Costa Rica is an easy favorite for first time backpackers and seasoned travelers alike. The climate is warm, the varied landscapes are gorgeous, the locals are friendly, and the country is easy to navigate. Costa Rica has been one of my favorite spots to visit thus far in my travels in Central America and although you’ve probably researched basic things like currency, vaccination requirements, visa information, etc there are other bits of info you should know as well.
Its expensive but it doesn’t have to be
Compared to other countries in Central America like Nicaragua or El Salvador, Costa Rica is expensive and a lot of budget travelers skip the country altogether. Eating out at restaurants costs nearly the same as it does in the States and if you’re drinking it adds up even more. Beers were roughly $2.50, which is about the same price on a good night in a dive bar here in Michigan. If you stay in dorms for $10/n that offers a free breakfast you can cut back on your daily budget.
One hostel I stayed in had an amazing restaurant attached. Their breakfast was about $8 that included eggs, freshly cut fruit, a slice of warm, buttered French bread, potatoes, and a glass of fresh squeezed juice. It was a pretty great deal considering all that I got but at the same time if I would have stayed at a hostel with a free breakfast I’d have saved $40 that week.
One way to save $$ on food is to eat at sodas. Sodas are local Tico restaurants that offer cheap meals and snacks. A typical meal is rice, beans, plantains, and a tortilla anywhere between 1,000 – 2,000 Colones ($2-$4) and are extremely filling. If you’re on a tight budget or even if you just want to try some local dishes sodas are always great places to hit up. On average, you can easily get by on a $30/d budget but if you want to eat at nice places your average budget will be about $40 a day.
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