Using money in Costa Rica

Old Aug 4th, 2002, 04:25 PM
  #1  
Jay Weinstein
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Using money in Costa Rica

I'm going to Costa Rica for 10 days this Thursday. Should I wait to exchange my money until I get to Costa Rica? Where should I exchange my money? Should I exchange it at all? What kind of a return should I expect for my money?

I would appreciate any help you can give me.

Jay
 
Old Aug 4th, 2002, 08:56 PM
  #2  
Terri
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Jay: You don't say where you're from, but I'm going to assume you are taking U.S. dollars. If that's the case, you don't need to exchange your money at all. In the 3 weeks I traveled around Costa Rica this past June, I never had a problem using U.S. dollars. You will receive colones as change though, not dollars. I would recommend that you not take large bills (over $20). I also used my ATM a couple of times to get colones which worked great because I got a better exchange rate through ATM withdrawals. I got anywhere between 350 and 360 colones to the dollar.
 
Old Aug 4th, 2002, 09:12 PM
  #3  
Kathy
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Dear Jay,
We are going to Costa Rica on Thursday also. Just out of curiosity, what is your itinerary?
Kathy
 
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 03:46 AM
  #4  
Jay Weinstein
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We will be spending one and a half days in San Jose (white water rafting on the Pacuare), two and a half days in Arenal (Tabacon resort, hot springs, horseback riding, and zip lining), and four days in Guanacaste (Allegro Papagayo, scuba diving, and horseback riding).

How about you?
 
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 05:32 AM
  #5  
Ally
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I agree with Terri that it's not necessary to exchange money if you have US dollars. Take lot's of $1's for tips, use larger bills for food as you'll be given change in colones. Actually, I've never had a problem with $50's to pay for hotels, but don't take any $100's as those will not be accepted. Have a great time!
 
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 05:43 AM
  #6  
Kathy
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Dear Jay,
Our flight does not arrive in San Jose until 8:45 P.M. so I'm actually still up in the air as to what we will do our first full day. Rafting on the Pacuare was actually one consideration. However, it was suggested that we might be awfully tired and not quite ready for that first thing early the next morning. Another thought was to move on the next morning to Tortuguero for a two night trip. It's the height of the turtle nexting season on the Carribean side. From there we plan on going to Drake Bay for several nights then Manuel Antonio for several nights. Any input is appreciated.
Kathy
 
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 06:02 AM
  #7  
Jay Weinstein
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Kathy,
I've heard good things about Manuel Antonio. I heard that there are numerous monkeys there that walk up to you on the beach. We decided not to go there because we wanted a resort that had access to Diving Safaris, one of the dive operators in the Gulf of Papagayo.

You may want to consider going to the Arenal volcano. I was told that it's a must see. Good luck.

Jay
 
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 03:44 PM
  #8  
dncee11
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Jay, there is a currency exchange booth at the airport; you might consider changing about $100 into Colones for "walking around" money. You will get a fair exchange rate there and you can pay for incidentals with the local currency. If you pay in $$$, everyone knows you're a tourist (if they couldn't already tell) and you probably wind up paying more than if you used Colones. There are ATMs in the larger cities and tourist towns; they give the best exchange rates. They are usually located in banks, in very secure surroundings. Your hotel will usually take or exchange traveler's checks; banks may charge for cashing them. Virtually all hotels and most restaurants take CCs without any add'l charge; lunch stands (called "sodas") need cash. Remember all restaurant bill include the gratuity; if you leave pocket change, its plenty. Good luck, you'll have fun!
 
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