Frequently Asked Questions

1.  IS A PASSPORT NEEDED TO ENTER COSTA RICA?
Yes, a valid Passport is needed to enter the country. Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months from the day you enter the country.

2.  DO I NEED A VISA TO VISIT COSTA RICA?
Visitors with a passport issued from the US, Canada or most European countries do not need a visa.

  • 90 days is the maximum stay on a tourist visa.
  • Although you may have 90 days available on your tourist visa, the immigration official can assess the allowed visiting period on your passport.
  • Visitors to Costa Rica must have a valid passport, as well as proof that they will be departing the country before their visa or entrance stamp expires, generally within the 90 days.

3.  CAN I ENTER COSTA RICA WITH A ONE-WAY AIR TICKET?
No, all visitors must have an entry ticket as well as a departure ticket, whether it is by air or land, as appropriate, as an entry requirement.

4.  IS AN INTERNATIONAL DRIVER´S LICENSE NEEDED?
Anyone over the age of 18 can drive with a license from their country, for a period of three (3) months. However, if you wish to rent an automobile, you must be over the age of 21.

5.  GETTING MARRIED IN COSTA RICA.
It is possible to marry in Costa Rica, with the following documents: a valid passport or valid travel documents and a sworn statement (affidavit) signed in the presence of a Costa Rican lawyer (if divorced, you will need the document of such divorce from your country or wherever the divorce was granted).

6.  CAN YOU DRINK THE WATER IN COSTA RICA?
Yes, however, we recommend the consumption of bottled water, especially in areas near the coast.

7.  WHAT IS THE COSTA RICAN CURRENCY?
The colon is the currency of Costa Rica. American dollars and credit cards are widely accepted and there are ATM’s. Foreign debit cards are limited to a withdrawal of $100 per day at the National Banks. Private banks vary.

8.  CAN I USE CREDIT CARDS IN COSTA RICA?
Major credit cards are accepted.

9.  WHAT TYPE OF VACCINATION IS NEEDED TO ENTER COSTA RICA?
There are new health advisory’s issued all the time and it is up to each visitor to check well in advance of their trip to see what is required given the country they are from.

10.  DO I NEED A PLUG ADAPTER FOR MY BLOW DRYER?
Costa Rica´s outlets are 110 volts, the standard in the United States, with a standard duplex outlet.

11.  WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE NEEDED TO BRING PETS INTO COSTA RICA?
All cats and dogs entering Costa Rica must have a health certificate from a veterinarian and endorsed by a veterinarian service. A physical exam must be conducted two weeks prior to the date of the trip. The required vaccines are: distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and rabies (for animals over 4 months old).

12.  WHAT IS THE COST OF THE EXIT TAX?
The exit tax, via air is US $29.00 and US $7.00 by land payable in US dollars, colones or credit card at the Banco Crédito Agrícola de Cartago, Banco Lafise, or the Banco de Costa Rica. Some airlines already include this fee in the airline ticket.

13. HOW DO I GET A WORK VISA?
You can apply for this type of visa at the Costa Rican Consulate in your country. Here is the link of the Costa Rican Consulates Abroad

14. HOW DO I APPLY FOR LEGAL RESIDENCY?
There are various ways to legalize your stay: - temporary resident – retired – governmental international mission – For more information contact the Costa Rican Consulate, the Residents Association at www.arcr.net or you can visit: migration www.migracion.go.cr

15.  ARE THE NATIONAL PARKS ACCESSIBLE TO PERSONS WHO ARE PHYSICALLY DISABLED?
The Poas Volcano National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, and Carara National Park.

16.  IS THERE AN AMERICAN LEGION IN COSTA RICA?
There is one for those that served in the military. You may also contact the Resident Association of Costa Rica at www.crcr.net or (506) 2233-8068

17.  IF I DECIDED TO EXTEND MY STAY, CAN I GET A VISA FOR THIS WHILE IN COSTA RICA?
The residents from countries that enter with a 30-day visa can go to the Immigration and Foreign Department for an extension of their visa for up to 90 days. You must take into account that: 1- you have a valid passport, 2- demonstrate economic solvency and 3- have a departure ticket or fare. The amount of time allowed to stay in the country will depend on the immigration official.
For more information please visit this site (information only in spanish)

18.  WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE RAINFOREST?
You will need insect repellent, rain poncho, and comfortable shoes.

19.  ARE THERE DOMESTIC AIRLINES?
You can contact SANSA at www.flysansa.com (506)2290-4100, or Nature Air at www.natureair.net (506)2299-6000, which offer steady routes to the different tourist destinations within the country.

20.  WHAT IS THE SALES TAX IN COSTA RICA?
There is a 13% sales tax on the price of goods. Restaurants also have a mandatory 10% tip included in your bill.

21.  WHAT IS THE NUMBER I SHOULD CALL IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY?
Call 9-1-1 for immediate assistance. For tourist assistance, you can dial: 800-turismo.

22.  ARE THEIR ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPERS?
The main English-language newspaper is The Tico Times: www.ticotimes.net

23.  IN WHICH RIVERS CAN I GO WHITE WATER RAFTING?
White water rafting can be enjoyed on the: Pacuare, Reventazón, Corobicí, Sarapiquí, Naranjo and Savegre rivers. The LEP concierge can make these arrangements for you. The link is on our home page.

24.  WHERE CAN I WATCH TURTLES DURING NESTING SEASON?
You can visit the Tortuguero National Park in the Caribbean and the Ostional Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific. Our concierge will know this information as it varies from month to month.

25.  WHAT ARE THE NATURAL BOUNDARIES OF COSTA RICA?
North: Nicaragua
South: Panama
East: Caribbean Sea
West: Pacific Ocean.
Costa Rica is divided into seven (7) provinces: Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, San José, Puntarenas, Limón and Guanacaste.

26.  CAN I USE MY MOBILE PHONE IN COSTA RICA?
If you want to use a mobile phone in Costa Rica, you must have an UNBLOCKED cellular phone and purchase a prepaid SIM card. You can also visit the different telephone companies throughout the country; they offer different options for prepaid cards, including internet access.

27.  WHAT ARE THE COUNTRY´S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS?
Costa Rica has four (2) international airports: Juan Santamaría Airport in Alajuela, Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia. Local airports are: Tobías Bolaños Airport in San José, and the Limón Airport.

28. WHAT IS THE AREA CODE FOR COSTA RICA?
Dial 011-506-number. For international calls dial 1024.

29.  IF I RENT A CAR, CAN I DRIVE IT TO NICARAGUA OR PANAMA?
No rental cars are not allowed to leave the country.

30. CAN I PAY WITH DOLLARS OR CREDIT CARDS AT THE GAS STATIONS?
Both options can be used as a form of payment.

 

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