Colons or US Dollars

Old Jan 4th, 2005, 07:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 15
Colons or US Dollars

I'm travelling to Costa Rica in mid-January and need to know if the car drivers, hotels, restaurants and tour operators prefer Colons or US Dollars.

TinaKeane is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2005, 02:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 141
Hello Tina, you can pay restaurants, hotels and tours with Creditcard or US-$. When you pay cash youŽll get mostly Colones back. I think the best is to pay accommodations with Visa and have some cash in Colones for taxi, drinks ...
Saludo and great time in CR
costaklaus -

costaklaus is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2005, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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US dollars in the unofficial currency in all Latin American countries. Do not forget that US dollars have lot more purchasing power over any local currency plus value of US dollars against any of those currencies is a constant issue.
Every business and or individual quote prices (major purchases or rent) in Latin America in US dollars. Even the little boys selling chewing gum accept dollars.
miguelgcuadra is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2005, 06:57 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 122
Next time around, I would definately go with more colons than US dollars. Although most places took the US dollars, they gave change in colons. If you can't do the exchange quickly enough, you can get shortchanged(we did).
tanya0070 is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2005, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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LOL--we've had a different experience. We actually have overpaid a couple of times and been corrected (thankfully!). We much prefer colones--it's just so much easier.

We've had a problem with being cheated twice--both at gas stations. My husband was overcharged about $10 once because he wasn't sure enough of himself and the attendant was so confident he didn't question it until after the transaction was made and we were driving off.

I learned in October not to run off to buy a coke or use the restroom while the tank is being filled. Actually, I left my grown daughter in the car, but she was reading and not watching. He observed that! When I returned, the attendant said I owed $15 more than I had estimated (based on the last half tank I had gotten). I had left the money it would cost (and a little more) with my daughter. He was in the process of telling her it was not enough! When I questioned the amount, he showed me the reading on the tank where he claimed the gas had come from (the back side of the tank I had pulled up to--it, of course, showed the amount he was asking me to pay--$15 more than I knew it should cost for half a tank of gas). However, since I hadn't watched him fill it and hadn't mentioned at the beginning that the tank was only half empty, there wasn't much I could do. I can speak fairly decent Spanish, but not quite enough to confidently argue all the details of this situation I found myself in! He was so determined I would have had to just refuse to pay. Under the circumstances, I wasn't in a position to do that.

Next time, I'll say, "Please fill the tank--it is already half full". Then I'll keep an eye out while it is done. The tanks clearly say how many colones the gas costs--it isn't difficult to keep track of. I was so irritated at myself! Hopefully he took the extra cash home and used it for a good cause!
shillmac is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2005, 07:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Thanks shillmac ...if I ever drive in Costa Rica I will keep that in mind.

Percy is online now  
Old Jan 5th, 2005, 09:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Sometimes the opportunity only has to present itself! I don't like posting negatives about Costa Rica, because certainly those kinds of things could happen anywhere. Good night. .
shillmac is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2005, 06:17 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 587
This is the time when you have to be nasty and start screaming at these "ladrones" even if it is in English. Be assured that they will be intimidated. Scream "policia, policia"..
Like Shillmac said, there is good and bad things in Costa Rica, but still a wonderful destination.
miguelgcuadra is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2005, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 587
How about the little pocket your math and if price seems too high in US dollars, for sure they are ripping you in culones...
miguelgcuadra is offline  
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