It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of travelling abroad especially if your destination is Costa Rica. With its wondrous offerings, it’s understandable why people momentarily forget the other side of the coin. Avoid problems even before they arise while in another country.
Get acquainted with things that matter like currency and other money matters, travel documents, health and medication, local environment, and safety issues.
Currency, tipping, and other money issues
The Colon is Costa Rica’s official currency. Most banks will give you a fair exchange rate. If you find yourself short on Colon’s, don’t worry as most businesses accept U.S. Dollars. Tipping is expected but only in high-end restaurants and Malpais hotels. Expect to give a tip of $1 – $12 to tour guides. Tipping taxi drivers is not necessary but appreciated if there’s additional service rendered.
Visas, passports, and other documents
To get a 30-90 day visa, you are obliged to show your passport upon entry. Also prepare to have your departure ticket in your name and dated before your visa expires with you. When travelling by bus, expect the border officials to collect your passport. It’s also fair to note that it can take hours for your passport to be returned to you and for the bus to cross the border.
Immunizations and other health concerns
It’s advisable to get hepatitis A and B as well as typhoid vaccines on top of the routine vaccinations recommended when travelling to Costa Rica. Be aware that this country teems with wildlife and if you plan on getting in close proximity with them, rabies vaccination is recommended to be on the safe side.
Make sure you receive anti-malarial drugs though malaria isn’t a serious problem in Costa Rica, this is just for prevention. If you have health problems or other pre-existing medical conditions, have your doctor prepare a prescription for the medicines you need to bring. Note that some medicines may not be available there so ask your doctor for alternatives in case you run short of prescription medication.
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