Costa Rica

Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens exercise increased caution in Costa Rica due to crime.

Passport/Visa Requirements

For the latest passport and visa requirements for this country, please consult the U.S. State Department’s “Learn About Your Destination” search tool, available through the link below.

US Embassy/Consulate

[506] 2519-2000; US Embassy in San Jose, Calle 98 Vía 104, Pavas, San José, Costa Rica;;

LGBTQIA+ Travelers

Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone



The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Costa Rica: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-19.


Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands

Currency (Code)

Costa Rican colones (CRC)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

120 V / 60 Hz / plug types(s): A, B

Plug Type APlug Type B

Major Languages

Spanish, English

Major Religions

Roman Catholic, Evangelical and Pentecostal, other Protestant, Jehovah's Witness

Time Difference

UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Potable Water

Opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit

Suggested; additionally, if you plan to drive in Costa Rica, you will need an Inter-American Driving Permit issued by the AAA

Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Manuel Antonio National Park; Poas Volcano National Park; Arenal Volcano National Park; Monteverde and the Cloud Forests; Cocos Island; Tamarindo; Mal Pais and Santa Teresa; Tortuguero National Park

Major Sports

Soccer, basketball

Cultural Practices

Costa Ricans are incredibly polite and courteous; therefore, shouting, confrontation and accusations are not considered to be acceptable behavior, especially in public.

Tipping Guidelines

Many restaurants will add a 10% service charge to the bill. If the service was good, you may leave a little extra for the server. It is standard to leave 500 CR (or $1 USD) per drink at bars. Tip tour guides between $10-15 (USD) per person depending on the size of the tour. Give $1-5 (USD) for taxi drivers depending on the distance. Round up for shorter distances. It is considerate to tip bellhops $1 (USD) per bag and leave $2 (USD) per day for housekeeping.


Coffee, hammocks, ceramic and wood bowls, wooden macaw statues and other carved items, leather rocking chairs, handmade earrings and threaded necklaces

Traditional Cuisine

Gallo Pinto — kidney or black beans or pigeon peas and rice cooked together and mixed with Lizano sauce; often served as breakfast

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Thursday, May 09, 2024