Costa Rica is connected via satellite with the other countries of Central America, United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America, Asia and Africa. The country has access to direct dialing, facsimile and telex, as well as postal and courier services.
The communications infrastructure of Costa Rica has improved dramatically over the past decade, and they now claim to have more phones per capita than any other country in Latin America. Nevertheless, the system is far from flawless, so remain calm and patient when using it.
The Costa Rica country code is 506.
The directory assistance line is 113.
Most public phones do not take actual currency, but accept only special telephone cards issued in colones. Available in increments between 500 and 3000 colones, these cards can be purchased in most shopping malls, stores and at the airport. Even if you decide to rent a mobile phone during your stay, a calling card is a good precaution in case of an emergency.
Rural area hotels have phones you can use, but these are usually operated by the hotel staff, who charges you a per minute fee. They may also be equipped to send and receive faxes and e-mail for you.
For international calls, the access numbers for credit cards are:
For other access numbers, consult the White Pages.
Using calling cards from home can incur very expensive rates when used in Costa Rica. A local "Servicio 199" calling card will allow you to make international calls from any touch-tone phone at normal rates.
If you have access to a private phone and wish to make a direct call, simply dial 001, followed by the country code, area code and number.
International call rates are lower during evenings and on weekends.
For person-to-person or collect calls, dial 175 and an operator will assist you.
Cell phone service is available for use with your own phone or with a rental. It is common for car rental agencies to offer a cell phone rental services as well.
Internet access is readily available in Costa Rica, and, like most developing countries, it is spreading rapidly. To inquire about the service, check the local listing for Internet cafes.