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Barb Feb 13th, 2002 04:49 PM

Canadian travelling to Costa Rica has a dilemma re: currency
Yea, I know our currency is having it's problems but as we haven't tied it into the American dollar (yet), just wondering if other Canucks have visited CR and what you did for dineros. Our bank here doesn't sell colones and if we buy US$'s, we get zinged twice on exchange rates when converting them to colones. I know we can find an ATM once there but thought we should at least arrive with some cash. Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

Susan Feb 14th, 2002 06:04 AM

It's been several years since I was in Costa Rica, and I can't really remember what we did. However, when I travel now, I generally take a little bit of USD with me (maybe $100) because it's accepted more readily than our CAD. We always do that when we go to Mexico, so we have some cash until we're able to go to an ATM. I know what you mean about getting zinged twice, that's why I take only a small amount of US cash. I'm also lucky that I work near a couple of CIBC branches which have ATMs where I can withdraw some USD from my Canadian account. If I had to spend a lunch hour lining up at a bank, I might not be so keen on doing it.<BR><BR>It actually came in handy in Turkey. We were staying in a town with 1 ATM - and it didn't accept our card! I was so glad that we had some dollars that we could exchange.

Barb Feb 14th, 2002 11:04 AM

Good advice Susan, thanks for the suggestion!

virginia Feb 28th, 2002 09:21 PM

Hi Barb.<BR><BR>You will need a small amount of US dollars as you will need to pay the airport tax when you leave and they only take US $$. I believe it's approximately 17.00 US. <BR><BR>Anyway you can just take Canadian travellers cheques as they cash them at the banks. Also there are ATM's that are no problem to use. You can purchase colones at money exchange places in Canada. This is the best way to go so you don't get killed on the US exchange. Have fun....

J. Chusing Mar 2nd, 2002 07:11 PM

Suck it up and bring U.S. Dollars. I f you can't afford the exchange rate, how can you afford to travel?

Gary Mar 2nd, 2002 08:22 PM

I returned from Costa Rica yesterday (3/1). <BR><BR>They accept American dollars as well as colonies - they are interchangeable at a rate of 343 colonies to one US dollar (at present). <BR><BR>Take sweaters if you're going to be in the mountains, (e.g. San Jose.) as it will be pretty cool after sundown.

Pauline Mar 8th, 2002 10:46 AM

Was in CR in February. We took some small US$ bills to get started and then relied on ATM to get colones. There is a Bank of Nova Scotia in Alajeula which is the city nearest the airport and in which we stayed for the first 2 nights. We also used an ATM in La Fortuna with no problem. There was no ATM in Santa Elena however, so it was good to have the backup of some traveller's cheques in US$.<BR>

David Mar 24th, 2002 12:28 PM

Am Canadian who has visited CR 7 times. Always take US $ travellers cheques. Sure you pay premium but you get equal premium when you exchange. Cdn $ OK at a few places like Jaco, but otherwise a pain in the butt.<BR><BR>You can use ATM's but my bank(Royal) charges $5 per transaction.

Barb Mar 27th, 2002 04:59 AM

Thanks folks for your replies. We're now back from CR, took U.S. $'s and spent it all. Had to go to an ATM in Liberia which worked out fine but the one in Tamarindo would not accept any debit or credit cards from North America so if going there, make sure you take enough to see you through. Also be aware that alot of the restaurants in Tamarindo do not accept credit cards.

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