COSTA RICA INFORMATION

LIVING & RETIRING HERE

Costa Rica is quickly becoming the world’s most popular tourist, retirement, and vacation home purchases in the world due to the affordability, increased airline presence, stunning beauty, and its population is the happiest in the world!

As more travelers discover Costa Rica’s amenities and beauty, the greater the number of foreigners either retiring here or moving here to work from abroad. The natural beauty and climate are obvious draws but the lack of a military presence, the peaceful and laid back nature of the Costa Rican people, and the lack of violent crime are becoming equally as important in attracting international residents and retirees alike. The cost of living here in Costa Rica is a fraction of what it costs in North America and Europe, with a quality of life that supersedes even the most exclusive communities in the United States.

The absence of capital gains taxes, low property taxes, and the ability to secure residency with special status granted to foreign citizens looking to invest in the country or spend their retirement years here are just a few of the reasons that thousands of Americans and Europeans are making this paradise their work from abroad home or retirement home. Costa Rica has several international academies and many dual language institutes that increase the work from abroad society of today, as their children can attend a quality school. Costa Rica boasts an educated society, with a literacy rate of more than 95%, a quality health care system, and inexpensive labor costs for both domestic and professional services allow for affordable help in any sector of business.

With our team of legal advisors, residency professionals, and accountants can answer any questions you might have concerning the logistics of making Costa Rica your home. Our Team is always on call to make the transition a smooth and easy one. There are many Associations and Facebook Groups that can help answer any questions about Costa Rica. Our Team will be happy to assist your transition from Tourist to Ex-Pat.

Invest in Happiness Costa Rica Opportunities: There are many different opportunities to invest in “Your” Happiness in Costa Rica. Our goal is to provide you with the information, opportunities, and a resource to make your happiness a sustainable dream whether it is working from abroad or retiring here in Costa Rica. We can help you find the ideal property for you whether it is a rental, cabaña, condominium, single family home, a Villa, or a Luxury Home. Let our Team help you Invest in Happiness.

Costa Rica is quickly becoming the world’s most popular tourist, retirement, and vacation home purchases in the world due to the affordability, increased airline presence, stunning beauty, and its population is the happiest in the world!

As more travelers discover Costa Rica’s amenities and beauty, the greater the number of foreigners either retiring here or moving here to work from abroad. The natural beauty and climate are obvious draws but the lack of a military presence, the peaceful and laid back nature of the Costa Rican people, and the lack of violent crime are becoming equally as important in attracting international residents and retirees alike. The cost of living here in Costa Rica is a fraction of what it costs in North America and Europe, with a quality of life that supersedes even the most exclusive communities in the United States.

The absence of capital gains taxes, low property taxes, and the ability to secure residency with special status granted to foreign citizens looking to invest in the country or spend their retirement years here are just a few of the reasons that thousands of Americans and Europeans are making this paradise their work from abroad home or retirement home. Costa Rica has several international academies and many dual language institutes that increase the work from abroad society of today, as their children can attend a quality school. Costa Rica boasts an educated society, with a literacy rate of more than 95%, a quality health care system, and inexpensive labor costs for both domestic and professional services allow for affordable help in any sector of business.

With our team of legal advisors, residency professionals, and accountants can answer any questions you might have concerning the logistics of making Costa Rica your home. Our Team is always on call to make the transition a smooth and easy one. There are many Associations and Facebook Groups that can help answer any questions about Costa Rica. Our Team will be happy to assist your transition from Tourist to Ex-Pat.

Invest in Happiness Costa Rica Opportunities: There are many different opportunities to invest in “Your” Happiness in Costa Rica. Our goal is to provide you with the information, opportunities, and a resource to make your happiness a sustainable dream whether it is working from abroad or retiring here in Costa Rica. We can help you find the ideal property for you whether it is a rental, cabaña, condominium, single family home, a Villa, or a Luxury Home. Let our Team help you Invest in Happiness.

GEOGRAPHY

Costa Rica is located in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Nicaragua borders Costa Rica to the north and Panama borders to the south. The country has a total land area comparable to the size of West Virginia: approximately 51,000 sq. km with 1,290 sq. km of coastline. Within the borders of Costa Rica you can find exotic hidden beaches, volcanoes, rivers, lakes, rain forests, tropical dry forests, flowers, and animals galore.

