Talk:Costa Rica

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Formatting and language conventions

For articles about Costa Rica, please use the 12-hour clock to show times, e.g. 9AM-noon and 6PM-midnight.

Please show prices in this format: ₡100, and not CRC 100, or 100 colones.

Please use American spelling.

For future reference the Project:CIA World Factbook 2002 import can be found at Talk:Costa Rica/CIA World Factbook 2002 import


Cities list Change Suggestion[edit]

I would suggest taking out Dominical from this list - Quepos and Golfito are much bigger than Dominical. It is not the largest in the South Pacific. Also would suggest to change "Quesada" to "Cuidad Quesada". This is the proper name for that town. --(WT-en) Rohrmoser 21:32, 18 September 2010 (EDT)

Weird Link[edit]

When I click on San Jose from the Costa Rica page I get a different San Jose than when I click it in the Central Valley page. One tells me it is a redirect. Please check. --(WT-en) Rohrmoser 21:32, 18 September 2010 (EDT)

Crime[edit]

Whoever wrote the stay safe section is greatly overstaing Costa Rica's crime problem. (In relation to the pages of other, much more dangerous central American countries.)

FALSE !! Costa Rica crime rate is HIGHER than one of Nicaragua and Panama, statistics of overall crime and murders are HIGHER than these 2 countries.

Costa Rica is an extremely dangerous country for crime. I have been robbed 6 times in few months gunpoint in "safe" areas. —The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) 84.220.173.228 (talkcontribs)

Dont listen to this guy... his IP: 84.220.173.228 (Italian) has been posting comments trashing Costa Rica... he is just a troll Please don't feed the troll. Besides, someone who gets robbed 6 times over a short period in a safe area shouldn't travel at all...(WT-en) Daniel32708 18:33, 11 March 2010 (EST)

is safe to visit costa rica? Erik

Yes Erik it is MORE than safe, I have lived here over 5+ years coming from Toronto I feel safer here than I ever did in Toronto. I've NEVER been robbed in all my years here and FREQUENTLY take public tranportation. email me if you have any questions TeacherAshleigh@Hotmail.com

Traffic[edit]

How dangerous is the traffic exactly, when I went round CR the traffic seemed pretty good really, didn't see anything approaching an incident. Is this based on some source that gives it a basis or just an impression?

  • This is Tom Croke (aka Frog One) although I am not logged in. Tico drivers are pretty erratic, ignore stop signs, wrong way on one way streets. On the road down to the Pacific Ocean, a two lane winding highway, pulling out and passing in places we Amaricans would consider dangerous is commonplace.
  • In addition, streets and even main highways are not well marked. Figuring out where you are going can distract from the job of defensive driving.
  • I drive comfortably in Boston. I have not yet driven in Costa Rica, although I would now do so, after several trips there.
  • I've lived in Costa Rica for almost 18 years and driving requires you to be VERY alert. Outside San Jose it's usually OK since there is less traffic. When you drive, remember that every Tico basically drives as if he/she were alone on the road, while talking on his/her cell phone, watching a pretty (or any girl) and avoiding potholes.

201.225.238.10 10:40, 13 Nov 2005 (EST) Thorwald Westmaas

I edited out the following obvious falsehood from the Rental Car section: "Driving in Costa Rica is, by American standards, dangerous. Costa Rica has one of the highest rates of deaths by car accidents in the world". I replaced it with a referenced statement in the By Car section citing actual traffic death statistics on Wikipedia. (Better still would be to cite the primary sources that Wikipedia uses; maybe somebody can do that at some point.) I couldn't get the reference formatting to work right -- if somebody can fix that, that'd be great.

(WT-en) Gould363 23:34, 18 November 2010 (EST)

Prostitution[edit]

This section needs a citation of some sort, statistics, etc. Prostitution is legal in Costa Rica, and I would like to see a source that cites "sexplorers" come there to find children. Such activities can be found in most countries in the world; more appropriate would be to say people may be looking for sex with minors in addition to those of age.(WT-en) Amae 11:08, 23 February 2007 (EST)

Renting a locker in San Jose?[edit]

Hi all,

My husband and I are traveling to Costa Rica for the first time in March. We fly into the San Jose Int'l airport and immediately catch a regional plane to Drake Bay. After three days there, we fly back to San Jose where we pick up our rental car. We are not staying in San Jose, just flying in and out of it.

