Buying colones at the airport

Old Jul 14th, 2005, 05:49 AM
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Buying colones at the airport

I'm having big problems trying to get hold of colones for my trip to Costa Rica (I've been told that I'll need them outside of San Jose and I'm heading down to a remote village near the Panama border). Can anyone tell me if it will be possible to buy currency once at San Jose airport? I'll be getting in about 8pm and heading out the following morning by bus at 6am. Many thanks!
saminoodle is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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Hi sami,
Yes, you can buy colones at the San Jose airport. We did in Feb but the rate was not good. We found we could pay with dollars at restaurants and get change back in colones at a much better rate. Most places will take dollars. Banks will give a better rate than the airport cambio counters.
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Old Jul 14th, 2005, 11:15 AM
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I also heard the same thing about the airport being a bad place to exchange money, you get a bad exchange rate.

Do you have your hotel picked out for your first night in costa Rica? Some hotels will exchange money for you at a better rate. Hotel Bougainvillea, Heredia, will do this for you, I know for sure. We stayed there on our last night. Great hotel in Heredia at $80 per night double room. It's about a 20-minute taxi ride from the SJO airport.

Hotel Villa Bonita is closer to the airport, a 5-minute taxi ride, and inexpensive at $47 double room. We stayed there as well and I can't remember if they will exchange money for you. You can e-mail them and ask Humberto and Carmen. Nice, clean, inexpensive. Web-site will have e-mail address for Humberto and Carmen, they are very nice.

Many stores/restaurants will give you change in colonnes if you want it that way.
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Old Jul 14th, 2005, 12:06 PM
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There is also an ATM in the airport so you could bring enough dollars to cover yourself in case the ATM doesn't work (not that uncommon in Costa Rica) and try to get colones there before you get your taxi or whatever.
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Old Jul 15th, 2005, 02:15 AM
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Thanks for the replies - I've already booked a room at the Hotel Fleur de Lys so I'll double check with them that I can change money there. My main problem is time - as I get in quite late and then leave the next morning at 6am I haven't got time to get change from a restaurant. I'll try the airport as well, even if the exchange rate is bad, at least I'll have some colones for the bus outside San Jose.
Thanks again!
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Old Jul 17th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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Hi There,
Just returned from 12 days in CR and used american $ the entire time- little sodas to gas stations/ did not convert any USD....
marleyzoemom is offline  
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