Costa Rica is a country with their own local currency: Colones. However, you can pay in Costa Rica with local colones and USA dollars. We will explain you more about what we think you need to know about the money before your visit to Costa Rica!
Cash or card?
Having cash with you is always handy. Cash is necessary in the buses and some local restaurants. The credit card is widely accepted. Tourist sites, most restaurants and shops accept credit cards. The most accepted credit cards are: Mastercard and VISA. It will be harder to pay with credit card types as: American Express.
Where do I exchange my money?
If you can, bring dollars with you upon arrival. You can use dollars and colones in Costa Rica. We recommend you take money out of ATM when you are in Costa Rica. Normally your local bank asks a fee for this transaction. Altogether, this fee is probably a better rate than exchanging your money at the airport or local bank since they also ask a commission for the exchange.
Some banks in Costa Rica also ask you a fee for getting money out of the ATM with an international bank card. This can be up to a fee of 5 US dollars. One of the banks which only ask the fee of your local bank is ‘Banco de Costa Rica’.
I don’t have dollars or colones with me.
With us you don’t have to worry about this manner. You will be picked up with your private transfer from the airport and once you arrive in your hotel you can ask the receptionists where the closest ATM is!
ATM in Costa Rica
There are no ATM’s in rural places as Corcovado. Therefore said, expect long walks for a ATM in rural places. Most ATM’s have opening hours here in Costa Rica. Opening hours range from 6:30 AM – 10 PM. Keep this in mind!
Do I pay in dollars or colones?
You can pay with both. Most supermarkets have an automatic calculator in their cashier when you pay in dollars and most sites accept the dollar, but normally give you change in colones. An easy way to save up colones. When the price is shown in colones, it will benefit you to pay in colones instead of dollars.
In some restaurants you will need to pay in cash (colones or dollars), in others there is the possibility to pay with your credit card (Visa or Master Card). We always suggest to have both options.