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Essential information

At a glance

‘Hello’ in:
‘hola ’
( o-la )
Plug combo ab
Best time to go
Current Time
GMT -5

Money and costs

Colones (₡)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated July 04, 2019 10:47AM 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$2 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 shuttle van like 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$20
  • Guided wildlife-watching excursion: from US$40
  • Short domestic flight: US$50–100
  • 4WD rental for local travel: from US$60 per day


Most nationalities do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days. Check the visa requirements for your country at www.costarica-embassy.org.

Get the latest visa advice for Costa Rica from our community.

When to go and weather


Getting to Costa Rica

Costa Rica can be reached via frequent, direct international flights from the US and Canada and from other Central American countries. You can also cross a land border into Costa Rica from Panama or Nicaragua. Flights, cars and tours can be booked online at www.lonelyplanet.com/bookings.

Getting around Costa Rica

Air Inexpensive domestic flights between San José and popular destinations such as Puerto Jiménez, Quepos and Tortuguero will save you the driving time.

Bus Very reasonably priced, with extensive coverage of the country, though travel can be slow and some destinations have infrequent service.

Shuttle Private and shared shuttles such as Interbus and Gray Line provide door-to-door service between popular destinations and allow you to schedule to your needs.

Car Renting a car allows you to access more remote destinations that are not served by buses, and frees you to cover as much ground as you like. Cars can be rented in most towns. Renting a 4WD vehicle is advantageous (and essential in some parts of the country); avoid driving at night.

Health and safety

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Advice for travellers

Travelling with children

In a land of such dizzying adventure and close encounters with wildlife, waves, jungle ziplines and enticing mud puddles, it can be challenging to choose where to go. Fortunately, your options aren’t limited by region, and kids will find epic...

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Working and volunteering

It is difficult for foreigners to find work in Costa Rica. The only foreigners legally employed in Costa Rica are those who work for their own businesses, possess skills not found in the country, or work for companies that have...

Read More

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