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HomeNewsCosta RicaCosta Rica Travel: 15 Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Costa Rica Travel: 15 Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you are traveling to Costa Rica for the first time, you will probably have a lot of questions in your mind. What should I carry? Is Costa Rica safe? What is the currency of Costa Rica? When should I go? And lots of other questions.

To save you the trouble of having to google all of them, we have prepared a list of some of the most frequently asked questions by Costa Rica visitors. Let’s take a look!

Most commonly asked questions by first-time visitors

1. What is the best time to visit Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has 2 distinctive seasons – the dry and the wet season. The dry season lasts from December to April, and the wet season lasts from May to November.

The best time depends on what activities or experiences you are looking for. If you wish to go for whale watching or turtle nesting tours, then July to October is the best time. But if you want to escape the cold winter of your home country and experience bright sunny days, then January to March is a good time to visit Costa Rica.

Needless to say, each season has its own charm in Costa Rica. The wet season brings out the green colors of the rich flora in Costa Rica. The dry season allows you to explore without having to worry about the rains.

2. Do people speak English in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a Spanish-speaking country. And though English is not commonly spoken in small towns, small grocery stores, and family-run hotels, it is mostly spoken by people in the tourism industry. If you are going to a popular tourist destination, you can highly expect the locals there to speak good English.

3. Is Costa Rica a safe country?

Yes, Costa Rica is a safe country. In fact, it is one of the safest countries in Central America. Whether you are a family, a backpacker, or a solo female traveler, Costa Rica is a safe country to visit.

It’s important to note that one should always exercise caution and take safety measures when traveling to a foreign country.

4. Does Costa Rica accept USD/dollars?

Yes, USD/dollars are readily accepted in Costa Rica. As of February 2023, the conversion rate is 1 USD = 550 colones, but this changes frequently. So you need to be aware of the exchange rate while traveling.

5. Which is the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica?

Though there are many beautiful beaches in Costa Rica, Playa Conchal is a highly rated and most exotic beach in the Guanacaste province.

Other beautiful beaches are Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, Uvita, and Playa Cocles.

6. Which is the best place to see wildlife in Costa Rica?

The best places to see wildlife in Costa Rica are Tortuguero, Osa Peninsula, Manuel Antonio, Puerto Viejo, Uvita, Cahuita, Palo Verde National Park, Gandoca Manzanillo, Sarapiqui, Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, Monteverde, La Fortuna, and Corcovado National Park.

7. Where can I see sloths in Costa Rica?

Who doesn’t like watching sloths? Sloths are one of the cutest animals and are commonly found in Costa Rica. But, you need to know the right places!

The best places to see both 2-toed & 3-toed sloths in Costa Rica are Manuel Antonio, Uvita, Dominical, Bijagua, Puerto Viejo, Osa Peninsula, Tortuguero, and Arenal. Another place that I highly recommend is La Paz Waterfall Gardens which is a wildlife sanctuary.

8. Does Costa Rica have nightlife?

Yes! But it really depends on where you are. Big cities like San Jose (the capital), and popular beach towns like Playas del Coco, Jaco, and Tamarindo, are known for night parties. They may seem quiet during the day, but start getting busy by 9 pm.

However, if you are visiting a small town or a hilly region like Monteverde, things slow down by 6 pm and you can expect restaurants to close early.

9. Can I drink tap water in Costa Rica?

The tap water of Costa Rica is mostly safe to drink. But it’s always recommended to check with your hotel, as some small beach towns and rural areas do not have taps with drinkable water.

If you have a sensitive stomach or have had stomach infections because of drinking tap water, it’s better to buy bottled water or carry a water filter with you.

10. What side of the road does Costa Rica drive on?

Costa Rica drives on the right side, the same as the United States and Canada.

11. What should I pack for Costa Rica?

We recommended packing a pair of nice sports shoes, a light jacket, a poncho, a hat/cap, sunglasses, mosquito repellant, a waterproof bag, a swimsuit, and a fast-dry towel (microfiber). In case you take any specific medications, do not forget to bring those.

12. What are the must-do activities in Costa Rica?

The must-do activities in Costa Rica are ziplining in Monteverde, going for a coffee tour, white water rafting at the Pacuare River, bathing in hot springs at La Fortuna, snorkeling at Cano Island, and going on a canal tour at Tortuguero.

13. Where can I see volcanoes in Costa Rica?

There are 5 popular volcanoes in Costa Rica. These are

Except for Arenal, all 4 are active.

14. Can I get around Costa Rica without a car?

Yes! There are public buses for most of the popular tourist destinations. However, if you have a time constraint, you should rent a car immediately upon landing in Costa Rica. Though buses are a cheaper mode of traveling around Costa Rica, having your own car not only helps you save time but also offers convenience & flexibility.

15.,How much should I tip in Costa Rica?

A standard service tax of 13% is included at most of the hotels, restaurants, and bars in Costa Rica. Therefore, it is not mandatory for you to tip in Costa Rica. But if you would really like to, a general rate of 10% is highly appreciated.

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