The climate is tropical with the dry season lasting from December to May and the wet season from June to November (depending on the location in Costa Rica these dates will bring more or less rain). Mountain regions are found throughout most of the country, ranging from approximately 1,000 to 2,000 meters (3,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level). The Guanacaste Mountain Range, Central Mountain Range, and Talamanca Mountain Range are the main mountain ranges extending the entire length of the country. There are several active volcanoes (Arenal , Irazu , Rincon de la Vieja Poas , Orosi, Chato and Turrialba) and the country’s highest mountain (Chirripo Hill) with a height of 3,819 m/12,530 ft. While we do have many active volcanoes, you may intermittently experience earthquakes here as well. They are typically not life threatening and cause limited damage.

The country has a relatively long coastline in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as several rivers. Costa Rica’s year-round climate is pleasant with naturally occurring breezes, cooling down most of the coastal areas. The average annual temperatures range from 31.7°C (89°F) on the coast to 16.7°C (62°F) in the Central Valley and mountain areas.

Map and Color of Costa Rica

TOURISM

Villas Sol guest pool
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Palm Trees
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Costa Rica continues to grow as one of the top tourist, medical tourist, work from abroad, and retirement destinations in the world. Costa Rica boasts world class surfing, exceptional deep sea fishing, national parks, active volcanoes, cloud forests, tropical dry forests, Robert Trent Jones golf course, bird watching, stunning beaches, and many varieties of flowers and animals.

Costa Rica has 5% of the world’s biodiversity within its borders while protecting 33% of its natural beauty under various conservation laws. With 780 miles of coastline Costa Rica boasts some of the most beautiful beaches that are surrounded by natural tropical forests and belong to the people of Costa Rica. There are ZERO private beaches in Costa Rica and public access must be provided to all beaches by developers of any area in Costa Rica.

 

Costa Rica tourism is the number one source of income and it is continuing to grow. In 2015 over 2.6 Million people flew into the Liberia airport alone and over 5 Million is anticipated for 2016. Ease of travel continues to make Costa Rica a top destination with direct flights from Boston, New York, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Orlando, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, other from the U.S., and now many direct flights from Europe as well. Safe driving conditions (except for almost no street names), bilingual Ticos, excellent tour guides, and two international airports has made travel within Costa Rica extremely convenient.

WEATHER & CLIMATE

Dry Season vs. Wet Season

Each area of Costa Rica has their own climates and perfect times of the season to visit. All the country has their own Dry Season and Wet Season. Most often characterized as the dry season, it's the time of year when the rain disappears and it becomes the time of year that we won’t see rain for about six months or more depending on the area you are visiting.

“Dry season" is not the same throughout the entire country. This is almost entirely thanks to the five mountain ranges running from north to south splitting the country into different climates and to the relatively close proximity of the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. While Guanacaste, in the Pacific, is considered the driest part of the country, the Caribbean gets daily tropical rains for most of the year. 

Dry Season in the Pacific (Dec.-April)

While the dry season begins early and ends later some years, in general, visitors can expect the best weather from the beginning of December to the end of April with temperatures ranging between 80 and 100 degrees and an average of 81 degrees. Visitors can expect the driest weather in the northern Pacific region known as Guanacaste and as you move South into the Puntarenas region you will move from the dry weather into a more temperate climate and as you approach the Panama border you will experience the tropical rains that are experienced on the Caribbean coast.

Dry season in the Central Valley (Dec.-April)

The Central Valley encompasses the area around San Jose and its outlying cities including Alajuela (where you'll find the Juan Santamaria International Airport), Heredia, Grecia, Escazu, Cartago, Naranjo and others. The weather in the central valley is the mildest of Costa Rica, with average temperatures between 72 and 75 degrees, a high of 84 degrees and a low of 64 degrees.

