New Banknotes in Costa Rica

by alrahmahsolutions on Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Front view of the new banknotes in Costa Rica

If you are planning to travel to Costa Rica, then look out for these shiny new banknotes…

Since 1897, the Colón has been the official currency of Costa Rica. It was named after Christopher Columbus (‘Cristóbal Colón’ in Spanish) and they come in the form of banknotes and coins.

New banknotes were introduced in 2011, with the older versions slowly being phased out since then. As of December 2012, the older versions are no longer being accepted. The new banknotes each have a different color, and the sizes vary so that the visually impaired can easily identify their amount.

Back view of the newbank notes

In addition, the face of someone of political, economic or cultural significance to Costa Rica is printed on the front – and the back is adorned with an illustrated ecosystem, featuring various animals. These images express Costa Rica’s natural wealth, as well as its natural relationship to the environment and nature’s biodiversity.

The new bills are made from a cotton fiber-based paper and are sensitive to touch. If you turn the bill in the light, the map of Costa Rica on the front changes in colour.        

*Please be aware that there may still be old banknotes in circulation. It is important for you not to accept them as they are no longer valid. Do not accept any banknotes that look like these as pictured below:

DO NOT use banknotes that look like these

 Currency exchange rate (as of 6th March 2015)

Colones  US Dollars     AUS Dollars Euros
1,000 2 2.4 1.7
2,000 3.7 4.8 3.4
5,000 9.4 12 8.5
10,000 19 24 17
20,000 37.4 48 34
50,000 94 120 85


Tip: It’s always better to change money into low denominations, such as 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000.

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