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Travelling to Costa Rica? Documents required to enter Costa Rica as a tourist

Travelling to Costa Rica? Documents required to enter Costa Rica as a tourist

April 17, 2018

Properties in Costa Rica

Traveling to Costa Rica is pretty simple. Not everyone that travels here needs a “tourist visa”, it all depends on your nationality, duration of stay, residence and the purpose of your visit. There are some things to keep in mind if you are traveling here.

If you plan on visiting Costa Rica as a tourist and your country of origin is The United States, Canada or you are a European citizen, the only document you will need is a current valid passport in good conditions. Keep in mind that the authorities will demand a demonstration of economic solvency, requiring a minimum of $100 per month staying in the country. In addition, a return ticket or exit ticket must be shown for them to verify when you are leaving the country and for how long are you staying.

The maximum length of stay allowed is 90 days, which you can extend with a new tourist visa for another 90 days if you leave the country for a minimum of 48 hours.

For you to have a safe and tranquil return, make sure that the immigration officer who examines your passport when you enter Costa Rica stamps the corresponding “entry stamp” on it. If you plan on staying in Costa Rica for more than 90 days you must apply for a tourist Visa.

Another requirement to take in consideration is the yellow fever vaccine. If you, before entering Costa Rica, have remained in countries at risk, you must be vaccinated against yellow fever, which should be verified by means of the “International Certificate of Vaccination against Yellow Fever”, which is valid from 10 days after vaccination.

If you have been in transit through countries at risk in their trajectory towards Costa Rica in airports, ports and inter-border posts of countries at risk you will be exempted from the yellow fever vaccination requirement.

You are also exempt from the vaccination requirement if you have been in countries considered at risk but later have remained for at least 6 days, in a country that is not risky and have not developed fever in that period.

Countries that do not need a tourist visa are: Alemania, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bélgica, Brasil, Bulgaria, Canadá, Ciudad del Vaticano, Chile, Chipre, Croacia, Dinamarca, Eslovaquia, Eslovenia, España, Estados Unidos de América, Estonia, Finlandia, Francia, Grecia, Hungría, Irlanda, Islandia, Israel, Italia, Japón, Letonia, Liechtenstein, Lituania, Luxemburgo, Malta, México, Montenegro, Noruega, Nueva Zelanda, Países Bajos, Panamá, Paraguay, Polonia, Portugal, Principado de Mónaco, Puerto Rico, San Marino, Serbia, Sudáfrica, Reino Unido e Irlanda del Norte, República Checa, República de Corea del Sur, Rumanía, Singapur, Suecia, Suiza, Trinidad y Tobago y Uruguay.

The countries considered at risk are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, SierraLeone, Sudan, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana and Venezuela.

The climate in Costa Rica

The climate in Costa Rica

April 12, 2018

Properties in Costa Rica

If you are moving to Costa Rica or planning a trip here, there’s some information
regarding the weather that you should consider. Costa Rica is known for its diverse
climate and vegetation that varies during the different seasons. It is composed of two
seasons: Dry or summer, and Rainy/green/winter.

Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons for each season.


Pros: From December thru April you will find sunshine and little clouds throughout the
country. Costa Rica is diverse and unpredictable regarding climate, so the season can
begin earlier or prolong a little bit. This is the peak tourist season since people from the
northern countries try to avoid the cold winters and come looking for the true tropical
experience. During this period of the year, most of the modern amenities such as bars
and restaurants, groceries stores, hotels are always full of foreign and locals tourists. If
you would like to visit volcanoes and mountains, this season means fewer clouds and
fog. Most volcanoes will be exhibiting the peaks and offering a surreal experience with a
clear view of the crater. You will be able to enjoy surfing, fishing, scuba-diving, all in
translucent oceans with the ideal temperature. As well as extreme sports such as
bungee, canopy and hiking with little or no rain at all.

Cons: Since the dry season occurs during Costa Rica’s peak season, prices tend to be
a lot higher. Finding an affordable private house for your vacation, or vacancy in a hotel
may be a tough task if you don’t book it with anticipation. Flights prices also tend to go
up for these months. Costa Rican tourism is also strong, and when combined with
foreign tourism beaches may seem full as well as the highways. Expect long waiting
lines in restaurants and overbooked tours.


