General Travel Information

From A - Z

Baggage

Baggage

Ideally, you will travel in Costa Rica with only two pieces of baggage: a suitcase and a small bag or backpack for excursions. There are baggage restrictions on domestic flights and weight limits on boat excursions. In our offer and through the accompanying guide, you will be advised on which days you can take only part of your baggage to the next stop.

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Clothes for every climate

Clothes for every climate

Costa Rica’s temperatures vary widely depending on the altitude, which ranges between sea level and 3,820 meters (12,530 feet). In the lowlands and on the coasts, the climate is hot and usually humid. In some regions, humidity reaches up to 80 to 90%. In the central highlands, there are summer-like temperatures almost all year-long, except in December when daytime temperatures can drop to 16 °C (61 ºF)

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Currency and money issues

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

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Environment & Nature

Environment & Nature

Costa Rica is one of the most important and diverse ecotourism destinations in Central America. About 5% of the world’s biodiversity can be found here. Environmental protection and nature conservation are strongly promoted throughout the country. Over 25% of Costa Rica’s 51,100 km² (19,730 mi²) total land area is under protection and is monitored and administered by the government.

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Health & Medical Care

Health & Medical Care

Health & Medical Care

Medical care is excellent in Costa Rica. In the San José Metropolitan Area and throughout the Central Valley, including the cities of Cartago, Heredia and Alajuela, there are very good national public hospitals and clinics that have modern equipment and highly-trained medical personnel. There are also private hospitals, such as Clinica Biblica and Hospital CIMA, both with locations in San José and in Liberia. These hospitals provide pharmacies that are open 24 hours.

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Internet

Internet

Internet access is provided at almost every hotel, usually for free in the common areas and often also in the rooms. Many restaurants offer this service, too.

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Ocean Currents

Ocean Currents

All beaches in Costa Rica have the possibility of strong currents, and there is often relatively high surf due to tidal movements or weather conditions. It is important to obey local advisories – a red flag at the beach indicates danger. Ask your tour guide, local residents, or if present a lifeguard, about general and current conditions as to whether the sea is suitable for swimming.

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Phone Calls

Phone Calls

The country area code for Costa Rica is +506; there are no separate area codes for cities or regions. Phone numbers in Costa Rica have eight digits. At most hotels, you can make international phone calls at an extra charge. Local telephone companies offer prepaid phone cards. You may also be able to use your cell phone; check with your cell phone provider for international roaming charges.

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Return Flight & Departure Tax

Return Flight & Departure Tax

It is recommended to be at the airport three hours before departure for international flights. The safety regulations are, depending on international events, quite strict and intensive controls are carried out.

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Souvenir and Shopping

Souvenir and Shopping

Most tourist resorts have souvenir shops that sell a wide range of popular and traditional goods. Additionally, in the cities of San José, Heredia, Alajuela, Cartago, and Liberia, there are plenty of shopping facilities, including large shopping malls which offer a variety of goods.

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Taxes and Tips

Taxes and Tips

Sales tax in Costa Rica is 13%. Restaurants additionally charge a legally required 10% service fee, which is the service tip that goes to the wait staff. Restaurant menus will usually state if sales tax and/or the service fee are already included in the prices; otherwise they will be added onto the final bill. If you should receive very good service by the restaurant staff, it is still customary to leave an extra tip

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Voltage

Voltage

The voltage in Costa Rica is 110 volts / 60 hertz throughout the country. You should check the compatibility of your electrical chargers and items before arrival. An adapter for flat contact plugs is necessary for the sockets: type A + B (U.S. standard).

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