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Travel Tips

Here's useful information to get you ready for your trip to Costa Rica:

Airport information

  1. There are three international airports in the country:

    • Juan Santamaría International Airport, for landing at San Jose, which provides you an array of local and international airlines for direct flights amongst various destinations worldwide.

    • Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste, serving the northern part of the country, with many American and some European airlines offering direct flights.

    • Tobias Bolaños International Airport, which is located in San José and serves mostly for domestic travels and flights to Panama.

  2. Traveling to Costa Rica without a visa will depend on your nationality; citizens from the United States, Canada, Russia and the majority of European countries do not need a visa to enter the country, however, we suggest you check with your local travel authorities to check the required documents for your trip.

  3. Make sure to always check with your airline provider that your departure taxes are already included in your airfare, otherwise, you’ll be required to pay such (USD$29.00 per person) prior check-in at the airport.

  4. For domestic flights, make sure your luggage is 40 lbs. (18.14 kgs) or less. For any additional weight, you’ll be charged with extra luggage rates and it is subject to the space in the aircraft.

  5. No vaccine is needed to enter the country, except for visitors coming from South America that must have the Yellow Fever vaccine at least 10 days prior to their travel date.

Currency and tipping

  1. The local currency is called Colones (₡), but USD Dollars ($) are also accepted in most stores and local businesses, as well as credit and debit cards.

  2. ATMs are also available in various spots like gas stations, malls, convenience stores, banks, central avenues, and main boulevards.

  3. When it comes to tipping at restaurants, local bars, and other businesses where services are given, the check already includes the regulatory 13% sales tax plus 10% for service. Both percentages have been established by law, so an extra tip left at the table or given, is usually not necessary, but it’s up to you to leave something extra for the fabulous service provided!

  4. Taxi drivers generally don’t get tipped nor are expecting you to give them one. This same situation applies to Uber drivers, private chauffeurs, hotel bellhops, and chambermaids. If you do decide to give something extra, this amount is at your discretion but, we suggest giving something between USD$2.00 and USD$5.00 per person.


Local driving

  1. For driving around, you’re able to do so with your home country license for at least three months. In rural areas you may come across obstacles like pedestrians and animals, so drive slowly and attentively.

  2. Never carry your passport while walking around or sightseeing, always use instead a copy of it, plus your regular identification documents such as your driver’s license for any emergency that could present itself.

  3. Taxis are easy to recognize, they’re red in color and have a yellow triangle on their doors. These are the official ones you can feel comfortable using, so avoid any other services anyone can offer you outside malls, grocery stores and/or supermarkets.

  4. The Uber service is also available, which you can use by downloading the app on to your smart phone or mobile device with an internet connection.

  5. Addresses in Costa Rica are given by reference points instead of regular avenue-street number system, so make sure to watchout for signs and buildings with a peculiar description or color.

  6. When driving, feel free to use Google Maps or the Waze app to pinpoint the places you'll be heading to. This will not only get you faster by avoiding traffic, but will also lead you to where you want to go with less trouble.


Local cuisine

  1. Food in Costa Rica is some of the healthiest in the region, mostly made with organic ingredients at various local restaurants in different cities and towns.

  2. You will be able to enjoy delicacies from the Caribbean, those on the Northern Plains, the Pacific Coast, and everything else in between.

  3. Drinking water from the tap is always safe, but if you don’t want to, you can always purchase bottled water at any local mini-market or convenience store.

Costa Rica is a year-round travel destination, however, it’s easy to disclose three traveling seasons:

  • High or Gold Season goes from early November to late April.

  • Low or Green Season goes from early May to late October.

  • Peak Season in the country is considered the Holiday Season: Christmas, New Years, and Easter Week.


When planning your trip for the Peak Season, make sure to do so with at least 5 months in advance in order to guarantee availability on all services: lodging, tours, and transportation.

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