Money, banks, and exchange in Costa Rica - The Traveller


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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Money, banks, and exchange in Costa Rica

- The national currency is the Colon (CRC), divided into 100 centimos. It is pegged to the U.S. dollar.

In June 2012, € 1 = 625 1 000 CRC CRC = € 1.60.

- Make sure you have only U.S. dollars, in cash or travelers checks, it is impossible to exchange Euros in Costa Rica. The dollars are widely accepted given the significant number of North American tourists. Moreover, many prices are in dollars.

- To avoid going to an American tourist, you will change your money locally, in many banks in towns. You can also use ATMs in major cities.

- The international credit cards are widely accepted, even in small shops: Visa, MasterCard and American Express essentially.

- The Banco de Costa Rica and Banco Nacional are the two largest financial institutions in the country. Every city has at least one branch of the two companies.


Costa Rica is relatively inexpensive. At Tortuguero and Osa, life is more expensive than in other cities. Prices are higher during the dry season (December-April), which is also, of course, the tourist season.


Accommodation for middle class outside the high seasons (Christmas and Easter), count 40 to 80 U.S. $ per day.


- Cheap: 800 to 2,500 colones.
- Average Prices: from 2 500 to 4,500 colones.
- More chic: from 4900 to 14 000 colones.

Tax and gratuity

The service charge is usually included in the bill (13 to 15% taxes, especially in hotels), but occasionally it is to be paid extra, as is the case in restaurants where the 10% tax is to be added to the note. U.S. $ 0.50 will be left at the hotel porter.


The summer clothes (dresses, t-shirts, shirts) and accessories (scarves, hats) are, as almost everywhere today, offered to tourists.

The pre-Columbian reproductions of works, including land, are sometimes very pretty, especially if you have the chance to buy them in the workshop where they were performed. Works in wood can be delightful. You may not buy items made from endangered animals as well as works of pre-Columbian times. The objects of this nature might be trying to sell you are either illegal or mostly false.

Hammocks are widely used in Costa Rica, and you will taste the pleasures necessarily at one time or another of your stay is sold throughout the country. They come in all sizes, all shapes and invoices. The sweet dreams that you will do in a comfortable hammock, back home, will make the best memories.

The Costa Rican coffee, ground or granular, liquid or gas, is a must. We obviously found everywhere, including in some souvenir shops specialty. But supermarkets are also very well stocked, offering many choices and are much cheaper. For a pretty presentation, you will find small bags of coffee in burlap market in San Jose.

There are also a number of cigar shops in San Jose where you can also buy the imported cigars, cigars local very soft, very nice and significantly cheaper.

The paper made from banana leaves, of coffee and tobacco, is increasingly widespread. Writing paper, notebooks and books are more or less stylized manufactured using this paper is different colors.

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