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Country Information

Costa Rica

Travel money

  • Travel Cash Card in Swiss francs (CHF)
    For ATM cash withdrawals
    For cashless payments in shops, restaurants, hotels, and online
  • Banknotes in local currency
    For minor expenses on arrival in country of destination
in addition to:
  • Banknotes in US Dollars (USD)

Travel Cash

Phone +41 31 710 12 15
  • Cash withdrawals often only with a PIN four digit possible.
  • The functionality of ATMs is not always garanteed.

Credit cards

  • Payment by credit card is relatively common. For more detailed information, please contact the credit card issuer.
  • Credit cards are recommended for car rentals. Prepaid cards are generally accepted for payment but not for reservations. Please check the possible payment methods with the car rental company in advance.


Local currency / ISO Code
Costa-Rica-Colón CRC
Currency exchange rate (effective date)
CRC 100 =~ CHF 0.19 ; CHF 1 =~ CRC 526.32 (01/2020)
Import local currency
unlimited; USD 10'000.00 (equivalent) or more must be declared
Import foreign currency
unlimited; USD 10'000.00 (equivalent) or more must be declared
Export local currency
Export foreign currency
  • For reasons of safety, it is advisable not to exchange cash over the amount needed immediately.
  • Travelers are advised to take cash in US dollar (USD).

Time difference with Switzerland

- 7 h / - 8 h during our summer time

National language

Official language
Language capabilities


San José

Country code for calling Switzerland

00 41 (disregard '0' preceding Swiss area codes)


110/220 volt / adapter required

Travel documents for Swiss citizens

Passport still valid 6 months or more after arrival, return or onward travel ticket and proof of sufficient funds for stays up to 3 months.

Swiss Embassy / Consulate

San José, Edificio Centro Colón, 10° piso, Paseo Colón
Tel. +506 2221 48 29

Opening hours

8.30 - 15.00 h (Mon - Fri)
8.00 - 18.00 h (Mon - Sat)


Swiss driver's license accepted for car rentals if obtained at least 1 year previously, varies by rental company.
International driver's licence recommended.
Minimum age for car rentals: 21 (varies by rental company).
CH sticker, first-aid kit, bright signal jacket, fire extinguisher and breakdown triangle mandatory.
Blood alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰.

Health situation

Do not drink tap water.
Mosquito protection advised.
Risk of dengue fever.
Risk of malaria in certain areas.
Vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A, polio and measles recommended.

Other information

This country is in an active earthquake zone.
High crime rate.
Do not carry valuables (watches, jewelry, expensive cameras, etc.) on you.
Beware of purse snatching, pick pocketing and auto break-ins.
Nighttime driving not advised due to high hold-up rate.
Special legal regulations
Very strict laws to fight illegal drugs.


For current travel informations visit also


While every precaution has been taken to verify the information provided, Swiss Bankers Prepaid Services Ltd does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of Country Information. Swiss Bankers Prepaid Services Ltd therefore shall not be held liable for any damage or loss sustained in connection with any errors or omissions contained therein.