Costa Rica Best Beachfront Properties Central Pacific!



Welcome to the section on how to enjoy Costa Rica, wherever you are.  To start with is our area of the Central Pacific,
Jaco beach-Playa Hermosa and Los Sueños....

 Things to do in the Jaco Central Pacific area 
in your spare time?

  1. Look for a copy of the local monthly FREE NEWSpaper called The Swell Dealer,  they have tons of info and a calender section for music, food specials, and special events happening in Jaco. 

2..      Get a copy of your passport at the centro Jaco Impresora (by Le Loft-print shop-upstairs.)

3.      Walk on the beach, both north end and south end are the best. Check out low tides!!!

3.      North end of Jaco at low tide enables you to visit Monkey Beach

4.      Learn to Surf or Paddle board

5.      Watch the Sunset from Villa Caletas  

6.      Visit the Turtle Reserve in Playa Hermosa

7.      Check out the tide pools north end of Playa Hermosa

8.      Zipline in any one of the 5 local area companies

9.      Waterfall repelling

10.   Horseback riding

11.   Visit and hire guide for Carara National Park, short trails-lots of birds

12.   Visit the snake-monkey-butterfly farm in Pueblo Nuevo

13.   Take a visit to a tropical island, Isla Tortuga, combined with snorkeling

14.   Take a trip to Manuel Antonio

15.   Go fishing from the Los Suenos Marina, full or half days.

16.   Play golf at the Los Suenos 18 hole Iguana Golf Course

17.   Take the kids to Jaco’s Central Park, Johannes Danker

18.   Take the kids to the Jaco Public Library-Skate board park

19.   Go to Jaco’s Air-Conditioned movie theatre (4plex)

20.   Go on a hike to Miro’s ocean view ruins up from the gas station  

21.   Get a real massage

22.   Get your teeth cleaned from a great dentist in Jaco.

23.   Rent an all terrain vehicle

24.   Visit waterfalls in Bijagual or Ocean Ranch Park

25.   Take a yoga class, there are many.

26.   Visit a Gym and work-out

27.   Eat-Shop-Eat-Shop

28.   People watch from Los Amigos or Mono Verde or the many Gelateria/Ice Cream Parlors  

29.   Walk around the Los Sueños Marina, checking out the views, the yachts & visit great restaurants

30.   Join Jaco's Rotary Club and help out the community

31. Check out the weekend events at Jaco Walk, including happy hour specials, live music, and outdoor activities.

32. Ask questions to an attorney

33.  Speak to a CR real estate expert like Jeff Fisher at CR Beach Investment Real Estate and after 25 years of living here, he is famous for brutally honest advice.  



By A.M. Costa Rica staff, Dec. 10, 2018,

Millions travel for the holidays to spend time with family and friends, many with children. Of those travelers who responded to a recent Travel Leaders Group Travel Trends survey, 61 percent say they will fly to their holiday vacation destination in the coming weeks and 38 percent will drive. When traveling with children, there are a variety of tips that will help smooth the journey, say expert travel advisors at Travel Leaders – one of North America's largest retail travel agency brands with thousands of travel agents across the United States, Canada and Mexico. 

"Domestic and international air travel with children has grown substantially over the past few decades," said Roger E. Block, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network. "Fortunately, advances in technology, including tablets and mobile phones, are providing greater entertainment options for kids, while on the road.  Our travel advisors spend a significant amount of time advising parents on how to integrate entertainment and activity options and many other tips to travel better with their children to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable vacation."

9 easy-to-follow tips that will help vacationers travel better this holiday season when children are along for the journey.
Pack with a plan: Overhead space will be at a premium during the holiday travel season, especially as people bring gifts for friends and family or return home with presents they've received for their children. So, when preparing to pack your bags, it's crucial to check in advance whether your luggage meets the airline's size and weight restrictions for checked baggage and carry-ons, as well as to remember to save space for the extra items that will come home with you.

Children's liquids are an exception to the 3-ounce rule:
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows each passenger one quart-size bag of liquids and gels, including toothpaste, gel deodorant, and lotions. Each item must be 3.4 ounces or less, with medications and certain items for children being the exception. Infant formula, breast milk and juices for infants or toddlers, as well as ice packs to keep them cool, are permitted in higher, yet reasonable quantities through the security checkpoint. However, keep them separate from the items in your one-quart bag. Label medications and carry a copy of the prescription.

Bring multiple copies of important travel documents:
It's a good idea to have color photocopies and digital copies of all important identification documents, including your passport, front and back of credit cards and health insurance information for you and the children. If you're traveling internationally, consider bringing a copy of your child's immunizations. Also have extra ID photos cropped to passport size in case you have to order a replacement at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Also pack all paper copies or flash drives in a separate location for extra safe-keeping.

TSA PreCheck is free for children 12 and younger:
When traveling having expedited clearance such as TSA PreCheck or Global Entry usually means you can skip the long lines at security checkpoints and not have to remove outer layers of clothing. Although Children ages 12 and under never have to remove their shoes or lightweight jackets, they also do not need their own TSA Precheck boarding pass since they can go through the TSA Precheck checkpoint with any qualifying adult with whom they are traveling. If traveling internationally, children under 18 do need to apply for their own Global Entry or Nexus status with a consenting parent or legal guardian.