Here's the problem: We're allowed one carry on bag that weighs no more than 25 lbs on the regional plane. Therefore, we hope to leave behind a suitcase in San Jose, in a secure location such as a locker, to be retrieved when we come back to get our car. Unfortunately, I can't get a straight answer about the availability of said locker from the dept. of tourism or our regional plane's office.

Have any of you done this? If so, where did you rent a locker? Like I said, we're not staying in SJ, so I really don't want to rent a hotel room just to stash the bag! And traveling in Costa Rica for 12 days w/only one bag weighing 25# is not an option.

Thanks for any help you can provide!! (WT-en) Realtabsd 11:40, 9 January 2008 (EST)

Quality of drinking, bathing water[edit]

This article could use a section on the quality of drinking and bathing water for those used to a fairly high standard of sanitariness in the EU or US. It is widely known that drinking Mexican water can result in severe sickness, perhaps worse. A potential visitor to Costa Rica, such as myself, would probably like to know about the condition of the water in this country.

Thank you. And I would add that this looks like a lovely country to visit, but the water issue is an important one to me. 204.116.19.240 20:36, 21 April 2008 (EDT)


We live in the USA but have a home in CR. In all of our travels around the country we always drink right from the tap. Never a problem. I'd be hesitant on a farm with a questionable well right next to a septic field, but the cities with piped water are safe. --(WT-en) Rengewwj 14:20, 18 January 2009 (EST)

You can drink tap water almost anywhere in the country, just avoid drinking it from dirty places such as restrooms or similar. I think this fact should be added somewhere in the main page. —The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) 190.10.31.132 (talkcontribs) 01:10, 25 July 2010

I've added a couple of sentences about this to the article, based on reports at this discussion. Anyone familiar with the country is welcome to expand or change them. – (WT-en) Vidimian 03:21, 25 July 2010 (EDT)

'By Car' Error[edit]

I have to say that in the By Car section, the statement, "Costa Rica is small so you do not burn a lot of gas getting places even though it seems like forever." isn't true at all. The reason it takes forever to get places is because there are mountains, potholes, and sometimes unpaved roads, all of which use more gas when driving. So a three-hour drive in Costa Rica uses MORE gasoline than a three-hour drive in The States. Yes, there are many more places to visit in a small area, but if that's what you mean, then say that. 98.212.128.94 21:30, 10 June 2008 (CST)


And, what's with the statement about regular vs premium gasoline? We have a car at our home in CR and have never had any problem with regular gas. Neither have our relatives (that live there full time.) I think you must be or have been in an area with dirty underground storage tanks or just an isolated problem. --(WT-en) Rengewwj 14:23, 18 January 2009 (EST)

Cities List - Change[edit]

I think that Quesada should be removed and Jacó_(city) be added as Jaco is one of the most popular beach locations and Quesada has minimal tourist value and the page on wikivoyage has 0 information on it.


   * San_Jose_(Costa_Rica) - The capital.
   * Alajuela - location of Juan Santamaría International Airport
   * Cartago - Costa Rica's first capital
   * Dominical - the South Pacific coast's largest city, among incredibly biodiversity and natural beauty
   * Heredia - Coffee plantations
   * Liberia_(Costa_Rica) - Location of Danuel Oduber International Airport and gateway to the beaches of Guanacaste
   * Puerto_Limon - Main city on the Caribbean side
   * Puntarenas - Ferry to Nicoya Peninsula
   * Quesada - the largest city by far in the country's North, surrounded by hot springs popular with
     Costa Rican vacationers

—The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) Firestormo (talkcontribs)

