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Travel to Costa Rica from USA

Travel to Costa Rica from USA

When you travel to Costa Rica from USA, you should know that US dollars are readily accepted and are the standard currency in tourism.

If you need to exchange some dollars in local currency (colones), we recommend that you make currency changes at BCR or Banco Nacional banks. If you make the change at the airport, the currency exchange they offer (American Express bank) makes you lose money compared to banks outside the airport. Inside the airport they claim not to charge a change commission, but they offer a very low change and will pay less for your dollars. The BCR and Banco Nacional banks do not charge commission for the currency exchange either.

You will need to show your passport to change dollars at the bank.

Alerts and Messages from the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica.

COVID-19 Information

Is there corona virus in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is one of the countries with the least infected by coronavirus. Furthermore, in the Caribbean area, in Talamanca, no case of coronavirus has been reported until April 2020. This makes the southern Caribbean area one of the safest places to protect against COVID-19.

Things to Know About Costa Rica Before You Go

Costa Rica is not as cheap as people think

Costa Rica is a popular destination worldwide, and over the years it has become a more expensive place than neighboring countries. It is perhaps the most expensive country to travel in all of Latin America.

Still, the quality vs price ratio in hotels and restaurants is very good. The prices of services are usually much lower than what you will find in the USA for the same services.

Costa Rica Caribbean Coast is ideal for travelers

Tap water is NOT safe to drink in Costa Rica

I recommend you never drink tap water in Costa Rica. In some populations there could be better water quality. But in the Caribbean area, it is advisable not to drink tap water. The towns of Puerto Viejo and Cocles have poor water quality.

Some hotels and restaurants have water filters that make it drinkable and healthy. You can also buy bottled water for your safety.

Sloths can be seen in the Caribbean Coast

It is very normal to find sloths in the Caribbean area. If you don’t see them, we recommend hiring a tour guide and visit the Cahuita National Park. Also there are also places to see sloths in captivity, such as the Jaguar Rescue Center (in Playa Chiquita, Puerto Viejo). You can also see sloths in the sloth sanctuary in Cahuita.