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Travel Tips for Costa Rica


Get ready to explore every corner of our beautiful country with these essential travel tips for Costa Rica. Travel like a local and enjoy your Costa Rica vacation safely with these recommendations:


Entry Requirements for Costa Rica


Some travelers need a visa to visit Costa Rica. Check the list of countries and entry requirements before purchasing your ticket, based on your passport's issuing country.


If you are traveling from certain countries in Africa and South America, you will need a yellow fever vaccination certificate at least 10 days before your trip.


Book with Tour Operators in Costa Rica


Costa Rica offers a wide variety of adventure, adrenaline, and nature tours, but remember:


  • Book tours with authorized tour operators in Costa Rica.

  • Always check local weather conditions and forecasts before heading out.

  • Ensure that the tour guide provides safety instructions and activity regulations.

  • Verify that the tour operators have operating permits from the Ministry of Health, insurance policies, and certified guides.





Tips for Responsible Tourism


Every action has an impact, so it's vital to practice responsible tourism. By doing so, you support environmental conservation, local economies, responsible accommodations and services, reduce pollution, contribute socially, and enjoy your Costa Rica vacation to the fullest.


Phone Line in Costa Rica


An unlocked mobile phone will work in Costa Rica. Check with your provider about global roaming plans, or purchase a prepaid SIM card from Kolbi, Claro, or Movistar stores.


Money Tips


Costa Rica offers options for travelers with various budgets:


  • The currency is the Costa Rican colón (¢).

  • US dollars and credit cards are widely accepted.

  • Exchange money at banks and authorized exchange agencies.

  • Use ATMs in well-lit public areas. Some close from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

  • VAT is 13%, included in the final price of services and products.


Food in Costa Rica


The main meal of the day is lunch. Enjoy local cuisine at sodas (small local restaurants) or markets for fresh and authentic food. In restaurants and hotels, the 13% VAT and 10% service charge are included in the final bill, but additional tips are welcome for excellent service.





Driving Safety


Exploring Costa Rica by car offers freedom and adventure. Keep these tips in mind:


  • Avoid stopping in lonely places if you have car trouble; call 911 for help.

  • Don’t leave valuables unattended in the car.

  • Use a GPS or a navigation app like Waze.

  • Check the car's condition and safety equipment before renting.

  • Read the rental contract to understand insurance coverage details.

  • Always wear your seatbelt.

  • Directions are often based on landmarks, not street numbers.

  • Secure surfboards or bicycles properly.

  • Avoid giving “rides” to strangers.

  • Use guarded parking lots.

  • Pay fines at banks, not to the officer.


Local Language


Although many Costa Ricans speak English, Spanish is the official language. Brush up on some local phrases and chat with the locals for unique travel tips.


Ready to experience the best of Costa Rica? Our tour operators are here to customize your perfect adventure. Book now with DCR and let’s make your Costa Rica vacation a reality.

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