Tuesday 26 September 2023

Is it really cheaper to travel around Costa Rica than to travel abroad?

According to 'Condé Nast Traveler', Costa Rica is one of the cheapest places to travel in 2023

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QCOSTARICA – The answer would be, yes and no. Elizabeth Arauz, who defines herself as a professed travel lover and claims to have traveled a large part of the country and visited several countries abroad, considers that it is cheaper to travel abroad than to travel within Costa Rica.

Arauz bases her hypothesis on the fact that, in other countries, there are more all-inclusive hotel options whose prices and benefits are much more accessible when compared to the national ones.

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“For a family of four, it does come out quite expensive (walking in Costa Rica) because you usually go to hotels on a weekend and on weekends they are more expensive than on weekdays. In addition, you have to pay a minimum of two nights per person,” Arauz assured Teletica’s Calle 7 Informativo.

Arauz’s theory gains more strength when comparing the prices of three-star hotels in other countries: per night, the price (converted to colones) in Mexico is ¢29,000, while in Colombia it is ¢14,000 and, in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the average it is around ¢45,000.

However, the cost of hosting is not the only thing she must consider, she points out.

“You have to add many things to the equation. Although due to economies of scale, there may be goods and services that may feel much cheaper in other countries, let’s remember that you have to incur a transfer, sometimes by air, sometimes by land, and of course, the time that one dedicates to that transfer,” explains Daniel Suchar, a financial analyst.

When determining which are the elements that make trips in Costa Rica higher priced, it is worth highlighting the public drinking water service at the national level, as well as the health service, added to higher levels of security that are not offered by other countries and that, in the final formula, end up turning our country into a more expensive destination.

“We have a series of costs related to social services that are paid… all of this is a social cost that we have paid for years in the country and makes the country more expensive, in general,” said tourism expert Daniel Chavarría.

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Despite the perception of Arauz and others, Costa Rica is one of the cheapest destinations to travel in 2023, according to ‘Condé Nast Traveler’, an international travel magazine, which places the country on the list with other destinations such as Colombia, Mexico, Hungary, South Korea, the Philippines and Turkey as cheap destinations to travel this year.

In its article, “21 Cheap Places to Travel in 2023“, Condé Nast Traveler points out that the current exchange rate will be your greatest ally.

“(…) like it or not, there’s one thing that influences our travel decisions more than anything else: money. All those resort fees, plane tickets, and life-changing meals add up pretty quickly, so, at the end of the day, we really want to prioritize places where our greenbacks have the most spending power,” says Condé Nast Traveler.

In their ranking, the travel magazine says they did a little digging to find the countries where the U.S. dollar goes the furthest, based on current exchange rates. “And while our fickle global economy means those rates can change at any time, there are certain places that have consistently offered more bang for our buck over the years—and, fingers crossed, they should stay that way well into 2023.”

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Here are 21 of the best cheap places to travel around the world:

  1. Hungary – 1 USD = 379.64 HUF
  2. South Korea – 1 USD = 1,295.74 KRW
  3. Mexico – 1 USD = 19.74 MXN
  4. Argentina – 1 USD = 172.06 ARS
  5. Vietnam – 1 USD = 23,545.00 VND
  6. Brazil – 1 USD = 5.32 BRL
  7. South Africa – 1 USD = 17.19 ZAR
  8. Sri Lanka – 1 USD = 365.65 SLR
  9. Costa Rica – 1 USD = 593.31 CRC
  10. Colombia – 1 USD = 4,778.33 COP
  11. Philippines – 1 USD = 55.60 PHP
  12. Egypt – 1 USD = 24.72 EGP
  13. Malaysia – 1 USD = 4.39 MYR
  14. India – 1 USD = 82.67 INR
  15. Serbia – 1 USD = 110.46 RSD
  16. North Macedonia – 1 USD = 57.87 MKD
  17. Nepal – 1 USD = 132.08 NPR
  18. The Gambia – 1 USD = 62.05 GMD
  19. Indonesia – 1 USD = 15,614.15 IDR
  20. Uzbekistan – 1 USD = 11,260.00 UZS
  21. Turkey – 1 USD = 18.63 TRY


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