- Written by Volker Alsen
What kind of money do we need in costarica?
The official currency in Costa Rica is the Colon which is currently valued (agosto 2014) at approximately 536 per dollar. Most places in Costa Rica accepts both U.S. Dollars and local currency but you can get better deals when you pay in Colones. Euros can be exchanged in local banks. Cash machines will pay in Dollars or Colones.
Should we exchange money at the airport or in our home country?
These places normally give terrible exchange rates. It is recommended that you use your U.S. Dollars until you can exchange at a local bank or use an ATM, where you will get the best rate.
What is the electric situation?
We use U.S. standard 120 volt two or three pronged outlets. If you are arriving from Europe you may need an adaptor.
What time zone are you on?
Central Standard Time with no day light savings. During day light savings we are on Mountain Standard Time.
Are there many activities that we can do near the hotel?
Yes, there are dozens of half day and full day tours that can be enjoyed. There are also many museums and cultural sites around Santa Ana and San Jose that can be visited without a formal tour.
Is Santa Ana safe?
While you always have to be diligent, Santa Ana is statistically the safest town in Costa Rica. Remember; never leave anything in a rental car and to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
What do I do if I forget something at home?
Almost everything, sundries, clothing or electronics can be purchased locally at one of the many stores in the area. The best grocery store if you are looking for North American and European brands is the Automercado, located about 5 minutes from the hotel.
Is there anything you would definitely not forget to bring?
Along with cameras, comfortable shoes and clothing, I would bring some kind of rain gear/ umbrella, strong sunscreen (at least pf 30), insect repellent, and a good flashlight.
Remember that you are visiting a foreign country, bring a good attitude. Things are not going to be the same as back home. Respect the local culture and enjoy the differences!