Are there plans for a Costa Rica trip on your horizon? Get a head start with this handy summary of currency and payment alternatives to make your visit smoother.
Currency in Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, the official currency is the Costa Rican colón, which is simply called the colón and is denoted by the currency code CRC and symbol ₡. The colón is named after Christopher Columbus, known as Cristóbal Colón in Spanish, who was the famous explorer credited with discovering Costa Rica during his fourth voyage to the Americas in 1502.
While the Costa Rican colón remains the official currency, it’s worth noting that U.S. dollars are widely accepted in many tourist areas and businesses, particularly in regions frequented by international visitors. However, it’s advisable to use the local currency for most transactions to avoid unfavorable exchange rates.
Payment Options When Traveling to Costa Rica
When planning a trip to Costa Rica, it’s essential to budget for your lodging and dining costs, along with transportation expenses and potential souvenir purchases. Here are the typical payment methods used in Costa Rica:
- Costa Rican Colón (CRC): The official currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colón. It’s denoted by the symbol ₡. While credit cards and US dollars are widely accepted in tourist areas, it’s advisable to have some colones on hand for small purchases, local markets, and transportation in more remote areas.
- US Dollars: US dollars are widely accepted in Costa Rica, especially in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants. Many businesses list their prices in both colones and US dollars and will accept either currency.
- Credit and Debit Cards: Credit and debit cards, particularly Visa and MasterCard, are widely accepted in Costa Rica. You can use them for most purchases, including hotels, restaurants, and major attractions. However, it’s a good idea to carry some cash, especially in more rural or less touristy areas where card acceptance may be limited.
- Electronic payments: Many businesses in Costa Rica allow payments via electronic wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. These are convenient options that allow you to pay with your smartphone and avoid having to carry cash or credit cards.
Buy an RFID-Blocking Wallet for Costa Rica Travel
RFID-blocking wallets are designed to safeguard your credit card information from theft while you’re on the go.
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. An RFID-blocking wallet prevents identity theft by blocking radio waves.
There are many types of RFID-blocking wallets on Amazon, so it’s easy to find one that will fit your style and budget.
If you’re not sure what kind of RFID wallet is best for you, we recommend the FurArt Credit Card Wallet. This wallet features 13 card slots, 2 cash pockets, and an RFID blocking lining — a great gift for the man or woman on the go!