Frequently asked questions about tourism in Costa Rica
Below you can find the answer to some of the frequently asked questions regarding tourism in Costa Rica, according to the Costa Rica Tourism Board:
1. Do I need a passport to go to Costa Rica?
A valid passport is mandatory to enter Costa Rica.
2. Do I need a visa to go to Costa Rica?
Depending on your country of origin you may enter Costa Rica without a visa. USA, Canada and most European countries have this privilege. For more information please visit: Visas
3. Can I enter Costa Rica with a one way ticket?
All visitors must have an entry and exit ticket, whether it is by air or by land, as the case may be, as a requirement to entre the country.
4.Do I need an international driver´s license to drive in Costa Rica?
You are allowed to drive with your normal drivers license for three months.
5.Can I get married in Costa Rica? What documents do I need?
Foreigners can get married in Costa Rica. The documents needed are: – original birth certificate – affidavit of single status – police record – valid passport – divorce decree (if applicable) – These documents need to follow the authentication procedure before being taken to Costa Rica.
6. What is the difference between the rain forest and the cloud forest?
The main difference is that in the cloud forest doesn´t rain as much as in the rain forest. The species of flora and fauna that you might find differ from one to the other.
7. Is the water drinkable in Costa Rica?
The water is potable in most of the country. We recommend using bottled water, specially in areas around the coast.
8. Is there a train service in Costa Rica?
There is a train tour that goes from San Jose to Caldera. For information and reservations please call (506)2233-3300 or (506)2221-0777.
9. What is the currency in Costa Rica?
The Costa Rican currency is called Colon. US dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted.
10. Are credit cards accepted in Costa Rica?
All major credit cards are widely accepted. You will find ATM machined distributed throughout the country.
11. What kind of inoculations do I have to take to Costa Rica?
Since July 30, 2007, the Costa Rican authorities demand that all travelers coming from the following countries (Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador as well as the Republic of Guyana) have a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
12. Do I need an electric adapter for a hair drier?
Outlets are 110 V, with standard US two prong plugs.
13. What documents are required to enter with a pet to Costa Rica?
Dogs and cats entering Costa Rica must have a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, endorsed by a veterinarian service (VS) veterinarian. The examination for the certificate must be conducted within the two weeks prior to traveling to Costa Rica. The required vaccinations are: distemper, hepatitis, lestospirosis, parvovirus and rabies (for animals 4 months or older.
14. How much is the departure tax?
Departure tax is US$29.00, can be paid in US Dollars, colones or with a credit cards.
15. How can I get a working visa?
You must apply for a working visa at the Costarican Consulate.
16. How can I apply for legal residency in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica offers different ways to legalize your status: -temporary resident -pensioner -Foreigner government mission For more legal information contact the Costarican consulate or the Costarican Residents Association.
17. Are the national parks wheel chair accessible?
The Poas Volcano National Park is the only one that offers access for wheel chairs.
18. Is there a tour operator offering special tours for handicapped people?
Kosta Rhoda offers special trips for the handicapped.
19. Is there an American Legion in Costa Rica?
There is an American Legion for people who went to the army. You can also contact The Association of Residents at: (506)2233-8068.
20. If I decided to stay longer, can I get a visa while I am there?
You just have to leave the country for 72 hours, upon returning to Costa Rica the permit will be renewed automatically for 90 more days.
21. What should I bring when going to the rain forest?
All you need is insect repellent, a rain coat with a hood and hiking boots.
23. What is the sales tax in Costa Rica?
Sales tax is 13%.
24. What number should I dial in case of emergency?
Dial 911 for immediate assistance.
25. Are there English written newspapers?
The Tico Times. (506)2258-1558
26. Where can I practice white water rafting?
You can practice it at Pacuare, Reventazon, Corobici, Sarapiqui, Naranjo and Savegre rivers.
27. When do you celebrate Carnivals?
Limon Carnivals are celebrated in October and Puntarenas has them from February 21 to March 3rd.
28. Where can egg laying turtles be seen?
You can go to Tortuguero National Park in the Caribbean or to Las Baulas National Park in the Pacific coast.
29. Which are Costa Rica natural boundaries?
– North: Nicaragua – South:Panama – East:Caribbean Sea – West: Pacific Ocean
30. How is Costa Rica politically divided?
Costa Rica is divided into 7 provinces: San Jose, Heredia, Alajuela, Cartago, Limon, Puntarenas and Guanacaste.
31. Can I use my cell phone in Costa Rica?
In case you want to use a cell phone in Costa Rica, you have to bring an UNLOCKED cell phone, and buy a SIM prepaid card at the ICE (the national telecommunications company) booth in the baggage section of the airport (or in a telephone company office in any city around the country). The unlocked cell phone must be a quad-band GSM or 3G handset or at least have an 850 or 1800 mHz band. Most US phones use 950 mHz. Motorola and Sony Ericcson are brands that have models with the right bands. At the airport ICE booth, you can ask for the different SIM prepaid cards they offer and it will be inserted in your handset. Some of them will include internet access.