Why are Canadians flocking to Costa Rica?
Canada’s obsession with Costa Rica is understandable, given that it is one of the world’s happiest and most stunning countries. Numerous factors, including the climate, the natural environment, and the country’s culture, might explain why Costa Ricans and their expats are so thrilled about life. Costa Rica is located in Central America, so it’s not quite far enough away to cause Canadians jet lag. It also helps that it shares the same time zones as Canada!
Let’s look at Costa Rica’s beauty and wonders and discover why Canadians are among the country’s most frequent visitors, accounting for roughly 10% of all yearly tourists.
Easy Entry Visa
According to the Costa Rica Embassy in Canada: no visa is necessary for Canadian passport holders to visit Costa Rica as tourists for up to 90 days. Still, they must satisfy all of the following entrance requirements:
1) a current passport (which must have at least one day of validity remaining);
2) evidence of legal permanence in the country and economic stability of at least $100 USD per month;
3) a ticket for departure from Costa Rica within the 90-day maximum time permitted.
Although a large portion of Canada has warm weather in June, July, and August, it doesn’t compare to Costa Rica’s tropical heat, where you can expect comfortable temperatures of 20-30°C throughout these months. Since Costa Rica offers some of the most stable weather in the world, it stays that way all year round, with the beaches much hotter than the Central Valley.
The majority of the rain falls in September and October during the green season, which runs from April to November. Anyone may still take advantage of the early sunshine because rain often falls more in the second half of the day. December through March are the driest months. The peak season for tourism in Costa Rica is early in the year, which is a sign of when Canadians consider the country to be at its best and may correspond to when Canada is at its coldest.
Costa Rica is more than just a beach country. The Central Valley has all the amenities of Canada you could want. Escazu/Santa Ana is among the wealthiest areas in Costa Rica, and is home to a number of opulent restaurants and boutiques, as well as some of the most exclusive eating and retail establishments in the country. It features Canadian-Esque shopping centers and outdoor malls like Multiplaza Escazu and Avenida Escazu, which has the first IMAX theater in Costa Rica. If you are worried about getting your children a proper education, public and private schools are rated as some of the highest in Latin America. Hospital healthcare is also top-notch in these areas and tops the charts of Latin America as well.
A Familiar Banking Option
There are many different options for banking in Costa Rica, but the most popular with Canadians seems to be Scotiabank. With twelve locations, an automotive finance center, and a wealth management unit, Scotiabank de Costa Rica, the 7th largest bank in Costa Rica, provides a full range of personal and corporate banking products, trade-related services, and corporate/treasury services.
Costa Rica is incredibly biodiverse, and in addition to its stunning flora and wildlife, beaches and volcanoes draw many people. Canadians tend to value nature since they are from a country with so much natural beauty. Costa Rica is the perfect destination for those who love the outdoors because there are so many incredible nature activities to experience year-round.
For hikers and nature enthusiasts is the Arenal Volcano National Park. The volcano lies midway between the two airports and is well-known for its lake, thermal springs, tree frogs, and paths that wind through the volcano’s lava trails. The best option is to stay in La Fortuna and get to the park via bus from there.
For animal enthusiasts, visit the Monteverde Rainforest. For everyone who enjoys the outdoors, woodlands, and somewhat cooler temps. One of the most unique woods in the world, Monteverde Cloud Forest (Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde), is also the location of Costa Rica’s first zipline. Don’t miss this journey through a variety of lush, colorful birds and plants that you have most likely never seen before in your life. Buses to Monteverde depart from the neighboring town of Santa Elena.
Beaches galore! Costa Rica’s beaches are consistently rated among the greatest, not just in Latin America but worldwide! The country’s name “Costa Rica,” translated from Spanish, means “rich coast,” and for a good reason! The Caribbean side of the country’s coast stretches for 212 kilometers, while the Pacific side is 1254 kilometers, so there is something special for anyone’s taste. Here are just a few examples to get you started:
For white sand beaches, go to the Caribbean’s southeast coast Puerto Viejo. Cahuita, Cocles, Punta Uva, and Manzanillo are a few unique locations where you may unwind on miles of the connected beach while simultaneously diving into the breathtaking underwater world of coral and sunken ships. If you are looking for the opposite and want to see a black sand beach, Playa Negra’s is renowned as well.
Looking to wine and dine with a side of shopping? Then Playa Tamarindo is calling your name from the northwest coast. Playa Tamarindo offers world-class restaurants, shopping, and entertainment for tourists of any budget, high or low. However, Tamarindo’s natural attractions can make it even more special. Every year during mating season, enormous leatherback turtles (as well as other species) go to the coast to lay their eggs on their favorite beaches nearby.
Do you place a strong emphasis on surf culture? Then Mal Pais/Santa Teresa at the bottom of Costa Rica’s largest peninsula is where to be! Take a boat excursion and observe the dolphins, manta rays, and other wildlife as they navigate the area’s protected seas. Also available to visitors are the Montezuma Falls, a soaring jump, and a four-hour hike through the Cabo Blanco reserve’s lush vegetation to the beach. Mal Pais beaches can be ideal for lounging in a hammock and getting wisped away deeply into a good book.
