Costa Rica's official currency is the colón, however, U.S. dollars are still widely accepted throughout the country. Money can be exchanged in public banks, such as Banco Nacional and Banco de Costa Rica, or at private banks, although the public banks have a better exchange rate. Your passport is required to exchange money at banks.
ATMs are another way to exchange money (this time, however, without having to go inside and wait in line), and offer the same exchange rates as banks as well. Some ATMs, however, do not work between the hours of 10 PM and 6 AM. Hotels or shops will sometimes exchange U.S. dollars, but they have higher rates.
$100 bills are generally not accepted at most shops, stores or restaurants, and for this reason it is recommended to carry smaller bills. Furthermore, it's not reccomended to exchange a lot of money at the airport exchange office - perhaps no more than $20-$50 - as the rates are not very good.
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