• Financial Institutions
  • Corporations
  • Travelers
  • Foreign Bank Note Exchange
  • International Drafts
  • International Wire Transfers
  • Global EFT
  • Foreign Check Clearing
  • Foreign Draft Issuance
  • Travel
  • Technology Companies
  • Payroll
  • Healthcare
  • Nonprofit
  • Partnerships

Travel on a Budget to Costa Rica (Top Destination of 2024)

Anne March 5th, 2024
Travel on a Budget to Costa Rica (Top Destination of 2024)



OnlineFX Ordering foreign currency is easy with OnlineFX.





Costa Rica has become a very sought-after destination and even landed at the top of the list for Destination of the Year. Its beautiful and majestic rainforests and beaches make it a must-visit country. With all that Costa Rica has to offer, including over 30 national parks. five percent of the world's biodiversity, arenal volcanoes, and soothing geothermal hot springs, this will be the most talked about family vacation for a lifetime.

As the currency experts we are, we want to help you know how much currency to bring and how to travel on a budget. With a family of four, we've compiled some tips to help you enjoy your trip while not breaking the bank.  

Need currency for your international trip? Reserve foreign currency online to save time on your branch pick up or use CXI's OnlineFX Home Delivery to order foreign currency whenever wherever. 


For more travel inspiration, follow us on Instagram

How to Get Around Costa Rica - Transportation

When traveling in Costa Rica with a family of four, here are some transportation options to consider:

  • Private Car Rental: This option provides flexibility and convenience. You'll be able to explore the country at your own pace and visit hidden gem destinations.
  • Tourist Shuttles: Companies like EasyRide, Interbus, and Monkey Ride offer rides to major tourist spots. They pick you up from your stay and drop you off at your next destination.
  • Public Buses: If you’re on a budget, consider using buses for shorter distances.
  • Boats and ferries: If you’re visiting coastal areas or islands, boats and ferries are the way to go. They connect you to mainland Costa Rica places like Tortuguero, Nicoya Peninsula, and the Osa Peninsula.
  • Taxis and Ubers: Uber operates in San Jose and some other cities, providing a reliable and safe option.  
According to GoByTaxi, the estimated cost to get from Juan Santamaría International Airport to San José is about 12,530 CRC ($24.36 USD). All numbers are based on February 23, 2024 data. Exchange rates are subject to change.  


Cost of Food in Costa Rica
Costa Rican platter

For a family of four, budgeting for food is essential on a five-day vacation. Tips to budget for food in Costa Rica: 

  • Eat at local sodas (small eateries) that serve traditional Costa Rican food.
  • Eat street food
  • Share meals (portion sizes can be generous)
  • Avoid tourist areas, they're typically more expensive food

Remember that prices can vary based on location, restaurant type, and personal preferences. Enjoy your culinary adventures in Costa Rica!  

A typical meal for a family of four at a local eatery might cost around $20 to $40 (10,295-20,590 CRC). If you choose mid-range restaurants, expect to pay $50 to $80 (25,700-41,100 CRC) for a family meal. All numbers are based on February 23, 2024 data. Exchange rates are subject to change.

Tours and Excursions in Costa Rica 

Entertainment such as tours and excursions is a huge part of the budget when traveling. Especially with children on the trip, these entertainment activities must be added to the itinerary. Here are some activities to consider while in Costa Rica:

The cost for a family of four for each excursion is as follows: $384 for ziplining, $50 for the national park, $272 for whitewater rafting, $308 for the arenal hanging bridges, and $132 for the chocolate tours. All numbers are based on February 23, 2024 data. Exchange rates are subject to change. 


How Much Currency to Have on Hand in Costa Rica - Tipping Customs

Costa Rican currency

In Costa Rica, tipping customs differ from those in the United States. While tipping is not required, here's a good guideline on how much to tip depending on where you're at.

In restaurants, an automatic 10% gratuity is added to your bill. This is a customary tip in addition to the 13% tax.

In hotels, a customary tip of $1 per bag is suggested when assisting with your luggage, and a $2 per day for housekeepers. Cash is king, so be sure to have cash on hand when tipping hotel and restaurant staff.  

Overall, for a family of four vacationing in Costa Rica, the recommended amount of cash to have on hand is about  $100 per person, per day. This total includes expenses for transportation, food, and entertainment. Order your currency with CXI to be prepared. 



See more company updates >

Subscribe to platinum passport >


About Currency Exchange International
Currency Exchange International, CXI, is the leading provider of comprehensive foreign exchange services, risk management solutions and integrated international payments processing technology in North America. CXI’s relationship-driven approach ensures clients receive tailored solutions and world-class customer service. Through innovative and trusted FX software platforms, CXI delivers versatile foreign exchange services to our clients, so that they can efficiently manage and streamline their foreign currency and global payment needs. CXI is a trusted partner among financial institutions, corporations and retail markets around the world. To learn more, visit: www.ceifx.com


Disclaimer: All product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners. All company, product and service names used in this website are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement.
Tags: Travel, Tips