General information Costa Rica - prepared to travel! - Edventure

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General information Costa Rica - Get ready to explore!

Dutch Embassy in Costa Rica
Address: Oficentro Ejecutivo la Sabana sur (behind la Controlaria), third building, third floor, San José;
Tel: + 506-2296-1490 (during office hours), Email:

If your passport has been stolen or gone missing, you must file a report as soon as possible and get an official declaration. You can do this at the O.I.J. in San José on Monday through Friday during office hours, tel (+506) 2295-3306 / 2295-3640 or after office hours (506) 2295-3639 / 2295-3640.
(If it is not possible to report, you can fill out a so-called “missing travel document report” at the embassy).

Afterwards, you have to contact the embassy to request a replacement for your travel document. They can issue a new passport or a temporary emergency document. Before you get a new document your personal data must be checked with the authority’s where the lost passport was issued. Usually, this procedure takes one to two working days.

The Dutch embassy in Costa Rica is able to issue 2 types of emergency documents:

-An emergency passport you can use to travel through the United States;
– A Laissez-Passer that does NOT allow you to travel via the United States unless you have a visa for the US.

American embassy in Costa Rica

Address: U.S. Embassy San Jose
Calle 98 Vía 104, Pavas

U.S. citizens with emergencies may contact or call +506-2519-2590 during business hours and +506-2519-2000 after hours.

Canadian embassy in Costa Rica

Address: Canadian embassy in Costa Rica
Behind the “Contraloría” in the Oficentro Ejecutivo La Sabana Building 5, Third floor

Tel.: (506) 2242-4400, Email: Monday to Thursday
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. & 2:40 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

British embassy Costa Rica
Address: British embassy in Costa Rica
Edificio Centro Colón, Paseo Colón and Streets 38 and 40, San Jose

Inquire about your question online. If you need urgent help, call +506 2258 2025 and select the option for consular assistance. Visits to the embassy are by appointment only. Call +506 2258 2025 to arrange an appointment. They cannot accept walk-in visits.


Telecom services: With your European or American telephone (subscription) you can make international calls via the national Costa Rican provider. Keep in mind that the range is not that great outside the capital San Jose. To save costs and to use local internet, you can buy a local SIM card upon arrival. Kolbi provides the best network around the country.

Internet: The hotels you’re staying in usually provide free Wi-Fi. In all larger cities, you’ll find wifi in restaurants and (internet) cafés.

Postal services: The postal services in Costa Rica are called ‘correos’. Sending mail to the United States or Europe takes about 10 days. You can bring Postcards to the post office or leave them at the hotel reception.

Electricity: In Costa Rica electrical appliances are charged with 110 volts. Charging mobile phones, tablets, and laptops is not a problem, other devices like hairdryers may not work well.
The electric outlets are similar to the US plugs. But, if you’re travelling from Europe, you need an adapter.

Climate: Costa Rica has a tropical climate. The maximum temperatures in the capital city of San José vary between 22 ° C / 72 F and 28 ° C / 82 F. At the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, the maximum temperatures fluctuate around 30-35 ° C / 86 – 95 F. It can be very humid. Precipitation varies between 1500 mm / 59 inches and 7000 mm / 275 inches.

Seasons: The statement that ‘Costa Rica’ has two seasons is not quite right. There is a difference between the climate on the Caribbean (east) coast and the Pacific (west) coast of Costa Rica. The weather on the Pacific side is more predictable. There is a clear dry (December – April) and a wet season (May – November). In the dry season there is virtually no rain, in the rainy season you can expect heavy showers in the afternoon.

On the Caribbean side, the weather is more unstable. Rainy periods can be alternated with clear blue skies throughout the year. The months September and October are the driest of the year.

In addition, Costa Rica is the country of so-called ‘microclimates’. The climate is mainly determined by the altitude. The differences are considerable! This also means that the weather is very changeable. If you travel, it may be that you leave with the heat and in the sun, get fog on the way, and it starts to rain and gets cold. However, by the time you approach your final destination, the weather becomes sunny and warm. All this can happen while travelling less than 100 kilometers / 62 miles!

Now you know this you know you have to prepare for rapid weather changes during your trip.
It is advisable to have sunscreen, a sun hat, a poncho, and a fleece sweater at hand all the time.

Money: The Costa Rican currency is the Colón. The largest denomination is 20,000 colones (± $ 30), followed by 10,000 (± $ 15), 5000 (± $ 7,50), 2000 (± $ 3) and 1000 (± $ 1,55). You can also pay hotel expenses and tours with US dollars. Make sure you have small denominations you ($ 5, $ 10, $ 20). You can hardly use Euros in Costa Rica. It is possible to exchange them at a couple of banks (Banco Nacional or BCR), but this is rather time-consuming. You better leave them at home.

It’s NOT a good idea to exchange money in the airport terminal upon arrival. The exchange rate of the national currency is approximately 10% below the regular rate. However, you can use the ATM here.

Payments: In all towns and cities in Costa Rica you’ll find ATM’s where you can withdraw money with your debit card. Please note that it is better to use the ATM machines of the Banco Nacional and BAC San Jose. The machines of other banks do not always accept foreign bank cars. At BAC San you can also withdraw US dollars.

Credit card: the most common credit cards, especially Visa and Mastercard, are accepted in all larger hotels, shops, bars, restaurants, and also at gas stations.

Restaurants charge 13% VAT and 10% service fees to their customers. You’ll find these amounts on your invoice.

Tips: Make sure you include an amount for tips in your holiday budget. Like at any holiday destination, it is also customary in Costa Rica to leave a small tip in hotels for chambermaids, porters, drivers, guides, and in restaurants. It is not common to give tips to taxi drivers or leave extra money in shops, supermarkets or public buses (people who are not working in the tourism sector). Bargaining is only accepted in souvenir shops or souvenir stalls on the street.

Health: If you get sick during your trip, ask your hotel reception to call a doctor if necessary. Traveler’s diarrhea can always occur; take a rest, keep drinking a lot (water, tea, Coca Cola) and eat easily digestible food (rice, broth, cooked vegetables). Take medication against diarrhea (eg Immodium) and against dehydration (ORS). If you have more serious complaints or health problems, do contact your travel insurance company.

In San Jose there’s a European doctor with a private practice:
Drs. Kristin Holthuis
Tel office: (506) 2225 9484 (08.00 – 18.00 hrs)

Private hospitals in San Jose with English speaking staff and doctors:

Hospital Cima San José
Tel: (506) 2208-1000

Hospital Clínica Católica San Jose
Tel: (506) 2283-6616
Fax: (506) 2283-6171
E-mail: infoing @ clinicacatolica

Hospital Clínica Biblica San Jose
Tel: (506) 2257-5252
Fax: (506) 2221-0645