Utilities in Costa Rica - Water - Electric - Phone

Utility bills are delivered to your door, often by motorcycle riders who stick them in your front gate.  I suggest you read abut Paying Bills here in Costa Rica as it is VERY different than most other countries.

Telephone Service

Costs per minute, after the first minute, for long distance calls. (U.S. dollars) 

 Calls from
Costa Rica to:




Central America 0.400.35 0.28
Panama 0.40 0.40 0.40
USA, Mexico, Canada 0.45 0.45 0.45
Europe, S. America, Other 0.60 0.60 0.60
  1. Commercial basic telephone service is 2,000 colones per month plus ¢95 per month paid for 911 service. This includes 150 impulses.

  2. Residential basic telephone service is 1,650 colones per month plus ¢95 per month paid for 911 service., including  150 impulses.

  3. Cellular telephone service is 3,000 colones basic plus ¢35 per minute during prime time, and ¢30 per minute from 7 AM to 7 PM Monday to Friday, and ¢23 per minute from 7 PM to 7 AM, and on weekends and holidays.  The basic charge includes 60 minutes of use.

  4. Internet charges are $25.00 per month, which includes 25 hours of use.  Charges for usage in excess of 25 hours is $0.90 per hour.  Personal Internet service is available at the bargain rate of $15 per month for unlimited usage.  The $15 per month does not include the cost of the telephone line, which will be billed by the number of impulses.

  5. There are no long distance calls within Costa Rica.  The cost to use the phone is measured in impulses.  One impulse equals 60 seconds of phone time.

  6. Telephone bills are subject to 13% sales tax.


ELECTRICAL SERVICE  (Exchange Rate December 2007 is about 500¢ to the dollar)

Costa Rica uses 110-120V 60 cycle service. Service is 2 prong (or three if a ground available).  No adapter is needed.  Quality varies greatly!  Even the 60 cycles is not too accurate as our electric clocks run fast or slow.

  1. Domestic electricity rates - ¢28 a ¢32,2 for the first 200 KWHs, then ¢45 a ¢51,8 per KWH.

  2. Commercial electricity rates - ¢61.20for the 2,500 KWHs.

  3. 94.7% of Costa Ricans have electricity, compared to an average of 58.5% for the rest of Central America.

  4. Most electricity is hydro electric, with a small amount diesel generated. Wind powered generation has increased considerably, as has thermal generation using Costa Rica’s volcanoes as a source of the heat.


Charges for water vary greatly by municipality.



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