Costa Rica - Frequently Asked Questions
Table of contents
- When is the best time to go?
- Do you need a visa?
- How can I get there?
- What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
- What is there to see and do?
- Do I need any vaccinations ahead of travel?
- Is it safe to drink the water?
- 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.
Costa Rica Holidays Browse all
You are sure to marvel at nature's treasures in Costa Rica, a paradise of lush forests, crystal coves, fine-sand beaches and exotic wildlife
- Marvel at Costa Rica's array of stunning settings, including forests, volcanic cliffs, beaches.
- Try snorkelling, kayaking, tennis, bocce ball, chess, access to a scuba clinic & more
- Relish unlimited Costa Rican and world cuisines in 4 and restaurants and 4 bars
Located on the stunning Papagayo Peninsula in Guanacaste
- Activities galore including water aerobics, walks, themed nights, movies, cooking, volleyball, pilates and more.
- 3 romantic wedding packages, all including wedding cake, sparkling wine toast, honeymoon package, and free anniversary nights.
- All-inclusive at an array of a la carte restaurants, or enjoy 24 hour room service
Admire Costa Rica's cloud rainforest, climb a volcano, explore verdant grounds on a coffee plantation and relax on a beautiful beach at the end of it all
- Relax and enjoy a beach retreat at Guanacaste after your immersive tour
- Experience Arenal Volcano with its rich fauna and flora
- Enjoy a coffee tour, witness an active volcano and bathe on the Pacific coast
An eco-tourist's dream - embark on an amazing journey of discovery with the perfect combination of comfort and adventure in tropical Costa Rica.
- Explore the amazing country of Costa Rica and discover all it's gems on this in depth tour with a fabulous beach stay
- During this tour you will experience various unique inclusions including a fantastic stay in tented accommodation under the stars in Arenal
- Enjoy various activities and exploration on this holiday including river rafting and much more with various optional tours to add
Experience a holiday of a lifetime on this incredible Costa Rica Tour exploring the Caribbean side of the country
- Explore the caribbean side of Costa Rica in all it's glory, The Caribbean side of Costa Rica attracts people who search for a laid-back atmosphere, direct contact with nature and crowd-free beaches
- Enjoy various highlights on this tour including a Tortuguero Town Visit , Tortuguero Canals Boat Tour and The Sloth Sanctuary Half Day Excursion along with much more
- Experience a great tour adventuring around Costa Rica from San Jose to Puerto Viejo, sure to make for a holiday of a lifetime
The perfect combination of culture, history and nature with some added downtime at the end to enjoy one of the world's best beaches
- Visit the country's famous shoreline, cloud rainforests, volcano and the charming capital of San Jose
- Tour includes: San Jose City Tour, Sky Walk on Hanging Bridges, Buena Vista hot springs and mud baths, nature walk to La Pava and Salitral Waterfalls, horseback riding and more
- Relax at the hot springs and mud baths, and try your hand at zip lining, horseback riding or river tubing
Embrace the rich diversity of Costa Rica and open your doors to new experiences as you venture to San Jose for a...
With shimmering white beaches and lush tropical jungle, Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica is the perfect get-away for all the...
Explore the tropical paradise that is Costa Rica with it's misty volcanoes, wild rivers and verdant jungles teeming with...
Costa Rica Tropical Adventure allows you to explore the country's many spectacular, natural sights with misty volcanoes,...
The Hidden Jewels of Costa Rica Tour lets you explore the tropical paradise of Costa Rica and all of it's most...
The best holiday experience awaits for you at Palma Real Hotel & Casino in Costa Rica. Located just 5 minutes away from...
Country Inns & Suites in San Jose is located in the middle of everything, close to the shopping and attractions of the...
Located just a short walk from the city's main avenue and downtown, Park Inn by Radisson is a perfect base for exploring...
Located in historic district of San Jose, Radisson San Jose enjoys a close proximity to the famous tourist attractions...
Aloft San Jose is a brand new hotel located in Costa Rica's trendiest neighbourhood. The hotel has fantastic facilities...
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Maria Amalia Revelo Raventos has been selected the new Tourism Minister of Costa Rica by Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the President of the country. Raventos brings more than 40 years of experience and knowledge of the tourism sector in Costa Rica, and she will be responsible for the development of new local destinations and products, promoting local companies, and strengthening projects between the public and private sector.
The UK's leading travel trade publication recently reviewed one of the most lavish resorts in Costa Rica, the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo. Since it opened its doors to the public in 2013, the property has maintained an excellent reputation for its bay-side location, delicious flavours of local cuisine, attentive services and top-notch facilities.
New statistics from the Costa Rica Tourism Board have revealed that the number of travellers from the UK increased by 6.7 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. The number of UK tourists visiting Costa Rica totalled 76,173 last year, making it the Central American country’s largest source market in Europe. This has been helped by an increase in flights between London and San Jose.