Can I use $, credit cards, ATMs?
- Yes, but call your credit card company to let them know your destinations and travel dates...if you don't, they may shut the card down on a fraud alert, suspecting identity theft. Most credit cards companies charge an international usage fee, and an exchange rate fee. We suggest getting/bringing a travel specific card that does not charge international usage fees.
- Exchange no more than $10 at the airport, the airport exchange has a horrible exchange fee. The Caldera Highway 27 tolls accept small US and Canadian bills if they are unmarked and in good condition.
- Do not bring large denominations (50's-100's) as the banks and merchants will scrutinize them. All bills must be unmarked and in very good condition, no rips, tears or markings.
- Most beach and tourist destinations/stores/restaurants do accept us dollars. We recommend that you go to a local bank and change out to colones, as it makes it easier to calculate what you owe, and you eliminate any opportunity for merchants to take advantage of you on the exchange rate. Ask the bank what, if any, fees they charge to give you cash from your debit or credit card. Keep in mind, this may be considered a cash advance.
- We have ATMs available in Uvita that accept foreign debit cards. BNCR Bank is located across from the large BM Supermercado. BCR Bank is located next to the Del Pacifico Supermercado. Most will allow you to withdraw 50,000 colones (about $94 us at current exchange rates). You can do this 4 times in a day, for a total withdrawal of about $376 us. Keep in mind, rules tend to change often here, so this amount can fluctuate.
- Some restaurants are cash only....be sure to carry enough cash to accommodate this.
- For current exchange rates go to; http://www.xe.com/currency/crc-costa-rican-colon