costa-rica-safetyIs Costa Rica Dangerous for Tourists?

While there have been some unfortunate incidents involving young tourists in the past few years, Costa Rica remains a very safe, stable country.  Violent crime against tourists is a rarity here and in most cases, avoidable. The most common crimes against tourists are pick pocketing and breaking into rental cars.  Be careful, use good judgment and you will most likely come and go without a hitch.

Can I Drink the Water?

The local authorities state that the drinking water in Costa Rica is perfectly potable, but we recommend that you stick to the bottled variety wherever possible to play it safe.  Costa Rica is by NO means Mexico (where Montezuma’s revenge has become the stuff of tourist legends) but there MAY be bacteria in the water in some areas that disagrees with your system. 

Identification / Entry Requirements:

For US citizens, a valid passport is all that is required for at least 6 months past the date of entry. For non-US citizens, a passport and sometimes a Visa are required.  We strongly recommend that for US and non-US citizens alike you check with the Costa Rican Consulate in your area as to the most up-to-date Passport and Visa requirements. Upon entry, each tourist is issued a 90-day tourist visa. If you plan to stay beyond the 90 days, make sure you leave the country for 72 hours and then re-enter for a new 90 day visa or receive special permission / work visa before you arrive.  It’s also a good idea to have several copies of the picture page of your passport with you when you travel.

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Where Can I Exchange Money?

Dollars – Carry US dollars with you when you arrive to Costa Rica.  As the local currency is on a fixed devaluation schedule with the US dollar, you will most always get the best rate of exchange.

Credit Cards – Most vendors give discounts for using cash, as credit card merchant companies charge high percentages on transactions here.  Some vendors do not accept credit cards, while many only take VISA.

Travelers Checks – Although accepted by most establishments, you will usually be charged an exchange commission fee between 2-5%.

Exchange – When you arrive, you may exchange your money at any local bank or most of the upscale hotels (if you are one of their guests). Note that you will get a better exchange rate at banks. You may also get foreign currency by using your ATM card. However, it’s important that you know the exchange rate before you do this. Currently, the rate is about 500 colones to the dollar.  In a pinch, dollars are pretty widely accepted, but you’ll probably receive your change in colones.

Where’s The Best Surf?costa rica surfing

Surfers were among the first travelers to frequent Costa Rica.  While there are no mythical Hawaii-size breaks, Costa Rica is a popular surfing destination for its warm water and year-round waves.  Pavones, Jaco, Quepos, Tamarindo and Puerto Viejo are all big surf spots.  Some surfers bring their own surfboards; others rent or buy and sell boards while here.

Is Jaco Safe at Night?

Like most cities with booming nightlife after a certain hour it can get a little rough. That being said our host will be with you to make sure that any trouble you get into will be alleviated. The key is to not do anything stupid and put yourself in situations where you can be hurt. Walking in a dark alley at two in the morning is never a good idea. If you do run into any trouble we will most likely be able to get you out of it. In Costa Rica trouble normally only find people that are looking for it.

Do I Need to Know Spanish in Costa Rica?

When coming to Costa Rica if you’re planning only to stay for a week or two then Spanish is really not that necessary. The host at Costa Rica Girl’s Trip are fluent in both English and Spanish they will ease the translation process to help you get by. In most of the tourist towns the tour operators and many locals speak English. That being said if you plan on coming to Costa Rica to live I recommend completely that you learn the Spanish language.