In one of my earliest dispatches after arriving in Costa Rica almost seven weeks ago, I featured the front of the 5000 colones bill and mentioned how the money here is awesome. When Zach was here visiting, he referred to the currency as Monopoly money. And it DOES look like Monopoly money! See for yourself!

This is 20,000 colones which is the equivalent of 40 US dollars, roughly. As a general baseline, 500 colones = 1 US dollar.

20 mil colones

20 mil colones

10 mil colones (I suspect the three-toed sloth is ambivalent about the fact that it made the cover of a bill.)

10 mil colones

10 mil colones

5 mil colones (My personal favorite!)

5 mil colones

5 mil colones

2 mil colones (Rawr! Shark!)

2 mil colones

2 mil colones

1 mil colones

1 mil colones

1 mil colones

The 1 mil colones bill is unique and particularly interesting in that it has a small transparent (and semi-transparent) section which is reversed from the front. Neat!

Transparency on the 1 mil colones.  You can see the blades of grass through it!

Transparency on the 1 mil colones. You can see the blades of grass through it!

But the bills are just cool. They all have distinct patterns on them that blend into the various sections of the bills.

Neato patterns!

Neato patterns!

And the different denominations all feature three distinct species, with one primary animal on display. And they provide the common and scientific names. Beautiful AND educational!

Beautiful AND educational!

Beautiful AND educational!

There’s a 50,000 colones banknote as well, though it’s a little more elusive. Also worth noting: all of the bills are slightly different sizes (you can see this in the pictures if you contrast the length and width ratios of the bills). Details in banknotes are always interesting, no doubt. But I have to say, I am partial to Costa Rica‘s currency. It’s nice when I pull a monkey out of my pocket!

About the Author

Hello, I'm Scott. I take photos. Do things. Whatnot. Mixed Digital Media Artist.

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