Costa Rica

General information about Costa Rica.

Costa Rica was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502 on his fourth voyage. He found some indigenous reserves, such as the Chorotegas, Bruncas and Huetares. It is believed that the Spaniard, gave him the name of Costa Rica, because he thought he had huge gold mines hidden in the mountains. These days, it is said that the name is given because of the amazing natural resources found in this small country. 

Costa Rica’s democracy has evolved for over 100 years. It is one of the oldest democracies in Latin America. President and deputies are elected every four years. After the War of 1948, the government decided to abolish the army, and create institutions, many in charge of ensuring the benefits of Costa Ricans.

Geographic Boundaries

  • North – Nicaragua
  • South – Panamá
  • West – Ocean Pacific
  • East – Caribbean

Provinces

  • San Jose – Capital
  • Alajuela, Heredia y Cartago – capital sorroundings
  • Guanacaste, Limon y Puntarenas – located in coastal areas

Population

Population: 5 million approximately
Education: Public education is free and compulsory.
Lat/Long: 9°56’N / 84°05’W
Currency: Costa Rican Colon (CRC)
Languages: Spanish
Dial Codes: +506
Official Language: Spanish
Time Zone Standard time zone: UTC/GMT -6 hours
Hours Ahead of PST Time.

See current local time: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/costa-rica

Climate

Dry Season
From mid-December to end of April
Sunshine during the day and light showers in afternoons (20% chance of rain in the rainforest and mountains).

Forecast

Rainy Season
From May to mid-December
Sunshine during the day and strong showers in afternoons (sometimes the rainis all day).

One day tour combo tour

Traveler Information

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Exchange Rate $1.00 US Dollar = ¢630.00 Colones (as of 12/10/2021).

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Suggested Money to Bring: $200.00 US Dollars (new/clean/non-ripped small denominations of $1.00, $5.00 $10.00 & $20.00) For tips to drivers, house-keepers, tour guides and airport exit fee.

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Una o dos tarjetas de débito Visa / MasterCard para cajeros automáticos / bancos: para retirar los colones costarricenses en cajeros automáticos por gastos en efectivo, y para cobrar cualquier viaje adicional que no haya sido pagado por adelantado, etc.

Su banco cobrará un cargo por cajero automático (generalmente de $3.00 o $5.00 dólares estadounidenses) y el cajero automático de Costa Rica cobrará un cargo por conversión de moneda, que es aproximadamente de $1.00 a $3.00, según la cantidad que retire. La mayoría de los cajeros automáticos en Costa Rica (y parecen estar apareciendo en todas partes ahora), acepta a todos los socios principales, como PLUS, STAR, Interlink, etc., por lo que no debería tener un problema al usar su tarjeta de débito / cajero automático para retirar moneda local o realizar cargos en lugares que aceptan cargos de Visa o MasterCard.

Dos (2) tarjetas de crédito Visa o MasterCard: si planea usar sus tarjetas de crédito para la mayoría de sus gastos en el país, incluida la extracción de moneda local, traiga dos tarjetas para tener una copia de seguridad en caso de que una no funcione por alguna razón. Puede usar una tarjeta de crédito para retirar los colones costarricenses en los cajeros automáticos (si tiene su código de inicio de sesión) y para cobrar cualquier viaje adicional, hoteles o transferencias que no se hayan pagado por adelantado, etc. Sin embargo, la mayoría de las compañías de tarjetas de crédito tienen diferentes políticas para los Adelantos en Efectivo de las Tarjetas de Crédito, así que consulte con la compañía de su tarjeta de crédito para conocer los cargos que puedan aplicarse.

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Use ATM’s that are in public and well-lit areas. Avoid help from strangers. Withdraw, count your money, and put it away before leaving. Be aware of your surroundings. The ATM’s are closed from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00a.m.

Tips for a Safe and Pleasant Trip

Do not wear valuable jewelry or gold that can draw attention to you. Have the same care with cameras or electronic equipment.
If you are carrying a small backpack with you while you are visiting the city, it is better to carry it in front of you and not in your back.
Stay alert if someone approaches or pushes you, or you feel that you are being followed. Notify the nearest police officer or walk into the near public establishment.
If you need to consult a map, look for a safe and public place to do it or approach a police officer for help. Do not stop for strangers.
If you plan on traveling to areas far from your hotel, you must carry your passport and be cautious. If on the other hand, you stay within close range of your hotel, it is advisable to keep your documents in a safe box and carry a copy of your passport with all the relevant information and the arrival stamp.
When using taxi services, verify that they comply with the legal established requirements, such as yellow triangles printed on the door and a meter.
If you misplace your passport during your stay, immediately report it to your embassy or consulate and to the closest Judicial Investigation Police Office (OIJ).
Use the safe deposit box of your hotel for your valuables.
Do not leave unattended your possessions whenever you are in a public area (hotel lobby, transport, airports, restaurants, etc).
Ask for information at the front desk of your hotel about the safest routes and means of transportation, especially during nighttime.