Climate

The climate in Costa Rica is tropical. That means that almost all year round there is a pleasant warm temperature. There are 8 different climate zones. Dry season is from December till April. May till November is called the green season, with more rain. Mostly the rain will come in a few heavy showers in the afternoon or evening. October is the rainiest month, but on the Caribbean coast it is much dryer and sunnier during that month. The temperature in Costa Rica is also influenced bby the landscape. In the center of the country there is a mountain ridge. San José is situated here in the Central Valley (around 900 m), so here it is not extremely hot. The temperature is mostly around 21 degrees centigrade. In the lowlands on both coasts the temperature can reach a peak of 30-35 degrees in dry season. The humidity also varies in different areas. In the northwest it is hot and dry, in the southwest hot and humid. The Caribbean coast is also hot and humid. In the mountains you can find the cloud forests, cool and humid.
Through this link you can read the weather forecast for today in different areas of Costa Rica.

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Money exchange and banknotes Costa Rica

Money

In Costa Rica you pay with colones. Hotels and touroperators can be paid in US dollars. The exchange rate of the colon compared to US dollar and Euro may vary. Creditcards (MasterCard and Visa) are accepted almost everywhere. In local shops US dollars are not always accepted, so be sure to have some cash in colones.
Do not change dollars to colones at the airport in San José, the exchange rate will be bad. There is an ATM in the arrivals hall, where the luggage belts are. This ATM supplies money to a correct exchange rate.

Traveling documents

To enter Costa Rica you need a valid passport. You will have to show your return ticket (this may also be another ticket out of the country or a bus ticket to Panama or Nicaragua). Tourst visa is valid for 90 days, after this period you will have to leave the country for at least 72 hours.

Important information
Europeans traveling through USA, also for a stop-over: click here. You will need an ESTA-visa waiver. Traveling through Canada: you need ETA to travel to Costa Rica. REQUEST
If you loose your passport, contact your embassy in San José.
DO NOT LOOSE YOUR PASSPORT, loss or theft may cause many nasty problems, and may cause the immediate end of your holiday. You may not travel through Costa Rica without an original and valid passport.
Keep your passport in a purse on your body, or put it in a safe at your hotel. Make a copy of your passport + copy of the page with the entrance stamp of Costa Rica (migration officer put it there on your arrival day) and put the copy in your car. Safety first!.

DO NOT EVER LEAVE TRAVELING DOCUMENTS and BANK CARDS UNATTENDED IN YOUR CAR.

Fines in Costa Rica

A fine for speeding will cost you a lot of money, almost $ 700. Crossing a uninterrupted line will cost at least $ 600.

Tapwater
Be careful with tapwater. Bottled water is sold everywhere.

Electricity
Electricity is 110 Volt, 60 Hertz in Costa Rica. Wall sockets and plugs are American model.

Language
The language in Costa Rica is Spanish. In many cases people speak English in hotels, restaurants and touristic places.

Departure tax
Once in a while you still have to pay the departure tax. Nowadays it is mostly included in your ticket price. If it is not included you will find out while checking in and then you have to pay an amount of $ 33 p.p. You can pay in Costa Rican colones and /or American dollars or creditcard. This is the place to spend your last colones. Flying with United, Delta, American Airlines, Air France, Iberia, Copa or KLM? Then no departure tax has to be paid.

Thieves


Costa Rica is a country just like any other, and just as at home you have to watch your belongings. There are not many armed robberies. But there are thieves that will run away with your things if you are not careful enough. Don’t leave your bags in the rental car. Be aware of ‘tricks’ with which people distract your attention from your bags or important belongings. Sometimes people punch your tire, and you have to ask for help (distraction!). Lock the car and keep important things with you. Don’t accept help from ‘friendly’ young men. They distract your attention and one of them steals your things from the front seat. Going to the beach? Don’t let anything in your car, not even a towel (because people think your I-pad or cellphone is underneath), and leave the glove compartment open. Take only the things you really need. Also in buses: keep an eye on your things.

Public transport
Public transport is well organized and cheap. It will take you a lot of time however and not every place is accessible by bus.