When we are going to visit a foreign country for the first time, there are a lot of questions popping up in our minds. I will let you know those ten things about visiting Costa Rica you need to know before getting here!

The top 10 things you need to know about Costa Rica:

1. Does Costa Rica have street addresses? 

No street addresses; instead, you will get addresses “a la tica.” In Costa Rica, the standard street and avenue number to supply an address does not exist.

9 out of 10 citizens aren’t able to provide addresses using streets and avenues

It’s something particular of this country and what you can expect is to listen to people giving addresses in the following format “walk straight ahead for 100 mts, then turn left, walk 50 mts more, and next to the bakery you will find your destination!

Another fact about addresses here is, Costa Rica does not use Foot, Yards, Inches. In this country, the Kilometers, Meters, and centimeters are in use. Don’t use feet, yards, or inches; cause none will be able to provide you an accurate answer.

2. Can you drink the water in Costa Rica?

Drink Tap Water in Costa Rica is 100% Safe

One of the most important things for you is to drink enough water during the day. Being well hydrated helps us stay healthy and energized during our trip.

Costa Rica is one of the countries in America where is 100% safe to drink water directly from the tap. And do you know what this means? If you carry an aluminum or reusable plastic bottle for your water, you will save a lot of money.

3. Can I see Volcanoes while vacationing in Costa Rica?

In Costa Rica, all the volcanoes are under the rules and regulations of the National Park Laws protection and administration. It depends on the risk and the conditions that you might have access to get close enough to see the craters or; you will be able to get to a certain distance of it.

Tourists at Poas Volcano, National Park, Costa Rica

Have you ever been to a volcano before? If you haven’t, this is your opportunity! You may get to a Volcano in less than 2 hrs.

If you are within the north or central areas of the country, you may get to a volcano in less than 2 hrs. Currently, Costa Rica has four active volcanoes; most of them, easy to access and easy to see.

Within those volcanoes, you will find the spectacular Poas Volcano, which has one of the largest craters in the world. The Arenal Volcano has a perfect cone, and the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano has all its surroundings with thin white dust.

4. Is Costa Rica a Cheap Destination? 

Big Mac Price Index is use to measure how expensive is a country compare to others.

The answer is Not, and you must prepare to spend; Costa Rica is not as cheap as the other Centroamerican Countries. It is not a myth; this country is expensive when you compare the rest of the region with this one. Let me give you an overview of this using the Big Mac Index so you can have a clear idea.

CountryBig Mac Price
Guatemala$3.25
Honduras$3.52
Nicaragua$3.49
Costa Rica$4.04
Colombia$3.29
United States$5.71
List of Big Mac Price on Central America and US, July 2020 – Source of Big Mac Index

As you can see, a Big Mac in Costa Rica is cheaper if you compare it to the US. However, it’s more expensive among the rest of the Central American countries. The reason why? The country’s condition.

Costa Rica has the most stable and long term democracy in the whole sub-continent; people are friendly and kind, the country is cleaner and safer to explore it and to enjoy it.

5. Can I use USD when visiting Costa Rica?

USD is accepted across Costa Rica however, its always better to use cards to avoid carry cash.

The official currency in Costa Rica is the Colon. However, this country has been living off tourism since the late ’80s. Due to this, and the foreign companies established here, people are used to handling either Colones or US Dollars.

So paying a check with cash won’t be an issue. Although a recommendation for you, try to use low denomination bills such as fifty or twenties if you are going to pay cash. Please note stores, supermarkets, and restaurants do not take $100 bills.

Even at the bank, you will have a hard time if you try to exchange $100.

6. Does Costa Rica have East and West Coast?

If you are a beach lover, you will love this. It may take around 5 hours to cross the country from the west coast to the east coast driving. You could be enjoying the Pacific Ocean sunset today, and tomorrow; once you wake up, you will be able to appreciate the sunrise on the Caribbean beach.

7. Are there any National Parks or Conservation Areas?

Los Quetzales, National Park Entry

More than 25% of the country are national parks, conservation areas, and private forests. This high percentage of the preserved territory is one of the reasons; When you are in Costa Rica, almost all the places you see are green.

There are many different national parks here, like a dry tropical forest, rain forest, paramo forest, national park with tons of hummingbirds, among others.

8. What are the daylight hours in Costa Rica?

Barrio Mexico, San Jose, Downtown, Costa Rica

The country’s location is close to the Equator Line, and this makes sunrise around 5.45 a.m. and sunset around 6 p.m. It gives you 12 hrs of daylight to plan activities, evening time to set up dinner, or night walking in a mountain trail, you name it.

Daylight time-frame is pretty standard during the year; it may vary a little bit, but not for more than 40 mins, no matter if the country is in the dry season or rainy season.

9. Can I get a free internet connection?

WiFi is accessible almost everywhere! When it comes to travel, having an open and direct connection with our significant one and our relatives and friends truly matters. That why social media platforms become something so important in our lives.

With this need in mind, there is good news for you. Fortunately, When visiting Costa Rica, airports, and nearly all train stations, the town’s main parks, public libraries, fast-food restaurants, several bus stops, and units, malls provide free internet access to users. No matter if you are a tourist or resident, you may use it free of charge.

It is great cause it gives you time to get a prepaid sim card to have internet access all the time.

10. Are people friendly there?

Pura Vida Saying and Lifestyle, two concepts you will learn on the go. You will listen to Ticos and Ticas saying “Pura Vida” to greet, to say good-bye, it’s kind of like the Aloha! in Hawai. However, the Pura Vida its almost a lifestyle.

Costa Ricans or how most of the world knows them better: Ticos and Ticas are friendly, relaxed, easy-going, and helpers. That is a good start. The smiles, their politeness, and their willingness to help become the perfect complement to create a cozy and comfortable place to spend your vacation.

I hope these questions clear your scenery before Visiting Costa Rica. If there is something you might want to add to the list, please comment below.

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I am a 41-year-old Costa Rican hardworking and adventurous father, who enjoys hiking, mountain biking, reading, and taking photographs. I consider nature contact and the time you spend in it is one of the best investments you can ever do!. No matter if you are doing something traditional or something more adventurous, all of us should dedicate some time per month to get into the wild. My intention with this blog is to help you to obtain a fabulous experience when traveling in general or visiting Costa Rica.

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