Things To Know Before Traveling To Costa Rica – Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries to visit. With amazing beaches, diverse wildlife, friendly locals and rainforests, it’s no wonder Costa Rica is one of the most popular countries in Latin America. That said, there are plenty of Costa Rica travel tips that you should know before you visit.
In this Costa Rica travel guide, I cover all the important things you need to know before visiting Costa Rica to set yourself up for a great vacation!
Things To Know Before Traveling To Costa Rica
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What To Pack For A Trip To Costa Rica
English is commonly spoken in Costa Rica, but a little Spanish is appreciated. Also, while most Costa Ricans speak English, some locals speak a little. That’s why having a program like Google Translate is the way to go.
You can download the Spanish version before you go so that the app can work abroad. So, if you have a language barrier, Google Translate is a rescue!
An important travel tip to know when visiting Costa Rica is to navigate the country, even if you drive. Most Costa Ricans prefer to use Waze for GPS. There are some quick photos you don’t want to be taken. However, when we were in Monteverde, the locals told us to use Google maps.
That’s why I’m going to take a look at both programs and compare them side-by-side. I always use Waze at home in the US, but I like the option to download an online map with Google Maps. This way, I have directions even if I don’t have cell service. So my suggestion is to have both apps and make sure you download google map offline.
Things You Might Not Know About Costa Rica
To do this, open Google Maps and look for the bubble with your profile picture in the upper right corner. Click on it and select ‘Offline Maps’. Then click “CHOOSE CUSTOM MAP” and select the locations for Google to download. Please note that you need free space on your phone for this.
One of the most important Costa travel tips you need to know is to make sure you have Whatsapp downloaded and activated on your mobile phone before you leave. Whatsapp is the main way to communicate with anyone in Costa Rica, so make sure you use the app.
Sometimes it can be frustrating trying to activate Whatsapp abroad, so do it before you go!
Since we are talking about phones, another thing you want to consider is buying a SIM card in Costa Rica. This is a good option if your mobile plan charges large fees for international data.
Everything You Need To Know About Traveling To Costa Rica As A Student
To use a SIM card in Costa Rica, your phone must be unlocked. You can find out if your mobile phone is unlocked by calling your operator. They may ask you for your passport to get a SIM card. That’s normal. SIM cards are sold at the airport and markets.
Three popular providers to use are Kolbi, Claro and Movistar. Kolbi is known for excellent overall service. Most hotels have wifi, but we found that the farther you are from the lobby, the worse the wifi.
Also, phone reception with a SIM card can be found in the countryside and in the mountains, which is to be expected.
Costa Rica is defined by two natural seasons, the “dry season” and the “rainy season,” but just because it’s the dry season doesn’t mean you won’t experience rain, even if you do. live in the rain forest. Likewise, just because you visit during the rainy season does not mean it will always rain.
Things You Need To Know Before You Travel To Costa Rica
The rainy season on the Pacific side begins in May and ends in November. The rainy season in Costa Rica is called the green season because everything becomes green. During the rainy season, it usually rains in the afternoon.
We visited Costa Rica during the rainy season and it didn’t start raining until 4pm. The key to visiting during the rainy season is to do everything early in the morning. It’s also easy to visit Costa Rica now.
If there are months to avoid the rainy season on the Pacific side, September and October, where you will see the most rain. Conversely, September and October are considered two of the best months in terms of weather on the Caribbean side.
No matter when you visit, it’s not a bad idea to have a small travel umbrella, raincoat or poncho (especially if you’re in the mountains or the rainforest).
Awesome Things To Do In Costa Rica, Where To Stay, Know Before You Go
Due to Costa Rica’s location near the equator, no matter what time of year you visit, it gets dark around 6:00 PM and rises around 6:00 AM. This means that early morning is important to make the most of the daylight during your visit.
It’s easy to believe that Costa Rica is easy, but it’s not. Costa Rica is very expensive for a Latin American country. Car rentals, hotels, dining at typical restaurants, and hospitality costs are similar to what I would find in the United States. This is especially true in tourist areas.
The prices are not bad, they are more than you think. For example, La Fortuna Falls tickets are $18 per person and then Mistico Bridges for over $20. Interests really add up.
With that said, that doesn’t mean Costa Rica can’t be done on a budget. Eating out at local restaurants, taking a bus, free activities, and staying in hotels are all ways to keep costs down.
Traveling To Costa Rica
The currency of Costa Rica is the Colón, but the American dollar is widely accepted. For advice I can next time, sometimes it’s good to have some Colonies with you. You might want to have a few Colons when you go through the tax booths.
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Costa Rica. I always recommend using a travel credit card if possible! Most travel credit cards have no foreign transaction fees and allow you to collect points on your purchases.
Many travel credit cards come with different protections. Think about shipping delays and more car insurance. You can learn more about my favorite travel credit cards in my travel hack guide.
If you need to withdraw money from an ATM, some popular banks include CitiBank, Branco de Costa Rica, Branco Nacional de Costa Rica, and Branco Promerica.
Interesting Things To Know About Costa Rica Before You Travel
Tipping is a common question, so I want to make sure I cover it in these Costa Rica travel tips. Tipping is not expected, but appreciated. Keep an eye on your bill as it can be added from time to time.
Some recommend leaving a 10% tip. During our trip, we directed the guides, hotel staff, and taxi driver to help us with our luggage.
The people of Costa Rica are some of the nicest citizens we have met on our travels. This means that one of the most common plans in Costa Rica is paying more in your account. We didn’t experience this, but I’ve heard it from other travelers. It’s just something to be aware of.
Like I said above, the people of Costa Rica are some of the nicest people we’ve ever met, seriously! We befriended one of our guides, and on his day off, he gave us a tour at night because he was kind and didn’t give us a dime. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had!
Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Costa Rica
You can tell how much they love their country and live by the phrase “Pura Vida” which means pure life or simple life. They strive for cleanliness, and you will often hear locals say that they have a warm and welcoming attitude. However, you can say this in almost every scene!
If you want to save money before visiting Costa Rica, I recommend using this travel tip! Sunscreen and sunscreen are more expensive in Costa Rica, so it’s best to bring them from home. I use Juice Beauty and Blue Lizzard.
My favorite is Juice Beauty because I love its scent and it fits in my carry-on bag! You want to add cotton. You might be in the woods.
If for some reason you forgot the bag and don’t want to go out, you can get it at Walmart, which is near the San Jose airport. You can also get snacks while you are there. However, if your flight lands at 5am like us, Walmart doesn’t open until 7am and there is no Walmart in La Fortuna.
What Do You Need To Travel To Costa Rica?
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