Pros: The rainy season goes from May thru mid-November. Just like the dry season,
these periods may extend or diminish. Nevertheless, rain begins until 3 pm, having
plenty of time during the morning to enjoy the light breeze and sunshine. Rain often help
alleviate the warm and humid weather. Activities such as hiking and rafting are
predominant during the “winter”. Making reference to the name of “green season”,
plants and trees that were once dry from the previous season, will nourish while
enjoying the tropical rainforest habitat to its maximum. This is the best time to visit the
rainforest and have a full experience of it. Another good reason to visit Costa Rica
during this season is that it offers a majestic show of whale watching, a unique and natural experience. Another pro for this season is that prices are lower and you will be
able to find different promotions and offers for tours and lodging.

Cons: If you are an outdoors person that doesn’t enjoy the rain, this is a big problem.
The rainiest months occur in October and November where the entire country receives
from 330-350 millimeters of water, having dark and colder days than the rest of the year.
If you go to the beach, on the Pacific side, be prepared for storms and strong currents in
the ocean. Also be cautious while driving, the highways in Costa Rica have plenty of
dangerous bends and in the rain and fog they tend to be difficult to see. Another issue
on the highway are landslides, so be alert all the time to prevent accidents of this

Something to keep in mind, when the Pacific coast has one kind of climate, the
Caribbean coast will have the opposite climate. Anytime you visit Costa Rica you will be
able to enjoy the beautiful landscape, beaches and activities that it has to offer!

What to expect for Easter in Costa Rica

What to expect for Easter in Costa Rica

March 23, 2018

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a Catholic country, so when it comes to easter we are talking about one of
the most important holidays of the year. This year, 2018, the holy week starts from
March 26th to April 1st, being Thursday and Friday the only holidays by law.

Nevertheless, the celebration begins earlier since most of the people and institutions
take the entire week off.

If you live in the Central Valley you will be gratified to notice how empty the streets are.
Some people will pack up their families and head out to the beaches, both to the
Caribbean or Pacific coasts, while others will prefer the mountains. Nevertheless,
expect to have an entire week of full traffic when leaving San Jose. In addition, on the
highway you will always find ambulant salesmen on the street, offering mangos, chips,
and peanuts through your car window.

Traffic police will be in service. Please don’t be using your phone, don’t speed while
having a continuous yellow line and don’t exceed the speed limit under any
circumstance. At this time of the year, they tend to be more cautious and attentive to all
of the infractions.

Some things to take into consideration before starting this holiday: most businesses
might have shortened hours or be totally closed from Thursday thru Sunday, especially
banks. Liquor cannot be sold legally on Thursday and Friday. If you want to have a cold
beer at the beach or your sunbathe while having a favorite cocktail you might have to buy
the alcohol previously.

On these days you will be able to appreciate the Catholic traditions at its fullest. The
streets will be full of religious parades. You’ll be surprised to see children and grown-ups
walking down the streets, dressed up with tunics, carrying a cross and singing church
songs, even at the beach with the extremely warm temperatures. Sunday is when
churches are full, and people then head to their homes to celebrate Easter with family or
close friends.

The long hours of waiting in the car and the previous preparation for this week of
Catholic celebrations will be worth it once you are relaxing near the translucent ocean or
hiking through the beautiful mountains.

Let’s talk about financing in Costa Rica

Let’s talk about financing in Costa Rica

March 19, 2018

Properties in Costa Rica

A very popular hobby among those who like to browse the internet or peep in to magazines is to daydream about the wonderful joys and places that they would love to own or experience…

Walking with your couple to the market to buy exotic fruits for breakfast.

That sunbath in the company of scarlet macaws in Uvita.

Dining in some sophisticated restaurant on a tophill enjoying the city lights.

Showing your children the march of the leaf cutter ants towards their dwelling under the shade of a kapok tree.

Receiving some extra money from the rent of your apartment in Costa Rica.

The fact is that when we´re back in reality our wallet tell us a different story. Good news is that more and more sellers are starting to include financing options to smooth the way down to the prospect´s goal. The formulas are different but what they have in common is that makes easier to the client the first step towards ownership.

