Costa Rica is now known as one of the more expensive destinations in Central America, but the country's relationship with American low-cost carriers (such as JetBlue and Spirit) and favorable exchange rate has managed to keep travel affordable for tourists.
According to LonelyPlanet, while Costa Rica is significantly pricier than most Central American countries, it is also cheaper than traveling to Europe or within the U.S. Anywhere from $25 to $35 a day covers the basic essentials of food, lodging, and transportation, but rooms with private bathrooms (something Americans expect) roughly start at $15 to $20 per person, depending on the area. If you're willing to downgrade to a room with a bed, four walls, and a shared bathroom with other guests, you can expect to pay $7 to $15.
In general, tourists can expect to travel comfortably for $50 to $100 a day. Many restaurants cater to tourists, and offer meals that cost between $5 to $10. Set meals at lunch counters, called casados, typically cost $2 to $3.
What's more, there are many ATMs in even the smallest towns of Costa Rica, where the Visa Plus network is standard (you can find the Cirrus network which accepts most foreign ATM cards in larger cities and tourist areas), and throughout Costa Rica you can pay for tours, hotel rooms, park fees, and mid-range to pricey meals and large-ticket items with U.S. dollars.
Year-to-date change: 10.2
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