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Costa Rica - Frequently Asked Questions

Table of contents

  1. When is the best time to go?
  2. Do you need a visa?
  3. How can I get there?
  4. What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
  5. What is there to see and do?
  6. Do I need any vaccinations ahead of travel?
  7. Is it safe to drink the water?
  8. What is the legal age for drinking and gambling?

When is the best time to go?

The most popular time to travel to Costa Rica is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. However, it's not a bad idea to travel during the rainy season, which is between May and November, as the mornings are usually sunny with the wet weather arriving in the afternoon. There is a risk of hurricanes during the rainy season, but as a general rule you can visit Costa Rica year-round.


Do you need a visa?

British nationals do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica and will be allowed to stay for up to three months as a visitor. Likewise, citizens or permanent residents of the European Union, Canada and the United States do not need a visa to enter the country, nor do those holding a visa for either of the above-mentioned countries provided that their visa is stamped on their passports and valid for at least 3 months. Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months from the date you arrive in Costa Rica.


How can I get there?

Most of the flights from Europe to Costa Rica pass through the U.S., although there are some direct services but none of these depart from Britain If you are travelling via the U.S., remember that you need to apply for a U.S. visa, even if you'll only be in transit. The average journey time to Costa Rica from the UK is around 14 hours (including a stopover).


What is the local currency and what currency should I take?

The local currency is the colon, although U.S. dollars are widely accepted and you will often see tour prices listed in dollars. Credit cards can be used in many establishments and there are ATMs in the cities and larger towns.


What is there to see and do?

Costa Rica's biggest attraction is its natural environment, which is varied and stunning. It boasts a Caribbean and Pacific coastline, each of which is home to beautiful stretches of sand. The Pacific seaboard is particularly well known for its excellent surfing opportunities. There are dozens of national parks and protected areas in Costa Rica that attract many travellers keen to spot the country's exotic wildlife. One of the most popular is the Arenal Volcano National Park, which encompasses the area surrounding the active volcano. Hiking, horseback riding and canopy tours are all popular things to do in Costa Rica's protected nature reserves. You'll also find several community museums dotted throughout Costa Rica where you can learn more about the local culture and history. Among the most notable are the Indigenous Boruca Museum and the Abangares Mines Museum, while in San Jose there are institutions like the Costa Rica National Museum, the Costa Rica Art Museum and the Costa Rica G


Do I need any vaccinations ahead of travel?

You don't need any vaccinations to enter Costa Rica, although you will be required to be vaccinated against yellow fever if you are entering the country from a region with a risk of yellow fever transmission.


Is it safe to drink the water?

The tap water is safe to drink, but it is generally recommended to stick to bottled water to be on the safe side.


What is the legal age for drinking and gambling?

The legal age for drinking alcohol and gambling is 21 in Costa Rica. You will be required to provide proof of your age if you want to buy any alcoholic drinks.


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