SAFETY | MONEY | TRANSPORTATION | PURA VIDA
Costa Rica is a beautiful country with very friendly people and you will feel safe driving through small rural towns. However, like everywhere in the world, there is crime and you need to use your best judgment. You should make copies of all important travel docs including your passport and put them in a separate place than the originals. Never leave your valuables in your car unattended. Do not stop to eat or sight see with all your stuff in your car. It will get broken into. A good rule of thumb is to get to where you are going, drop off your stuff in your hotel or house and then go to the beach, restaurant etc. Also, drive slower than you are used to at home. We have cows, horses, kids, and other obstacles on the road. Drive safe. Trust me there is no rush here.
The current exchange rate is around 580 colones to the dollar. If you want to pay cash is best to convert some of your dollars to colones. You can do that at a local bank here. The airports exchange counters are usually a rip off. Most places will take dollars but may not give you the best exchange rate either. You can use your credit card just about everywhere. Make sure you tell your bank you are coming to Costa Rica so they don't freeze your card. There are two ATMs in Nosara to get more cash if you need it. I would bring down some just in case. but keep in mind it only accepts visa friendly cards. The days of $1 beers in the bars are over but you can still buy them for around $3. The cost for most dinners is about $15-$20 per entrée for a really nice meal. Lunches are about $7-10… When you arrive stop by the shop and I’ll give you my favorite spots to go for food and nightlife…Costa Rica has a 13% sales tax on everything so don't be shocked when this is added to your bill. There is also a 10% service charge for tips in restaurants. You should add on another 5-10% for the server in cash. Hope that helps..
To get to and from the major airports there are shuttle services offering private and shared rides direct to your house or hotel. The closest airport to us is Liberia which is 2.5 hour drive to Nosara. The San Jose airport is 4.5-5 hours away. Send us and e-mail to help you arrange a pick up. Our town by the beach is a bit spread out. The most common modes of transportation while you are here are rental car, golf cart, quad atv, bicycle, and feet.. You can also find local taxi Tuk Tuk's all over town that can take you anywhere for around $8-$15. Send us an e-mail and we can steer you in the right direction. We also offer a free local map for the area to help you get around.