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  About Costa Rica > General Information  


Location: Costa Rica is one of the small nations that together comprise the isthmus of Central America. The country's borders are defined by Nicaragua to the North and Panama to the South. Because it is between two continents, and two oceans, this convergence of land and water makes the region a great bottlenecks, rich in ecological diversity.

Area: 51.100 sq km (19.929 square miles)

Geographic Division: Costa Rica is divided in seven provinces (States) which are: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limón, Puntarenas and San José (Capital City)

Climate: Tropical, average temperature around 27° C / 80° F.

Time: GMT / UTC minus 6 hours

Language: The largest spoken language in Costa Rica is Spanish (97% of the population); although there are other native languages used mostly within the indigenous reserves.

Electricity: 110V, 60 Hz

Currency and Exchange Rate: The Colón (¢1,00) is the national currency of Costa Rica . The exchange rate against the US dollar can vary day by day, but as of April 20th 2006, it was ¢504,oo colones per dollar.

Credit Cards: Most international credit cards are accepted throughout the country: Visa :: Master Card :: American Express :: Diners Club

Tips: Most restaurants will include a 10% service charge at the bill . Taxi drivers generally do not receive a tip. If you are satisfied with the service you receive, hotel maids, tour guides and drivers would appreciate a tip.

Departure Tax: The average rate is US $17.00.

Visa Requirements: Citizens from Western European and EEC countries, from the United States, or Canada will need only a valid passport to enter the country. The only exception will be Greek citizens. All are allowed to stay for up to 90 days.

Suggested items to bring: Pants, short pants, T-shirts, hiking shoes, socks and extra socks, bathing suit, sandals, waterproof sunscreen sunglasses, light-weight hat, day pack, light rain jacket, flashlight, insect repellent, umbrella, casual attire for nights, binoculars, camera and film.

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