Private tailor-made journeys of a lifetime 1 888 263 2574
USA
  • AUS
  • DEU
USA
  • AUS
  • DEU
EnchantiFlying Resplendent Quetzal, Pharomachrus mocinno, Savegre in Costa Rica, with green forest in background. Magnificent sacred green and red bird. Action flight moment with Resplendent Quetzal.

Costa Rica Travel Guide

There are often small, seemingly insignificant details and issues that can impact your travels. To make sure your visit to Costa Rica is as pleasant and stress-free as possible, we have compiled a short list of tips that may be helpful to keep in mind as you explore Costa Rica.

If you stay mindful of these tips from our Costa Rica travel guide, and prepare accordingly, you will be able to experience the best of the country without worrying about the worst. While traveling with us, our experienced team will be delighted assist you at all stages.

beautiful serene view form a hilltop of the Costa Rican southern pacific coast
Excellent / 4.9 out of 5
Visa application

Visa and entry

Costa Rica is a welcoming country, and if you are a citizen of the USA, Canada, the EU, Switzerland, or Australia, then no tourist Visa is required for your visit, that is of course, unless you want to stay longer than 90 days. Officially speaking, you need to have proof of how long you will stay in Costa Rica, and an indication of how you will spend your time (e.g. work or leisure). Indeed some airlines won’t allow you to fly without a return ticket. However, unofficially, once you’re in Costa Rica, this rule is often not enforced. However, it is advisable to be ready with documentation on you just in case you are required to produce this during your vacation.

For more information, visit the Department of State website here.

Cashless payment.

Currency, cash and cards

Credit cards

As a modern country, you will find that credit cards are widely accepted and used in most urban areas, especially in larger cities. However, if you intend to leave major cities and explore Costa Rica’s many charming small towns or bustling markets, it is advisable to carry cash, especially small denomination notes.

Currency

The currency of Costa Rica, the Colón, is named after the legendary explorer and sailor Cristobal Colón, or as he is more commonly known: Christopher Columbus. Though Columbus is most famous for discovering America, he is also credited for discovering Costa Rica in 1502. Fascinatingly, during the colonial times, cacao seeds were implemented as a basic form of currency. This remained the case until the 1840s, when coffee plantation workers started to use “coffee tickets” – a basic form of currency given to plantation workers as a reward, to exchange goods in stores. The Colón became the official currency in the last years of the 19th century.

The coins were first introduced in 1897 and changed little until 1935, when they were redesigned to include national symbols such as Costa Rica’s coat of arms. However, as if to represent Costa Rica’s stance on environmental protection, bills since 2012 were colorfully changed with touches inspired by the country’s diverse wildlife. New images depicting the sloth, the hummingbird, the morpho butterfly and the white-headed capuchin monkey were introduced. The design isn’t the only interesting feature though – indeed these new bills were created with new materials so that visually impaired people can distinguish between bills as well!

Vaccinations, health and safety

Health information

As a humid, tropical country, some diseases and viruses can be expected in Costa Rica. Luckily, there are some things you can do to mitigate these dangers. Travelers should make sure to have hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations, as it is possible to contract these through contaminated food or water in Costa Rica.

The water in San Jose and other areas popular with travelers is generally safe to drink. Some minor sickness is often a risk when visiting foreign countries, and especially those with a different climate to what you are used to, and Costa Rica is no different. If you want to avoid this risk altogether, it may be a good idea to buy bottled water.

There is no risk of Yellow Fever in Costa Rica. The government requires proof of vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of Yellow Fever. At the moment, Zika virus transmission remains a risk in Costa Rica. As such, it is advisable to take meticulous anti-mosquito measures whenever possible. Repellents such as DEET are essential for your trip, especially if you are visiting the rural and forested areas. Considering the information mentioned above, we recommend that you postpone your visit to Costa Rica if you are pregnant.

Altitude sickness

This will mostly affect people who intend to explore Costa Rica’s mountainous terrain. But when climbing or hiking around Costa Rica’s many mountains and volcanoes, you may experience some altitude sickness. are unlikely to experience much altitude sickness below 2500 meters (or 8200 feet) elevation, at lower altitudes such as Monteverde (1500 masl/4900 feet), some travelers have found themselves short of breath more often than they would at sea level. If you travel on the many winding roads in Monteverde it is possible you will experience some dizziness stemming from the motion and altitude.

