Costa Rica is a favorite among travelers with its abundant adventure and eco-tourism offerings. The beautiful oasis of Costa Rica features tropical rain forests, pristine sandy beaches, bat-filled caves, picturesque waterfalls, and ancient volcanic peaks. Vacationers will find Costa Rica a tropical paradise to savor and visit time and time again. As you plan your Costa Rican adventure these fast facts will help you get ready for the time of your life.
Several years ago, Costa Rica introduced a beautiful new currency with native flora and fauna. The nation’s currency is known as the Colón (plural Colones). At the time of this writing the exchange rate is 580 colones per U.S. dollar. The Colón is named in tribute to Christopher Columbus who was the first European to visit Costa Rica.
Traveling in Costa Rica is more costly than other Central American countries but is still a great bargain when compared to travel in the United States and Europe. Because U.S. dollars are widely accepted in the hotels and restaurants of Costa Rica many prices are posted in U.S. dollars. Visitors should still be prepared to pay with Colones at smaller local eateries and for public transportation.
All Costa Rican banks exchange U.S. dollars with many exchanging Euros and British pounds as well. ATMs (cajeros automáticos) are available in Costa Rica though some banks charge additional fees for their use. Credit cards are also widely accepted at middle and higher-end establishments.
Passports, Visa, and Immigration Requirements
Passports are required for travel to Costa Rica. When you arrive you must present your valid passport, an onward ticket showing your intent to leave at the end of your visit, and prove you have $100 for every 30 days of your trip (not a fee but only to show you have sufficient financial means).
U.S. visitors do not need Visas for stays up to 90 days. If your stay will be longer or you are unsure of the requirements for your country of residence, visa requirements can be obtained from the Costa Rican Embassy or Consulate.
Immigration to Costa Rica accounts for nearly nine percent of the population. It has increased in recent years as a result of tourist activities and an influx of businesses.
Immunizations are not required when traveling to Costa Rica though several are recommended. Should you choose to follow the recommendations you will need to see your doctor four to six weeks before your trip. Travelers should have current vaccinations including diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), varicella (chickenpox), polio, and flu.
Additional immunizations recommended for Costa Rica are as follows:
- Hepatitis A for all travelers over age one.
- Hepatitis B for all travelers not previously immunized.
- Yellow Fever is required for those over age one arriving from yellow-fever-infected country but not recommended or required for others.
In addition to immunizations you should check your health insurance or travel insurance policies to ensure you have an appropriate level of coverage for your Costa Rican adventures. Quality medical care including physicians, dentists, and hospitals is available in larger cities in Costa Rica but is often limited in the more rural regions. Pharmacies in Costa Rica are well-stocked and pharmacists are licensed to prescribe medications.
Now you have the general information needed for your upcoming trip to Costa Rica please contact us to begin planning your next vacation/holiday in this tropical oasis!