F.A.Q. about Costa Rica


 

What is needed to get through Customs?

You will need to fill out one customs declaration per family, normally this will be handed out to you on the plane but they are also available in the baggage claim area. You can bring all of the personal items into Costa Rica you want, but if you are bringing other items through Customs such as a alcohol new computers or electrical equipment still in the box then you may be subject to paying import duties on these or other items. 

 

Do I need a passport or visa to visit Costa Rica?

A passport is required to visit Costa Rica but as an American or Canadian you do not need a Visa. When you arrive in Costa Rica you will receive a 90 day tourist visa, if you want to stay longer then 90 days then you will need to check out of the country by going to Nicaragua or Panama for a minimum of 3 days. This will get you another 90 days to enjoy C.R.. When you come to Costa Rica your passport most be valid for at least 60 days before it needs renewing. 

 

Can I use my driver’s license in Costa Rica?

As long as you have a valid driver’s license and passport you can drive in Costa Rica for 90 days. You can rent a car in Costa Rica with just your driver’s license, passport and credit card. If you decide to live in Costa Rica then you should apply for residency, once you have your residency you can get a Cost Rican driver’s license.

 

What is the best time of year to visit Costa Rica?

Depending on individual tastes, Anytime is a great time to come to Costa Rica. We have several different climates and seasons here, the dry season which is from December through April is the sunniest time of the year. The dry season is also out high season and the busiest time of the year for tourism. The rainy season also called the green season is from May through November, this is a great time of the year to come, prices are lower and there are not as many tourist around so it is a more kicked back time of the year. Even though it is the rainy season there is still lots of sunshine to be enjoyed. A normal rainy season day has a beautiful sunny mornings to enjoy the beaches or any one of the adventure activities available here, this is my favorite time of the year.

During the High Season it can be difficult to get reservations for a hotel or Vacation Rental home, so make your reservations well in advance.

 

What currency is accepted in Costa Rica? Can I use U.S.A. Dollars?

The official Costa Rican currency is the Colon. Prices in almost all of the stores and restaurants the prices will be in Colonies, sometimes in souvenir stores the prices will be marked in Dollars. Dollars are excepted in almost any place of business in Costa Rica also your credit cards, Visa, MasterCard and AMEX are excepted in most places of business. The most widely excepted credit card is Visa. The dollar exchange rate varies from time too time but it is approx. 530 colonies to one U.S. dollar.

 

What do I need to get married in Costa Rica?

Foreigners can get married in Costa Rica. A lawyer can be used to perform legal marriage ceremony, you will need the following documents:.

- A certified copy of your birth certificate:

- A valid Passport:

- If you are divorced, you will need a certified copy of your divorce decree.

- If you are a widow then you will need a certified copy of your previous spouses death certificate:

- If you have not previously been married, then you need to go to the Costa Rican Embassy’s Consular section and make a statement to that affect before the Consular officer and pay a fee of $30:

 

Can I get a job in Costa Rica?

Legally you need to have Costa Rican residency or citizenship to work in Costa Rica, in some cases you can get a work permit. An exception my be for business owner working in their own company but even still it is best to get residency or an investors status. (there is a large number of foreigners living and working in Costa Rica without the legal paperwork, especially in tourist related business. If you do this just remember it is not legal to work without residency, although you may be able to get away with it for years without any problems)

 

What to bring on my Costa Rican vacation?

If you are on any type of medication make sure to bring that with you. If you are allergic to insect bites, food or plants, we recommend you bring the appropriate medications with you. But if you forget or run out, there are pharmacies all over C.R. and a lot of the medication can be purchased over the counter.

There are a ton of adventure to be had in Costa Rica so bring the appropriate shoes i.e. sneakers, hiking boots, sandals…. Of course don’t forget your Sunscreen, sunglasses a hat and maybe some insect repellent.

In most tourist areas a lot of the locals speak some English, but a small pocket sized English/Spanish dictionary can be helpful.

 

The time zone in Costa Rica is - 6 GMT

Costa Rica does not use daylight savings time. The time zone here varies between Mountain and central times of the U.S. and Canada.