Cocktail anyone? A nightlife, cuisine, and surfing destination reside in Jaco. For surfers, tourists and locals alike, Jaco is a trendy location. People adore it since it is only a 1-hour drive west from San Jose, the country’s capital, and its international airport. It attracts those who enjoy fine dining, strong waves, and partying while traveling. Because of its vibrant nightlife and abundance of bars and clubs, Jaco is arguably Costa Rica’s most fun-loving beach town.
Are you even alive without a big fish attached to the end of your rod? Quepos is a little seaport city a 1-hour drive south of Jaco that is thriving and well-known for being the entrance to Manuel Antonio and one of the top locations in the world for big-game sport fishing. An excursion to go sport fishing in Quepos is a must-do. Marlin, sailfish, snapper, amberjack, wahoo, dorado, yellowfin, large-eye tuna, and roosterfish are just a few of the fish that may be found along the beach.
If you want a party on the beach, eat at themed restaurants with gorgeous high mountain views of the bay, or experience a massive national park to see the monkeys and sloths, then Manuel Antonio is the place to be. On Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, Manuel Antonio National Park is home to untamed jungles, white sand beaches, and coral reefs. It is recognized for having various tropical vegetation and animals, including hundreds of bird species, endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys, and three-toed sloths. The park’s approximately 680 hectares are crisscrossed with hiking routes that meander up into the mountains from the shore.
Does joining a vibrant and friendly Canadian expat community that values outdoor living sound like the perfect plan? Then Uvita/Ojochal will be what ends your search, a 1-hour drive south of Quepos on Costa Rica’s southwest coast with fewer tourists and greener surroundings. The community strikes the ideal mix between exceeding all of your basic requirements and being surrounded by nature. There is no commotion here, only friendship and a willingness to live each day to the fullest.
The Whale’s Tail, Marino Ballena National Park, gorgeous beaches with breathtaking sunsets, and opportunities for whale watching are, without a doubt, some of Uvita’s main draws. It is a popular tourist site in Costa Rica. Its surroundings include large beaches, magnificent rivers, breathtaking waterfalls, and boutique hotels. The goal of this park is to preserve marine life, including dolphins, coral, turtles, and humpback whales. Near Uvita is the most incredible location in Costa Rica to watch humpback whales.
I just visited Uvita, and I can tell you that the restaurants there, like Shibu Cafe, Falafel Uvita, and La Choza Alejo, to mention just a few, really blew me away with how amazing they are. It was great to experience Catarata Uvita, a magnificent privately owned waterfall with a diving platform near the Uvita Beer Garden and accessible to the public for a small fee. We went to Coco Bongo, a pub a few blocks from the whale’s tale you see below in the image, to watch the game that was on at the time. A day spent at the nearby Playa Hermosa, just relaxing or learning how to surf from a local surf school with an active lifeguard on duty when we were there, could never be wasted. After spending some time here and realizing how close you are to things like lunch at the Los Suenos Marina, a weekend of partying in Jaco or purchasing a new duty-free big-screen television from Golfito, it’s easy to find yourself thinking about wanting to relocate here. Imagine yourself living in a place you are able to enjoy the sun’s rays at a different beach every day of the week.
Are you looking to experience the best destination for authentic wildlife and nature? The Osa Peninsula has you covered a 1-hour drive south of Uvita! The Osa Peninsula, dubbed “the most biologically intensive area on earth” by National Geographic, is a genuine gem of land, ocean, and life. The Osa, which is under 700 square miles in size and is located on Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast, is home to an almost unheard-of diversity of life due to its geological past.
Corcovado National Park, located on the peninsula’s western edge, is one of the Osa Peninsula’s primary natural attractions, one of the world’s most prosperous and most diversified tropical regions. It boasts the biggest lowland rainforest in Central America and occupies about half of the peninsula. Only Carara National Park has a more significant number of scarlet macaws in Costa Rica than Corcovado. The park is home to both kinds of sloths and all four types of monkeys. The puma and the jaguar, both of which are endangered, are less frequently encountered animals in the area. All tourists will need guides in the park. Almost all of the resorts in the area provide day trips to the park.
Cano Island, where the Cano Island Biological Reserve is located, is twelve miles offshore of Drake Bay. Many of the strange stone spheres of Central America are found on the island, which was originally used as a graveyard during Pre-Columbian times and is regarded by scientists to have been carved by Pre-Columbian inhabitants. Cano Island is now particularly well-liked for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Residency is a breeze through CRIE
If you would like to move to Costa Rica, there are options to do so. See which of the country’s official residency categories you qualify for through CRIE – Costa Rica Immigration Experts’ quick 30-second assessment form to get you started and on the right path to legal status in the country.
Purchasable Real Estate
Any foreigner, whether a resident or a non-resident, has the same rights as a citizen and can lawfully own and possess real estate in Costa Rica. Our friends at Gap Real Estate can help you obtain the house of your dreams in Costa Rica from start to homeowner. Regardless if you are looking for something in the city or your favorite beach, they have you covered.
Ready for a relocation tour? – Contact us today!