Costa Rica offers vacationers opportunities to enjoy pristine beaches, rainforests, volcanoes, jungles and unique wildlife among other attractions. The culture is generally casual and laid-back, and the primary language of the country is Spanish.
Travelers from the United States may find that English is spoken to some degree in tourist areas, but may want to prepare by learning some basic phrases in Spanish or by carrying a translation guide. U.S. dollars are accepted at many attractions, restaurants and hotels.
The climate is hot and humid for most of the year, so it is wise to pack sunscreen and loose clothing. Insect repellent is also a good idea for those visiting the rainforest areas, as mosquitoes are plentiful.Toilet paper is not always provided in public restrooms, and the septic systems generally cannot handle the flushing of tampons.
The country is generally inexpensive relative to North America and Europe. Credit card acceptance by businesses is not as widespread as in those regions. Extra fees are sometimes added for using them, so it is important to carry cash. Cash is readily available from banks and ATMs in San José, but these are harder to come by in the less populated areas of the country.