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Costa Rica - Travel Information


Entering the country
For visiting Costa Rica, you passport must have a validity of at least another 6 months if you are a US, Canadian or European Union citizen. You do not need a visa, and possible duration of your stay as a tourist is 90 days.

Leaving the country
When leaving the country, an airport departure tax has to be paid. For foreigners, the departure tax is currently US $ 29 (May 2017) and may be paid in US $ or Costarican Colones. Many airlines already include this tax in their international airfare, please check with your airline!

Although yellow fever is not a disease risk in Costa Rica, all travelers arriving from or transiting through countries with risk of yellow fever virus transmission are required to present proof of yellow fever vaccination.
It is recommended to have tetanus and polio protection (that you usually do have anyway) as well as malaria prophylactic. Please also consult your doctor.

Time Zone
Costa Rica is six hours behind GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), which means it is equivalent to Central Standard Time in North America.
The difference to MET (Middle European Winter Time) is -7 hours / to Middle European Summer Time -8 hours.

Costa Rica’s official language is Spanish. At the tourist places, in many hotels and shops, however, the Costa Ricans also speak English.

Weather & Climate
Rainy season: May to November; dry season: December to April. Even during the dry season, it may rain for some hours or sometimes even a whole day. During the rainy season, you will experience real „tropical showers“ for 2 - 3 hours in the afternoon; the rest of the day is warm and sunny. On the Caribbean coast, it is about the contrary: the June to October and January to March months are relatively dry; you have to expect heavy rainfalls in November/December.     
Weather and Climate Costa Rica
  More details on Climate & Weather in Costa Rica

Currency and Price Level
Compared to other Central and South American countries, Costa Rica is relatively expensive. Nevertheless, the high prices are compensated by the exceptional natural beauty the country has to offer and may be explained by the country's high standard of living, the social security and health care, the educational system, the infrastructure, and the outstanding efforts to protect the environment. Local currency is the Colón. You can exchange dollars for colones at any bank, or at most hotels. major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard) and US $ traveler checks are accepted as well. When needing a bank’s service, you must expect to spend quite some time on this. There are some automatic teller machines in San Jose and surroundings for cash withdrawals using your international Visa or Master Card. Larger shops or hotels very often also accept US $ cash.
Current exchange rate (May 2017) 1 US $ = approx. 570 Colones; 1 EURO = approx. 640 Colones.  
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The electricity voltage is 110V, European electrical appliances require a US travel adapter.

Public Holidays
January 1: New Year’s Day, Easter: Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
April 11: Anniversary of the Battle of Rivas
May 1: Labor Day,
July 25: Annexation of Guanacaste,
September 15: Independence Day,
October 12: Columbus Day,
December 25: Christmas Day

 Currency converter More details on Festivals & Cultural Events in Costa Rica

Opening Hours
Banks: Monday to Friday 8.30-15:00; Offices: Monday to Friday 8:00 - 16:00; Shops Monday to Saturday 8:00 - 18:00, Supermarkets Monday to Sunday 8:00 - 21:00.
In San José many shops, pharmacies, hospitals, gasoline stations and restaurants are open 24 hours daily.

Typical Cuisine
Rice and beans are the main ingredients for every meal and are served together with eggs, meat, fish or chicken. There is a good choice of fresh fruit and vegetables all year round.
Fresh fruit juices are available almost everywhere in the country and can be as well enjoyed without any problems as the water that is of good drinking quality.

It is true that Costa Rica is an open-minded country with very friendly people. Crime in this country is not worse than anywhere else in the world.
In Costa Rica, time has another meaning than you may be used to in your home country. Patience and tolerance normally are the best means to reach a goal. You will very soon realize that understanding of the culture does contribute to your „well-being“ during your stay.


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Aventuras Tierra Verde - Incoming Agency, Tour Operator & DMC Costa Rica

Aventuras Tierra Verde
Apdo. 198-6100
Ciudad Colón
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Tel.:   + (506) 2249 2354
Fax:   + (506) 2249 1000
Email: travelplanner[AT SIGN]tierra-verde[DOT]com
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Aventuras Tierra Verde S.A. | COSTA RICA
Incoming Agency, Tour Operator & DMC
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CST - Certification for Sustainable Tourism Rainforest Alliance Certified Tour Operator Blue Flag Program for Climate Change ICT - Costa Rican Tourism InstituteEssential Costa RicaInternational Code of ConductNational Chamber of Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism
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Canatur - National Tourism Chamber Costa RicaFuturopa - Promoting Costa Rica in Europe

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