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Costa Rica Travel Guide

Since the late 1980s Costa Rica became a popular Tourist destination, home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, in a country that has only 0.03% of the world’s landmass, but that is estimated to contain 5% of the world’s biodiversity. By the early 1990s, Costa Rica became the top destination for ecotourism.
Also Costa Rica is considered one of the most peaceful countries in the world and proof to that the nation constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. Geographically Costa Rica borders Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south and comprises 51,100 square kilometers (19,700 sq mi) plus 589 square kilometers (227 sq mi) of territorial waters.

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Most visitors can get into Costa Rica without the need of a Visa and can stay in the country for 90 days, the international airport features the normal assortment of duty-free shops, interesting souvenir and bookshops and some fast food restaurants, is serviced daily by Air Transat (Seasonal) American Airlines, Can jet (Seasonal), Condor, Delta, Frontier Airlines, Iberia, Interjet, JetBlue Airways, Thomas Cook, Spirit Airlines, United, US Airways, Air Canada, Avianca , Taca, Copa Airlines and Air Panama . Before leaving Costa Rica you need to keep in mind that there is a USD $32 exit fee at the Juan Santamaría Airport, this must be paid in cash, or by Credit Card (in which case it will be processed as a cash advance). The fee can also be paid in advance at some hotels or banks.

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There are no formal street addresses in Costa Rica, however there is a system, which is much more reliable and understood by locals, is known as the “Tico address”, usually involving an oriented distance (example, “100 meters south, 50 meters east”) from a landmark (example “the cathedral”). Spanish is the official language in Costa Rica however English is used widely in most areas, especially those frequented by tourists, and information for visitors is often bilingual or even exclusively in English; Costa Rica´s official religion is Roman Catholicism; the local currency is colon named after, Money exchange is provided at most hotels or local banks, most businesses in Costa Rica accept dollars(not $100 bills) and all major credit cards, however if you pay in dollars you might receive the change back in colones, there is also a money exchange service at the airport, but it is outrageously expensive so we never recommend the visitors to exchange money at the airport; ATMs can be found in most places. They normally dispense US dollars and colones.

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Costa Rican cuisine can be described as simple but wholesome, most Costa Rican foods are not spicy. Some of the most popular dishes are:
Gallo pinto: is a mixture of rice and beans with a little cilantro or onion thrown in. While more common at breakfast, it can also be served at lunch or dinner.
Casado: It literally means married, is the typical lunch in Costa Rica, containing rice and beans with meat, chicken or fish, always served with salad and fried plantain.
Most places have potable water, so don’t worry about drinking tap water. Bottled water is also available at low prices in all grocery stores. With 1.9 million travelers visiting Costa Rica annually, more than any Latin American country, travel is quite popular and common. Still, travelers to Costa Rica should exercise caution. The emergency number in Costa Rica is 911.