Power and Communications
Practically the entire country is served by the National Electricity Company(110V).
Our phone system allows immediate national or international calls from almost any part of the country. Please note that in remote areas as for example Drake Bay, these services can be limited.
There are public phones in the cities, towns and along highways. They can either be operated with electronic phone cards (Smart Chip), which is especially convenient for national calls. However, for international calls conventional phone cards are the better option. They can be purchased for example in many Souvenir Shops or Internet Cafés.
|110||National Collect Calls|
|113||National Directory Assistance|
|124||International Automated Service Information (MIDA)|
|116 or 09||International Operator Assisted Calls (person to person, station to station and collect). International collect calls may be placed from public phones as well.|
|192||National Parks Information|
International Automated Dialing (MIDA)
00 + (country code *) + (city code *) + (telephone number)
* without the first “0”
Internet access is normally not a problem. Especially in touristy areas you can find an internet café on almost every street corner and the connections are usually good, even though they can be a little slow at times. Just consider that if you are going to more secluded areas, your internet access might as well be not like what you are used to from at home.
Foreign currency exchange is not subject to restrictions or limitations and may be carried out in state banks, private banks, currency exchange offices, hotels, etc. The Central Bank publishes the official daily exchange rate to compare prices.
Please consider that for the most part, only US-Dollars can be exchanged for Costa Rica Colones, and that you can obtain Colones only from within the country.
American Express Traveller’s Cheques can be cashed in almost every bank, when you are using other Traveller’s Cheques, you might only be able to cash them in the Banco Nacional de Costa Rica
The Colon is the national currency of Costa Rica and is denominated in 10.000, 5.000, 2.000, 1.000 bills, as well as 100, 50, 25, 20, 10, 5, 2, 1 coins.
The most common international credit cards used in Costa Rica are: Visa, Master Card, American Express and Diner’s. They are widely used and accepted in the majority of establishments.
Catholicism is the predominant religion but there is freedom of worship and total respect for different beliefs.
Spanish is the official language. However, English is spoken by an important segment of the population, thanks to the bilingual education provided in the country’s schools. In many tourism centers and particularly in hotels French, German and Italian are also frequently used.
Except on very solemn occasions or when required by etiquette, Costa Rica’s dress code is informal for all occasions and places. In the lowlands dress is tropical, but it could be useful in San José and the Central Valley to bring a light coat for cool nights.
Tourist may drive in Costa Rica with the official driver’s license of their country of origin for a maximum period of three months. After that it is necessary to obtain a Costa Rican driver’s license.
The broad network of hospitals, clinics and health service locationsthroughout the country, provided by “Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social”, may be used by foreign tourists who present their passport and cover the corresponding expenses. There are also excellent private hospitals and clinics.
The Costa Rican Bureau of Tourism (Instituto Costarricense de Turismo / I.C.T) regulates and promotes the country’s tourism industry. This government institution provides many visitor information centers throughout Costa Rica.