Costa Rica seems to like to think of itself as the leader of Central America, sort of like Uzbekistan in Central Asia, I found, where the neighbors all instantly have gripes about smugness.
I was a bit surprised to see that the airport departure tax of US$28 at San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) is not included in airline tickets. Last time I paid one at a counter like this was Uruguay in May as they are thankfully going extinct.
I was about to pay with credit card until I saw this placard on the counter, stating that credit cards are treated as cash advance. So, holster that plastic and make sure you have cash.