30am – 3:45pm.
To cancel a card that has been lost or stolen.
Call: *** 506-2284-6600 ***
Continuing on a few hundred meters you’ll see Banco Nacional on your right (ocean side of the highway) In front of the Marino Ballena Restaurant
Phone number: 2743-8026 2743-8026
Schedule: Monday through Saturday 8:30am – 3:45pm.
Towards the south, you’ll drive over a bridge. Shortly thereafter you’ll see a dome shaped building in a commercial center to your right (ocean side of the highway). Just past that is Banco Popular.
Phone number: 2743-8026 2743-8026
Schedule: Monday through Saturday 8:30am – 3:45pm.
Western Union Money Transfer
They have recently opened a desk that is manned by in ICE Representative, so you can pay your electric bill directly to ICE, as well as ask questions about your service.
In the center of Uvita, next to the Banco de Costa Rica
Phone number: 2743-8979
Schedule: Monday through Saturday 8:30am – 3:45pm.
Click Here to view the best rated restaurants in Dominical by Trip Advisor.
- The Uvita Waterfall is also known as Cascada Verde. This Waterfall has a special place in my heart because of the comfort it brought me on those scorching hot mornings, proceeding those wild nights of non-stop dancing and partying.
- It’s only a 5 minute drive or less from Envision, and you can split a cab with your friends.
- There’s also a sweet little cafe type restaurant up there with delicous fish tacos if I remember correctly, and nice blended cocktails.
- There’s an entry fee of $1, maybe $2. Worth every penny and then some.
- On the way back you can stop at the store, or bank, and re-up on necessities for the night.
- If you see me there… HoLLa Atcha Girl!~
- Click here to view the full WakenMake Music Festival Packing Guide. However, I wrote this list with a typical American Music Festival in mind, assuming we had multiple cars to bring all of this gear, so pick and choose only the most crucial items or ideas you see on here.
- Think minimally here. It’s extremely hot so you won’t need too much to cover up with. Try to choose clothing this is comfortable, breathable, and made of lightweight materials such as polyester.
- Here is a great post I wrote about some of the most crucial items I had with me last year in Costa Rica.
Additional Tips Tricks and Resources (2016)
- Envision has a great guide on their website as well. I’ve utilized a lot of the information on their site and combined it with my own experience to create this guide.
This is an all ages event, anyone under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. No exceptions.
The legal drinking age in Costa Rica is 18. Underage drinking and illegal drug use is NOT permitted! Non-compliance with this could jeopardize the future of Envision and could result in arrest.
There is a NO-DROWNING policy at Envision, absolutely NO ONE is allowed to drown! Please swim only in the presence of an on-duty lifeguard and obey all lifeguard commands. Access to Ballena National Park is a privilege. Please respect our land and its environment.
All guests will be required to register at the box office and receive a wristband, which must be worn AT ALL TIMES throughout the duration of the event.
If you do not have a wristband you will be escorted out of the event. If you lose your wristband you will need to purchase another one.
A person in possession of a wristband that has been tampered with or altered in any way is subject to ejection from the festival grounds without refund.
In and outs are strongly discouraged due to the remote location. Everything you need will be on site, however, re-entry is allowed. Look over all the schedules; you don’t want to miss anything…
In an effort to make this a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants, Envision has dramatically increased security this year. Those without wristbands will be denied access and continued attempts and illegal entry will result in police involvement. Please have a visible wristband on at all times so as to make the event safer for everybody.
Violation of these rules, or misbehavior that cause others harm will result in revocation of your ticket and ejection from the event without refund.
- Firearms or Weapons
- Fireworks or Explosives of any kind
- Children under 18 without parent
- Photography without consent
- Charcoal grills (White Gas/Propane is ok)
- Bad attitudes
- Unauthorized vending will NOT be tolerated
- Coolers in festival area, outside of camping
- All illegal drugs are prohibited
- MOOP (Matter Out Of Place)