Apart from these tips in our Costa Rica travel guide, our experienced team of destination experts are happy to share more information with you. Get in touch with us for your personalized, obligation-free Costa Rica tour itinerary.


from the blog
Estancias In Argentina
By: Jen
10 min

Our top 10 Haciendas and Estancias in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay

Discover why a tour in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile is incomplete without a stay in the charming estancias and haciendas that these countries are known for.

READ POST

Costa Rica Vacation
By: Arthur Peirce
7 min

Magnificent Natural Wonders On Your Costa Rica Vacation

Discover a land of incredible natural splendor, expansive white sandy beaches and mysterious rainforests, swamps, and towering mountains.

READ POST

POPULAR TRIPS TO costa rica
Costa Rica, hanging suspended bridges in Monteverde

Costa Rica and Panama: Nature and Wildlife

12 Days: $ 4,790 / person
Details Inquire
Enchanting Travels Costa Rica Tours Luxury Tour of Costa Rica

Luxury Costa Rica: Adventure and Beach

11 Days: $ 4,690 / person
Discover paradise on this luxury tour of Costa Rica! Immerse yourself in nature as you explore the untouched rainforests of Pacuaré and the volcanic mountains of Arenal on adventurous hikes, treks, and adrenaline-pumping tours.
Details Inquire
Costa Rica Trip - Waterfalls

Classic Costa Rica: Arenal and Manuel Antonio

9 Days: $ 4,090 / person
This classic Costa Rica trip takes you on an adventure amid waterfalls, hot springs and verdant forests in Arenal. Explore volcanic peaks and the lush countryside on hikes and treks in the San Jose Valley.
Details Inquire
Load More
THE ENCHANTING DIFFERENCE

Safe & Secure

Our global network of partners on the ground are able to share the most up-to-date advice and recommendations on COVID-19. We only offer hotels and vehicles with the highest health and safety standards.

Financial Protection & Flexibility

We believe in complete transparency. We are bonded members and license holders of all leading travel organizations. Your booking is flexible and completely secure with us.

Fully Supported Travel

Your dedicated and personal trip coordinator is available around-the-clock throughout your trip to accommodate requests, take care of the details, and handle any unforeseen situations.

Authentic & Unique

Go off the beaten track. Our award-winning, licensed local guides provide incredible insights and insider tips, passionately bringing alive unique and exclusive experiences for you.

Personalized & Private

Discover our enchanting world your way. Our experts completely customize your private tour to match your interests and preferences through their comprehensive knowledge of each destination.

High Quality Experiences

All our accommodations and services are personally tested by our team. Tell us your travel dream and we will create an itinerary packed with the best experiences your destination has to offer.

WHAT OUR GUESTs SAY

One of the very best travel experiences I have ever had. We even got updates once at 3 am! He also made one change in one day’s itinerary to accommodate our wishes which was very wonderful. For business, I have traveled to Europe, Russia, all over Asia and South Africa but was blown away by all the beautiful sites in Argentina and Chile.

Rating 5/5
Enchanting Travels Chile Tours Fishing boat and old Dock, Puerto Natales, Antartica

Joseph MatheyUSA

All the little touches made by our Enchanting Travel consultant, Amelia Edwards, were noticed and recognized by my wife and I. Thank you for making our milestone trip (25th wedding anniversary) such a memorable one! We look forward to engaging Enchanting Travels again for our next South American adventure!!

Rating 5/5
Buenos Aires Sehenswürdigkeiten: Kongressgebäude

Raymond SuireUSA

This was my first adventure as a solo traveler. But while I may have traveled on my own, I was never alone. I was well taken care of by a superb team of planners, trip coordinators, guides and drivers.

Rating 5/5
Bolivia - Uyuni - People & Car standing in Salt flats

Lori McCarneyUSA

Do you have a vacation in mind? Personalize your itinerary with our Trip Builder.