Rica you need a guest license. You
can apply at Control Nacional de Radio (Ministerio de Gobernacion y Policia)
in San Jose. After paying the
license fee, you will receive your license the same day.
The license fee (not even $1) must be paid at Banco Nacional de Costa Rica,
near the office.
Travel Report by Markus
Welcome in Costa Rica!
Almost 5.000 QSO from Costa Rica
and a lot of fun!
The purpose of the following report is to win readers to
do a DX-pedition to Costa Rica.
Also I like to inform about the nessesary budget.
Where would you like to go?
I just had 2 weeks from the end of February until mid
March for my small DX-pedition.
Since I also liked to get some sun, the location needed to
be outside Europe. I started planning about 3 weeks
before my departure. I had a look at www.dxholiday.com
by K2KW to look for a suitable
location. I picked some locations and sent some
emails to the operators. Within a few days, it was
clear what was possible and what was not. The
answers I got were very interesting. One has to
invest up to US$ 2.500 / week for the top stations
in the Carribbean. Another OM
wanted me to donate a rig and his friend was even asking
for US$ 10.000 / week! This
was not for me and at the end, there was only one location left: Costa Rica (TI)
at the station of Gunter TI7WGI.
Why Costa Rica?
Costa Rica was good for several reasons.
First I had never visited South or Central America and
second I also liked to do some sightseeing, not only be on the air. Costa Rica
with its overwhelming flora and fauna offers it all.
After deciding for TI I wrote to Gunter
and told him I will come. He gave
me some valuable information about the guest license and recomended a
hotel near San José for the first night.
Shortly after we had our first conversation on 15m,
where we discussed a lot of details.
How do you get to Costa Rica?
There are plenty of flights to Costa Rica.
From Europe, you fly via the USA.
For me, Stuttgart – Paris – Caracas – San José was
the best connection. If you book on time, you will
get a ticket from € 700 and the flight takes about
15 hours including the stops.
Arrival in San José
After landing in San José, I took a
taxi to Hotel „La Trinidad“ in
Alajuela. It is a small place run by a German couple from
Nürtingen who gave me a cosy feeling! I
was staying there for several nights and did some trips to Nation Parks.
It was interesting to hear that the TI9-Expedition, well
organized by Henry - TI2HMG, was also staying in this hotel.
The Guest License
Costa Rica does not issue TI-calls to foreigners.
So guests get their home call / TI8.
You receive your guest license in San
José. All you need is a copy of
your passport and your Ham Radio License. After
paying your license fee at the bank, you will receive your guest license.
It is all done in 2 hours.
Arrival at Gunter (TI7WGI) in Playa del Coco
The bus takes about 5 hours from San José
to Playa del Coco.
Gunters QTH is located on the
Pacific Coast in the north west of Costa Rica, about 150 miles from San José.
He runs a small hotel called „Casa Talamanca“.
The bus driver held directly in front of his hotel, where
Gunter was waiting already. After seeing his
station (FT-101, SB-200 and TH4
on a 60 feet tower) we went to have
dinner at the beach. I brought my TS-850S
and I could use Gunters computer to log my QSOs.
Even if the QTH is on the pacific
coast far away from Europe and the US East Coast, I
was surprized by the big signals. The entire
country was in front of my main beam direction. I
could work the USA
and Europa almost the whole day.
1450 QSO (CW / SSB) and 3350 QSO in ARRL-DX-Contest (SSB)
I could reach rates up to 240 QSOs/hour.
I was not using the amp during the contest and also other
times, I almost never needed it. This shows you how good the location is.
I could see life that a European
one of the biggest challanges. The disciplin
of the Europeans, incl. the Germans,
did not allow as many QSOs as to
the USA or Japan.
It is really not as bad as one can read in DX-pedition
reports! Of course I could have done more QSOs but
the location is at the beach and a lot of day trips can be done from
Gunters hotel. So my priority was not Ham Radio
Life in Costa Rica is cheaper than in Germany.
I paid about US$ 15/per night in a
single room including breakfast. Taxis and busses
are only a fraction of the price at home.
For more information, just have a look through these pages.
if you like to spend awesome Ham Radio Vacation, Costa
Rica is made for you.
OM Gunter TI7WGI QSL-Card of Gunter
TI9KK License of Gunter
TI7 Guanacaste HAM
del Coco - DXpedition TI9KK 2008