Dry Season in the Mountainous Areas (Dec-April)

Spanning Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio, the mountainous areas of Costa Rica are determined by elevation. Average temperatures are around 70 degrees in the highlands. Winds increase with elevation making Monteverde particularly windy. Visit Arenal in the dry season for you best chance of seeing the Arenal Volcano totally uncovered by clouds.

 

Dry Season in the Caribbean (March/April/ Sept/Oct)

The Caribbean receives about 100 inches of rain annually with a similar climate stretching from the Northern to Southern tips of the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. The best times to visit are between March and April and September and October when the Caribbean sees the least amount of rain. Temperatures range between 77 and 90 degrees and an average of 81 degrees. Because of the large amounts of rain the humidity on the Caribbean Coast averages about 85% year-round.

Wet Season in the Pacific (May- Nov)

Rainy season really is a misnomer. While there will be periods of rain it is rare to have full days of rain or complete wash outs of days. The rain falls mostly during the early afternoon and evening with amazing lightning storms and creating some sunsets you will never be able to view again. The predictable pattern makes it easy to plan activities and meals so that you get the most out of the sunshine and the rain.

Wet Season in the Central Valley (May-Nov)

Like the Pacific, the rain falls rather consistently at the same times every day. From mid-day on, expect scattered showers for the rest of the day and into the night.

Wet Season in the Mountainous Areas (May-Nov)

Monteverde and Arenal sees significantly more rainfall, winds and cooler weather than towns in the Pacific areas. The average rainfall in Monteverde and Arenal during the wet season can be as much as 16 inches per month. Expect daily showers, though typically the rain falls during the afternoon and evenings.

Wet Season in the Caribbean (Nov-Jan/ May-Aug)

It almost never stops raining in the Caribbean particularly during the rainy season. Unlike the Pacific, the Caribbean rain doesn't fall in a predictable pattern and you can expect rainfall at any time of day or night.

TRANSPORTATION

 

Whether you're looking to spend your vacation in a hammock on a quiet beach or you want to see all the country's volcanoes, rainforests and beaches in a week, we've got you covered. From puddle jumpers to public buses here's the information you need to know about Costa Rica's most popular ways to travel.

Private Transfers

There several Companies (depending on your area) that provide transportation to and from your vacation spots to any places in Costa Rica. You do not need to worry about directions, times, street signs, paved or dirt roads, traffic, and can just relax in route to your destination.  Our team can help provide you information on Private Transfers in Costa Rica to help Invest in “Your” Happiness.

Shuttles

Shuttles provide connections between most airports and most major tourist destinations. Shuttles are faster, more convenient and often provide Wi-Fi access than buses but that comes at a cost. Shuttles cost between $25 and $100 per person, depending on the length of the trips, with discounts for larger groups.

Families, couples and tourists will find shuttles helpful for a quick way to get from the airport to their hotel or condominium or major attractions.

Bus

Costa Rica's public bus system is the best in Central America with routes that encompass the entire country. It's a cheap, effective way for tourists travelling on a tight budget.

Every city has at least one central bus station while San Jose has multiple, so make sure to find out which bus station your bus leaves from.

Car Rental

Renting a car is a great way to be able to travel on your own itinerary and to be able to alter your travels quickly. You can detour to a remote area with ease. Car rentals are good for tourists who want to see a lot of the country and don't mind driving over rough roads through an occasional river, or getting lost on a side road trying to find a remote location.

Rentals cost between $25 and $200 a day.  Rental car companies require you to get the following minimum insurance coverage ($13 - $25 per day):

  • Collision damage waiver fee ($13 - $25 per day)

  • Supplemental insurance ($10 to $17 per day)

 

You will also be required to hold a security deposit on your credit card, (from $500 to $1,500) that will be refunded to your credit card account within 2 to 4 weeks after you have returned the car with no damages. If there are accidents or damages, the hold will be permanent until your case is resolved at which time any amount owed to you will be refunded.

Some rental car companies will offer you a cheap daily rental rate on your quote and then add the insurance rates after your arrival. Your credit card liability car insurance does not apply in Costa Rica! If you decide to rent a car make sure to never leave anything inside the vehicle.

Domestic Flights

Costa Rica has two domestic airlines, Nature Air and Sansa, offering daily flights to many major tourist destinations.