Tips for your stay in Costa rica
The Colon in the official currency. The exchange rate varies daily in relation to the US dollar. Most places will also accept payment in dollars. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops, restaurants, bars, hotels and travel companies. However we recommed that you carry some cash.
Dollars and travellers checks are easily exchanged at hotels and banks, but you may experience some difficulty trying to cash them in other places. Safety deposit boxes are available in most major hotels.
Shops and banking hours
Shops are generally open every day, from 9 am to 5 pm. Banks are open Monday through to Friday, from 9 am to 4 pm. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are available mostly in the cities and popular towns, although not in smaller places.
Tipping and taxes
By law, all hotels are required to add 13% sales tax and 3.39% hotel tax. In restaurants, a 10% gratuity and 13% sales tax are added to your bill. You may tip additionally if you feel the service was outstanding. It is customary to tip bellboys, carpark attendants, tour guides and driversat your discretion
Tap water is drinkable in all areas of the country, although bottled water is always recommended in the more rural areas.
It is advisable to bring your own water flask, so that you can re-hydrate often during the day and refill it as often as necessary - without leaving plastic waste behind!
Airport Departure Tax
There is a tax to be paid upon departing Costa Rica, which is $26 per person and can be paid by cash or credit card.
The weather in Costa Rica is mostly warm, so bring your favourite summer outfits and footwear, but don't forget to bring walking shoes and appropriate clothes for those hikes and adventure sports which are a must during your stay!
It often rains during the day in short downpours, so it is highly recommended to bring a raincoat or poncho that you can carry in your bag easily.
Also, pack a sweater or warm top, as it may feel chilly on rainy days.
Finally, swimwear and a towel are of course essential, for those days lounging on the beach, doing watersports or soaking in one the country's many hot springs! Pure bliss!
The sun is very strong as Costa Rica is so near the Equator, so a good sunblock, sunhat and sunglasses are essential.
It is highly recommended to bring insect repellent, as there are many little bugs whose bite could make your vacation uncomfortable.
There are even some brands of repellent with sunblock which are also ecological! It is worth shopping around for a good product that will be kind to your skin and also to nature.