The colón is the official currency in Costa Rica. The coin is named after Cristobal Columbus – the admiral that discovered Costa Rica in 1502 – and was established in the first decades of the 20th century. Before that, during the colonial times, cacao seeds were implemented as the coin.
Since 2012, the bills have a new colorful design inspired by Costa Rica’s wild animals, introducing new patterns with the sloth, the hummingbird, the morpho butterfly and the white-headed capuchin monkey. This innovative design was also created with new materials so that visually impaired people can distinguish the bills.
Colones come in paper denominations of 1.000, 2.000, 5.000, 10.000, 20.000, and 50.000. Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500. Older coins are silver and slightly larger than the newer versions. Most of the newer coins are gold-colored, except for the 5 and 10 colones coins, which are silver.