Thanks for the great website. We were sure to use your link for our rental car. I saw one forum post where you advised not to change USD to colóns at the airport. We can certainly bring USD with us ($20 bills and smaller as you recommended). In Mexico, I have always used ATMs with my Wells Fargo VISA debit card to get cash. Will this work the same in Costa Rica, and where can I find a selection of ATMs? In Mexico, some ATMs have both spanish and english, some do not; also fees vary from one bank’s ATM to another, so it is nice to have choices at one location (in Mexico, the Mega stores). Final question, do most restaurants and tour operators take VISA cards?
Yes, you will be able to use your debit card to withdrawal local currency from ATMs as long as you have approved it for use during your trip. You can read more about how this all works and some info about what banks have restrictions on our Money Matters Post. Most popular destinations around the country have at least a few different banks to choose from. And yes, Visa is widely accepted here too at restaurants, attractions, etc.