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Money and costs

Colones (₡)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated January 31, 2015 20:36
Budget up to
  • Dorm beds: US$8–15
  • Eat at ubiquitous sodas (inexpensive eateries); shop at markets; self-cater: US$3–7
  • Go on DIY hikes without a guide
  • Travel via local bus
  • Basic room with private bathroom: US$20–50 per day
  • Eat at restaurants geared toward travelers: US$5–12
  • Travel on an efficient 1st-class bus company such as Interbus
Top end over
  • Luxurious beachside lodges and boutique hotels: from US$80
  • Dine at international fusion restaurants: from US$15
  • Hire guides for wildlife-watching excursions
  • Take short flights; rent a 4WD for local travel


Tips are uncommon and should only be given for exceptional service at top-end restaurants and hotels.

  • Restaurants Your bill will usually include the 13% sales tax and a 10% service fee.

  • Taxis It's optional, but many people round up to the nearest 100 colones or tip with a few coins.

  • Guides It is customary to tip tour guides a few dollars per person for good service.