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Costa Rica Travel Guide

In this guide, you will find everything you need to know of Costa Rica, and to prepare for the trip of your dreams.


Is the water drinkable?

Costa Rica has a high coverage of drinking water so in most places you can take water directly from the pipeline without any problem.

Is it easy to transport in Costa Rica?

The road system has improved greatly in recent years and allows comfortable transportation to almost any part of the country. The best way to explore Costa Rica is with a 4x4 car, it is recommended. There is also a wide coverage of public buses, which makes it easy to get around. In addition there are many private transport and tourist transport companies that are more comfortable. Internal air transport can also be used to travel the country very easily and quickly.

What forms of payment are accepted?

The official currency is the Colon. The bills have denominations of ¢1000, ¢2000, ¢5000, ¢10000, ¢20000 and ¢50000. The exchange rate is variable in relation to the US dollar, which can be changed in banks. Most of shops accept US dollars. Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted credit cards by businesses. American Express has less acceptance. It is important to consider that in rural areas these services are more limited, because sometimes there is no payment service with a credit card, so would be better to pay in cash.

What electrical system is used?

The electricity is 110 volts, AC. The connectors and plugs are American style. In some rural areas, there is no electricity, some having the option of own generators or solar energy.

What number do I need to dial if I have an emergency?

The emergency number is 911.

How much tip should I give?

Restaurants must charge 13% of sales tax and 10% of service tax by low. These is distributed internally among the waiters and waitresses of the establishment (this is equivalent to the tip). All hotels are required by law to charge the 13% sales tax as well. However, if you have received exceptional service, it´s up to you to recognize with an extra incentive. An average can be between 3 to 5 dollars.

Is a visa required to enter Costa Rica?

Citizens of the United States, Canada, Europe, along with most Latin American and Central American countries, do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. For more information you can see on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.rree.go.cr

Do I need a copy of the passport?

We recommend you always carry your passport with you and bring a legible copy of the first pages at least and the one where the stamp of entry to the country is stamped. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months. When you do tourist activities during your stay, it is best to leave the original stored in the hotel security box. The copy is not valid for bank paperwork.

What are the requirements to travel to Costa Rica?

Before traveling to Costa Rica as a tourist, check that you have updated all the necessary documentation to visit the country. To enter Costa Rica, you will need an outbound flight ticket. It is recommended to take a photocopy of the passport with the entry stamp to carry it with you at all times during your stay. Valid passport. The validity required for the passport will depend on the nationality of the traveler, we recommend a passport with a validity of at least 6 months. The Costa Rican authorities will require that all tourists who have traveled to or coming from South America and Africa have a yellow fever vaccination certificate.

How far is Costa Rica?

From North America the flights are between 2.5 hours to 6 hours with stops. Flights within Central America range from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. From South America, flights take from 3 hours to 9 hours to the southernmost destinations of the continent. From Europe the flights last approximately 10 hours. From Europe, airlines have connections departing from Zurich in Switzerland, Frankfurt in Germany, Paris in France, London in the United Kingdom, Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Madrid in Spain.

Important Information

See the following topics for information on Costa Rica: