All You Need To Know About Money in Costa Rica

money in costa rica includes colonesCosta Rica is a Central American country named after its rich coastlines and beautiful scenery. With a population close to 4.5 million people, Costa Rica is full of culture and life. The New Economics Foundation recognized Costa Rica as the greenest country in the world in 2009. With its expanding economy, this country is becoming a great place for business, as well as a fascinating travel destination.

Before traveling to Costa Rica, whether for work or pleasure, there are some things you should know about the country’s currency. The unit of currency in Costa Rica is called a colón. It was named after Christopher Columbus, since he is considered one of the first Europeans to visit Costa Rica.

Before Costa Rica became independent from Spain in the 16th century, Costa Rica originally used the peso currency. These were manufactured in Spain and then transported to Costa Rica. Once the gold and silver mines were discovered in Peru, the golden “Escudo” and the silver “Real” were used for daily purchases.

When Costa Rica gained their independence in 1821, they transitioned to the Federal Republic of Central America, through which they adopted their currency. It wasn’t until 1993 that Costa Rica began printing their own currency that is still in use today. The colón uses golden coins that are made from bronzed coated steel and some made from aluminum. The value of the colón wavers from 500-550 colón to 1 US dollar.

If you are traveling to Costa Rica from America, it is important to note that US dollars are widely accepted in Costa Rica. Upscale hotels and restaurants will even use American currency to denote the prices for various items. When traveling around Costa Rica and purchasing meals and transportation services, you should be prepared to pay with colónes.

For mid-budget travelers, the average daily costs in Costa Rica range between US $50 to US $100. This covers hotel costs, transportation and meals for the day. You should know that prices tend to increase around holidays and during the dry season (December to April).

The colón  comes in paper denominations of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, and 50000. And the coins are available in denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500. Most newer coins are gold-colored, except for the silver 5 and 10 colónes. When purchasing items including food, souvenirs and hotels, know that there is a 13 percent tax on all of these goods.

Some hotels and restaurants in Costa Rica add an additional charge for tourists. While you are not obligated to tip on top of this surcharge, it is recommended that you do so. These tips and fees are often split among many employees, so adding an additional tip is respectable and appreciated.

 

Considering Outsourcing Software Development? 6 Things to Know Before You Hire An Offshore Software Firm

outsource software developmentOutsourcing is important to many businesses looking to grow in existing areas and to develop into new ones. While there are an increasing number of services suitable for outsourcing, software development is one of the most popular.

Choosing to outsource to an offshore software firm could be the best or worst decision your company could make. While a good software outsourcing partner could help you take your business to new levels, a bad one could cost you time and money

Outsourcing Offshore Software Development? 6 Things To Know Before You Sign A Contract

Companies typically make the decision to outsource software development for two primary reasons: price and access to specific hard-to-find technical skills. When choosing an offshore software development partner, there are many things to consider.  Here are 6 things to know when comparing offshore software development firms:

  1. Quality Varies: Before hiring an offshore software firm, make sure that you are receiving high quality services. If you work with an established offshore software firm, you should get access to high quality technical talent. Do your research and get to know the people you will be working with before signing any contracts.
  2. Communication is Key: When working with an offshore firm, good communication is at the heart of a successful long-term partnership. It is advisable that you work with a software firm that has developers and project managers who share the same language. Keeping open lines of communication, and having established procedures for ongoing updates, is the best way to get work successfully completed with an offshore company.
  3. Company Behavior: Make sure to do your research on the offshore software firms you are considering. It’s okay to ask for references and to check out their national presence. You want to work with a company that is stable and respected with high rates of employee retention.
  4. Employee Satisfaction: Make sure that this new partner comes with dedicated employees that have years of experience in this area. If you wanted to check out this offshore software firm further, you could conduct interviews with their employee. You may also ask about a free trial period in order to get an understanding of how your offshore team might work with onshore employees. It is important to be able to develop a close relationship with offshore employees in order to maximize communication and efficiency.
  5. Personality: It’s helpful to work with a company that shares the same values and appearances as your business. Do some research and get to know your options before committing to anything. You will want to work with a company and its staff that is similar to your own in terms of work ethic, commitment and morale.
  6. Expectations: Before entrusting your software development needs to a new company, make sure that you have a shared understanding and clear expectations for the services you will receive. Everyone should be on the same page before signing any paperwork and establishing commitments.

Once all of the items on your checklist have been researched, negotiated and confirmed, and your questions have been answered, you are ready to expand your business into a partnership with an offshore software development company of your choosing. This decision-making process is extremely important for the success of your business, so take your time and review all possibilities. And if you are interested in agile software development services, we hope you give number8 a call at 502-890-7675 for info about our offshore software services.

 

Traveling to Costa Rica for Work or Pleasure – 10 Things You’ll Need to Pack

Things to Bring when Traveling to Costa ricaWhether you are traveling to Costa Rica for pleasure, business, or a combination of the two, there are some things you’ll need to pack for your trip to make things enjoyable.

One handy thing about Costa Rica is that you’ll find the same type of electric converters and plug adapters as in the U.S. so you don’t need to worry about your electrical devices and chargers.

However, there are some personal items and other things you should plan to pack. These items may either be hard to find, more expensive or even unavailable in Costa Rica. Follow along for a list of 10 things you should pack for your trip to Costa Rica.

10 Things to Pack When Traveling to Costa Rica

  1. Passport – At one time, people could travel from the U.S. to Costa Rica with a driver’s license but a passport is now necessary. It is advisable to take screen shots of your passport as well in case you were to misplace it.
  2. Other form of ID – Plan to bring a state ID, a driver’s license, or some other official form of ID with photo along with your passport. To be safe, it is advisable to separate your passport and your alternative ID.
  3. Medical insurance information. Even though Costa Rica has national medical care, it is advisable to have your insurance information easily accessible in the event of a very serious accident requiring that you leave the country for treatment.
  4. Certain personal items that you “can’t live without.” If you wear contacts and need a special cleaning solution, make sure you bring this with you to Costa Rica. If you have a favorite deoderant, shampoo, cosmetic item or toothpaste, vitamins, sunscreen or pain reliever, bring it with you. If you take any type of prescription medications, it is advisable to have these filled before your trip since you may not be able to get these in Costa Rica.
  5. English to Spanish translation book. Unless you are fluent in Spanish, you will benefit from a phrase book that will make your communication easier. People in Costa Rica tend to be very friendly and happy to engage in conversation. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.
  6. Sun protection for your eyes. Whether you wear sunglasses, a baseball cap or some other type of hat, make sure you bring this along on your trip to Costa Rica. Depending on when you visit and where you are in the country, the sun can be very intense. You’ll want to protect your skin and eyes so that you can relax and have a good visit.
  7. Some type of rain protection. Whether you bring a small umbrella or a lightweight raincoat, chances are you’ll be glad to have it during a trip to Costa Rica. If you are visiting during the rainy season, which spans from the middle of April through November, rain gear is essential.
  8. Beach towel. Chances are you’ll hit the beach during your visit to Costa Rica. And if you do, you’ll be glad to have a big beach towel to enjoy. Towels are also handy after visiting the rain forests or enjoying a day hike.
  9. Bird book. The bird life in Costa Rica is truly sensational. Whether you are serious bird lover, or a person who has never taken notice, you will be glad to have a bird guide book with you during your visit. In terms of which book to buy, there are many options including field guides that focus specifically on the birds in Costa Rica.
  10. Bandages. While it may seem silly to bring these along, you may be glad to have them. The natural beauty of the country will beckon you towards outdoor activity, and it is always handy to have some bandages in the event of a minor scuff or scrape.