Do I need a passport to visit Costa Rica?
Yes, for citizens from Canada, United States, and most of the European countries a valid passport is required to enter the country. Immigration stamps your passport usually for 90 days for tourists. For entry requirements visit the following link: Entry requirements
Am I able to drink the water?
Yes, the tap water is safe to drink at your hotels, resorts, and parks throughout the country. In more remote areas there will be warning signs posted.
When is the best time to visit?
There is 2 seasons here in Costa Rica. The dry season (December-April) is the most popular time for tourists. The rainy season (May-November) is filled with more backpackers as the prices are generally lower at this time. Rainy season is also the best time to see the humpback whales & turtles. The vegetation is very vibrant & lush. Mornings are generally sunny with afternoon showers. Average low temperatures are from 22 C or 71 F, while average high temperatures are from 32C or 96F.
Should we rent a car or use other transportation services?
Your valid drivers license is acceptable for the duration of your tourist stamp. We recommend you always carry your passport copy with the entry stamp with you. The gas is quite expensive here at approximately $5.50 a gallon. All gas stations are set at the same price by the government and are full service stations.
The roads at times can be quite difficult to navigate as their is limited signs (Spanish only), the roads have lots of potholes, and some areas require 4×4 vehicles. Some roads are paved while others are dirt roads. Another hazard to be aware of during rainy season is the mudslides & flooding.
Sometimes it is easier to get a cab, the bus, or use our private transportation services.
How much is the departure tax? Where can we pay it?
Departure tax is $29 USD for those taking outbound flights. You can pay this at the airports located inside the terminals. This tax can be also paid by credit card. Some flights now include this tax in your ticket so check with your airline before paying. Over land or sea this tax is waived.
What is the time zone?
Costa Rica is in the Central Standard Time zone UTC/GMT-6. Costa Rica does not utilize Daylight Saving Time.
What is the local currency?
The local currency of Costa Rica is the colon (CRC). The exchange rate is roughly $1 USD = 500 colones, but check with a bank or use a currency app on your phone. Most places with accept USD. See Currency converter here.
Where can I exchange money?
You can exchange money into colones if you wish at the airport (but the rate is very poor), banks or an ATM machine. There is lots of locations through out the country with ATM’s.
Is internet available to use in the country?
Most hotels, resorts, the airport have Wi-Fi for you to use for free or a small charge. There is also many tourist destinations which provide Wi-Fi as well as internet cafes which offer high-speed connections.
Are credit cards accepted in Costa Rica?
Most restaurants, hotels, resorts accept MasterCard and Visa. It is not advised to bring travellers cheques as this is difficult to cash. Note some places may charge extra to use your credit card.
What language is spoken in Costa Rica?
Spanish the main language spoken here in Costa Rica. In popular areas you will find more people able to speak English. In more remote areas you can expect more locals as well as maid staff at the hotels to speak Spanish . We do advise that you learn a few basic words & phrases to help make communication a little easier.
How much should you tip for services?
For professional services such as tour guides a tip would be recommended. How much would depend on yourself & the guides service. Restaurants already include a 10% tip in the bill so unless you have exceptional service a tip is not necessary.
Is there any health concerns? Should I get vaccines before I travel?
Mosquitos are present in Costa Rica and can transmit a virus called (Dengue) so we advise that you bring bug spray preferably with deet. Make sure to use your bug spray if you are on the trails, in the forest area and jungles.