Calling to Costa Rica
Making Calls while in Costa Rica
Other Information about Long Distance Calling To/From Costa Rica
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Information About the Costa Rican Telephone System
Though fairly small, Costa Rica's telephone system is excellent. State-owned Grupo ICE or Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad and its subsidiary RACSA own all telecommunications except pay-tv. As of August 2005, Costa Rica had over 1,300,000 land lines and 930,000 mobile phone lines in use.
Important Phone Numbers To Know if Traveling to Costa Rica
The United States Embassy is located in San Jose in front of Centro Commercial, on the road to Pavas (tel. 519-2000, or 220-3127 after hours in case of emergency). It is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:00pm. Also in San Jose are the Canadian Consulate, Oficentro Ejecutivo La Sabana, Edificio 5 (tel. 242-4400); and the British Embassy, Paseo Colon between calles 38 and 40 (tel. 258-2025).
Other Important Information to Know About Costa Rica
GMT - 6.00 hours.
Current time in San Jose.
The unit of currency in Costa Rica is the colon. One U.S. dollar equals 518 Costa Rican colones.
Current exchange rate.
As of 2005, Costa Rica's population was 4,327,000. A majority of Costa Ricans, 94% are of mostly Spanish descent. Smaller numbers are of indigenous, African, or ethnic Chinese descent.
Costa Rica's public holidays reflect the country's largely Catholic population. As in many other Latin American countries, many public services shut down during Easter Week. Only Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, banks and offices are closed, and beach areas are packed. However, this can be a great time to check out local fiestas, processionals, and bullfights. Other important holidays include New Year's Day and Independence Day (September 15th).
Spanish is the official languages of Costa Rica. However, many Costa Ricans working in tourism speak English.
Costa Rica's climate is tropical and has only two seasons: wet and dry. The dry season lasts from late December to April, and the rest of the year is wet. The Caribbean coast has a wetter climate than the rest of the country and remains wet for most of the year. Though temperatures vary little between seasons, altitude can make a big difference. San Jose at 3772 ft has an average high temperature of 79'F, while the coasts average over 86'F during the day.
Fun Facts About Costa Rica
- Costa Rica is the only country in the world in which you can see both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans from the same point.
- Costa Rica's current president, Oscar Arias Sanchez, won a Nobel Peace Price in 1987 for fostering the peace talks that ended the civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua.
- Many Costa Rican households eat the staples of rice and black beans three times a day.
- Costa Rica has a large expatriate population, comprised mostly of Americans, Canadians, Germans, Dutch, and Brits.
- Though slightly smaller than the state of West Virginia, Costa Rica has both tropical and subtropical landscapes. Elevations range from sea level to over 12,000 feet.
- Costa Rica is a model of conservation, with low-impact tourism options across the country.
- You can visit butterfly farms in Costa Rica. Their tropical gardens are filled with butterflies of all kinds.
- Monteverde is a small community founded by Quakers in 1951. Visit the nearby serpentarium and cheese factory.
- Costa Rican cuisine is relatively mild and relies heavily on local fruits and vegetables. Try to taste everything, and drink the many tasty juices.
- San Jose has plenty of bars and nightclubs to keep you busy. Remember that the dancing doesn't start until late!
- Be sure to drink lots of Costa Rica's famously delicious coffee. Even the cheapest of places offers superb coffee.
- Before you add salt to your Costa Rican meals, taste them! Cooks in the country tend to prepare dishes extra salty.
- Costa Ricans enjoy a high standard of living compared to other Latin Americans. Adult literacy rates in the country are over 95%, and only 20% of the population lives at or believe the poverty level.
- If you visit San Jose on an even year, try to time your trip to coincide with the city's Festival de Arte. It's a two-week long citywide arts festival featuring theater, music, dance, and film.
- Some of the country's finest beaches are located on the remote Pacific coast peninsula of Nicoya. Don't let the lack of paved roads deter you!
- Costa Rica is home to 34, 000 species of insects and 9,00 species of plants.
- In restaurants, 10% service charge is always added to the check. Add more if you feel the service warranted it. Taxi drivers do not expect tips. However, if the service has been exceptional, you may want to tip.
- The highest volcano in Costa Rica is Irazu at over 12, 000 feet.