Traveling to Costa Rica is an amazing thing to do for all nature and adventure lovers. There are tons of national parks, lakes, volcanoes, beaches, and forests that you can explore freely. The best part is that it is relatively safe, we rarely hear from bad things that happen to travelers.
But as it happens with every other country you visit, there are a few things and safety travel tips that can make your trip a lot better.
Costa Rica Travel Tips To Stay Safe
Here are a few things I learned over the years:
1. Best Season to Travel to Costa Rica: After living in Costa Rica for 6 years I figured out a way to enjoy traveling without crowds extra-high rates and good weather. This is my conclusion: December to early April are the driest months and the peak of the tourist season, so expect higher prices, less rooms available and crowds. But late April, May, and October offer good weather with lower rates.
2. Costa Rican Water: Most people traveling around Central America are very concerned about how clean the water really is. Because as we all know they don’t treat water in a very good way. But unlike most Latin American countries, Costa Rica has a fairly safe water supply. I lived there for 6 years and never had a problem with the water not being clean.
Want some Proof? How about the fact that it is the only country of the region where Heineken allows its beer to be brewed.
3. Money To Change or Not to Change! One of the most common questions I get from travelers is: What are the best places to change money in Costa Rica? Here are some recommendations:
– Every country is different, but in Costa Rica don’t change money anywhere except BANKS and always bring a passport. Not only will you get the best rates, but you’re chances of getting counterfeit money are zilch.
– ATMs are plentiful and you’ll get great rates however, you’ll pay the small ATM fee.
– Very few places exchange travelers checks these days, and even fewer give good rates, plus they charge 1-2% on top of it.
Cash or Credit?
Cash is king in Costa Rica. Plus, whenever you go out, ask for the cash (Efectivo) discount and chances are you ‘ll get 5-10% off. This can be done anywhere from tour operators, to hotels, to restaurants to pharmacies. Some places will even charge you 8% for credit card usages. Plus if you go to a local market, local currency goes much further than the dollar. You stand out less and feel more comfortable.
4. Waiting Is the Hardest Part: That’s right! If you’re coming to Costa Rica be prepared to wait! In this country this is a norm. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s so true. Nothing is on time in Costa Rica.
5. Bring plenty of Ziploc bags: Nothing stays dry there because there are rivers and beaches everywhere, humidity and rain are also frequent. I recommend bringing 2 or 3 “Big Bags” for clothes and shoes and several quart-size bags. Since most people do rafting, swimming, waterfalls, or just crossing over streams, you’ll need tons of bags to separate your wet stuff from your semi-dry.
6. Emergency Numbers: Luckily in Costa Rica the emergency number is 911 too and they speak English. So all you have to do is learn your address the Costa Rican way.
If you follow these travel recommendations for Costa Rica and have just the right amount of precautions, without being paranoid I’m sure your vacation will be something you will never forget for the right reasons.
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Last Updated on May 15, 2023