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Talk:Costa Rica

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For future reference the Wikitravel:CIA World Factbook 2002 import can be found at Talk:Costa Rica/CIA World Factbook 2002 import

Regions of Costa Rica[edit]

I was wondering if there is a standard criteria for naming regions in countries or if it is done out of the blue. The Costa Rican government has established official regions with official region names that do not coencide with the ones established here, and I, being costarricense, can testify that no one knows the regions by those names. They seem made up to me.

Here is a document which states the official names of the regions in spanish.

The original region names were:

  • -Región Central
  • -Región Pacífico Norte
  • -Región Pacífico Central
  • -Región Pacífico Sur
  • -Región Norte
  • -Región Atlántica

and the current region names are (as of President Rodrigo Carazo Odio's administration):

  • -Central
  • -Chorotega
  • -Brunca
  • -Huetar Atlántica
  • -Huetar Norte

both names and definitions are understood throughout the nation, by the population and officials.

The document I stated before also details the limits of each region, as well as other information, such as population, cantons, cities, climate, and geography, among other useful information. Although the population information is outdated as it is based on the 2000 census and not the more recent 2011 census.JosepaXD 10:04, 9 January 2013 (EST)

Hi JosepaXD! Thanks for your question. Here is the link to the policy about naming the regions [1].
In this case, I would chose the names that are best recognized by locals and tourists. Let's see if someone from the community will respond in this conversation. If not, you as a costarricense, would probably make the best choice how to name the regions. Thank you! IBAlex 14:12, 9 January 2013 (EST)

Cities list Change Suggestion[edit]

I would suggest taking out Dominical from this list - Quepos and Golfito are much bigger than Dominical. It is not the largest in the South Pacific. Also would suggest to change "Quesada" to "Cuidad Quesada". This is the proper name for that town. --Rohrmoser 21:32, 18 September 2010 (EDT)

Weird Link[edit]

When I click on San Jose from the Costa Rica page I get a different San Jose than when I click it in the Central Valley page. One tells me it is a redirect. Please check. --Rohrmoser 21:32, 18 September 2010 (EDT)


Whoever wrote the stay safe section is greatly overstaing Costa Rica's crime problem. (In relation to the pages of other, much more dangerous central American countries.)

FALSE !! Costa Rica crime rate is HIGHER than one of Nicaragua and Panama, statistics of overall crime and murders are HIGHER than these 2 countries.

Costa Rica is an extremely dangerous country for crime. I have been robbed 6 times in few months gunpoint in "safe" areas. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Dont listen to this guy... his IP: (Italian) has been posting comments trashing Costa Rica... he is just a troll Please don't feed the troll. Besides, someone who gets robbed 6 times over a short period in a safe area shouldn't travel at all...Daniel32708 18:33, 11 March 2010 (EST)

is safe to visit costa rica? Erik

Yes Erik it is MORE than safe, I have lived here over 5+ years coming from Toronto I feel safer here than I ever did in Toronto. I've NEVER been robbed in all my years here and FREQUENTLY take public tranportation. email me if you have any questions [email protected]


How dangerous is the traffic exactly, when I went round CR the traffic seemed pretty good really, didn't see anything approaching an incident. Is this based on some source that gives it a basis or just an impression?

  • This is Tom Croke (aka Frog One) although I am not logged in. Tico drivers are pretty erratic, ignore stop signs, wrong way on one way streets. On the road down to the Pacific Ocean, a two lane winding highway, pulling out and passing in places we Amaricans would consider dangerous is commonplace.
  • In addition, streets and even main highways are not well marked. Figuring out where you are going can distract from the job of defensive driving.
  • I drive comfortably in Boston. I have not yet driven in Costa Rica, although I would now do so, after several trips there.
  • I've lived in Costa Rica for almost 18 years and driving requires you to be VERY alert. Outside San Jose it's usually OK since there is less traffic. When you drive, remember that every Tico basically drives as if he/she were alone on the road, while talking on his/her cell phone, watching a pretty (or any girl) and avoiding potholes. 10:40, 13 Nov 2005 (EST) Thorwald Westmaas

I edited out the following obvious falsehood from the Rental Car section: "Driving in Costa Rica is, by American standards, dangerous. Costa Rica has one of the highest rates of deaths by car accidents in the world". I replaced it with a referenced statement in the By Car section citing actual traffic death statistics on Wikipedia. (Better still would be to cite the primary sources that Wikipedia uses; maybe somebody can do that at some point.) I couldn't get the reference formatting to work right -- if somebody can fix that, that'd be great.

