Costa Rica Communication

Phone

There are four different types of pay-phones: Coin phones (very rare), Chip phones, Colibri phones and Multipago (multi-pay) phones. Public phones are accessed with calling cards (tarjetas telefonicas) which can be purchased at most shops.

Domestic calls are quite cheap, but international calls are fairly expensive. If you have an unlocked cell phone, prepaid (prepago) SIM cards can provide a local number and service can be purchased throughout the country by anyone with a passport from any country, or a cedula (Costa Rican ID card). Get your SIM at the airport is recommend.

Country code: 506

Language

The primary language is Costa Rican Spanish. English is also used widely in most areas, especially those frequented by tourists, and information for visitors is often bilingual or even exclusively in English.

Some native languages are still spoken in indigenous reservations. The most numerically important are the Bribri, Maléku, Cabécar and Guaymí languages. Creole (Mekatelyu), a Jamaican patois , is spoken along the Caribbean coast.

"Pura Vida" is the most recognizable phrase attached to Costa Ricans, and it reflects the Costa Rican way of life. Often, people walking down the streets, or buying food at shops say hello by saying "Pura Vida", which means pure life, or good life. A recommended response to "How are you?" would be "Pura Vida".

Internet

Most tourist areas such as hotels, coffee shops, bars and restaurants have Wi-Fi access for free. Just ask someone for the password. Roaming is possible with a GSM handset but can be extremely expensive. Fortunately, Internet cafes are fairly easy to find in tourist areas.