The working day in Costa Rica begins quite a bit earlier. People here play music a lot louder than some of us might like. Costa Ricans’ driving habits and behavior behind the wheel can often be quite jarring and annoying.
Privacy is less insisted on. A perfect stranger here might ask you personal questions 10 minutes after you met that only long-time acquaintances at home would dare.
Also, Costa Ricans are crazy about fútbol – not US college or NFL football, but soccer, as it is called in the USA and Canada.
So when you come to fish Costa Rica, these tips and bits of info will help bridge some of the gaps. Get our complete information package by filling out the form below.
These are just a few of our hints and info for everyone planning and embarking on an exciting Costa Rica sportfishing adventure:
You will probably get by with English. A lot of Costa Ricans, especially young people, speak English. In the sportfishing and tourist industry, virtually everyone does.
Travel light, especially if you are taking commuter or charter flights while in Costa Rica.
If you are traveling with a lot of cash, don’t carry it in your wallet. Before you travel, buy a cloth money pouch that you can conceal under your shirt, or tuck in under your pants.
When you check in to your hotel, ask the front desk to make copies of your passport. Carry the copy with you, and leave the original in the room’s safe deposit box or in the hotel safe.
If you bring anything you can’t afford to lose, keep it in the room’s safe deposit box or hotel safe, especially when you are entertaining guests.
Change $30-$40 into local currency (colones) at your CR hotel or at a bank when you arrive for taxi cabs, soft drinks or a candy bar at a convenience store, etc. The current rate is about 540 colones to the US dollar.
For your fishing days, you’ll need a hat, sun break and good rubber-soled shoes.
Standard tipping to captain and crew is 10-15% of the day rate – if deserved!
If you haven’t purchased a fishing license, don’t worry. There is a fish cop at most marinas; you can buy it directly from him: $15.00 per person fishing. If he isn’t there – even better! You can buy the license online.
Dollars (or colones if you want) are available at most ATMs. How much you can take out depends on your bank. There is usually a $500.00 per day limit.
Most bars and restaurants, boutiques, etc., will take plastic. VISA and Mastercard are preferable, as AmEx processing fees here are high. Some establishments, especially the smaller ones, won’t accept AmEx.
Before you tip, you should know that restaurants add a 13% sales tax (usually included in the menu, but not always) and a 10% service tax to the bill. The 10% might go directly to your food server, or it might be shared among the restaurant staff.
Food servers in Costa Rica appreciate a direct tip in cash – don’t add the tip to the bill if you pay with plastic, they probably won’t get it! And US tourists don’t have to tip as much as they would at home.
Don’t leave stuff like cameras, laptops, tablets or cell phones unattended at bars, restaurant tables, poolside, or on car seats in open view.
You can walk around safely pretty well everywhere, especially during the daytime. Use your common sense: if you walk into an area where you don’t feel comfortable, do a quick 180-degree turn and walk back. Also, if you have had a few too many, take a cab to the hotel, even if it is only a couple of blocks away.
Everything is informal here, no jackets and ties.
Contact FishCostaRica, the most respected name in Costa Rica fishing for over 25 years, to book your Costa Rica sportfishing charter or complete Costa Rica fishing vacation. We will also answer all your questions. Have a great time in Costa Rica!