Frequently asked questions

about Costa Rica

Frequently asked questions

  • 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 enjoy this privilege. For more information, please visit: Visas

  • 3. Can I enter Costa Rica with a one way ticket?

    Whether traveling by air, land, or sea, all visitors must have an entry and exit ticket in order to enter the country.

  • 4.Do I need an international driver´s license to drive in Costa Rica?

    With a legal driver’s license, you are allowed to drive for three months.

  • 5. Can I get married in Costa Rica?

    What documents do I need? Non-residents may get married in Costa Rica. Required documents include: - original birth certificate - affidavit of single status - police record - valid passport - divorce decree (if applicable). These documents must 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 the amount of rain. It doesn´t rain as much in the cloud forest as it does in the rain forest. The species of flora and fauna found in each may also differ.

  • 7. Is the water drinkable in Costa Rica?

    The water is potable in most of the country. However, we recommend bottled water, especially in areas around the coast.

  • 8. What is the currency in Costa Rica?

    The colón is the currency of Costa Rica. US dollars and major credit cards are also widely accepted.

  • 9. Are credit cards accepted in Costa Rica?

    All major credit cards are widely accepted. ATM machines are located throughout the country.

  • 10. What kind of inoculations do I have to take to Costa Rica?

    Starting on July 30, 2007, the Costa Rican authorities will demand that all travelers from the following countries possess a yellow fever vaccination certificate: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and the Republic of Guyana.

  • 11. Do I need an electric adapter for a cell phone?

    Outlets are 110 V, with standard US two prong plugs.

  • 12. 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).

  • 13. How much is the departure tax?

    Departure tax is US$29.00, which can be paid in US Dollars, colones or with a credit card.

  • 14. How can I get a working visa?

    You must apply for a working visa at the Costarican Consulate.

  • 15. How can I apply for legal residency in Costa Rica?

    Costa Rica offers different ways to legalize your status: temporary resident, pensioner, foreign government mission. For more legal information, contact the Costa Rican consulate or the Costa Rican Residents Association at

  • 16. Are the national parks wheel chair accessible?

    Only Poás Volcano National Park, Carara National Park and Santa Rosa National Park offering wheel chair access.

  • 17. Is there a tour operator offering special tours for handicapped people?

    Kosta Rhoda offers special trips for the handicapped.

  • 18. Is there an American Legion in Costa Rica?

    There is an American Legion in Costa Rica for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. You can also contact The Association of Residents at: (506)2233-8068 or at

  • 19. If I decide to stay longer than 90 days, can I get a visa while I am there?

    If, due to your nationality, you do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica, the immigration officer will review whether you meet the requirements for a 90-day stay in the country. Once this period has elapsed, you must leave the country. The law does not state how long you must remain out of the country; however, in order to re-enter the country you must comply with the requirements.

  • 20. What should I bring when visiting the rain forest?

    All you need is insect repellent, a rain coat with a hood and a comfortable pair of hiking boots.

  • 21. Are there domestic airlines that travel within the country?

    You can contact SANSA at (506)2221-9414.

  • 22. What is the sales tax in Costa Rica?

    Sales tax is 13%

  • 23. What number should I dial in case of emergency?

    Dial 911 for immediate assistance.

  • 24. Are there English written newspapers?

    The Tico Times. (506)2258-1558

  • 25. Where can I practice white water rafting?

    You can practice it at Pacuare, Reventazon, Corobici, Sarapiqui, Naranjo and Savegre rivers.

  • 26. When do you celebrate Carnivals?

    Limon Carnivals are celebrated in October, and Puntarenas has them from February 21 to March 3rd.

  • 27. 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.

  • 28. What are Costa Rica’s natural boundaries?

    Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua in the north, Panama in the South, the Caribbean Sea in the East and the Pacific Ocean in the West.

  • 29. How is Costa Rica politically divided?

    Costa Rica is divided into 7 provinces: San Jose, Heredia, Alajuela, Cartago, Limon, Puntarenas and Guanacaste.

  • 30. Can I use my cell phone in Costa Rica?

    If you want to use a cell phone in Costa Rica, you must 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.

  • 31. What's included in the rental price of a vehicle in Costa Rica?

    When you are sent a quote or the reservation notice for a car, it is recommended that you ask about the cost of insurance and taxes, as well as the amount of the deductible that will be charged to the credit card or security deposit. Similarly, if you reserve with a franchise, the best advice is to contact the franchise office here in Costa Rica.


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