Even if you plan on spending the entirety of your Costa Rica vacation exploring the depths of the rainforest in one of the country’s 26 national parks and nature reserves, you’ll need to get your hands on some cash from time to time. Fortunately, ATMs (known as cajeros automáticos) are widely available in Costa Rica. Some banks charge a fee for using an ATM abroad, so check with your bank before traveling to Costa Rica.
Expect to pay a flat fee of between 500 and 15000 CRC (1-3 USD) per transaction, much as you would at a non-chain ATM back home.
If you’re having trouble with a particular transaction, be wary of trying repeatedly – the machine might just swallow your card. It may be worth carrying two ATM cards to prepare for this, just to be safe.
Virtually all ATMs “close” at around 10 p.m., so don’t count on being able to make a withdrawal in the early hours of the morning!
When possible, only use ATMs that are marked with ATH. This means a todas horas or “all hours”, meaning if you do have any issues at the ATM – like the machine swallowing your card – then you can call for someone to come help you 24/7.