Costa Rica FAQ’s

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I am in Central America right now. Long due vacation. Not only this time of the year is cheapest to fly to Central America. It is the best as you have fewer tourists and the accommodation, flight tickets, and many other touristy things are cheap as compared to the high season. I spend many hours researching my travel here and hence it makes sense to share my research with my fellow travelers.

Welcome to Yourtravlsk’s FAQ guide on Costa Rica travel. I have tried to list down all the important questions that pop in your mind while planning your travel. Do let me know If there are any other questions that I have missed and I will update the list. Let’s begin.

Costa Rica Map

Which Costa Rica Airport is the best to fly into?

Although both airports (San Jose Intl & Liberia Intl Airport) have domestic flights, San Jose Intl (SJO) is the hub and it is much easier, cheaper & faster to travel from with domestic airlines. So if you are visiting the Caribbean, Pacific beaches in the south or the Central Valley, this is your hub.

What does the name Costa Rica mean in English?

The name la Costa Rica, meaning “rich coast” in the Spanish language, was in some accounts first applied by Christopher Columbus, who sailed to the eastern shores of Costa Rica during his final voyage in 1502, and reported vast quantities of gold jewelry worn by natives.

What is the main religion of Costa Rica?

Christianity is the largest religion in Costa Rica, with Roman Catholics having the most adherents. Roman Catholicism is the state religion, and the government generally upholds people’s religious freedom in practice.

Costa Rica Sunset

Are electrical outlets different in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica uses 110 volts, 60 cycle electricity, same as the US. Plugs are typically the 2 pronged flat types so US travelers will not typically need a converter or adapter.

Do they accept USD in Costa Rica?

U.S. Dollars are accepted in Costa Rica. There’s no reason to change money in advance because U.S. dollars are commonly used in Costa Rica. The taxis out in front of the airport, the restaurants and hotels all accept dollars.

Should I use dollars or colones in Costa Rica?

In addition to colones, US dollars are widely accepted throughout the country, though it is best to have some local currency to use as well. Another option is to exchange money when you arrive in Costa Rica. This is best done at a local bank because they will give you the most favorable exchange rate. Like I have always said, avoid Airport exchange if possible.

Cell phone potograph

Can I use my cell phone in Costa Rica?

If your cell phone company has a roaming agreement with Costa Rica, you can use your regular cell phone, but the minutes will be expensive. You can also buy a sim card at all major Airports in Costa Rica. However, you would need an unlocked phone to make it work. The unlocked cell phone you bring must be a quad-band GSM or 3G handset or at least have an 850 or 1800 MHz band. Most US phones use 950 MHz.
Another great option nowadays is Google Fi. It works in more than 200 countries and the rates are pretty reasonable.

Is there WiFi in Costa Rica?

There is WiFi, (internet inalámbrico in Spanish, or just WiFi) that you can use on your cell phone in Costa Rica while traveling, or on any other device that you use. Most bars and restaurants have WiFi and will gladly give you their password when you visit.

Do I need a SIM card in Costa Rica?

To buy prepaid sim cards in Costa Rica, you must have your passport or photo ID, passport works best. You have to fill out a short form and present your photo ID to purchase a sim card. It is also best to pay in Costa Rican colones, not USD or credit card.

Can you buy SIM cards at the airport?

You can usually purchase SIM cards and prepaid vouchers (or top them off) at hotels, drug stores, newsstands, and now at vending machines at airports.

Tap water faucet

Can you drink tap water in Costa Rica?

Tap water in Costa Rica is drinkable and, in many areas of the country, quite good. However, if you have a sensitive stomach, it’s recommended to refrain from drinking the tap water in most beach destinations. To play it safe, visit any supermarket and buy bottled water.

Is Costa Rica expensive?

Costa Rica may be more expensive than some other Central American countries, but you can certainly experience the country on a backpacker’s budget if you take the time to investigate low-cost sleeping options like camping, hostels and small eco guest houses. Budget travelers can survive on around $30 – $50 USD per day.

Is crime high in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is generally safe. However, since 2000 there has been a significant rise in criminal activity. Increase in domestic illegal activity, such as theft, homicide, and organized crime, has overwhelmed the local population.

Do they speak English in Costa Rica?

Having fluent Spanish in Costa Rica is not essential, but it may help you to avoid embarrassing situations. In tourist areas, you’ll have more English speakers, of course, especially at hotels, shops, tour companies, and bars and restaurants.

What is Costa Rica best known for?

Nowadays, thanks to the rich volcanic soil, Costa Rica is well-known for its gourmet coffee beans with the famous Tarrazú considered among the finest beans in the world. Along with bananas, coffee might just be the most famous Costa Rican export.

Do I need shots to go to Costa Rica?

The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Costa Rica: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, and influenza.

ATM Withdrawal

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Costa Rica for a month?

The cost of living in Costa Rica is much lower than it is in the United States. If you are a single and budget-conscious then you can live very comfortably in Costa Rica for about $1,300 to $1,600 per month.

What is the cheapest month to fly to Costa Rica?

High season is considered to be June, July, and August. The cheapest month to fly to Costa Rica in September. Wonder why I am flying there now.

Can I take my pet to Costa Rica?

Yes, bringing a dog or a cat to Costa Rica is a relatively simple process. These pets are not subject to quarantine, provided they have the correct paperwork and vaccines. Birds, snakes, horses and other “exotic” or agricultural animals may be subject to additional restrictions.

Do I need an international drivers license to drive in Costa Rica?

No, your home license is valid in Costa Rica for the duration of your tourist entry stamp. When driving, always carry your passport, or a copy of your passport ID page and entry stamp page, showing proof of legal status in the country.

How are Costa Rica’s medical services?

Costa Rica has top-notch medical services, both public and private, thanks to its wealth of skilled surgeons and state-of-the-art facilities. For minor aches and pains, visit a local pharmacy. All pharmacies are required to have a licensed pharmacist on staff, and they can diagnose certain ailments and prescribe medication on the spot.

How much does gas cost in Costa Rica?

Regular unleaded gas costs about $5.00 a gallon, and diesel fuel is a little less. All gas stations in Costa Rica are full service and prices are set by the government, unlike the US – no need to shop around for the best price!

Is Costa Rica safe for solo female travelers?

Costa Rica has a reputation for safe travel, and women traveling alone rarely encounter problems. However, keep in mind that “machismo” is a key element of Latin American culture, so you may be exposed to more catcalls and whistling than you’re used to.

Emergency services

What number should I dial in case of emergency?

In an emergency, please dial 911.

Do let me know If I have missed a question that you want answered here. I’ll be glad to add it here. A little disclaimer all this information is what I have collected from various sources on internet and none of this information is produced by me. But you already knew that.

Comment your thoughts below and subscribe to my blog for more such awesome posts. Check out my other awesome posts on hotel booking tricks and flight booking tricks. These are my favorite posts and I am sure they will save you a lot of money.

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