We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Costa rican money exchange

Which San Jose hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Toronto, Canada
posts: 65
reviews: 7
Costa rican money exchange

I am planning to have some colones and some us dollars. Where is it better to get the exchange rate for colones? Here in Toronto, Canada or in San jose?

Jupiter, Florida
posts: 2
reviews: 3
11. Re: Costa rican money exchange

Warning..Do not use the Global Exchange Bank after passing Customs as their rates are roughly 11% less than what you will receive at hotels, restaurants and other business establishments. I've been flying weekly to Central and South America for 20+ years and nothing irks me more than seeing tourists get ripped off before even exiting the airport.

Costa Rica
posts: 24,864
reviews: 26
12. Re: Costa rican money exchange

I couldn't agree with you more, wefly777! There are so many better choices rather than using the exchange booth at the airport.

In the past, I have used the exchange booth just to get a bit of the local currency (nothing more than $20) but really wanted to turn around to those waiting and say, "This is not a good idea!" I was almost embarrassed to be there!

Arriving in Costa Rica, both international airports have ATM's, US dollars are widely accepted and you can always exchange dollars for colones at one of the many banks as well as getting colones from any of the many ATM's throughout the country.

posts: 78
reviews: 5
13. Re: Costa rican money exchange

I always use the bank branch on the upper level (where you pay your departure tax) and there you will get the best rate, in and out very quickly and then off to the public bus outside which costs under a dollar to get to the area by Mercado central in downtown San Jose (the public bus saves you about $26 from not taking a taxi) normally the bus takes about 15 minutes longer than the taxi to get to downtown SJ

new york, ny
posts: 24
14. Re: Costa rican money exchange

On our second to last day of visit that we just returned from, we ran out of cash. So I withdrew money from a Banco Costa Rica ATM machine for 50,000 colones (which is $100USD) and my bank charged me $105 including $3.50 foreign exchange adjustment. I think it's better if you just bring USD. Most establishments used 500 or 490 colones per $1USD. I wish I brought enough but if you run out of cash then you should withdraw from ATM which would give you best exchange rate.

Costa Rica
posts: 24,864
reviews: 26
15. Re: Costa rican money exchange

The ATM doesn't give you an exchange rate. It's whatever bank the card you used. Before using your card in an ATM, check to see what your bank's policy is regarding international transactions.

Most people think that paying $3.50 or $5.00 fee is like an "insurance policy" so that you don't have to worry about carrying around a big wad of cash. (And it would be a big wad because many places won't accept anything larger than $20 - except to pay large amounts such as your hotel or a tour.)

Miami, Florida
posts: 1
16. Re: Costa rican money exchange

I have the old colones. And no bank or money exchange will convert them into dollars here in Miami..Do they still exhange the old currncy in Costa Rica and when did the change take effect?----Any suggestions

Costa Rica
posts: 24,864
reviews: 26
17. Re: Costa rican money exchange

I think that the time for exchanging old currency has expired. Your only hope would be to go to the Central Bank in San Jose. Depending on how much you have, it might or might not be worth the trouble.

18. Re: Costa rican money exchange

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:17 am, May 25, 2014