Costa Rica is easily one of the most fun and exciting places to visit whether you are with friends or family. However, there is no reason to break the bank or compromise with your experience due to the lack of funds.
The following are 7 tips on how you can save money while traveling in Costa Rica:
- Use the Local Currency
US dollars are accepted in most parts of Costa Rica. However, it’s highly recommended that you use the local currency instead, known as the “Colon”. There are many reasons why that’s a good idea; for starters, you are less likely to be ripped off when you use the local currency as you ditch the “touristy” vibe. Plus, you can make more accurate payments in the local currency compared to USD. If you’re not a mathematician or sharp with mental math, quick conversions mixed with the language barrier can leave you the tourist at a disadvantage.
- Get a Local SIM Card
Cell phone service is cheap in Costa Rica which is why one of the first things that you should do when you reach your destination is purchase a SIM card. You can easily pass an entire month with 10 USD worth of money on a prepaid mobile card from Kolbi. You can easily purchase the card at both Liberia International Airport and San Jose in the country. Many times, foreign mobile service providers will charge at a premium to piggyback off the local cell towers and network.
- Use the Right Credit Card
Credit cards are highly convenient and useful for frequent travellers as you may not have access to cash or be able to use cash everywhere you go. Additionally, you can get discounts or earn reward points with credit cards. However, some cards impose foreign transaction fees that can add up when you use your cards at various places abroad. So, it’s better to find a card with no foreign transaction fee. There are many options available; compare them thoroughly and pick the best one that tailor fits your personal situation.
- Eat at Sodas
You don’t have to splurge money at Costa Roca to enjoy delicious meals. Instead of dining at fancy restaurants, you can check out sodas that are basically local mom-and-pop restaurants where you can find simple, yet deliciously authentic Costa Rican food. You can easily get full meals at $5-6 easily here!
- Look for Cheap Thrills
There is no denying that Costa Rica is an adventure and extreme sports paradise, especially if you like these kinds of activities and have the funds. However, you can have a great time here even when you don’t partake in thrill-seeking adventure activities. For instance, you can walk around a Tico town (a wonderfully authentic Costa Rican community), check out the farmers market aka feria, or visit any of the 50+ national parks to learn about the culture of the place and also meet some of the most fun people.
- Sleep in Hostels and Cabins
For accommodation, rather than traditional hotels which can be quite expensive in Costa Rica, you should consider tor cabins or hostels. Mind you, the hostels here are not bare-minimum accommodations but rather some of the most fun-packed areas that you can hang out with other backpack travellers. Some of the best hostels in Costa Rica even have amenities like a swimming pool, live music, and game rooms!
- Bring Your Own Booze
Alcohol isn’t cheap in Costa Rica. So, it’s better if you bring your own liquor especially considering that you can bring up to 5 liters here (5 liters more if you are with another person). If you don’t want to carry extra luggage, then you can buy alcohol from the mini markets in the country rather than the supermarkets as it’s expensive there.
So, there you have it- some of the best tips on saving money in Costa Rica. Follow all of them and you will be able to save more than you think.