go to content go to search box go to global site navigation

Money and costs

Colones (₡)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated March 22, 2017 8:29PM UTC
Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
  • Dorm bed: US$8–15
  • Meal at a soda (inexpensive eatery): US$3–7
  • DIY hikes without a guide: free
  • Travel via local bus: US$1 or less
  • Basic room with private bathroom: US$20–50 per day
  • Meal at a restaurant geared toward travelers: US$5–12
  • Travel on an efficient 1st-class bus company such as Interbus: US$50–60
Top end (more than)
  • Luxurious beachside lodges and boutique hotels: from US$80
  • Meal at an international fusion restaurant: from US$15
  • Guided wildlife-watching excursion: from US$30
  • Short domestic flight: US$50–100
  • 4WD rental for local travel: from US$60 per day

Both US dollars and Costa Rican colones are accepted everywhere and dispensed from ATMs across the country. With the exception of the smallest towns and shops in rural areas, credit cards are accepted.


  • Restaurants Your bill at many restaurants will usually include a 10% service charge. If not, you might leave a small tip to show your appreciation, but it is not required.

  • Hotels It is customary to tip the bellhop/porter (US$1 to US$5 per service) and the housekeeper (US$1 to US$2 per day) in top-end hotels, less in budget places.

  • Taxis Taxi drivers are not usually tipped unless some special service is provided.

  • Guides On guided tours, tip the guide US$5 to US$15 per person per day. Tip the tour driver about half of what you tip the guide. Naturally, tips depend upon quality of service.