I'm inclined to support, simply drawing from the fact that the Quesada article in empty, and the Jaco article is rather good... but I don't know anything about Costa Rica --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 21:44, 8 December 2008 (EST)
While I am open to changing the list, there are two issues that make me hesitate in supporting this proposal. First, we try to get a representative sample of cities from all the different regions of the country, and Quesada is the one representative city for the Plains of the North. Second, is the contributions history of the person proposing it (Special:Contributions/76.195.60.222), which has been exclusively edits that violate both Project:Don't tout and Project:External links. This contributions history makes me worry that the proposal might be fueled by a desire to attract more readers to the town in which this business does business.
As for Jacó, I'm no expert, but I remain unconvinced that this belongs in the top nine list of cities in Costa Rica. It's really just a beach resort town with nothing beyond resort hotels, tourist bars, and surf shops. It also doesn't even have a Spanish language Wikipedia page. Quesada is hardly a big attraction in Costa Rica, but I'm still unsold on this proposal, and would like to hear some concrete arguments (backed by figures) for why Jacó belongs in this list, rather than some other beach resort. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 22:19, 8 December 2008 (EST)
I must say im sorry for not following the rules, It was my understanding that anyone could make mods and I didnt understand why until yesterday my changes kept getting reverted. So i figured out to post here. I understand the logic behind wanting a diverse layout but then at least select a city that has information in the link rather then a link that has little to no value and no information in the link. Jaco beach in Costa Rica is one of the premier beach destinations for the country along the central pacific coast and most other beach cities are just like Jaco in regards to resort hotels, tourist bars, and surf shops that is what Costa Rica is about at the beach. The cities currently in the list represent all areas of Costa Rica except the Central Pacific Coast, You have Liberia for the Northern Pacific Area, Dominical for Southern Pacific, Puerto Limon for the Caribbean, and then some of the larger and better known citys inland, but nothing for the central pacific coast where a good number of the nations tourists visit. As far as numbers from the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) they only lists numbers for visitors entering the country not their destination within country or I would have provided the numbers here. --(WT-en) Firestormo Talk 11:37, 9 December 2008 (PST)
No worries. We do have a city listed already for the Central Pacific region, and that's Puntarenas. But I've now looked further into this, and it does seem like Jacó is way more busy with nightlife, dining, and even gambling, than the other beach-towns I've been to, so I'd be ok with substituting it for Quesada. Especially since we already have two "other destinations" listed for the Plains of the North.
This got me thinking, though. It would be great to have a section of Do that described the beaches throughout the country and gave an overview of what regions are good for what type of beach, and a list of the top beach destinations like Manuel Antonios, Jacó, Tortuguero, Dominical, Tamarindo, etc. I'll set the section up, and it would be great if you could help add some information. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 18:55, 9 December 2008 (EST)
I see the section you added under Do and I am more then happy to add more info when I return, I am leaving for Costa Rica in 3 hours so its off to the Airport and when I get back in 6 weeks, I will add some more detailed info about the different beach areas that I am familiar with as I have been to a good portion of the areas on the list you made already. --(WT-en) Firestormo Talk 9:13, 11 December 2008 (PST)


Cell phones[edit]

Article states FALSE. prepaid sim card ARE NOT AVAILABLE in Costa Rica. ROUTING DOESN T EXIST. PREPAID CARDS NEITHER. (AS FOR LATE 2009) For a tourist it is IMPOSSIBLE to use or get a cell phone in Costa Rica, since you need to be resident, ask for a line and wait MONTHS OR YEARS to get one. GSM COVERAGE IS THE WORST IN THE WORLD: it is almost impossible to call someone (even a 1 meter in front of you) for few seconds without the line being cut off. —The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) 84.220.173.228 (talkcontribs)

Please stop SHOUTING. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 19:02, 24 October 2009 (EDT)
1- I dont know how to get a prepaid SIM, however, there are public phones all around in every city or town... and most public phones now take all of the following: coins, chip cards or "serial-number" (colibri) cards... not mentioning the call collect service 110. 2- If you request a cellphone (costa rican or foreign resident) it currently takes some hours to get the line... not months or years... get a life 3- Coverage is widely availabe...specially in cities and towns. Worst in the world? stop being a troll. 4- Why would you wanna call someone 1 meter in front of you? lol. (WT-en) Daniel32708 18:25, 11 March 2010 (EST)

June 2010, 1st day in San Jose, I visited a small cell phone store and asked for a prepaid SIM card & GSM Phone. Got both including 300 minutes for about $60. No problem, didn't show any ID. When I called the ICE (ee say) customer care, they did say the SIM was registered to someone other than myself so I couldn't get service, but they did help me change the voicemail password.

Carl —The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) 200.122.185.14 (talkcontribs)

All this information is outdated. Before 2008 there was a public monopoly of the telephone service under ICE. (Instituto Costarisence de Electricidad.) However, since 2008 there has been a privatization program. In 2012, there are several companies that offer pay as you go sim cards that are available to anyone willing to pay. —The preceding comment was added by 201.195.76.30 (talkcontribs)

Hi! Please feel free to wikivoyage:Plunge forward and change it. jan (talk) 15:54, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Regions & Puntarenas[edit]

Hmm, we've called the southwestern region of the country Puntarenas, after the province name, but that province actually extends throughout most of the Central Pacific region. Any ideas for a better name for the southwestern region? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 23:25, 26 October 2009 (EDT)

see discussion at Talk:Puntarenas#Merge

Proposed Change[edit]

1- By car...

