Costa Rica Currency
Costa Rica vs. Other Countries
Costa Rica is very 'modern' in relation to other Central America countries, and you pay for it; things are more expensive in Costa Rica than other places. However,
most things are still far cheaper than in America or Europe. Accommodations can be one exception - it can range from dirt-cheap to American pricing.
Although the US dollar is sometimes taken, most exchange is in colones. It is imperative that you get the hang of colones before you arrive, before you
find yourself inadvertently spending $20 for a 4 mile cab ride.
...we like to use this logic...
1 US dollar ~ 500 colones
2 US dollars ~ 1000 colones
If you can get that stuck into your head, then you'll have no problems.
Here's an interesting currency converter from Yahoo. This
converter has the current exchange rate.
By the way, don't exchange your money (at least not large chunks of it) immediately upon exiting your flight. Most exchange rates are lower than normal
at the airport, and the cabbies will take dollars. Ask a flight attendant how much the cab ride to where you are going should take.
Use these tips for traveling in Costa Rica.
- Walk around with coins, in one dollar increments (500 colones coins are great, and will get you into the habit of think of dollar increments)
- The smallest bill made is the 1000 colones bill, and that's 2 dollars. So, one dollar tip is 500 colones coin, one 1000 colones bill is $2 tip.
With those in place, other conversions are pretty simple.