Questions about Moving to Costa Rica

Every day we receive many questions about moving to Costa Rica. Here you can find the most frequent questions regarding Costa Rica Relocation and our answers to them.

 

 


  • HOW MODERN IS THE INFRASTRUCTURE?
Cable television, cell phone service, and high-speed Internet are available in almost all locations.

 

  • WHERE SHOULD I LIVE IN COSTA RICA?
The cost of living varies in different areas of Costa Rica. Some regions, such as the suburb of Escazu or the developed north Pacific coast beaches, are more expensive than, for instance, the Caribbean Coast. Generally, life in rural areas costs less than in city agglomerations and tourist areas.

 

  • DO I HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE OPTIONS?
Legal residents in Costa Rica must join the Caja (CCSS), the country’s public health system. In addition, private health insurance is also available. If you still carry health insurance in the USA or private insurance in European countries, the private medical sector in Costa Rica usually accepts coverage for your expenses. Clarify with your insurance carrier.

 

  • WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN COSTA RICA?
Costa Rica has a temperate, tropical climate with two seasons: dry (December-April) and wet (May-November). When considering your relocation, there are many climate variants to choose from – balmy beaches, dry and hot plains of Guanacaste in the north, cool and fresh mountains, the spring-like temperatures in the Central Valley.

 

  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO LIVE IN COSTA RICA?
Costa Rican housing, services, and medical care are substantially less expensive than North America. A single person can live comfortably here for about $1500 per month, depending on personal preferences. For more information CLICK HERE.

 

  • SHOULD I BUY OR RENT?
We advise renting before buying a property. Every city is unique in terms of culture and amenities. So test-drive your preferred area before investing in real estate. For Real Estate in Costa Rica CLICK HERE.

 

  • HOW IS PUBLIC TRANPORTATION?
Buses are inexpensive, reliable, and plentiful, making public transit ideal for Costa Rica. Taxis are also reasonably priced (less than half the cost of taxis in the United States) and readily available. A commuter train connects San Jose to Heredia, Alajuela and Cartago. There are plans to expand the service. Uber and Didi are the preferred apps to navigate your destinations in Costa Rica.

 

  • IS IT SAFE IN COSTA RICA?
Costa Rica dubbed the “Switzerland of the Americas,” has a stable government that has operated peacefully for more than 70 years without the need of an army. Unlike many other Central American countries, Costa Rica has a sizable middle class. Compared to the other Central American countries, Costa Rica has the lowest crime rate. For more information CLICK HERE.

 

  • CAN I WORK IN COSTA RICA?
Yes, however, you need to have permanent residency status to be employed. Alternatively, you can work remotely for a company situated outside of Costa Rica or be self-employed. Also, you can establish your own business. For more information CLICK HERE.

 

  • DO I NEED RESIDENCY TO RELOCATE?
No, you can live in the country on tourist status, which means that you have to leave Costa Rica every time before your visa expires, which is rather risky. That’s why we strongly advise you to obtain residency status. There are many advantages in having a legal status in the country, inluding an ability of opening a bank account, having your social security that covers pre-existing conditions, getting your Costa Rican driving license, having discounts on entry fees for the National parks, museums, etc. For more information CLICK HERE.

 

  • CAN I DRINK TAP WATER IN COSTA RICA?
Yes, the Central Valley and most major beach sites have clean drinking water, but it never hurts to ask whether the water at the hotel you’re staying at is safe to drink.

 

  • CAN I USE MY SOCIAL SECURITY TO GET RESIDENCY?
Yes. If you have a life-long pension (retirement or disability) of a minimum of $1,000 US per month, you may qualify for residency as a Pensionado in Costa Rica. For more information CLICK HERE.

 

  • CAN I BRING MY PET TO COSTA RICA?
As there is no quarantine in Costa Rica, bringing a pet is reasonably simple. You can bring your pet to Costa Rica in one of three ways: carry-on luggage, checked baggage, or freight. Animals weighing less than 15 pounds are typically allowed to travel as a carry-on. Before making travel plans, double-check airline policies and current pet importation laws. For more information CLICK HERE.

 

  • CAN I OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT?
To open a bank account, you must have residency status in the country. You will need to provide the bank with documentation to show your funds and income verification. For more information CLICK HERE.

 

  • CAN I LIVE IN COSTA RICA AS A PERPETUAL TOURIST?
Yes, it is possible. A perpetual tourist is someone who lives in Costa Rica yet enters as a tourist and re-enters every time their visa is about to expire. But remember that you can be given ANY amount of visa days, up to 90.

 

  • WHAT ARE THE HOSPITALS LIKE IN COSTA RICA?
Public hospitals are generally up-to-date and advanced, especially in urban areas. Outside the Central Valley, the quality varies immensely. Private hospitals such as Clinica Biblica, Clinica Catolica, and CIMA San Jose are world-class. For more information CLICK HERE.

 

  • ARE PHARMACY PRODUCTS CHEAPER IN COSTA RICA?
Most of the same pharmacy products can be found in Costa Rica usually 50-80% cheaper than in Canada and the USA.

 

  • ARE PHARMACY PRODUCTS THE SAME IN COSTA RICA AND THE USA/CANADA?
Yes, you can find most of the same products but they may be in different packaging for Costa Rica.

 

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Frequent Questions Costa RicaRelocation