Costa Rica has become a popular tourist destination over the last few years, and it’s easy to see why! It’s easy to get to, the weather is wonderful, and there are endless things to see and do, especially if you love the outdoors. While it’s a fairly straightforward vacation destination for many visitors to enjoy, there are definitely a few pieces of information that are good to know as you gear up for your adventure.
Not sure how you can prepare for your Costa Rican vacation? Here are a few things you should know before you go:
YOU CAN USE YOUR DOLLARS THERE
Costa Rica has a currency of its own – the colón – but you don’t necessarily have to worry about loading up on Costa Rican cash before you go. Many spots in Costa Rica will accept US dollars as a form of payment, especially if you’re using small bills to make minor purchases. You’ll probably receive colones for changes, but that’s OK – you won’t struggle to spend those on your trip.
While we’re on the topic of money, another tip: don’t rely entirely on your credit and debit cards. Most spots in major cities will accept cards as a form of payment, but if your plans involve heading out into the more rural parts of Costa Rica, you’ll find many places are cash-only.
IT’S NOT AS CHEAP AS IT USED TO BE
Costa Rica comes to mind when people start to name affordable vacation spots, but this isn’t quite the case anymore. While it’s definitely less expensive than a trip to London or Paris, it’s not the ultra budget-friendly destination it used to be. There are plenty of low- and no-cost ways to have fun while you’re there, but you’ll want to factor in the costs of food, transportation, and lodging when you plan your trip – all of which have increased in recent years thanks to Costa Rica’s surging popularity as a great vacation spot.
VISITING DURING THE RAINY SEASON ISN’T SO BAD!
Costa Rica doesn’t really experience winter, spring, summer, and fall, like lots of places. Instead, the temperatures remain the same roughly all year. The thing that changes, however, is the weather. Most people try to visit during the dry season when chances of rain are slim, but visiting during the rainy season (September through November) can be a great way to experience Costa Rica without the crowds. While you will likely deal with some wetter weather, there’s still plenty to see and do if you aren’t willing to let a little rain stop you from having fun.
IT’S GOOD TO KNOW SOME SPANISH
If you’re visiting Costa Rica on a guided tour with a translator, this won’t quite apply to you, but if you’re heading out to explore on your own, knowing some Spanish will undoubtedly go a long way. While you’ll likely find folks who know English in major hotels, restaurants in tourist areas, and major attractions, if your goal is to get out and explore the more remote parts of Costa Rica, you probably won’t have as much luck. You don’t have to be fluent, but learning some common words and phrases will make your experience a lot easier.
Keep these tips in mind as you plan and prepare for your Costa Rican vacation, and you’ll be well-equipped to have a great time!