Currently:

Gas stations are full-service and the guys there are very cool about taking dollars or Colón(es). The interesting thing is that Costa Rica is small so you do not burn a lot of gas getting places, even though it seems like forever. Costa Rica is also a land of traffic circles, so people from Europe should have no problem, but North Americans should make sure they know how they work. The gas stations really are full-service, and you can have your oil checked, water filled, and tire pressure topped off. The state owns a gasoline company and the private companies raise their prices to the level of the state-set price. It is recommended to always use super gas and not regular; the regular gas is soiled. If you use the "regular" gas, you will have to change the gas filter and clean the injectors after 5000 miles.

Proposed:

Gas stations are full-service and the guys there are very cool about taking dollars or Colón(es). Credit cards are also widely accepted. The interesting thing is that Costa Rica is small so you do not burn a lot of gas getting places, even though it seems like forever. Costa Rica is also a land of traffic circles, so people from Europe should have no problem, but North Americans should make sure they know how they work. The gas stations really are full-service, and you can have your oil checked, water filled, and tire pressure topped off for free. The government sets the gas price, so you will find the same price anywhere in the country. Keep in mind that gas is not sold in gallons but in litters. As anywhere else, it is always recommended to use super gas and not regular. the regular gas is soiled. If you use the "regular" gas, you will have to change the gas filter and clean the injectors after 5000 miles. . Diesel is also available.

Why? 1- Even if it is small, roads are slow traffic, so you will burn gas... if it takes forever, just as that sentence states, it obviously is burning gas all that time... 2- We buy refined gasoline...super or regular... who says the regular is soiled?

2-

Currently:

A speeding ticket is, at the most, 20,000 Colones (US $40), and although the police are generally congenial, foreign drivers are occasionally illegally offered an "on the spot" fine that is half that or less.

Proposed: According to the new traffic law, fines go up to around 280000 colones.... so we need to change the "20 000 colones us $40".


I suppose I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the slower you go from point A to point B, the less fuel you'll burn—that is, driving faster drives fuel consumption up exponentially. Not a big deal, though, so I certainly wouldn't object to its removal. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 01:58, 17 March 2010 (EDT)
Yep, but at the end it is similar...slower, consuming little during a loooong time, than faster, consuming more, but during a short time. (WT-en) Daniel32708 14:13, 18 March 2010 (EDT)

Regions of Costa Rica[edit]

I was wondering if there is a standard criteria for naming regions in countries or if it is done out of the blue. The Costa Rican government has established official regions with official region names that do not coencide with the ones established here, and I, being costarricense, can testify that no one knows the regions by those names. They seem made up to me.

Here is a document which states the official names of the regions in spanish.

The original region names were:

  • -Región Central
  • -Región Pacífico Norte
  • -Región Pacífico Central
  • -Región Pacífico Sur
  • -Región Norte
  • -Región Atlántica

and the current region names are (as of President Rodrigo Carazo Odio's administration):

  • -Central
  • -Chorotega
  • -Brunca
  • -Huetar Atlántica
  • -Huetar Norte

both names and definitions are understood throughout the nation, by the population and officials.

The document I stated before also details the limits of each region, as well as other information, such as population, cantons, cities, climate, and geography, among other useful information. Although the population information is outdated as it is based on the 2000 census and not the more recent 2011 census.JosepaXD (talk) 17:01, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Health[edit]

The section on health is very biased. While the Costa Rican health care system is far better than its neighbors it is severely lacking. I have lived in Costa Rica for 5 years and have used the public health system many times so I speak from experience. The educational system for doctors is very poor and many doctors have little more than a few years of education. I have personally seen doctors using wikipedia to help them diagnose patients. Recently (2012-13) there have been street protests against the public health system because people are having to wait years for cancer treatment. This section needs to be rewritten that gives the facts of the system and not paint a rosey picture of a barely functioning public health system. —The preceding comment was added by 201.195.76.30 (talkcontribs)

Then please rewrite it! --Peter Talk 20:38, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

It isn't perfect, but its not as bad as you paint it out to be. I can't be sure that the doctor you speak of did in fact use Wikipidia for his diagnostic and I doubt you can prove it. I don't know where you got the idea that many doctors have little more that a few years of education. The mayor problems with costa rica's public healthcare system are administrative, and those protests basically centered on that fact. It isn't a "barely functioning system", it works, although it could do better.JosepaXD (talk) 03:59, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Is this the same health system that a traveller would be using? Or would a visitor likely go through a different system? --Inas (talk) 04:01, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