The first possibility is always to appeal to the bank: A mortgage over the property you’re buying is always a valid solution, however, sometimes in Costa Rica is difficult for a foreigner to be subject from a local bank to credit. Interest rates tend to be higher compared to options back home. This rates are around 9% in United States dollars for a long term loan.

Another approach is to knock the door for private financing. Options are broader, terms are more flexible and the possibility to offer collateral Real Estate in the United States or Canada is also part of the game. Yet, this alternative might be better for those who are familiar with this instruments and also have enough leverage for this operations.

Last but not least, owner financing is also available for many of our listings. A scenario where both parts of the property crossroads help each other to round up a good business is possible. Rent to buy options, the chance to move in a spectacular home with a downpayment and then paying the rest under the most convenient terms for both parts, is definitely the most exciting formula when financing is needed.

Don’t wait more for the good times to come, they might be already reachable with some help, here in Costa Rica.

Facing Climate Change in Costa Rica

Facing Climate Change in Costa Rica

March 8, 2018

Properties in Costa Rica

All evidence suggests that climate change is already affecting the whole planet, jeopardizing some of our most valued places. Coastal erosion, warmer temperatures, and stronger meteorological phenomena are some of the consequences that are no longer a threat but part of the reality that we have to face as a species.

When media and most of the people talk or mention about this issue, the first pictures that come to our mind are polar bears and melting glaciers. However, in our tropical context is possible to point many of the effects of this process. The good news is that some action is being taken.

An interesting approach is coming from the Ministry of the environment. The biological corridor program objective is to identify areas that are important to manage in a sustainable way, allowing species to move from one area to another looking to warranty their existence for the years to come. The land in this areas stays in private hands but the productive activities are consequent with conservation. This not only helps the wildlife but also becomes a strategy against global warming, as more CO2 is captured since more forest area is grown.

The coasts are also an important target. For example, in Uvita a NGO is looking to help local fishermen to use sustainable techniques to have a healthy ecosystem. Along with this effort, they are encouraged to complement their income with tourism services. The result is a better environment and the protection against global warming effects in an indirect way.

Our treasured beaches in the south Pacific are being protected already, and the great news is that similar programs are running in other beach paradises in Costa Rica.

We know that these efforts need to be accompanied by individual measures as some of the problems we are experiencing according to the UN are in direct relations to Livestock one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems, so please inform yourself and read more about this.

Nevertheless, we are happy to hear that efforts are taking place. More efficient energy use and the use of renewable sources is something that is not new to this nation.

It is difficult to adapt and embrace change, but this country is moving in the right path to conserve the most important places to face this at the same time that prepares wisely for the inevitable. Make compassion choices and stay in the safe side for your Real Estate investments!

The Nicoya Roads

The Nicoya Roads

February 19, 2018

Properties in Costa Rica

The Nicoya Peninsula boasts some the most idyllic places in Costa Rica. The Santa Teresa waves, the Montezuma waterfalls, secret coves with swimming pools that feel like the mother’s womb and the most dramatic sunsets of this tropical heaven. All of this and much more in a part of Costa Rica that has its unique authentic vibe.

To reach some of this places, sometimes really becomes a quest. An ATV, small aircraft, though four-wheel drive jeeps, mountain bikes or a good pair of shoes are some of the equipment you´ll need to enjoy some of the wonders of this peninsula. For the adventurous traveler, it’s a great chance to show off all of the gadgets meant for this places. The exuberant nature also appeals to those looking to challenge themselves. But the best is that sensation to be “off the beaten track” and the adrenaline rush that comes within is a plus for many.

But let’s face it… Everyone would appreciate more time in the nice places and fewer hours inside a car or a bus cruising dusty roads.

This is why two major changes regarding infrastructure need some attention, especially if you’re planning an investment in that area:

  • Finally, the road between Paquera and Playa Naranjo will be paved. This will boost the commercial and touristic activity in the northern part of the peninsula where some of the main towns of the area are located. Lepanto and Jicaral won’t be considered unreachable locations thanks to this investment.
  • There are plans to relocate the ferry dock from Puntarenas to the Caldera port. Enough space to park the car, proper areas to wait for the boat, and less time driving from the central valley are very good reasons to consider this move. However, opposition from the people in Puntarenas is already an issue and it will take a smart negotiation to make this happen.

