All you need to know before visiting Costa Rica

Budget

Costa Rica is a very popular tourist destination and therefore one of the most expensive countries in Central America.

Costa rica animals

• Prices for private rooms for two start at 30 USD (26 EUR) in La Cruz, 15-20 USD (13-17 EUR) in La Fortuna and 20 USD (17 EUR) in Cahuita.

Food prices are pretty high. A budget dinner costs around 7 USD (6 EUR) – in tourist areas 15 USD (13 EUR) or more. Street food prices are much cheaper – starting at 2 USD (1.7 EUR) per meal.

Transportation is cheap in Costa Rica. Public transportation fares within the cities range between 0.35 and 0.70 USD (0.30-0.60 EUR). Intercity bus rides are inexpensive as well – expect to pay less than 16 USD (14 EUR), even for the longest distance.

To save some more money, check out our Budget cutting tips.

Where to stay

You can find great accommodation options on Booking. Make sure to search for private rooms popular for romance. 😉 On Airbnb you can rent furnished apartments – those are usually cheaper than most hotels and they offer you the real Costa Rican experience.

Best time to go

Weather-wise the best time to visit Costa Rica is during the country’s dry season (from December to April). However, if you don’t mind a little rain, you should consider visiting during the rainy season (May – November), when the beaches are less crowded and the prices much lower.

Cahuita Costa Rica

Other information

Planning and preparation: check out our planning routine here.

Packing: check out the honeymoon adventurers’ ultimate packing list here.

♦ For other travel tips check out Travel like a pro, Travel for couples, Honeymoon styles, Honeymoon activities, Responsible tourism, and Travel resources.

Language: The official language in Costa Rica is Spanish. Check out the typical travel vocabulary (in English) here. Learn useful travel phrases in Spanish here.

Currency: Costa Rican colón (CRC)

♦ Visa or other entry requirements: All visitors to Costa Rica are required to have a valid travel document. Visa requirements depend on the traveler’s nationality, his/her purpose of visit, country of residence and duration of stay. For more information check out their official website.

♦ Electricity standards: The power plug types in Costa Rica are A and B, the standard voltage is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.

♦ Time zone: UTC-06:00

Costa Rica tree

Immunization recommendations and requirements: There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Costa Rica. However, it is recommended to get travel vaccines and medicines for tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, hepatitis A, rabies, and malaria. To prevent malaria avoid mosquito bites. There is no risk of yellow fever in Costa Rica. The government of Costa Rica requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. Currently, Zika virus is a risk in Costa Rica.

Health and safety tips:

You should always make sure to follow the usual travel safety precautions:

  • Leave your jewelry and other valuable belongings in the hotel safe.
  • Keep your emergency cash apart from the rest of your money.
  • Dress comfortably and carry only the items you will need for the day.
  • Don’t carry a lot of money.
  • Always make sure to lock your room before leaving the hotel.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Stay in well-lit areas.
  • Try to maintain a low profile and do your best to fit in.
  • Carry a travel wallet/money belt/money pouch for carrying money and documents safely.
  • Avoid contact with potential scam artists.
  • Avoid showing off valuable belongings (like cameras) in public.
  • Don’t count your money in public.
  • Keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

Costa Rica frog

For other common safety concerns in Costa Rica, check out Lonely Planet’s safety tips. For health concerns check out Lonely Planet’s health tips.

To stay healthy while traveling, check out our health travel tips.

Tap water in Costa Rica is safe to drink, except in the most rural parts of the country – in those places drink boiled or filtered water instead.
* Always make sure to reuse a water bottle to cut down on waste.

• Costa Rica is relatively close to the equator and the sun is very strong. Therefore, always make sure to use sunscreen.

Local Customs: Costa Ricans are very friendly, positive, and easygoing, yet polite and respectful. They can also be quite conservative. Make sure to address strangers with usted instead of tu. When meeting someone personally a friendly handshake is customary; friends kiss on one cheek. Costa Ricans don’t like conflict, therefore make sure to avoid confrontation at all cost. Solo female travelers tend to get a lot of male attention. There is no particular dress code required on the streets of Costa Rica. Avoid wearing a bikini elsewhere than on the beach. In formal circumstances, revealing clothes may be frowned upon.

Costa Rica Rio Celeste

Check out top things to see and do in Costa Rica, as well as top romantic experiences and adventures here.

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