This system is for costa ricans or nationalized foreigners; although the facilities can be used by anyone, especially for emergencies, but if you're a tourist and you are caught in an emergency I believe you would have to pay for the services. Either way, this system is not meant for tourists. Medical tourism is completely private alsoJosepaXD (talk) 04:06, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Other destinations list[edit]

Tortuguero National Park is one of the most popular parks in Costa Rica and deserves a link in the Costa Rica#Other destinations list. In order not to exceed the limit of nine items I suggest to remove Pacuare River and Protected Zone. WiDi (talk) 19:34, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

While I'm not an expert on the country, I've never heard of Pacuare River and Protected Zone, and its article has no content. The opposite is true for Tortuguero, so I say go ahead. --Peter Talk 20:09, 21 May 2013 (UTC)


Narcotics[edit]

It is not right, for any type of traveling guide, to recommend any type of drug usage in another country. It is possible all this section must be rewritten, mainly because more strict measures are being created constantly because of the influence of narcotics traffic.

It is illegal for the police to accept bribery, so you could be in real trouble if you, as a tourist, try to do so in Costa Rica or in any other country. —The preceding comment was added by 190.5.215.18 (talkcontribs)

If you believe the section needs to be rewritten for the sake of accuracy, plunge forward and rewrite it. However, I don't see that the section recommends either narcotic use or bribery; instead, it recommends against those things. So what do you want to edit? Or better yet, just make the edits, and others can read them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:02, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Advertising - Easy Ride Shuttle Services[edit]

I'm currently visiting Costa Rica, and in most pages I've read, there is always a "The most popular one is Easy Ride Shuttle Services" on the transport sections. I've never tried them and I don't know how good they are, but the way it's written ("best", bold) feels like aggressive advertising which I doupt is what we want on wikivoyage! Laurianv (talk) 02:55, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

You are quite right. We have a don't tout policy here on WV and usually delete such promotional listings on sight or change their wording to something more appropriate. I'd be glad if you could go ahead and edit those pages accordingly. Hobbitschuster (talk) 03:49, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Turrialba[edit]

I have just spent some time in Turrialba and for me it was a highlight of Costa Rica. It has an interesting history, excellent adventure sports and tasty agricultural produce. I created a page for it and and wrote some content. My question is, does anyone else think that Turrialba is a great place? If so, lets put it on the 'Cities' or 'Other destinations' list. I see there is already 9 on each, however I think there are a couple that no one would have problems with removing. The headline could read: Turrialba - Food bowl of Costa Rica and adventure sports mecca --Justvagabonding (talk) 04:19, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

If it's a city, town or village, it would belong in "Cities", not in "Other (i.e., non-city) destinations". Which of the currently-listed cities would you propose to replace? Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:30, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
Ah okay, I wasn't aware that small villages could not go in 'Other destinations'. I think I have seen villages in other destinations before however this is probably against official policy. I looked through the cities list and am not sure if Turrialba would rank higher then any of those. Lets just leave it as it is. Cheers --Justvagabonding (talk) 17:41, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
You can always list smaller towns and villages in the relevant region article, which in this case would be the Central Valley - Turrialba is already name-dropped but there's no information about it, why not put your headline in there? Welcome to Wikivoyage, I hope you're having fun with it so far :) --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:51, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks ThunderingTyphoons!, I put the headline on the region page. Cheers, --Justvagabonding (talk) 20:24, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

Touting Costa Rica[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Hi. A newly registered user thankfully informed us of an apparent touting going on in our articles on Costa Rica. If you have a free minute or two, try and find those and either detout or remove them. Thanks. Hobbitschuster (talk) 03:52, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Danger of wildlife in Costa Rica[edit]

the section on wildlife needs to be edited and cleaned up. for example: the paragraph on crocodiles gives conflicting advice, (paraphrasing): Crocodiles are dangerous, they are man-eaters! However, few people actually get eaten.

