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Communications Overview

Costa Rica has an overall good communication system.  Coin operated telephones take only silver coins -so do automatic pay tolls- (5, 10 & 20 face value). These phones are quickly losing ground to those that accept magnetic or chip cards, pre-paid services help you organize a budget. There are three types of cards available at the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the national post office, Correos de Costa Rica (local mail offices), or at many businesses displaying the gold and blue ICE sign that reads "TARJETAS TELEFONICAS" (telephone cards).

Chip cards (500, 1000 or 2000 colones) operate in blue cased public phones.  Insert the card in the slot an follow instructions. Two other pre-paid cards can be used from any touch tone phone, but requires to punch in a long complex number.  The 197 cards (200 and 400) allow in-country calls, while the 199 cards ($10, $20 or 3000 colones) are for international calls and have instructions in English.

You can also make long-distance calls and send or receive faxes at Radiográfica Costarricense or use one of many new internet cafes.

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