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Change currency first or take cash and exchange in Costa Ric

Orlando, Florida
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Change currency first or take cash and exchange in Costa Ric

My best friend and I are going to Costa Rica for 4 days. We are trying to decide how much cash we need to take with us and whether we should exchange currency before we go or just to take cash and exchange what we need while we're there. We are staying at an all inclusive resort so food and drinks are covered and anything else at the hotel can be paid on a credit care. Also, our excursions are all ready paid in advance. Any suggestions?

Toronto
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1. Re: Change currency first or take cash and exchange in Costa Ric

Exchange it when you arrive - but not at the airport. You may not even need to exchange any money at all. US$ are accepted pretty much everywhere.

Costa Rica
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25,654 posts
25 reviews
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2. Re: Change currency first or take cash and exchange in Costa Ric

If you bring cash, don't bring big bills. Bring nothing larger than a $20 and make sure the bills are in good condition, no tears or writing.

It's always a good idea to have a few colones -- you can get colones from an ATM at the airport before you exit the terminal. The current exchange rate is around 493 - but usually, I just figure 500. So 50,000 colones would be just under $100.

You can use your credit card in many places also.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
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3. Re: Change currency first or take cash and exchange in Costa Ric

Great advice by Hattie, agree 100%, do what she has said and you will be goldie.

Nowhere
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for Playa Samara
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4. Re: Change currency first or take cash and exchange in Costa Ric

You might also find it rather impossible to obtain Colones at your local bank. Even my bank in NYC looked at me like I was nuts and then told me it would take them something like two weeks to get Colones.

Follow Hattie's advice and you will be fine.

Under absolutely NO circumstances use the exchange booth at the SJO baggage claim. You might as well take a few dollar bills and wrap your old chewing gum in them before you throw them in the trash.

Telluride, CO
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5. Re: Change currency first or take cash and exchange in Costa Ric

I just came back from Costa Rica 4 days ago, and the US dollar was widely used. I exchanged money once, and didn't even need to. The US currency was accepted everywhere I went. I even noticed that a lot of pricing was in US Dollar. If you want to exchange money go to a bank, they will give you the best and won't take a commission.

Don't bring bills larger than $20, and make sure they are in good condition. Costa Rica isn't as strict as other places I have been. Peru was aweful, I couldn't exchange half of my money because it wasn't crisp and new.

Have fun on your trip!

6. Re: Change currency first or take cash and exchange in Costa Ric

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