Country Guide » Living and Working
When traveling in Costa Rica you can carry either American Dollars or Costa Rican Colones. Both currencies are widely accepted in Costa Rica and especially in most tourist destinations. If you decide to bring down American Dollars then you need to make sure the bills are in good condition because when you exchange them here for “colones” the bank teller will inspect the bill and make sure there are no tears or odd markings. Dollars are widely accepted here as well but if you pay in dollars be aware that your change will come back in “colones” and the exchange rate will be a little less than if you were to exchange your dollars at the bank. This is a common practice here when paying in Dollars.
If you need more cash during your travels then you can use the ATM but be sure to contact your local bank to let them know you will be in Costa Rica so they do not put a security block on your card. Also, some banks will charge you an international ATM fee so make sure you get all the facts before you travel.