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Costa Rica Travel Tips

Updated on May 1, 2008

Costa Rica Travel Tips


Costa Rica is a great place to visit if you have the time inclination and cash.You will arrive at the main international air port in San Jose. San Jose is a busy noisycity, But I have deemed it safer that most of the major cities in the USA. I feel safer in San Jose than I do in New York ,Chicago or L.A.

Its a good idea to know a little Spanish before you go.

While much of the literature I have read on Costa Rica says a large % of the people speak english In my experience a small % of Costa Ricans speak marginal english. You will find the Costa Rican people to be happy and in general helpful.

Depending how when and where you want to travel in Costa Rica will determine your first steps into the country. I normally get a cab at the airport to the bus station.

I like to travel inexpensively and in Costa Rica I am seldom in a hurry.

Get a red cab they are regulated and you pay the cab company not the driver.

To me this is one of the safest way to start your journey.

You can even ask for a driver that speaks english. Sometimes you will even get one.

Spanish being the national language of Costa Rica,

its not a bad idea to learn a few phrases in Spanish before you go.

The more spanish you know the better time you will probably have in Costa Rica.

Its not a necessity to speak Spanish but I find that dealing with merchants in Costa Rica you will get a

better deal if you speak Spanish.

The bus system is very good and in expensive, I had heard in the past that Latin American buses didn't follow a schedule but I have found the schedules to be accurate and the buses are generally on time.

People have said dont drink the water in Latin America, In San Jose I dont drink the water out of the tap, but when I get to the smaller towns the water is very good. In fact its not usually treated and is fresh good water. I have not drank the water in the USA out of the tap for 30 years because almost anywhere in the USA the water in contaminated.

I grew up on the streets of the USA, So I know how to protect my self and stay out of trouble. I suggest that you carry the bulk of your cash hidden, Carry enough cash and a credit card in your purse for the day. HIde the rest on you. I am being serious!

So if you get robbed you give the thief the cash you have in your purse and tell him that is all you have. I have never had a problem in Costa Rica again on in the big cities of the USA have people tried to rob me.

So use some common sense when you go exploring around Costa Rica and you will have the time of your life!


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  • fdoleac profile image

    fdoleac 8 years ago from Hollis, New Hampshire

    Thanks for the tips. We are researching for a vacation there soon.

  • profile image

    sarasotavince 9 years ago

    great advise! hope to travel there one day myself!