At San José Airport, don’t get into just any taxi. Before exiting the terminal, hire one from the Taxis Unidos Company. These are the orange taxis; unlike the unlicensed cabs, they’re safe, reliable, and will charge you the right price.
Departure or Exit Tax
Via Air: If the departure tax was not included in airline tickets it must be paid in cash (U.S. dollars or Costa Rican Colones) or by credit card (extra fees apply) before checking in at the airline counter for your flight. The tax is $29 per person.
Via Land: $7 exit tax can be paid in advance at one particular Bank (Bancredito) .or at the border
By law, a 10 percent tip is added to all restaurant bills. It used to be very rare for Costa Ricans to tip; now an additional 5 to 10 percent is more common. For other service providers:
$5–$15 per person per day for guides, $3–$5 per person per day for drivers, and $1–$2 per night for housekeepers.
THE NITTY GRITTY
Water is completely safe to drink in many towns in Costa Rica but always ask at your hotel first.
There are mosquitoes, especially when it’s rainy.
Bring What You Need. It’s not easy to shop in Costa Rica. Electronics are hard to come by and extremely expensive, clothes are hit or miss and also expensive, and you’ll be hard pressed to find your favorite snacks and toiletries here. It’s safe to assume that you won’t be able to find the things you need in Costa Rica.
Curiosity got the better of me so I decided to start my 2 month sojourn in Central America by getting a one way ticket to Costa Rica, with the intention of staying a month. I wanted to know why it is one of the more popular expat destination, not to mention that a lot of travelers seem to sing its praises.
I arrived in San Jose on a holiday weekend (New Year’s) and it was quiet. Most people were out of town and with the exception of some fast food chains like Subway and McDonalds most of the places were closed although a few stores opened up for business on Saturday and Sunday. When I came out Monday morning, there were a lot of cars parked outside the hostel - everyone is back - and just as I was leaving for Monteverde.