Currency and money issues

Costa Rica’s national currency is the “colón”, named after Cristóbal Colón or Christopher Columbus. U.S. dollars can be changed at all banks; Euros at most of them.

 You can pay nearly everywhere with small U.S. Dollar bills (up to $20 USD) and will receive change in the local currency

In general, it is advisable to carry a small amount of cash in USD or Costa Rican Colones.With    VISA,    MASTERCARD,    and     AMERICAN EXPRESS you can pay almost everywhere, with DINER’S CLUB unfortunately not. In general, it is advisable to carry a small amount of cash in US$ (small notes 1, 5, 10, 20) or Colones.

Traveler’s checks can only be cashed by banks. This usually takes some time and it will be charged a fee (1-5%).

It is mandatory to show your passport when changing money at banks, changing traveler’s checks, paying with credit card, and usually also when paying with US$ notes (bank notes higher than US$ 20.-- are often accepted by banks only).

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San José, Costa Rica

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