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Electricity, Internet and Adapter in Costa Rica

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It’s the first time for you in Costa Rica, but you are not sure about electricity there. Do you need an adapter? Is there electricity? Is there internet? How much volt comes from the sockets? I will answer all these questions in this article, and if you have more, then feel free to write to me!

Is there electricity in Costa Rica?

Yes, in most areas, there is electricity.

There are places, where you have electricity just during the day. In this way, people can use their kitchen over the day and during the night the electricity will be turned off. In some secluded areas, people get their electricity through their own solar plants.

We usually think that if there is electricity, it is always there. That’s not always the case. It happens occasionally, that there is a power failure for just 10 seconds, 10 minutes or even some hours or days. This happens because of the powerlines, that can stop working because of the weather if a tree fell, truck accidents, etc. So if there is a storm, or a tree fell on a powerline, probably there won’t be electricity. The local electricity company will fix it, but in Latin American counties you should be patient.

By the way: They use about 96% renewable energies in Costa Rica, which they get for example from the Chachi dam.

Cachi Staudamm


How much volt? Do I need an adapter?

In Costa Rica comes 120 V out of the plugs. For german or swiss devices you will definitely need an adapter with two small, thin plugs und probably a third-round plug.


The socket in Costa Rica

It is enough if you just use the two thin plugs. In the US they use the same plugs. You should check before if your device works with 120V. If you need a fan, a travel - fan would be the best option. They usually adapt themselves to the Volt.

With a fan, you will realize it, if it just blows a little air instead of actually drying your hair.

Adapter 2 Stecker

Adapter with two plugs

Adapter 3 Stecker

Adapter with three plugs

Is there Internet?

Many people think that we live in the jungle and barely have internet. Wrong! The capital San José is a city- jungle full of cars and buildings; no green palm trees and monkeys. Outside of San José begins the tropical forest. Costa Rica is influenced by the US, so you can find in many restaurants, stores and hotels “free wifi”, for example at Subway or McDonalds. But I have actually never seen an internet café. Especially the capital San José has a very good internet connection.

If you want to use your mobile data, you should know that mobile networks is not as good in the mountains or rural areas. You won’t have a good connection in Tortuguero, but a full connection in San José. Therefore, most hotels offer WIFI.

Warm water through electricity

An important fact about electricity is water, and so is the shower.

When there are cables inside the shower, most Europeans will get scared and probably won’t take a shower. But don’t worry! In Central and South America is this electrical shower normal and common in private homes and tourist accommodations.

Elektronische Dusche

Electrical shower

Water tanks with warm water or water heater are not usual, it will rather be cold. At the electrical shower, the water will be heated inside of the showerhead and comes hot outside. This includes unfortunately also the cables, that are often hidden inside of a pipe so you don’t get scared. But don’t worry, nothing is going to happen! If you think the device doesn’t work, because the water doesn’t turn warm, it is probably because of the amount of water. Just turn the water tap a little bit back, so that less water runs through the pipe. You shouldn't change the settings at the showerhead.

Warm water at the sink is also not common like you can probably imagine. Everything is a little different here, but you will enjoy it!

Do you have more questions? Then write to me!

Thursday, 09 May 2019 08:36 Written by Caro
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