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If you’re thinking about visiting Costa Rica for the first time, there are a few things you to know before you visit. It’s time to make sure your trip is all you’ve dreamed of. It’s a good idea to know a little bit about the location you’re going. And that’s what we’ll be discussing here. Nothing too sophisticated or meticulously detailed – just some basic and useful information about one of the world’s top holiday locations!
1. Costa Rica is not as cheap as its neighbors.
Please budget properly, as certain tourist places in Costa Rica may be as expensive as Toronto or Florida, while non-tourist areas can be considerably less expensive.
2. San José is not as bad as people make it out to be.
San José is typical of a Latin American major city, with both upscale and run-down areas. You can find out everything you need to know about San Jose by asking your hotel or taxi driver.
3. Locals love to talk to foreigners.
They’ll even stop you in the middle of the street to chat to you. They’re sociable and curious individuals who like meeting people, especially now that tourism in Costa Rica is on the upswing. Please be cautious when wandering arout a town if you are a single woman!
4. Dengue is the main disease from mosquitoes.
The good news is, dengue has been dramatically reduced by 50% over the last few years! Be sure to use repellent and mosquito nets when possible, especially in rural and beach areas.
5. Ticos have a laid-back attitude but, they don’t drive like they do.
The driving in Costa Rica usually astounds visitors, and it’s something I warn them about before they come down here. When driving in Costa Rica, be cautious of potholes, motorbikes weaving between lanes, and pedestrians on the roadway.
6. It’s a small country but it takes longer than it seems to get around.
Costa Rica is smaller than Florida, therefore it’s tempting to believe that you can drive across the nation in a week. Technically, you can, but believe me when I say that it isn’t very enjoyable! This is due to the fact that Costa Rican roadways are seldom straight. They do have highways, and the main roads are paved, although most of them only have one lane.
7. Police can stop and ask for your papers at any time.
Police in Costa Rica have been known to pull over any vehicle and demand identification. Keep a color duplicate of your whole passport with you at all times, including your tourist stamp. Remember that in order to drive lawfully in Costa Rica as a tourist, you must have your foreign driver’s license and a valid tourist stamp on your passport at all times.
8. It gets cold, but it doesn’t snow.
There are more than 40 microclimates in Costa Rica. Before you come down, look up the weather where you’ll be staying or visiting.
9. English is widely spoken but not all Costa Ricans speak English.
The majority of Ticos speak English, but not all. Before you come, learning a few basic Spanish phrases would be beneficial.
10. Costa Rica is safe, and theft is the most common crime.
Lock your car and doors, and keep an eye on your belongings in Costa Rica, where petty theft is the norm. There are always a few nasty men waiting about to take advantage of foreigners in large cities and tourist regions, just as there are in other major cities and tourist locations.
11. Rainy season doesn’t mean it’s bad to travel.
Rainy season is also known as wet season, or green season. After all, Costa Rica is known for its rain forests. Here are a few more reasons why visiting Costa Rica during the rainy season is actually a great idea:
– Rainy season is also Costa Rica’s low season. This means less tourists!
– Hotel and tour prices drop significantly. It’s the perfect time to visit Costa Rica on a budget.
– A typical rainy season day starts off bright, hot, and sunny, then becomes cloudy in the afternoon and rainy in the evening/night.
– Rainy season is the best time to see whales and turtles.
Costa Rica’s rainy season lasts from the beginning of May to the end of November. The rainiest months for most of Costa Rica is September and October, with December and January being rainy months in the Caribbean.
12. Don’t Let Your Snake Guard Down.
We don’t want to frighten you away from Costa Rica, but you should be informed that the country is home to 22 different dangerous snake species. The fer-de-lance, eye-lash viper, and coral snake are among them. Although they are normally shy and try to avoid people, bites do occur. The medical system is excellent here, with antivenin available everywhere, but it is not something you want to face while on vacation. Remain alert, stay on defined routes, and follow your guide’s instructions.
13. Don’t Touch the Cute Tiny Frogs.
Poison dart frogs, which are tiny, charming, and colorful frogs with ornate markings, are another sort of animal to watch out for when exploring the rainforest. They’re adorable and like rubber toys you’d find in a gumball machine, but some of them contain a lethal toxin. Refrain from touching these animals. If the venom from the deadliest small guys gets into your blood circulation, it can kill 10 grown men.
14. Mobile Internet and Wi-Fi are readily available.
You’ll find Mobile Internet (3G/4G) in most towns in Costa Rica, even in rural areas — and most hotels and restaurants provide Wi-Fi to their customers. When in doubt, ask!
15. Nearly every town has an ATM.
We didn’t in the past, but today we do! Check with your bank to see if there are any daily limits.
16. Tap water is generally safe to drink.
Most of Costa Rica’s water is safe to drink, however in more remote rural regions, particularly along the coast, ask first. To be safe, many people purchase bottled water.
17. US dollars are readily accepted and are the standard currency in tourism.
As the majority of tourists are from the United States, hotels and tour companies list their pricing in US dollars. Costa Ricans can also hold bank accounts in USD, as well as mortgages and car payments in USD. In the tourist industry, the US dollar has become the accepted currency. When spending money, make sure you check the currency rate.