12-hour or 24-hour clock?[edit]

Which is more commonly used? Ground Zero (talk) 18:16, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

I'd say the 12-hour clock. The dog2 (talk) 22:30, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

Directions in countries like Costa Rica[edit]

Swept in from the pub

This edit translated directions, which in Costa Rica are used in lieu of street addresses. I don't think this is helpful because the English version will not help when asking locals for directions and they are no better intelligible than the Spanish forms. And as this is an issue affecting several LatAm destinations, I think hashing it out for every article on its own ain't gonna get us far... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:18, 1 December 2019 (UTC)

How are people going to find these places, then? Are geocoordinates possible? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:03, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
They are, but someone needs to add them. The way directions work in Nicaragua or Costa Rica is to give a landmark and then say how many blocks north or south and east or west it is. So "from Times Square two blocks west one block north". A few major streets have names that are actually used and their kilometer markets are then used for reference, which would be like "kilometer 4.5 on I 95" or something... Hobbitschuster (talk) 06:31, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Isn't the inclusion of directions in our listings supposed to mean that most people won't need to ask for directions in the street, because they can read and follow the directions we give them? In order to do this, the instructions need to be in the language that everyone reading this wiki can understand.
Perhaps I misunderstand the convention, but surely if people do need to resort to asking directions in the street, they are going to be asking for "¿El restaurante X, por favor?" or "¿Dónde está el museo Y?", to which the answer will be the directions, rather than asking "¿Dónde está el restaurante que está a 100 metros al oeste de aquí y 50 metros al norte?" because then they're answering their own question.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:56, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Those directions are the only "address" those places have. If you get in a cab in most places you can say "take me to 123 example street" and you'll get there. In places like Nicaragua or Costa Rica you'll say "landmark x y blocks east z blocks north". And if the taxi driver doesn't know landmark x, you'll have to find another one... It's not a prefect system by any means, but it's what's used locally... Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:19, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
I think that Wikivoyage giving directions is more important than providing the words in the local language for asking for directions. Or, we could follow the advice provided by Wikivoyage:Foreign words to provide both versions: "To note the foreign-language translation of a word, list it in parentheses right after the English name, with the name of the language, followed by a colon, then the foreign language name in italics." In this circumstance, specifying that it is Spanish seems unnecessary, though. Ground Zero (talk) 12:32, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Part of the issue is that those are actually the addresses (which to my knowledge we never translate) but someone put them in the "directions" field. Maybe we can put them in the address tab and something else in the "directions" field... Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:20, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

That sounds like it would work. Ground Zero (talk) 13:27, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Now I understand the situation a bit better, I agree it could work. It would be worth talking about this in the Costa Rica country article (though don't know where exactly; Cope?).--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:43, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
It looks like San José has street addresses (or at least street names), but nobody uses them. That Chinese embassy, for example, is on a street named "Av. 3A" between Calle 78 and Calle 80 (Avenue 3A between Streets 78 and 80).
Costa Rica#Getting around begins with a description of the address/directions problem. That looks like the right place for it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:57, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
But I also think that providing bilingual directions would be best. Maybe we put Spanish in the address field, and English in the directions field? Or the other way around?
Hobbit mentioned that we don't translate addresses, and that's true. But we don't need to translate an address, because everyone who uses addresses in their daily lives can recognise one in a foreign language with a bit of practice, or after seeing loads of them in a row like you would in a good Wikivoyage destination article. Understanding directions (whole sentences, with multiple clauses) in a foreign language is another question entirely, and without providing a translation, we're practically forcing non-Spanish-speakers to seek outside help, which goes against one of our fundamental goals to be the only source an average-intelligence traveller needs on a trip.
Another question, still just getting my head around the 'system', such as it is: are the directions absolute, so a certain bar is always known as that place 100 metres north of the big tree, and never as the place 50 metres west of that square all the tourists love, or are they subjective depending on where you are or who you are talking to?--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:59, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
To my knowledge the system is relatively steady. So much so that there are references to former landmarks in some addresses. And the system somehow works to get mail delivered in cities like Managua which has over a million inhabitants... Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:43, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
I'll tell you how it works in two words: neighbourhood posties.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 23:07, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
The system is steady, in the sense that the old fig tree (which was replaced by a new fig tree when it died) is still used as a reference point. But it's not steady in the sense of every place having a single address. Your destination is a certain distance from the old fig tree *and* a certain distance from "the Coca-Cola" (another longtime landmark that no longer exists).
If there's a list of major landmarks, then that might be a good subject for a map. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:14, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
Google maps worked fine for me in Costa Rica, so I think we can recommend it to potential visitors. Save for one case when the fact that the road was closed wasn't updated, I was able to drive around to my destinations without any problems. The dog2 (talk) 05:00, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── yes, some cities have tried to introduce street signage but actual uptake by the population varies widely. It's also possible that stuff like an embassy works like a reference point in itself and thus the only nontrivial "address" one could give is the much rarer "xth street and yth avenue" Hobbitschuster (talk) 08:46, 4 December 2019 (UTC)