Costa Rica: FAQs

Our frequently asked questions about travel to Costa Rica. If you have any other questions, please contact your travel designer or concierge.

Do I need to get a visa?

Visas are not required by Australian, British/EU, Canadian, and US nationals, unless intending to stay longer than 90 days.  A Costa Rica tourist visa is not required for citizens of Singapore; however it is required for citizens of Hong Kong.

A passport must be valid on arrival; to be on the safe side visitors should have at least six months left on it, plus plenty of spare pages.

Please contact your travel consultant for any further questions.

Do I need any vaccinations before I go away to Costa Rica?

What is recommended is that you ensure you are up to date with hepatitis A, typhoid and routine immunisations – specifically tetanus-diphtheria, measles-mumps-rubella, polio, and varicella.

Please seek professional medical advice and recheck close to the date of travel as the situation may change.  In general, aside from standard vaccinations we advise that visitors protect themselves from mosquito bites (particularly at dusk and dawn).  We suggest that when outdoors or in a building that is not well screened, you use insect repellent on uncovered skin.  If sunscreen is needed, apply before applying insect repellent and ensure that it contains one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin (KBR 3023), Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus/PMD, or IR3535.

Do I need to take malaria tablets?

Check with your medical advisor about the areas you are going to before travelling to see whether you should bring malaria tablets with you and which ones will suit you best. Ways to prevent malaria include the following: taking a prescription anti-malarial drug, using insect repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites, as well as sleeping in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms. Some excellent medication (with fewer side effects) is available for shorter visits to risk areas, it is up to you and your doctor to decide whether you need it and always keep an eye out for the latest travel notices.

Costa Rica is a tropical country so we do recommend you bring good quality mosquito spray with you, especially if you are going to the Osa Peninsula, Nicoya Peninsula or Puerto Viejo.

Should I bring traveller’s cheques?

In Costa Rica, we do not recommend the use of traveller’s cheques.  Most banks impose a service charge for cashing traveller’s checks, and currencies other than the US dollar can be exchanged only with difficulty.  Cash machines are always nearby in big cities, but you must be sure to look for the relevant symbol on the machine to ensure it is an international machine (displaying the VISA, MAESTRO etc symbols), local ones will not work.

Which currency should I bring?

The local currency is called the Colon. The US dollar and the Colon are used interchangeably in most places.  It is not necessary to take any local currency these days as just about everyone accepts the US dollar.  Some disposable local currency is always recommended however for purchases in small local shops and establishments.  We recommend you either withdraw colones for a small fee from an ATM machine on arrival at the airport.

Another way of attaining local currency without going to the bank is purchasing something in US dollars and asking for your change in the local currency.  If you are travelling to a remote area make sure you have some cash already and do not rely on what may be the single cash machine in the village.  We also recommend that you carry small bills and coins as change may not be readily available for larger denominations.  Credit cards are accepted with almost as much frequency as they are at home; all major credit cards are accepted in most places.  Generally it’s good to have more than one card, so that you have an alternative if there is a problem with the connection for one.