When you choose to travel to any foreign country, there are several things that it’s best to know. With Costa Rica being one of the fastest growing vacation destinations of today, how about some important facts. Just remember that laws do change so it’s best to recheck before you leave.
While traveling through Central America, you will be required to show your passport at each boarder crossing. Once you arrive in the country, it is all right for you to copy your passport face page and stamp page to carry with you when you are out and about. It’s better to leave your passport at the hotel in a safe place so you don’t risk loosing it.
If you decide to rent a car in Costa Rica, best to know that deposits are going to be expensive but they are refundable upon return of the car. Check your car for damage before you leave to insure your refund and remember to never let you tank get below one-quarter of a tank; stations can be hard to locate. You have to have your driver’s license with you and passport copy while driving a motor vehicle in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has some driving laws that we were not familiar with. The law states that if you get into an accident, not only are you to wait for the police but you must also wait for the adjuster for the insurance company to arrive. As you can imagine, this can take a long time so best to drive defensively so you won’t have this delay on vacation.
In Costa Rica, numbers or street names do not identify most street addresses. Addresses’ will read something like 100 metros sur Burger King. Women should do well driving here since all of our directions come with landmarks.
In Costa Rica, the currency is called colones or colon in the singular. The denominations range from c1,000 to c10,000. Twenty US dollars is about c10,000, depending on the exchange rate. They also have coins ranging from c5 to c500; c500 is about $ 1.00 US and US dollars are accepted in most places.
As of December 2009, the exchange rate in Costa Rica was 570 colones to one American dollar. When you want to figure the price of something listed in colones, you would divide that price in colones by the current exchange rate. If you need to figure out the price listed in dollars, you take the dollar amount and multiply it by the exchange rate and that will give you the price in colones.
Spanish is the language of Costa Rica. Due to the rise in tourism, there are many local Tico’s, the common name for a Costa Rican, who have learned to speak English. Also, it’s a good to familiarize yourself with the road signs before your trip if you are planning on driving in Costa Rica because all the road signs are in Spanish!
Costa Rica abolished its army back in 1947 and is still a peaceful and magical place. Costa Rica is the smallest and still the safest country in Central American for traveling. While there are reports of petty theft in some areas, it is suggested that you continue to keep an eye on your belongings while traveling through this beautiful and peaceful country.