The fact is that this corner of heaven is getting pampered by the government and real estate will get the benefits from it.

That being said, ist important to put things in perspective: many places in the Nicoya area will be hard to reach for most of the people. Those looking for their getaway will still have great chances to find it in this paradise, and this time of the year is the best to look for it!.

Nature around the Central Valley

Nature around the Central Valley

February 12, 2018

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a reputation for its nature and conservation efforts, but, once you´re walking in the San Jose streets, at the beginning is difficult to understand where did all of this fame came from. It’s not a city with the highest environmental standards. But if you raise your head and set your view beyond the buildings and traffic, you’ll discover handsome green mountains inviting to explore them.

To the north, four volcanoes rise energetically towards the sky. All of them are national parks, perfect for a one day trip. From east to west these National Parks are:

  • Turrialba Volcano National Park, currently closed to visitors due to its violent activity.
  • Irazú National Park the highest volcano in the country with more than 11 000 feet above the sea level.
  • The Barva volcano, nestled in the Braulio Carrillo National park which covers an area that goes all the way to Limón and Sarapiqui.
  • The Poas Volcano National Park also closed to the public for its intense eruptions in the last few months.

The nearby areas of all of this volcanoes are also wonderful to visit. Dairy farms and croplands plus the intricate landscape offer unique views. If you look for the right spot, the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans can be seen simultaneously, an experience that few places in the world can be enjoyed.

But this is are not the only protected areas to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, within a few miles you can Reach the Tapanti national park. The most pristine rivers and mountains can take away the stress in this corner of Costa Rica, and if you´re a birding fan, this place is a must.

Other areas, south of Cartago are the beginning of the majestic Talamanca mountain range. They are not protected but offer interesting places to hike, cycle or even fishing trout!

Getting back to San Jose, the Cerros the Escazu not only offer a refreshing view to anyone dealing with the traffic jams. The best properties are hanging in the slopes of this impressive peak, don’t hesitate to ask here about them.

At the very top of this Cerro, another protected area starts and extend all the way down to El Rodeo, nearby Ciudad Colon, and Santa Ana. Chances to spot monkeys, toucans and Coatis are very good in this areas. A horseback ride could be an interesting activity to have here.

So if you´re a nature lover but can’t get away from the city that often, there are good places to let the steam out and enjoy outdoors.

Bitcoin and how it could affect the Real Estate market in Costa Rica?

Bitcoin and how it could affect the Real Estate market in Costa Rica?

January 23, 2018

Properties in Costa Rica

What is valuable?:

A bar of gold?

A sunset on a tropical beach?

A swim in a nice sunny day?

Your children learning about sloths in the middle of the rainforest?


This last concept has acquired high relevance in the last few months as well as price in the market. Every single day the media is giving more and more attention and as more and more people used them as currency to exchange goods and services.

For many, bitcoin still is a difficult thing to understand used only by people that know very well computers. But the fact is that this cryptocurrency has five features that money has: durability, portability, fungibility, scarcity, divisibility, and recognizability. The difference relies more on the fact that has no physical attributes such as metals or is backed by a government or a bank. The value comes from mathematics as there’s a limited number of them and there’s work involved in the creation of this set of data. The open accounting system and anonymity add a lot of appeal to this new way of the economic realm ( bitcoin project, 2018).

The impact on the real estate market is difficult to predict but the exchange of bitcoins for a property is part of the reality. Any seller with the proper tools and knowledge will accept bitcoins. The bitcoin value agreed between parts is a moving number that tends to grow every day according to most experts. In Costa Rica, this tendency is replicated as this kind of money has a growing number of users. But, according to a short survey that we did, most sellers still prefer hard currencies.

The risk that the value of bitcoin drops suddenly is a source of debate. Lessons from history warn about a similar behavior among people that gave too much importance to tulip bulbs or internet domains…

So, it is worthed to reconsider if it’s more important to accumulate a number of bitcoins, dollars, euros or to enjoy real experiences and enjoyment in your own land…

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Eating healthy

Eating healthy

December 22, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s local cuisine has many interesting and authentic flavors to offer and also a broad selection of very fine restaurants that can meet the highest standards.

