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15 Essential Travel Tips for Visiting Costa Rica

Stack of United States Dollars

Tropical beaches, rugged rainforests, and endless adventure. Whether you want to party the night away or immerse yourself in some of Central America’s richest history—that’s what awaits you in Costa Rica.

Before you start planning your Costa Rica travel, there are some key things you’ll want to know. Known as one of the happiest countries on Earth and the most sustainable, Costa Rica is a magnificent place you’re sure to fall in love with.

Costa Rica travel tips – things you need to know

Anytime you’re visiting a place for the first time, you’re bound to learn a thing or two about your destination. No matter where in the country you’re headed from San José to Puntarenas, Jacó, or Liberia, the best things to do in Costa Rica range from wild zipline tours to breathtaking rainforest hikes, and just about everything in between. Be prepared for your trip with our tips!

1. You can use USD in most places

Stack of United States Dollars
RomanR / Shutterstock

One of the biggest challenges that come with traveling internationally is figuring out the local currency. However, when you visit Costa Rica, you can use the United States Dollar throughout most of the country.

For the most part, USD is accepted throughout the country. Not only does this make traveling easier (for Americans at least), but it’s also a great way to save money by avoiding exchange fees.

For the most part, taxi drivers, hotels, and restaurants throughout most of the tourism hot spots are more than happy to accept payment in American dollars. If you plan on tipping though, which is highly encouraged, try to do so in the official currency, the Costa Rican Colón. It makes it easier for whoever you’re tipping to spend it.

Most if not all the metropolitan and touristy parts of Costa Rica have modern financial technologies that you have at home. This means that you can also use your credit and debit cards as well as technologies like Apple Pay in more populated areas. That said, be sure to always choose to pay in Colón if using cards because the exchange rate charged by your bank should be less.

See Related: Proven Ways to Save Money for Travel

2. Paying in cash gets you a cheaper price

Person opening cash-filled wallet
Travel man / Shutterstock

One of the biggest insider Costa Rica travel tips is knowing that cash is king. That’s actually true in a lot of parts of the world, especially as card transaction fees grow and cost businesses money. In Costa Rica, fees are often 1% to 3% of…

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