Gould363 23:34, 18 November 2010 (EST)

    • This is absolutely not true, driving in Costa Rica is very easy. The speed limit is 60-80km/hr - it means 40/50 miles per hour, all you have to do - is obey traffic rules, do change lanes slowly. I spent one week driving in Costa Rica (San Jose, Arenal, Quepos), never had any problems (and I am a 53-year old woman). Yes, there are a lot of potholes, but if you rent an SUV and drive carefully, it is not a problem.
Please feel free to Plunge forward and edit the information. We are a crowdsourced travel guide and everybody can contribute here! If you have any questions, please let me know. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 14:29, 5 February 2014 (EST)


This section needs a citation of some sort, statistics, etc. Prostitution is legal in Costa Rica, and I would like to see a source that cites "sexplorers" come there to find children. Such activities can be found in most countries in the world; more appropriate would be to say people may be looking for sex with minors in addition to those of age.Amae 11:08, 23 February 2007 (EST)

Renting a locker in San Jose?[edit]

Hi all,

My husband and I are traveling to Costa Rica for the first time in March. We fly into the San Jose Int'l airport and immediately catch a regional plane to Drake Bay. After three days there, we fly back to San Jose where we pick up our rental car. We are not staying in San Jose, just flying in and out of it.

Here's the problem: We're allowed one carry on bag that weighs no more than 25 lbs on the regional plane. Therefore, we hope to leave behind a suitcase in San Jose, in a secure location such as a locker, to be retrieved when we come back to get our car. Unfortunately, I can't get a straight answer about the availability of said locker from the dept. of tourism or our regional plane's office.

Have any of you done this? If so, where did you rent a locker? Like I said, we're not staying in SJ, so I really don't want to rent a hotel room just to stash the bag! And traveling in Costa Rica for 12 days w/only one bag weighing 25# is not an option.

Thanks for any help you can provide!! Realtabsd 11:40, 9 January 2008 (EST)

Quality of drinking, bathing water[edit]

This article could use a section on the quality of drinking and bathing water for those used to a fairly high standard of sanitariness in the EU or US. It is widely known that drinking Mexican water can result in severe sickness, perhaps worse. A potential visitor to Costa Rica, such as myself, would probably like to know about the condition of the water in this country.

Thank you. And I would add that this looks like a lovely country to visit, but the water issue is an important one to me. 20:36, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

We live in the USA but have a home in CR. In all of our travels around the country we always drink right from the tap. Never a problem. I'd be hesitant on a farm with a questionable well right next to a septic field, but the cities with piped water are safe. --Rengewwj 14:20, 18 January 2009 (EST)

You can drink tap water almost anywhere in the country, just avoid drinking it from dirty places such as restrooms or similar. I think this fact should be added somewhere in the main page. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 01:10, 25 July 2010

I've added a couple of sentences about this to the article, based on reports at this discussion. Anyone familiar with the country is welcome to expand or change them. – Vidimian 03:21, 25 July 2010 (EDT)

'By Car' Error[edit]

I have to say that in the By Car section, the statement, "Costa Rica is small so you do not burn a lot of gas getting places even though it seems like forever." isn't true at all. The reason it takes forever to get places is because there are mountains, potholes, and sometimes unpaved roads, all of which use more gas when driving. So a three-hour drive in Costa Rica uses MORE gasoline than a three-hour drive in The States. Yes, there are many more places to visit in a small area, but if that's what you mean, then say that. 21:30, 10 June 2008 (CST)

And, what's with the statement about regular vs premium gasoline? We have a car at our home in CR and have never had any problem with regular gas. Neither have our relatives (that live there full time.) I think you must be or have been in an area with dirty underground storage tanks or just an isolated problem. --Rengewwj 14:23, 18 January 2009 (EST)

Cities List - Change[edit]

I think that Quesada should be removed and Jacó_(city) be added as Jaco is one of the most popular beach locations and Quesada has minimal tourist value and the page on wikitravel has 0 information on it.

