General Information about Costa Rica
Today in Costa Rica tourism is an important sources of income, thanks to its famous national parks, biological reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and forest reserves comprising more than 28% of Costa Rica's territory.
The hospitality and friendliness of its people, and the climate of peace, and tranquility enjoyed by the country, has contributed to more than 2 million tourists visit Costa Rica each year, close to the half of the entire population.
Due to its geographical position can be said that Costa Rica is the bridge that united North America with South America, allowing the encounter of species of flora and fauna from both sides, which resulted in the formation of new exotic species. Costa Rica has more than 6% of the planet's biodiversity and has a variety of micro climates. With vast areas of dry, cloud, humid and rain forests which allows the visitor to enjoy a great ecological diversity in relatively very short distances among these.
Furthermore, Costa Rica has the infrastructure and lodging facilities needed to enjoy this beautiful environment (like visiting an immense zoo) with the right comfort.
COSTA RICA Map
Wacth the Costa Rica map zones and meet all the touristic zones.
Useful information for the Traveler
Language.The official language is the Spanish. English is spoken in most tourist areas throughout Costa Rica.
Electricity.The current is 110 volts. A few areas use their own power plant, so you should check before traveling.
Water. The water is potable 100% so it's no problem drinking it in most areas of the country.
Currency. The official currency is the Colon, but dollars are accepted in most touristic places. The equivalence of the dollar is fluctuating daily and goes up or down a few points every. At the moment $ 1.00 is equal to 500 colons. The dollar is accepted at most businesses around the country. Can be changed into colones at the banks, the international airport and most hotels change them at the reception. For added security and better exchange rate for dollars is recommended to go to the banks.
Credit cards and travelers checks. Most credit cards are accepted, but some small businesses only accept cash currency especially in rural areas. Traveler's checks can be easily changed, but some banks only accept certain kinds of checks.
Local Time. Costa Rica has the same standard U.S. time (GMT -6). No time change is seen with the change of seasons.
Business hours. Government offices are open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Retail stores and other businesses open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Banks are open from 09:00 am to 3:00 pm work day is generally continuous.
Churches. As in other Latin American countries Catholicism is dominant, but freedom of worship is present throughout the country, in all other religious denominations.
Climate: Costa Rica is a tropical country and has only two seasons: rainy and dry. The dry season is generally from mid-December to April and the rainy season the rest of the year. The average annual temperature is 24 degrees Celsius and varies little between seasons; the greatest influence on changes in temperature is altitude. The coasts are very hot and humid. The Caribbean with an average of 21 degrees Celsius at night and 30 degrees Celsius during the day. The Pacific coast has an average of 19 degrees Celsius at night and up to 34 degrees Celsius during the day in the dry season.
Communications. The country has direct dial service, facsimile, telex, Internet access and cable television available to visitors throughout the country. Costa Rica has more telephones per capita than any other country in Latin America. Bilingual operators for international calls can be contacted just dialing 1116. For information on local calls dial 1113 and long distance calls dial 1124.
Hospitals. Medical care is very good and sanitary measures are very strict. They are first class hospitals in San Jose and major cities.
Entry Requirements. Visitors from Canada, USA and Panama may enter only with a tourist card and some identification such as passport, driver's license or a birth certificate. Visa is required for certain nationalities, so it is recommended to check before you travel.
Customs. is allowed to import 500 cigarettes, over three liters of wine, or spirits duty free in addition to personal items, and sports equipment.
Departure tax and other taxes. Departure tax is $ 26.00. There is a 13% sales tax for every service or good purchased.
Tips. Tipping in restaurants is 10% and is included in the bill, so check your bill before paying. For all other services additional tip is voluntary de pending on the service received. Taxi drivers generally do not receive tips.