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Costa Rican Currency.

Find out what currency is used in Costa Rica, tips and tricks for Costa Rican currency exchange, and how you can save money on your visit with the Wise Costa Rican colon card.
Costa Rican currency

What is the currency in Costa Rica?

The currency in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colon. Each colon is divided into 100 centimos.

When you’re buying currency for Costa Rica, look out for the currency code CRC. And once you’re in Costa Rica, you’ll see the symbol ₡ used to show prices.

You'll find Costa Rican banknotes in denominations of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000 and 50000.

The centimo comes in coins of 1, 5, 120, 20, 50, 100 and 500.

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Use the Wise Costa Rican colon card to spend in Costa Rican currency.

The Wise Costa Rican colon travel money card lets you top up in your local currency, and switch to colon to spend when you’re in Costa Rica. You’ll get the best rate for spending in Costa Rican colon - and can also hold and spend 50+ other currencies with the same card.

Get your Wise debit card online for free, to send and spend money around the world at the real exchange rate.

Simply top up your card and convert to the currency you need in real time using the Wise app.

You’ll always get the real exchange rate with no hidden costs, and you’ll avoid foreign transaction fees while withdrawing from ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights.

Learn more about the Costa Rican colon card

Costa Rican currency card

Tips for exchanging currency in Costa Rica.

Familiarise yourself with the mid-market rate before your trip.
The mid-market rate is the true exchange rate - with no sneaky hidden fees. Use an online currency converter before your trip to get a feel for what your money is worth and make sure you get a fair rate when you buy your travel money.
Convert GBP to CRC >
Choose to be charged in Costa Rica currency when withdrawing from ATMs.
Being offered to pay in your own currency at an ATM is a sneaky trick and causes many travellers to pay more than they need to. Always choose to pay in the local currency - in this case, colon - to cut your costs and get the best rates available.
Avoid changing currency at airports or hotels.
Currency exchange desks at airports and hotels often markup the exchange rates they use, and may charge hidden fees. Avoid this expensive option whenever you can.
Use the Wise debit card to spend in Costa Rica without rip-off fees.
Withdraw money, pay for meals in restaurants or spend in shops in Costa Rican colon, all at the real exchange rate with the Wise debit card.
Get your travel money card >

Spending money in Costa Rica.

Paying by credit or debit card in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica's cities, merchants will usually accept credit and debit cards. However, the likelihood of this diminishes the further you go out into the countryside.

If you're in Costa Rica to enjoy the stunning natural scenery and planning a trip to one of the national parks, make sure to take out enough cash before you go.

ATMs in Costa Rica

Most major towns and even some small villages in Costa Rica have at least one ATM - although you may find that some services close at 10pm. Choose a cash machine marked ATH (a todas horas - at all hours) to make sure you can call for help if your card is withheld.

To get the best deal when spending on card or withdrawing money in Costa Rica, don’t forget to use the Wise debit card to avoid sneaky exchange rate markups and excessive fees.

spending money in Costa Rica

Costa Rican currency services.

Convert GBP to Costa Rican colon

Convert GBP to Costa Rican colon

Use our currency converter to see how much your money is worth in Costa Rican colon and familiarise yourself with the mid-market rate before your trip.

Send money to Costa Rica

Send money to Costa Rica

Need to send GBP to Costa Rica? Use Wise for fast, low-cost, and secure online money transfers from the United Kingdom to Costa Rica.

See the best Costa Rican colon exchange rates

See the best Costa Rican colon exchange rates

Compare live Costa Rican colon exchange rates and see how much you could save with Wise.

Costa Rican currency FAQs.

The currency in San José is the Costa Rican colon. Each colon is divided into 100 centimos. When you’re in Costa Rica you’ll see the symbol ₡ written down in shops and on menus, and the currency code CRC used in exchange offices.

Get your Wise debit card and save on your trip to Costa Rica.

Spend smart, save money. Avoid sneaky bank fees when travelling, with Wise.

Order your card now