   * San_Jose_(Costa_Rica) - The capital.
   * Alajuela - location of Juan Santamaría International Airport
   * Cartago - Costa Rica's first capital
   * Dominical - the South Pacific coast's largest city, among incredibly biodiversity and natural beauty
   * Heredia - Coffee plantations
   * Liberia_(Costa_Rica) - Location of Danuel Oduber International Airport and gateway to the beaches of Guanacaste
   * Puerto_Limon - Main city on the Caribbean side
   * Puntarenas - Ferry to Nicoya Peninsula
   * Quesada - the largest city by far in the country's North, surrounded by hot springs popular with
     Costa Rican vacationers

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Firestormo (talkcontribs)

I'm inclined to support, simply drawing from the fact that the Quesada article in empty, and the Jaco article is rather good... but I don't know anything about Costa Rica --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 21:44, 8 December 2008 (EST)
While I am open to changing the list, there are two issues that make me hesitate in supporting this proposal. First, we try to get a representative sample of cities from all the different regions of the country, and Quesada is the one representative city for the Plains of the North. Second, is the contributions history of the person proposing it (special:contributions/, which has been exclusively edits that violate both Wikitravel:Don't tout and Wikitravel:External links. This contributions history makes me worry that the proposal might be fueled by a desire to attract more readers to the town in which this business does business.
As for Jacó, I'm no expert, but I remain unconvinced that this belongs in the top nine list of cities in Costa Rica. It's really just a beach resort town with nothing beyond resort hotels, tourist bars, and surf shops. It also doesn't even have a Spanish language Wikipedia page. Quesada is hardly a big attraction in Costa Rica, but I'm still unsold on this proposal, and would like to hear some concrete arguments (backed by figures) for why Jacó belongs in this list, rather than some other beach resort. --Peter Talk 22:19, 8 December 2008 (EST)
I must say im sorry for not following the rules, It was my understanding that anyone could make mods and I didnt understand why until yesterday my changes kept getting reverted. So i figured out to post here. I understand the logic behind wanting a diverse layout but then at least select a city that has information in the link rather then a link that has little to no value and no information in the link. Jaco beach in Costa Rica is one of the premier beach destinations for the country along the central pacific coast and most other beach cities are just like Jaco in regards to resort hotels, tourist bars, and surf shops that is what Costa Rica is about at the beach. The cities currently in the list represent all areas of Costa Rica except the Central Pacific Coast, You have Liberia for the Northern Pacific Area, Dominical for Southern Pacific, Puerto Limon for the Caribbean, and then some of the larger and better known citys inland, but nothing for the central pacific coast where a good number of the nations tourists visit. As far as numbers from the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) they only lists numbers for visitors entering the country not their destination within country or I would have provided the numbers here. --Firestormo Talk 11:37, 9 December 2008 (PST)
No worries. We do have a city listed already for the Central Pacific region, and that's Puntarenas. But I've now looked further into this, and it does seem like Jacó is way more busy with nightlife, dining, and even gambling, than the other beach-towns I've been to, so I'd be ok with substituting it for Quesada. Especially since we already have two "other destinations" listed for the Plains of the North.
This got me thinking, though. It would be great to have a section of Do that described the beaches throughout the country and gave an overview of what regions are good for what type of beach, and a list of the top beach destinations like Manuel Antonios, Jacó, Tortuguero, Dominical, Tamarindo, etc. I'll set the section up, and it would be great if you could help add some information. --Peter Talk 18:55, 9 December 2008 (EST)
I see the section you added under Do and I am more then happy to add more info when I return, I am leaving for Costa Rica in 3 hours so its off to the Airport and when I get back in 6 weeks, I will add some more detailed info about the different beach areas that I am familiar with as I have been to a good portion of the areas on the list you made already. --Firestormo Talk 9:13, 11 December 2008 (PST)

Cell phones[edit]

