Government Offices: Most government offices will be closed Dec. 22 through Jan. 2. The Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) and Supreme Court will have a limited area open 24 hours a day for emergencies and urgent proceedings, though all administrative areas will be closed. For any emergency, dial 911.
Hospitals and Pharmacies: Rest assured that hospital emergency rooms will remain open 24 hours a day. The Red Cross (tel. 128) and National Insurance Institute (INS) (tel. 800-800-8000) also attend emergencies at all hours. Those who overeat at Christmas dinner can get their Alka-Seltzer and more 24-7 over the holidays at Clínica Bíblica Hospital drugstore and emergency room (2522-1000) in downtown San José; La Católica Hospital drugstore and emergency room (2246-3000) in the northeastern suburb of Guadalupe; and Farmacia Sucre Los Angeles (2262-3111), across from the Más x Menos in Heredia, north of San José.
Veterinarians: The National University Veterinary Hospital (2260-9234; call before going) in Barreal de Heredia is open 24 hours; if you speak only English, ask for Dr. Morales. Dr. Bitter’s clinics (2227-5017) in San José and the western suburb of Escazú will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Dr. Adrián Molina (2228-1909, 2288-1716, emergency 2225-2500) in Escazú will close at 2 p.m. Dec. 24 and will reopen Jan. 2.
Embassies: Holiday closures at major embassies are as follows: British Embassy (2258-2025), noon Dec. 23 to Dec. 26, and Jan. 1; Canadian Embassy (2242-4400), noon Dec. 25 to Dec. 27, and Jan. 1; French Embassy (2234-4167), Dec. 25 and Jan. 1; Japanese Embassy (2232-3787), Dec. 25, Dec. 29 to 31, and Jan. 1 to 3; U.S. Embassy (2220-3939), Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
Banks: Banca Promérica (2519-8090, 2258-2212), Banco Popular (2211-7000) and Scotiabank (2210-4000) had not established their holiday schedules at the time of writing; however, they are usually closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, and some may effect additional closures. Call your bank to confirm its holiday hours: BAC San José (2295-9595) will be closed Dec. 25 and Dec. 31 to Jan. 5; Banco de Costa Rica (2287-9000) will be closed Dec. 25, 26 (San José offices only) and 31, and Jan. 1; Banco Nacional (2211-2000) will be closed Dec. 24, 25, 26 (San José offices only) and 31, and Jan. 1; Bancrédito (2550-0202) will be closed Dec. 25, 26 (San José offices only) and 31, and Jan. 1; HSBC (2287-1111) will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1; and Mutual Alajuela (2437-1000) will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
Supermarkets: Muñoz y Nanne (2253-4646) in the eastern suburb of San Pedro will be operating normally, Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saretto (2228-6703) in Escazú will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. PriceSmart stores in Escazú (2288-0008), Heredia (2262-4848), the southeastern district of Zapote (2283-9464) and the northern district of Tibás (2297-2343) will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Most Más x Menos (2243-7100) supermarkets will be open until 10 p.m. Dec. 24, until 7 p.m. Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, and until midnight Dec. 31, except stores in Alajuela, northwest of San José, and Cuesta de Moras in downtown San José, which will close at 10 p.m. on those holidays and all of Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Hipermás (2286-0033) stores in Heredia; Escazú; Guadalupe; San Sebastián, south of San José; Cartago, east of the capital; and the eastern suburb of Curridabat will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 24, 25 and 31. Palí (2243-7100) stores will keep their normal hours. Megasuper (2246-0400) will be open until 9, 10 or 11 p.m. Dec. 24 and 31, and until 5 or 7 p.m. Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, depending on the store. Auto Mercado (2257-4242) had not yet defined its holiday schedule at the time of writing.
Mail and Shipping: Aerocasillas (2208-4848) and Correos de Costa Rica (2202-2900) will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. DHL (2209-0000) will close its offices at noon Dec. 24, 25 and 31, and Jan. 1.
Movie Theaters: At Cinemark Escazú (2201-5050) in Multiplaza Escazú and Cinemark del Este (2280-0490) in Multiplaza del Este in Zapote, the last show on Dec. 24 and 31 will be at 3 p.m. Cadena de Cines Magaly, which represents most of the country’s movie theaters, will have last shows at 6 p.m. on those days. The independent Sala Garbo in San José will have its last show at 7 p.m. Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Plaza Liberia, in the northwestern Guanacaste province’s capital city, and Cinépolis theaters in Terramall, on the highway to Cartago, will keep normal hours.