About Costa Rica

Costa Rica is approximately the same size as the state of West Virginia. With over 500,000 plant and animal species, Costa Rica is one of the world’s most biologically diverse and beautuful countries. Scientists have estimated that close to 4 percent of the Earth’s species live in Costa Rica.

Your Visit to Costa Rica

There are a few things that are important to know about Costa Rica before visiting. The following Costa Rica travel tips will help you better understand the country. The busiest travel times in Costa Rica are during Christmas and New Year’s, as well as the week leading up to Easter Sunday, which is known as Semana Santa, or “Holy Week.” If you plan to travel during these weeks you must book your hotel well in advance — but it’s a better idea to simply plan your visit to Costa Rica for another time.

You can find clean tap water throughout Costa Rica and in most tourist destinations. Visitors are also much less likely to suffer from stomach upset than in other countries in Central America. If the restaurant you’re in looks clean, feel free to order whatever strikes your fancy.

Shopping and Currency in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s unit of currency is the colon, which hovers between 500 – 550 colones/ $1 USD. U.S. dollars are widely accepted, provided the bill is not too large ($50 and $100 bills are rarely accepted). Hotels and tours generally list their prices in dollars. Compared to the rest of Central America, prices in Costa Rica are relatively high, due in large part to the country’s high standard of living. Typical Costa Rican food and produce is quite inexpensive, while imported products are priced similarly to U.S. prices. A typical Costa Rican breakfast and lunch will cost around 2000-5000 colones ($4-10).

Road conditions throughout the country vary widely. With the tropical climate and mountainous terrain, many roads are difficult to maintain, and many have never been paved. Relatively short distances can take many hours due to poor road conditions or traffic, and some roads are simply inaccessible during the rainy season when rivers swell. It is always a good idea to check with the locals about current road conditions before planning a day trip or taking off in your rental car. These tips can make or break your day.

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