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Things you need to know - Costa Rica Travel Guide and Travel Information

Travel Guide - Costa Rica


Before Living your Country  -  Things you need to know - Costa Rica



Before leaving your country

Before you leave for Costa Rica, take a minute to:

Make copies of your passport and flight documents and take them with you separately. Once in Costa Rica, it is recommended to make a copy of your incoming visa also.

Copy down your credit card number(s) and/or traveler’s checks numbers and take them with you separately.

Take note of the phone numbers in Costa Rica of the major credit card companies, which may come in handy in case you lose your credit card:  Mastercard/VISA 257-0155, AMEX 001800 5282121 or Diner’s Club
Take note of the ICT emergency tourist phone number: 800 0123456

Search for the phone number of your Embassy in the list below and write it down (the country code of Costa Rica is 506)

Things you need to know - Costa Rica

For your information, when exiting the SJO airport, after passing last door, you MUST go to the RIGHT, where our representatives will be waiting you. We want to remind you that all our clients arriving to this airport before 10:00 pm, will be welcomed by the CANATUR VIP Service after passing Immigration.


Banks are open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and do not close for lunch.

Business hours:

Government offices are open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Commercial offices are open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Stores and other businesses are open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Like all Latin American countries, Costa Rica is predominantly Catholic, but churches of other denominations are found throughout the country.



Rain Jacket:

Pack light for your travels. The highland areas can be quite cold, so pack a sweater if you are going there. For the lowland areas light, loose-fitting shirts and pants are essential. A wide brimmed hat and sunglasses are recommended for the beach.



Direct-dial telephone service, facsimile, telex, radio and cable television are all available. Bilingual operator assistance for international calls is - 1116, local information - 1113, long distance information - 1124.

Getting In:

Citizens of the United States, Canada and most western European and Latin America nations do not need visas to enter Costa Rica. U.S. citizens planning to stay fewer than 90 days can enter the country with a valid ID, a copy of their birth certificate, and a tourist card that can be obtained from their airline when they depart the United States.

Getting Out:

On the day of departure, travelers must be at the airport about two hours before the time their flight is scheduled to leave. There is a departure tax of US $26.00.


Heath care in Costa Rica is very good and sanitary standards are high. Top quality hospitals are found throughout San José and some of the other areas with large populations.


Spanish is the official language. English is spoken in tourist areas throughout the country.


There is a 13% sales tax at hotels, restaurants, and most service industries.

Time Zone:

Costa Rica is in the same time zone as U.S. Central Standard Time, but does not observe Daylight Savings Time.


A 10% tip in a restaurant is appropriate but most restaurants will add it to your bill, so read your bill before paying a tip. Taxi drivers generally do not receive a tip.


The water is safe to drink in all areas of the country. Nevertheless, we suggest you buy bottled water for drinking.