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Public Phones in Costa Rica
Within Costa Rica, public phone are readily accessible. Older phones use coins, which you stack in a slot across the top of the phone. They only use the older silver colored coins, and the slot is clearly visible. The coins roll in to the phone as their time is used up. They only use the older silver coins, not the newer gold colored coins. However, these are being replaced by the Colibri system, and the Chip system.
The Chip system uses a calling card with an embedded chip, which stores your card's remaining balance. You buy it at local markets and stores that display the RACSA symbol. To use it, simply slide place the card in the slot on Chip phone. It will get pulled in, and the display shows the balance you have remaining. Dial your number, and watch the balance go down.
The third and newest system is the Colibri 197 Calling card. This card, also purchased at Markets and stores displaying the Racsa symbol, has no chip. You dial a toll-free number, 197, then enter a code that is printed on the card, hear your balance, then dial your number.
The Colibri card comes in two versions, one of which is good for both international and domestic calls, and another which is only good for domestic calls. Make sure you buy the international card, if you want to call outside the country.
The Colibri card can be used on just about any phone. The other two systems require either silver coins, or a chip, depending on the phone in use. Before buying a card, or cashing in your paper money for coins, check which systems are available nearby.
ICE, the state-run telephone company, has a useful service on their web site for calculating the cost of an international call from Costa Rica to another country.
Calling the U.S. Via Computer
If you have a computer with you during your travels Dialpad.com has a great service that runs about 3 cents a minute or less to call the U.S. It works really well. You need to have a computer with a microphone and speakers, and an internet account.
Quepos Emergency Numbers
Helpful Quepos Numbers
San Jose Phone Numbers
Phone anywhere in Costa Rica from the United States by international direct. Simply pick-up your phone, dial 011 506 and the number. However, this is expensive. For better rates see our phone options in the Travel Resources section.
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