Local currency in Costa Rica is the Colon (DOP), which is often abbreviated as CRC or ₡. Coins are denominated between 5 and 500 colones. In 2012, the currency was redesigned and older bills can only be exchanged at the Central Bank. Newer denominations are paper notes, except for the smallest 1,000 colones notes, which are printed on a plastic polymer.
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Exchange rates at the airport, both in United States and locally at SJO airport may not be the best deal. There are many ATM machines in San José, and some offer the option to withdraw in U.S. Dollars.