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money in costa rica

Old Jul 27th, 2004, 03:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 10
money in costa rica

I think I am understanding that cash and small bills is what we need to take. Is the American dollar accepted fairly freely. any problem cashing travels check. Also what kind of voltage for a hair dryer thank you
rjberman is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2004, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 123
Yes, the dollar seemed to be accepted by everyone. It wasn't that easy cashing traveler's checks. We were able to cash $20.00 - $50.00 at a time (at hotels -- we didn't try banks).
jeg is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2004, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 60
we always use dollars - never had a problem. carry a small calculator for convenience. should be able to cash smaller trav. cks. at you hotel.
kimschulze is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2004, 06:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,541
In Alajuela & MA, I never had any problem with USD. Sometimes they even asked me if I wanted change in colones or USD. The voltage is the same, I bought a tiny $8 hair dryer at Target & it worked fine.
tully is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2004, 04:16 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 356
The only place they didn't take USD when we tried was a small A&P convenience store. Most everywhere else took USD - but we did have no bills more than a $20. We used our cc whenever we could though for the BEST exchange rate. When I got my cc statement, charges were less than the hotels estimated they would be - sometimes by about $30! But, keep in mind that ATMs and places that take ccs may not be working after a big rain, etc. Same with internet cafes. The lines get disrupted. FYI. By the way, though, I thought it was easier using colones personally.
sclubb is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2004, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
We would much rather use colones. First thing we do is exchange our dollars. It is definitely easier to do transactions with colones although we have never had a problem with using dollars. We just take a little cash, then rely on ATM's as we go. Once in a while, we'll have an ATM problem, but not regularly. Travler's cheques are good for hotels as are credit cards. We use our cards frequently and it hasn't been a problem. So far, in many trips, all the charges have been our own! But we understand the use of cards could be a bit risky. It's a good idea not to have all your eggs in one basket! That is, make use of both cards and cash, and keep your cash in 2 or 3 different places for security!
shillmac is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2004, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 22
This topic has come up on Canadian forum as well. Sure, Ticos will gladly accept the US Dollar, but as a sign of respect as a visitor to a foreign country it seems right to use the local currency.
Just my opinion.

was_gannetmusic is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2004, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 21
On a side note, in regards to "respect" about using national currency in CR, I can say from my experience working as and around guides that they actually prefer US dollars as payment, tips, what have you. They get more bang for that buck than if you gave them colones.

Smaller establishments that work more on a cash basis, prefer colones because it's less hassle for them. If and when you do use dollars, be sure to bring them in as perfect condition as possible. This also goes for travellers checks, which I agree with other recent posters are more trouble than they're worth.

ScottGauvin is offline  
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