Costa Rica has a relatively modern telecommunication infrastructure and has the second highest Internet coverage in Latin America. Even though a large percentage of the country is underdeveloped (or just-the-right-amount-developed depending on who you ask), many of the world’s technological advances are present and accessible in this geographically tiny, yet surprisingly tech-savvy second-world nation.
The number of internet cafes in Costa Rica has greatly decreased with the advent of smartphones and Wi-Fi in restaurants and cafes. Still, it’s not difficult to find an Internet Café in Costa Rica – just about every small town in the country has one. Many of the Internet Cafés sell coffee and food while you surf the net. Rates vary and usually increase the further away you get from San José. Expect to pay up to 1150 CRC (2 USD) per hour at internet cafes in San José and tourist towns.
Wi-fi is common in all midrange and top-end hotels, and in the vast majority of budget hotels and hostels. Some hostels still have computers for guest use and/or Wi-Fi. Many hotels will include free and secure Wi-Fi internet with their room rates, however, depending on the hotel’s location and the strength of their signal, Wi-Fi access may be limited to the hotel’s reception/lobby area. Avoid hotels that classify internet as an “amenity”!
Wi-Fi is also readily available throughout public spots of Costa Rica. In many locations, including inside Costa Rica’s two international airports and surrounding some cities’ central parks, access to a Wi-Fi signal is free. In public locations, this may also mean that a Wi-Fi signal is unsecured.
If you want to make sure to always stay connected, though, you might consider buying a local SIM-card. It’s quite easy and inexpensive. You can buy one right at the airport upon your arrival or at a local store. There are three most popular mobile operators: Claro, Movistar and Kolbi, with Kolbi having the widest coverage over the country.