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First trip out of the US

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Saint Louis...
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First trip out of the US

do i bring cash money or can i use (or have) ATM's at Riu? any advice?

Saint Louis...
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1. Re: First trip out of the US

oh and how about the rainy season? does it rain all day or is quick storms followed by sun?

Costa Rica
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2. Re: First trip out of the US

Not sure if there is an ATM at the RIU but there are ATM's all over Costa Rica, including at the airports.

My recommendation is - bring some cash (not a lot) and then get some colones from an ATM. If the price is in dollars, pay in dollars. If the price is in colones, pay in colones. You can easily replenish your cash supply as needed.

Of course, staying at an AI, you shouldn't need lots of cash -- right?

As for weather - it kind of depends on what time of year. It could rain all day or just rain in the afternoon or not rain at all. The area where you are going is one of the drier parts of the country.

San Miguel de...
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3. Re: First trip out of the US

To avoid large ATM fees find out which banks have a relationship with your bank. We bank with BofA, their partner bank in CR is Scotia. ATM's are the best exchange rates. Avoid the exchange companies at the airport.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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4. Re: First trip out of the US

Do not worry about ATM´s...all over the place...do not exchange your USD in USA...wait until you are in Costa Rica...

roadadvisor

Saint Louis...
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5. Re: First trip out of the US

thanks!

I'm going to RIU early Sept (weather wise)

Starting to wonder if going to such a huge resort was a wise choice but no turning back now

are the waves at the beach big enough to body board?

Guanacaste, Costa...
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6. Re: First trip out of the US

The Riu does not have an ATM. The closest ATM will be at the Gas Station in Communidad, The DO IT center or in Playa del Coco. Some ATM's will dispense only Costa Rican colones and others give you the choice.

If you decide to go on any Land Tours, most companies can stop at an ATM for you.

Winnipeg, Canada
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for Costa Rica
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7. Re: First trip out of the US

@G&J-from-VA

Although it is true that BoA and Scotiabank are part of the Global ATM Alliance, if you read the fine print you will find

""Free Access" does not apply to Scotiabank ABMs in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama or Belize."

So while this is a good tip for using ATMs in Canada and many countries in the Caribbean - not so in Costa Rica. Years ago - before I read the fine print I used my Canadian Scotiabank card at a CR Scotiabank ATM. I was charegd the transaction fee. so I called their customer service. The rep I got that first time hadn't either and did wave the fees. But since then - no.

Did you actually use your BoA card in CR at a Scotiabank machine without being charged?

@heynow - you have received lots of good information. Also - credit cards could be an option too. Many restaurants, tour companies, stores etc. do accept them - though sometimes you will get a better deal if you pay cash. and alot of smaller places don't accept them.

One thing you shouldn't pay with a CC is your departure tax ($26) Though they accept them, they treat the transaction like a cash advance and you are dinged with an extra fee - I think in most cases it is $10 for the transaction.

raquel

San Miguel de...
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8. Re: First trip out of the US

Thanks for the info re: BofA and Scotia. We haven't been to CR yet. We are going 11/4-14. Getting prepared. When in MX earlier this year we had a total of $7.50 in fees for one transaction at a bank not affiliated with BofA, $0 at ones that were. What can we expect in CR?

guanacaste
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9. Re: First trip out of the US

do not exchange at the airport, worst rate

Costa Rica
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10. Re: First trip out of the US

Check with your credit card company to see what they charge for international transactions.

Consider what Avispas wrote. If you can find a B of A - Liberia, for instance - it might cost you more to get there than the $7.50 fee!

I would find out what the international charge is for using your credit card and plan from there. It also might be different for using at an ATM or using to charge merchandise.

Whether you pay the credit card fee or not will depend on how much cash you think you will need and how you feel about lugging that cash around rather than traveling "light" and using an ATM to get more cash - even if you have to pay for the privilege.

Edited: 8:12 am, August 06, 2011