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Power Outlets in Costa Rica: Do I Need an Adapter?

You just booked a trip to Costa Rica and need to make sure you have all of the packing essentials!

One of the most important being travel adapters and converters. I will break down the types of power outlets in Costa Rica and whether or not you will need to bring an adapter along with you.

Being from Canada, I did NOT need an adapter when visiting Costa Rica, our plugs are the same.

However, there are a few caveats to plug types and voltages listed below that you need to know before visiting Costa Rica.

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What plugs are used in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica power outlets are plug types A and B.

Devices with electric Plug A can fit in both Plug A and Plug B.

Devices with Plug B can ONLY fit into Plug B electrical outlets.

Plug A

  • Two Pronged: Two flat prongs
  • Not grounded
  • Found in: North America (Canada, USA, Mexico), Central America, parts of The Caribbean, parts of South America, Taiwan, Japan
  • Examples of Type A Plugs: phone chargers, small appliances, hair styling tools

Plug B

  • Three Pronged: Two flat prongs, one pin for grounding
  • Grounded
  • Found in: North America (Canada, USA, Mexico), Central America, parts of The Caribbean, parts of South America, Taiwan, Japan
  • Examples of Type B Plugs: laptop chargers, larger appliances

Note: Some places we stayed in Costa Rica only had Plug A power outlets. In that case, our Plug B devices would have required an adapter. 

Power outlets in Costa Rica, Plug A and Plug B outlets
Power Outlets in Costa Rica

Do you need a power adapter in Costa Rica?

If you are traveling from the above countries that use Plugs A or B, you do NOT need an adapter. 

If you are bringing a lot of devices that are 3-pronged and would only fit into Plug B, you may need to bring an adapter in case of the event that you only come in contact with Plug A.

Many places off the beaten path in Costa Rica only have Plug A. We encountered this when staying in Uvita, Dominical and Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Click here for a universal travel adapter that works in over 150 countries.

But wait, you also need to look closely at the voltage. Voltage converters and plug adapters are NOT the same thing.

What is voltage?

Voltage is the strength of the electricity that flows through the outlet. 

You will need a voltage converter if your devices do not match the voltage of Costa Rica, 120V.

What voltage does Costa Rica operate on?

Costa Rica uses 120V Voltage and 60Hz Hertz. 

This is the same as Canada and the USA, some of the Caribbean and some countries in Central America.

Where to find voltage on your devices?

The voltage will be labeled on your electronic devices. For example, my MacBook charger is dual voltage. Photographed here.

MacBook charger voltage information, 100-240V
MacBook Charger Dual Voltage: 100-240V

Dual voltage means this charger can plug into any outlet from 100V to 240V voltage. 

One of the best ways to sidestep any confusion with voltage is to ensure the devices you are bringing are dual voltage. 

Trust me on this, I have broken many hair tools in my day. 

Do you need a voltage converter?

Check your devices. What are you bringing on your trip? What are their voltages?

If you are bringing devices with 120V, you are in the clear and do NOT need a voltage converter.

If you are bringing devices with dual voltage that include anywhere from 100-240V or 110-220V, you are ALSO in the clear and do NOT need a voltage converter.

If none of the above is true for you, you will need a voltage converter to ensure you don’t ruin your devices.

Check out this voltage converter, adapter combo device!

Where to get an adapter in Costa Rica

If you forget to pack one, the airports and major cities will have them stocked.

In San José, Costa Rica’s capital, check out Walmart or Pequeño Mundo.

Pin the Costa Rica Power Oulet Post for later!

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Summary on Costa Rica Power Outlets

The two most important things to note with the power outlets in Costa Rica is that they are Type A and B.

If you come from a country that uses these plug types, you will not need a converter.

Make sure you look at your electric appliances and devices to ensure they will match the voltage of 120V, if not aim to bring dual voltage items so that you do not need to worry about a voltage converter!

Most importantly, have the BEST time in Costa Rica!

Pura Vida!

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