ATMs in Costa Rica

ATMs in Costa Rica: A Terraveler’s Guide on how to withdraw money easily


As you embark on your journey through the lush landscapes and vibrant cultures of Costa Rica, ensuring access to funds is paramount for a seamless travel experience. With its diverse terrain ranging from bustling urban centers to remote countryside retreats, understanding the intricacies of using ATMs in Costa Rica can significantly enhance your terraveling adventure. In this guide, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of ATMs in Costa Rica, covering locations, fees, bank options, security aspects, and insider tips for terravelers.



In Costa Rica, ATMs are ubiquitous, found in urban areas, popular tourist destinations, and even remote towns. Major cities like San Jose, Liberia, and Puntarenas boast numerous ATM locations, primarily concentrated around commercial districts, shopping centers, and airports. Tourist hotspots such as La Fortuna, Manuel Antonio, and Monteverde also offer ample ATM access to cater to the needs of visitors.

Even in the tranquil countryside, you’ll often find ATMs strategically placed in town centers or near essential services. Whether you’re exploring the cloud forests of Monteverde or lounging on the pristine beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, rest assured that access to cash won’t be a concern.

Bank Names and Options


Costa Rica’s banking landscape features several prominent institutions, each with its network of ATMs. Banco Nacional, Banco de Costa Rica (BCR), Banco Popular, and Banco Promerica are among the leading banks in the country, with widespread ATM coverage across urban and rural areas alike.

BCR, in particular, boasts a significant presence throughout Costa Rica, offering reliable ATMs in key locations frequented by terravelers. Additionally, international banks such as Scotiabank and Citibank have a presence in Costa Rica, providing options for travelers who prefer using familiar banking services.



While accessing ATMs in Costa Rica, terravelers should be mindful of potential fees associated with withdrawals. Most ATMs in Costa Rica charge a fee for transactions conducted by foreign cardholders. These fees typically range from $1 to $5 per transaction, depending on the ATM network and your home bank’s policies.

In addition to ATM fees, terravelers should consider any currency conversion charges imposed by their home banks. Opting for ATMs affiliated with major banks like BCR or Banco Nacional may mitigate some fees, as they tend to have agreements with international banking networks.


Major banks and their fees


  • Banco de Costa Rica (BCR): Fees typically range around $3 to $4 per transaction. It is often recommended for lower fees compared to other banks​ 
  • Banco Nacional de Costa Rica (BNCR): Similar to BCR, with fees also around $3 to $4. It is a popular choice among travelers for its relatively lower fees and widespread ATM availability​ 
  • Banco BAC Credomatic: Charges are generally in the range of $3 to $5. This bank has numerous ATMs throughout the country​
  • Banco Popular: Fees are usually around $3 to $4 per transaction. ATMs are widely available, especially in urban areas​ 
  • Banco Davivienda: Known for its convenience but can charge higher fees, approximately $4 to $5 per withdrawal​
  • Scotiabank: Scotiabank ATMs can charge fees similar to Banco Popular, usually around $3 to $4​ 
  • Banco Promerica: Fees are also in the $3 to $4 range per transaction​ 

Security Aspects


Ensuring the security of your financial transactions is paramount while using ATMs in Costa Rica. Here are some key security aspects to keep in mind:


Choose ATMs Wisely:

Opt for ATMs located in well-lit, populated areas, and avoid secluded or dimly lit locations, especially at night. ATMs situated within bank branches or reputable establishments offer an added layer of security.

Shield Your PIN:

Protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN) from prying eyes by covering the keypad with your hand while entering it. Avoid writing down your PIN or sharing it with anyone, maintaining confidentiality at all times.

Beware of Skimming Devices:

Stay vigilant for any suspicious devices attached to the ATM card slot or keypad. Skimming devices can capture your card information, leading to unauthorized access to your account. If you notice anything unusual or tampered with, refrain from using the ATM and report it to local authorities or bank personnel immediately.

Monitor Account Activity:

Regularly monitor your bank statements and transaction history for any unauthorized or fraudulent activity. Promptly report any discrepancies to your bank to prevent further unauthorized transactions.

Insider Tips


To optimize your ATM usage in Costa Rica, consider the following insider tips:


Plan Ahead:

Before venturing into remote areas or embarking on excursions, ensure you have sufficient cash on hand, as ATMs may be scarce or unavailable in certain locations.

Notify Your Bank:

Inform your home bank of your travel plans to Costa Rica to avoid potential card blocks or fraud alerts triggered by overseas transactions. Provide them with your travel dates and destinations to facilitate seamless access to your funds.

Carry Backup Payment Methods:

While ATMs offer convenient access to cash, it’s advisable to carry alternative payment methods such as credit cards or traveler’s checks as backups, especially in case of ATM malfunctions or unavailability.


Navigating the ATM landscape in Costa Rica is an essential aspect of terraveling preparation. By familiarizing yourself with ATM locations, fees, bank options, security aspects, and insider tips, you can ensure a hassle-free financial experience throughout your Costa Rican adventure. So, pack your sense of adventure and embark on a journey enriched by the diverse landscapes, warm hospitality, and vibrant culture of Costa Rica, equipped with the knowledge to navigate its ATM network with confidence.


Happy terraveling!



ATMs in Costa Rica

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