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Sufficient Amount of US dollars to Costa Rican Colones

Houston, Texas
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220 posts
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Sufficient Amount of US dollars to Costa Rican Colones

I will be vacationing for 10 days in Costa Rica at an "all-inclusive" resort in May 2017, I will be bringing US dollars for spending money because US currency is widely accepted, but I'd like to know if exchanging $150US to Costa Rican colones is a sufficient amount to exchange for the amount of time I will be in Costa Rica. Thanks

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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1. Re: Sufficient Amount of US dollars to Costa Rican Colones

It very much depends on your personal expenses. And how much the All Inclusive really is All Inclusive. I am a frugal traveller but those 150 USD would not last half those 10 days. An average guest from the States might spend all of those dollars on tips only.

Toronto
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2. Re: Sufficient Amount of US dollars to Costa Rican Colones

$150 USD is a paltry sum even for an all-inclusive, and in your case it is 10 days. That works out to 15 dollars a day. If this was Cancun/Mayan Riviera, with little natural surrounding beauty maybe you could stay on resort the entire time, but I guess you will be tempted to go offsite at some point in Costa Rica.

I'd be more comfortable with at least 500+ in cash, plus credit cards.

Edited: 17 March 2017, 11:33
Ontario, Canada
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3. Re: Sufficient Amount of US dollars to Costa Rican Colones

Depends on which AI and you.

We stayed in one AI on the Pacific Coast of CR in the past. We went for walks along the beach to see monkeys daily, before breakfast, so those were like free mini tours for us, definitely an experience, did not cost us a thing, we also purchased some tours from the hotel through our tour rep.

CR is an expensive country and the tours cost exuberant amount of $, especially tours sold by hotel reps, as there are middlemen involved. To save costs, you might want to research other ways to do the outings in the area, possibly contact some other recommended guides / tour companies. Do not book, just bring your notes and quotes with you, know the options before you attend the orientation mtg at your resort where they may be describing and selling their tours to you.

If you are happy to enjoy the resort's facilities, food, drinks, won't be renting a car, going out to eat outside the resort, buying expensive authentic masks, other art objects or CR leather chairs to be shipped out of the country to you, you won't need that much $. I do not think that US $150 in tips is "paltry" at all.

If you are planning on buying tours, $150 won't even come close.

Try to have a credit car that charges no international transaction fee.

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: Sufficient Amount of US dollars to Costa Rican Colones

I'll be staying at the RIU Palace, I will be bringing a considerable amount of US currency to pay for tours and whatever else. I just thought I should have some amount of the local currency on hand in the event I'm somewhere in the surrounding areas and the US dollars is not accepted, wanted to know if $150US exchanged to colones is enough or should I exchange a higher amount, I don't want to have a lot of extra colones left over. Thanks

Ontario, Canada
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5. Re: Sufficient Amount of US dollars to Costa Rican Colones

I would not exchange even that much. Unless you r travelling to really isolated / not touristy areas, US are accepted everywhere. In some cases, there may be 2 prices, and the exchange rate by store owners will likely not be in your favour if paying in US vs CRC. But you can tip in US, so do not exchange much! Especially since you are at an AI resort, and will be paying for tours from some other fund / source. I think the prior responses were based on us thinking you thought $150 would be the entire amount on top of the price of the AI hotel, that you might need.

manchester
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6. Re: Sufficient Amount of US dollars to Costa Rican Colones

I stayed at the Riu palace. We spend 2 days in arenal and monteverde, went to Rincon de la Vieja and into playa del coco. The only place we needed local currency was the supermarket but we just used our credit card (fee free one). We didn't come across anything else that we needed colones for. If I was to go again I would take US dollars and a fee free credit card again.

7. Re: Sufficient Amount of US dollars to Costa Rican Colones

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