Questions about cash in CR

Old Nov 5th, 2007, 09:12 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 333
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Questions about cash in CR

While in CR we will be in Arenal for 3 days and BDC for 4 days. My question is about access to ATM machines and carrying cash.

Whenever we travel we always use credit cards or ATM machines. From all my reading, local business use cash only and only large hotels use credit cards. ATM machines are at the airport and at LaFortuna, none at BDC.

So, do all of you bring tons of US currency to pay your private drivers and for all your tours? The hotels I am not concerned about it is having access to ATM's. The back of my ATM card lists NYCE and Star.

We are staying at Lost Iguana at the beginning of our trip and have a private driver to and from the hotel. We plan to do the SkyTramTrek, Cano Negro and Ecco Thermals while at the Lost Iguana. Are these cash transactions (US or colones) or credit card?


BDC we can pay by check in advance so I am not concerned about this leg of the trip. Am I being to anal about this issue?
sylviam is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2007, 09:30 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,319
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We just brought cash with us, but for things like private drivers, we hired those through our hotel and just paid for that service along with the hotel room via our credit card. Or in the case of BdC with a check since that was their preference. We also booked all our tours through our hotels, so we paid that with credit card as well. Really the only thing we used our cash for was for tipping and for dining out.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2007, 09:35 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 333
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
volcanogirl: Thanks, I was wondering if everything could be booked at the hotel and then just paid through them. I know the Lost Iguana recommended a driver but they told us to contact him directly so I am assuming I will be paying him. I will have to check on that.
sylviam is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2007, 09:37 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 999
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was concerned about bringing a lot of cash as well, but I didn't find it to be a problem to use credit cards and to get cash while we were there. Here's what we did - I think the advice came from someone here I'm sure! We were at Arenal, Peace Lodge and BDC - we brought a few hundred dollars in cash, but not the majority of our money. I brought more in travellers checks with the idea being that I would cash them out at the hotels and pay for BDC with traveller's checks, which they had no problem with. And I had a credit card. We never used an ATM machine. The hotels never had a problem cashing a $100 or so in traveller's checks, so when we needed cash, we just did that at the hotel, which meant we didn't need a lot of cash with us at the beginning of the trip and we paid for the tours etc with credit cards.

Remember at BDC any extra excursions and your bar tab, which is all drinks including sodas etc, and your tips will have to be paid for before you leave. So, even if you pay up front for the lodging, you will need to pay for some expenses while you are there. That was our last stop and since they don't take credit cards, or really prefer not to, I was getting a bit nervous that we wouldn't have enough money left!! It's not like they have an ATM on their property!

Also, be sure to call your credit card company before you go to let them know you'll have out of country charges so they don't put a hold on your card while you are there. I meant to do that and never got around to it and my card was frozen when we tried to check out of one of the hotels. I knew what happened and a phone call solved the problem. But it was one more thing on our vacation that took a long time on hold with the credit card company!

That system of cash/traveller's checks and credit cards worked well for us!

ShellD is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2007, 09:41 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,319
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, sylvia - when we hired a driver through the Lost Iguana, they handled everything for us. We just told them our flight info. and the man was there waiting for us at the airport. I'm surprised they would have you contact someone directly. We went last year, so maybe something has changed since then. We used the same procedure with all our other hotels too.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2007, 09:45 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,319
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I forgot to mention, when we stayed at BdC, they just ran a tab for us regarding bar, excursions, etc. and we paid the entire thing with a check when we checked out. They will even let you add on tips for the various staff members this way.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2007, 09:47 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To add to what ShellD said about tipping and guides at BDC - I took notes of all the names of guides, waitstaff, bartenders, etc and wrote down the tip amounts accordingly at the end of our stay. They accepted a check with the allocation so they could distribute accordingly. If you take any tours outside of BDC it would be handy to have cash for tipping. Since most take off from Puerto Jimenez you can always get cash at the ATM there before your tour.
hipvirgochick is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2007, 12:00 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,541
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also, if you have time between Arenal and BdC, there are 2 good banks less than a 1/2 mile away with reliable atm's plus a large grocery store (for any last minutes things). I've got how much cash I'll need down to a pretty good science now and usually only hit the atm's once or twice at most, starting off with about $500 cash and usually all hotels pre-paid for. If you get real hard up, they will accept cc's at Bosque but with a 7% surcharge.
tully is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
kibbygirl
Mexico & Central America
8
Nov 12th, 2007 11:00 AM
lrm2112
Europe
11
Jun 1st, 2005 02:17 PM
LeighNewland
Mexico & Central America
5
Aug 25th, 2004 01:19 PM
elvis957
United States
7
Apr 3rd, 2004 02:32 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:05 AM.