Where To Exchange Money In Costa Rica

where to exchange money in costa rica

Where to Exchange Money in Costa Rica

Welcome to the vibrant and captivating realms of Costa Rica. A country spanning coastlines, jungles, and mountains, but what about currencies? To experience the best of Costa Rica, one must first navigate the labyrinth of currency exchange. As the guardian of money exchange, I shall guide you through the best places to exchange your money in Costa Rica.


First on our list are the guardians of gold, the "Banks". Costa Rican banks are trustable establishments for currency exchange. The National Bank (Banco Nacional) and Costa Rica's Bank (Banco de Costa Rica) are among the most reputable ones. Typically, these banks offer competitive exchange rates and secure transactions. However, factor in that you may encounter long wait times, due to their stringent verification processes.


In the world of hospitality, "Hotels" often provide currency exchange services. The convenience of this option is unmatched, as you may not need to leave the comfort of the hotel. However, consider this a premium service, as the exchange rates may not be as favorable compared to banks or local exchange bureaus.

Local Currency Exchange Bureaus

"Local Currency Exchange Bureaus" or "Casas de Cambio” often present the best balance between convenience, speed, and competitive rates. These establishments are dedicated to currency exchange, offering a wide variety of currencies. Although rates can vary between bureaus, they tend to be more competitive than hotels and sometimes even banks.

Airport Exchange Services

Costa Rica's airports, notably Juan Santamaría International Airport and Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, offer "Airport Exchange Services". This option provides immediate access to local currency upon touchdown. However, this convenience comes at a steep cost, as airport exchanges usually have higher fees and less favorable exchange rates.


"ATMs", or "Cajeros Automáticos", can be a convenient method for obtaining Costa Rican colones. They’re spread throughout the country and provide 24/7 access. Consider your home bank’s partnerships, as using a partner bank can help you minimize or avoid overseas withdrawal fees.

Credit and Debit Cards

In the era of digital money, "Credit and Debit Cards" offer ease of transactions. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted at establishments throughout the country. However, do understand the lurking nuances here - foreign transaction fees and dynamic currency conversion fees - that can significantly impact your spending.

Online Currency Exchange Platforms

In the time of modern technology, "Online Currency Exchange Platforms" are becoming popular. They provide quick, easy, and oftentimes, cost-efficient money exchanges. Websites like TransferWise, Revolut, and XE offer competitive rates with minimal fees. It's pivotal to make sure your chosen platform operates in Costa Rica. Remember, no method is universally the best. Each has its pros, cons, and suitability based on individual circumstances. Always check for the current exchange rates, fees, and availability of the option based on your location. Having done your homework, use the method that best suits your needs and enjoy the stunning beauty of Costa Rica.