If you are preparing yourself to travel to Costa Rica, there are so many things that
you should know as tourism in this country of Central America has changed so much in the last years and every day it becomes more popular not only for Latin-Americans also for the Europeans and Americans.
Of course, it’s never possible to be 100% ready for every single that may happen while travelling, but here we present you ten tips you should know before going to Costa Rica.
Tip #1 – The fastest way to move around is renting a car.
One of the most difficult things when travelling to Costa Rica is your medium of transportation; you are going to find out that the best and fastest way to move around is through renting a car, which is something that you should take into consideration.
You may consider options such as taking a bus or cabs, but the reality is that these options are of the type that you can’t control (you never know when a cab or a bus is going to show up) while you can rent a car and not worry about transportation.
Tip #2 – Large distance
People usually think that Costa Rica is a little country, everything is near, the city, the towns, the forest, but they are actually wrong! It is a little country but moving from one point to another actually takes a lot of time.
The highways are not exactly the most modern in the world and usually it’s a round trip lane and sometime big vehicles obstruct the traffic.
Tip #3 – It’s cold!
It’s a tropical weather for most of the year, but Costa Rica has so many “mini
weathers” inside the natural parks, it depends of the altitude and the ecosystem, so if you want to visit the volcans, the best you can do is don’t forget your jacket.
Tip #4 – There are so many mosquito but don’t be afraid…
We are talking about a tropical country so… the mosquitos are part of this place, and they are very common to find in pretty much every single place in this country. In the last years Costa Rica has reported case of Malaria, dengue, zika y chicongunya. As a traveler, you must be aware of this situation and about these diseases and the most important thing: You can evade this if you are correctly informed.
Tip #5 – There are many hotel options in Costa Rica.
If you were ever worried that Costa Rica was lacking in terms of hospitality, perish that thought. This country is one of the biggest institutions as far as tourism goes and you are going to find multiple companies and hotels offering you a place to stay, so that is one aspect that you don’t have to worry about that much.
Tip #6 – Costa Rica has been three times the happiest country in the world. Why? There is not army.
Believe it or not, since 1948 Costa Rica has been a country without an army or any type of armed force, but don’t be surprised to the fact that it has not been necessary because they decided to use that money with health and education
The Centro American country has been categorized as “the happiest country in the world” by New Economis Foundations in the years 2009, 2012 and 2016.
Also, the Costa Rican are known for liking to engage with tourists, so don’t be surprised if one of them asks you about your nationality or where you are from because they tend to be very friendly people and love to interact with others.
Tip #7 – It is safe drink tap water.
In Costa Rica you can find a lot of safe drink tap water, which is important that you take this into account because you can find it most commonly in hotels all over the country. Having said that, it is always recommended to bring your own water, just in case. You never know what may happen.
Tip #8 – The Spanish in Costa Rica is very different.
Costa Rican have a certain way to talk in Spanish, which is considerably different to what you may expect from countries such as Venezuela, Mexico or Spain. Words like “muchacho (boy)” or “muchacha (girl)” are not usually used and they prefer to say terms such as “el mae” (boy) and “la mae” (girl), so this is something worth taking into account if you know the Spanish language and feel slightly odd at what you are listening to when walking around Costa Rica.
Tip #9 – The Police can stop you to check your documents.
It is normal to see the police in the streets stopping people, which is why you must have your passport at all times with you or a copy and a photo in your phone of the stamp of your ticket. The police in Costa Rica have the power the stop anyone if that can reduce the drug traffic but this usually tends to happen in border areas.
Tip #10- Most of the time you´ll use dollars and not the local coin.
It’s going to be pretty easy for you to use dollars given that many stores all around the country accept that currency, but try to have Costa Rica’s own currency as well if you plan not to go to tour attractions because they may help you in case they don’t accept dollars for any given reason. For example, not all cities in Costa Rica have ATM, so that is something worth taking into account.
We hope that these tips help you in your journey of adventure to Costa Rica, which is a paradise tropical with beautiful places, good food and a very interesting history.
Enjoy what is a magical place.