World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > Costa Rica

Costa Rica: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in Costa Rica

Business etiquette is formal in Costa Rica and you are advised to address the other person with his/her last name. Greetings involve a handshake and friendly enquiries after general wellbeing. Business meetings usually start late, but foreigners are advised to be punctual.

Business negotiation is slow, as your Costa Rican counterparts prefer to establish a strong relationship first. Be patient and maintain your composure during meetings, as aggressive behaviours are viewed as a weakness.

Businesspeople are expected to dress smartly – a conservative dark suit for men and a pants-suit or skirt-and-blouse for women.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1700.


Costa Rica is considered an upper-middle-income country by the World Bank, thanks to its strong exports of agricultural products (mainly bananas, coffee, sugar and beef) and medical devices, as well as healthy revenues from eco-tourism.

Factors such as political stability, improved human development, openness to foreign investment and trade liberalisation all underpin Costa Rica's strong economy. If the country continues this progressive path, then steady economic growth is expected.


US$61.52 billion (2020).

Main exports

Bananas, coffee, sugar, beef and medical instruments.

Main imports

Refined petroleum, cars, medical instruments, packaged medicines and commercial equipment.

Main trading partners

US, China, Mexico, Netherlands, Belgium, Guatemala.

Keeping in Touch in Costa Rica


The dialling code for Costa Rica is +506. Public payphones exist, but they are becoming rarer as most people now use mobile phones.

Mobile Phone

Costa Rica has excellent mobile coverage in cities and towns, but coverage can be sporadic outside urban areas. Buying a local SIM card (for an unlocked phone) is the best way to avoid paying roaming charges. The three leading prepaid mobile companies are Kölbi, Movistar and Claro, with Kölbi being the most popular. A passport is required for the purchase of a prepaid SIM card.


Most hotels and guesthouses provide Wi-Fi.


Correos de Costa Rica manages the postal service.

Post Office hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1700.

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