The warm climate itself helps the growing of fruits and veggies, making the freshness of the produce tempting for anyone. Organic restaurants, coffee places, and farmer markets exist in every town. Not only you could buy from these places, but you can order them online, through many apps and portals.

Many nostalgic expats with excellent cooking skills have opened a business in this welcoming country. As ambassadors of their culture and knowing that there’s always a demand for new tastes, only in Escazu you can find Indian, Peruvian, Lebanese, Spanish, French, Italian, oriental and many more culinary ventures. This variety can be found in most touristic towns and the Central Valley. Familiar fast food chains are found everywhere as well.

The quality and freshness of the produce you can buy locally are tempting and will definitely impact the int the way you eat.

If your aim is to enjoy the Costa Rican local food and its benefits for your health and your pocket, you need to love rice and beans. They are served three times a day with some variations. For breakfast, the “Gallo Pinto” along with some eggs, sour cream, tortillas or bread and fried plantains is the way to have this meal. At lunch ” El Casado” – a marriage between rice and beans- served with a piece of meat, pork or chicken, salad, and picadillo (a vegetable stew) is the way to fuel you for the rest of the day. For supper, usually, you can have the same menu as lunch with fewer side dishes.

One of the best things about this tropical nation is that fresh fruits and vegetables are available all year long at very good prices. This condition benefits the local food scene providing a huge array of fruits, usually used to prepare the most delicious drinks. Don’t hesitate to ask for -natural- when you stop at the Sodas (Small restaurants) when you have lunch. The other wonderful beverage that anyone should have is a cup of coffee. Some areas of Costa Rica claim to grow and harvest the best in the world. There´s only one way to know…

As most of the countries, each region has its own specialty. If you visit the Pacific coast, seafood has an important part of the diet. The – ceviche – or raw fish cooked in lemon juice will provide a refreshing snack while visiting the Pacific beaches. If you’re on the Caribbean side, then all dishes have a Jamaican accent that becomes a real treat. When visiting the mountains, a bowl of Olla de Carne – a beef stew with big chunks of different vegetables- will comfort you in this cool places.

The best thing about eating in Costa Rica is that no matter where you are, you´ll find good deals to keep you going on your adventure.

Making friends in Costa Rica

Making friends in Costa Rica

December 18, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

Several surveys confirm it, Costa Rica is a wonderful place to have a thriving social life. The happy planet index tops this country as number one; the life expectancy, well being, ecological footprint, and equality among its inhabitants grant the tiny tropical nation this honor.

Another approach, “the ease of settling in” index, suggests the same results: Costa Rica is a great place to improve your social network. On one of the considered subcategories, ” finding friends” the place ranks in the highest places. Also the “Feeling welcome” score tops in this study.

So, the question is, how to harness the bounties of the “Pura Vida” friendliness?. For most people the answer is rather instinctive and obvious, yet, the opinion and help of others might appeal to many. According to the experience of many expats, there are some formulas that are almost perfect, most of the cases.

Local groups: Become a member of the birdwatchers club, go to church, visit any country club, join a philanthropist venture; any cause or hobby that you’re identified with, has a reply in most of the country’s towns. It`s a matter of time to find them and start sharing with the members.

Learn Spanish: Besides the pragmatical reasons that you have to do this, also becomes the key to enjoy the most authentic experiences that Costa Rica can offer. Imagine all the jokes and puns you can catch in any casual talk with some effort in a very rewarding goal such as learning a new language.

Be a good neighbor: Open yourself to your fellow citizens, knock the doors and introduce yourself. Most Costa Ricans, especially in the countryside love to share their produce and gardening tricks with their neighbors. You never know what wonderful people you can have living close to you.

Learn to enjoy soccer: Definitely the most popular in the country can open doors to something more of a group. The belonging sense to a particular team can turn you in in this kind of brotherhood, only found among the true fans of any team. If this doesn’t appeal to you, the practice of the discipline itself will call the attention of many around you.

Social networks: This global trend is very strong in Costa Rica too. Don’t hesitate to become facebook friends with people that become familiar with you, or start chatting on any other platform. Chances are that you find interesting people in this virtual world.

The fact is that Costa Rica is a wonderful place not only to find your dreamed piece of heaven but also find great people to share this joy.

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