Time Difference

Costa Rica observes Central Standard Time all year round, which is six hours behind GMT.


The national currency is the colon (divided into 100 centimos). US dollars are also commonly used in Costa Rica and prices are often quoted in USD. The best place to exchange foreign currency is in banks such as Banco de Costa Rica and Banco Nacional, of which there are many in the major cities. Cards are widely accepted by merchants across Costa Rica. Generally, bank branches are open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 15:00.

Electricity and Plugs

110 volts; American flat plugs so take an adapter.

Local Amenities

Most shops are open Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 18:00.


La Nacion, La Republica and La Prensa Libre are the major newspapers in Costa Rica. The Tico Times is in English. Local radio and television is also available.


Delivery time for mail to Europe: one to two weeks.


To phone Costa Rica from the UK, add 00 506 to the front of the number you’re dialling (removing the first zero from the number you’re dialling). To call the UK from Costa Rica, use 00 44 before dialling the number (again, without the first zero).

Internet and Mobile Coverage

3G and 4G coverage is surprisingly good, although not so in some of the very rural areas. WiFi is also widely available. Mobile coverage is good overall although you should check with your network operator before travelling to Costa Rica for exact details.



Contact one of our Costa Rica specialists