Article states FALSE. prepaid sim card ARE NOT AVAILABLE in Costa Rica. ROUTING DOESN T EXIST. PREPAID CARDS NEITHER. (AS FOR LATE 2009) For a tourist it is IMPOSSIBLE to use or get a cell phone in Costa Rica, since you need to be resident, ask for a line and wait MONTHS OR YEARS to get one. GSM COVERAGE IS THE WORST IN THE WORLD: it is almost impossible to call someone (even a 1 meter in front of you) for few seconds without the line being cut off. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Please stop SHOUTING. --Peter Talk 19:02, 24 October 2009 (EDT)
1- I dont know how to get a prepaid SIM, however, there are public phones all around in every city or town... and most public phones now take all of the following: coins, chip cards or "serial-number" (colibri) cards... not mentioning the call collect service 110. 2- If you request a cellphone (costa rican or foreign resident) it currently takes some hours to get the line... not months or years... get a life 3- Coverage is widely availabe...specially in cities and towns. Worst in the world? stop being a troll. 4- Why would you wanna call someone 1 meter in front of you? lol. Daniel32708 18:25, 11 March 2010 (EST)

June 2010, 1st day in San Jose, I visited a small cell phone store and asked for a prepaid SIM card & GSM Phone. Got both including 300 minutes for about $60. No problem, didn't show any ID. When I called the ICE (ee say) customer care, they did say the SIM was registered to someone other than myself so I couldn't get service, but they did help me change the voicemail password.

Carl —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Regions & Puntarenas[edit]

Hmm, we've called the southwestern region of the country Puntarenas, after the province name, but that province actually extends throughout most of the Central Pacific region. Any ideas for a better name for the southwestern region? --Peter Talk 23:25, 26 October 2009 (EDT)

see discussion at Talk:Puntarenas#Merge

Proposed Change[edit]

1- By car...


Gas stations are full-service and the guys there are very cool about taking dollars or Colón(es). The interesting thing is that Costa Rica is small so you do not burn a lot of gas getting places, even though it seems like forever. Costa Rica is also a land of traffic circles, so people from Europe should have no problem, but North Americans should make sure they know how they work. The gas stations really are full-service, and you can have your oil checked, water filled, and tire pressure topped off. The state owns a gasoline company and the private companies raise their prices to the level of the state-set price. It is recommended to always use super gas and not regular; the regular gas is soiled. If you use the "regular" gas, you will have to change the gas filter and clean the injectors after 5000 miles.


Gas stations are full-service and the guys there are very cool about taking dollars or Colón(es). Credit cards are also widely accepted. The interesting thing is that Costa Rica is small so you do not burn a lot of gas getting places, even though it seems like forever. Costa Rica is also a land of traffic circles, so people from Europe should have no problem, but North Americans should make sure they know how they work. The gas stations really are full-service, and you can have your oil checked, water filled, and tire pressure topped off for free. The government sets the gas price, so you will find the same price anywhere in the country. Keep in mind that gas is not sold in gallons but in litters. As anywhere else, it is always recommended to use super gas and not regular. the regular gas is soiled. If you use the "regular" gas, you will have to change the gas filter and clean the injectors after 5000 miles. . Diesel is also available.

Why? 1- Even if it is small, roads are slow traffic, so you will burn gas... if it takes forever, just as that sentence states, it obviously is burning gas all that time... 2- We buy refined gasoline...super or regular... who says the regular is soiled?



A speeding ticket is, at the most, 20,000 Colones (US $40), and although the police are generally congenial, foreign drivers are occasionally illegally offered an "on the spot" fine that is half that or less.

Proposed: According to the new traffic law, fines go up to around 280000 colones.... so we need to change the "20 000 colones us $40".

I suppose I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the slower you go from point A to point B, the less fuel you'll burn—that is, driving faster drives fuel consumption up exponentially. Not a big deal, though, so I certainly wouldn't object to its removal. --Peter Talk 01:58, 17 March 2010 (EDT)
Yep, but at the end it is similar...slower, consuming little during a loooong time, than faster, consuming more, but during a short time. Daniel32708 14:13, 18 March 2010 (EDT)

Yellow Fever Vaccination[edit]

Could we possibly change the wording in the section about vaccine requirements? Currently it states you need a yellow certificate if arriving from most neighbouring countries. It would be far more accurate to say you need one if arriving from a country at risk of YFV. Nicaragua is a neighbouring country to Costa Rica but is not at risk so no proof of vaccination is required. On the other hand countries like Burkina Faso could not be said to be neighbouring Costa Rica but if for some reason you were coming in from there, unlikely as that is, you would need one.

Also that entire section needs cleaning up in terms of quality of English.

18th December 2012