After comparing monthly rates, I found that renting cell phones in Costa Rica was too expensive of an option for me, especially since I was going to be here for more than a few months. So I went ahead and purchased one. Although you will not be able to set up a line for any cell phone you buy, you will be able to buy a SIM card at the ICE stand in the airport when you arrive (the stand is right past where you pick up your baggage, and right before you go through immigration). The SIM card works perfect with unlocked cell phones in Costa Rica, and comes in various denominations. I bought a $20 card at the stand and the ICE vendor immediately installed into the phone for me and even tested it before I left the counter (see picture of SIM card and my cell phone in the photos below).
|Nokia 2730 with 2.0 Mega Pixel Camera (shown with SIM card & battery)|
|SIM Card shown inserted into my cell phone|