What is an Expat?

"Expat" is short for "Expatriate" which is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex ("out of") and patria ("country, fatherland"). … [Read more...]

My passport expires in 90 days, can I still enter the country?

Q:  I have a tripped planned to Costa Rica but my passport will expire a month after I return, can I still travel?   A:  NO!  Many people think that they are able to travel and enter a foreign country if their passport is not expired, that is not the case!  Costa Rica will not allow you to enter … [Read more...]

Is Costa Rica an island?

Q:  Where exactly is the island of Costa Rica located?   A:  We actually get this question a lot.  Costa Rica is NOT an island!  It is located in Central American with Nicaragua on its northern border and Panama on the south.  And yes, you can actually drive from the US to Costa Rica, although we … [Read more...]

What airport should I fly into?

Q:  What airport should I fly into? A:  Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) is the primary airport serving San José, the capital of Costa Rica. The airport is located near the city of Alajuela, 20 km (12 miles) west of downtown San José. Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) … [Read more...]

How do I book tours and excursions ahead of time?

Q:  How do I go about booking tours or excursions ahead of time?   A:  One of the things that makes Costa Rica so attractive is its wealth of adventure and activities.  There is a wide array of things to do ranging from a luxurious day being pampered at a world class spa (truly one of the best, … [Read more...]

Purchasing property in a foreign country. Where to begin?

Q: I've never purchased a property in a foreign country before. Where should I begin?
 A: Actually, you've already started the process. Fact-finding and reading articles is a great way to become a smart consumer. The highest priorities to focus on before you begin searching for specific areas, … [Read more...]

Is it possible to purchase deeded property in Costa Rica?

Q:  Is it possible to purchase deeded property in Costa Rica?   A:  Yes, you have the right to own deeded property in Costa Rica, as opposed to the concession system like that of Mexico.  Most land in Costa Rica is titled.  Good lawyers will quickly check to ensure it has good title, or for a … [Read more...]

Can you own beach front property in Costa Rica?

Q:  What are the Costa Rica maritime laws and how does that affect owning beach-front property?   A:  The Maritime and Terrestrial Zone is the two-hundred meter wide strip of land along the Atlantic and Pacific, measured horizontally, beginning from the ordinary high tide and lands and rocks that … [Read more...]

How much are property taxes in Costa Rica?

Q:  How much are property taxes in Costa Rica?   A:  Property taxes are actually quite low in Costa Rica, at around 0.25% of the recorded or municipal-registered value of the property annually. That's around $462 on $185,000 estimated value, or $2,000 on an $800,000 value.  Some large homes are … [Read more...]

Do I need a real estate attorney?

Q:  Do I need an attorney to purchase property in Costa Rica?   A:  Yes, in Costa Rica the real estate brokers prepare the contract and walk you through negotiations and the entire transaction, but a licensed Costa Rican lawyer/notary will write up the official documents in Spanish to complete … [Read more...]

Can I purchase title insurance?

Q:  Are you able to purchase title insurance in Costa Rica?   A:  Yes, we recommend Stewart Title of Latin America; they have offices throughout the country and offer title guaranty, title insurance, escrow and closing services. There are several other reputable companies as well. … [Read more...]

Can I legally live in Costa Rica if I am from another country?

Q:  Is it legal to live in Costa Rica if I am from another country?   A:  Yes.  Many people come to this country on a temporary basis.  You are allowed to remain in the country for up to 90 days, but after that you need to exit. Many people drive to Nicaragua for the weekend, which renews your … [Read more...]

How do I apply for Costa Rican residency?

Q:  How do I qualify for legal permanent residency?   A:  There are four separate ways you can qualify for Costa Rican residency: 1)   Apply as a Pensionado (Retiree) - This program applies to any person who is already retired from his/her usual occupation and who is already receiving pension … [Read more...]

Have a question but don’t see it listed? Just ask.

Just contact us, we are happy to help in any way we can! We do have quite a bit of experience living, working, volunteering and chairing events and outreach organizations in the area, and speak Spanish fluently (well at least Randy does as do the kids, and Kim is working on it.)  We are happy to … [Read more...]