Ease flight wait times:
Dress young children in comfortable clothing, even consider footie pajamas and no shoes. If your child is young enough, give your child a ride to the checkpoint and gate in a stroller. Though they will have to walk through or be carried through security, the stroller ride there helps to keep them in tow, and your stress low. You'll also save money as you can check the stroller or car seat at the gate, often bypassing the fees you'd pay at the ticket counter.

Work with a travel advisor if planning to visit a theme park:
Winter, especially the days surrounding Christmas week, is a busy time to visit any park. Bear in mind that lines are shorter first thing in the morning or late at night.

Hit the high seas for family adventure:
A cruise is a great way to vacation with family and friends without the stress of holiday meal prep, clean up and entertaining.  To feel relaxed without overexerting yourself, skip an excursion at a port or two.  If you take time to enjoy the ship while fewer people are onboard, you will avoid some of the hustle and bustle. When you do take a shore excursion, consider opting for the children to stay with the childcare service for one of your experiences. But don't leave the children out of all excursions. They will also enjoy the adventure and culture of other lands and the bonding time with Mom or Dad.

Relax at an all-inclusive resort:
Escaping the cold weather by traveling with the family to someplace warm and tropical can be a relaxing way to spend the holidays, especially when it is spent at a family-friendly, all-inclusive resort. Whether you land, the convenience and value that comes without always pulling out your wallet can make winter travel less stressful.  There are many excellent choices and a travel advisor can help you select the one that best suits your family, such as ones that offer features ranging from kids' clubs, water parks and family-themed entertainment to spas for the adults.

Road Trips with Kids:
Long road trips with children allow for many options, as well as the ubiquitous "Are we there yet?" refrain. Pack a kiddie bag that can stay within arms reach of young children who may want to grab their favorite book, electronic device, sippy cup or snack pack. Remember to also pack wet wipes and paper towels for easy clean up. Play music over the car radio that the child can enjoy as a family sing-along in addition to an option of personal music time with their own headphones or video player. Children also love the attention if a parent climbs into the back seat with them occasionally, if space allows. I Spy and tic tac toe are classic games children will enjoy. Finally, be sure to build in time to take breaks to enjoy scenic overlooks or small towns or other attractions you may pass along the way. 
as an informational source about Costa Rica, as we did for the past 23 years. It has become pretty much, useless.....



Tourism Doesn't Come Cheap but Costa Rica
Comes Awfully Close

So there you are: vacationing in Costa Rica -- ONE of, if not THE most bio-diverse location on Earth and home to panoramic beaches, rainforests and waterfalls, not to mention a seemingly endless variety  of flora and fauna and you're looking for things to do in Costa Rica that are FREE?

Sure thing! Excluding the obvious free activities like hiking, walking on the beach and sunbathing, there ARE free things to do in Costa Rica. It depends on where you go and at what time of the year and above all HOW you want to spend your time. Having established that, here are some free things to do in Costa Rica.

I. Festivals:
Let it not be said that in Costa Rica the locals don't know how to party! Every month during the year there is at least one festival being held and like all great festivals they are FREE! Within the context of the festival you're going to have to pay for food and drink - but the music, dancing and fireworks that are invariably a big part of every festival in Costa Rica is free-of-charge. And as we all know -- FREE is a good thing. Here are some noteworthy free festivals held throughout the year. Take your pick and schedule your vacation accordingly:

- Palmares Civic Fiestas - Lots of culture here: folk dances, music, amusements and bullfighting.

- Alajuelita Fiestas - Honoring the Black Christ of Esquipulas, Alajuelita's Patron Saint..

- Santa Cruz Fiestas - dancing, marimbas and bullfighting.

- San Isidro del General Fiestas - annual agricultural and industrial fairs with bullfights and a flower

- Fiesta of the Diablitos - annual recreation of the fight between Indians and the Spanish.

- Puntarenas Carnival - Masks, music and plenty of sangria.

- Escazu - Dia de los Boyeros (Oxcart Driver's Day) - parade of oxcarts and the blessing of the animals and crops by local priests. Not to be missed - especially if you're a farmer.

- National Orchid Show - more flowers than you can shake a stick at.

- Holy Week - processions galore in all parts of country.

- Juan Santamaría Day - Commemorating Costa Rica's national hero -- a simple barefoot soldier who gave his life in the battle against William Walker's troops in 1856.

- Puerto Limon - picnics, music and dancing. What more is there to life?

- Escazu - San Isidro Labrador's Day - another celebration honouring the Patron Saint of farmers

- Corpus Christi Day - May 29 - Religious celebration.

- Saints Peter & Paul Day - June 29 - More religion!

- Puntarenas - Virgin of The Sea - fishing boat regatta which honors Puntarenas' Patron Saint, La Virgen del Monte Carmelo. Plenty of parades, dances and fireworks.

- Guanacaste Day - you guessed it: folk dances, bullfights, and music.

- Alajuela - Los Mangos Festival

- Cartago - Virgin of Los Angeles - Honors Costa Rica's Patron Saint , "La Negrita" with nationwide
pilgrimage and religious processions to the Basilica in Cartago.

Costa Rica's Independence Day is September 15th: witness the Freedom Torch as it is brought from Nicaragua by student relay runners the day before. Thrill to local "lantern parades" where kids carry home-made "faroles".

- Puerto Limon - Limon Carnival - Columbus Day is celebrated in style in the port city with week-long street dances, parades and music.

- Upala Corn Festival, Corn Queen contest.

- Tres Rios Virgen del Pilar's Day - celebrating yet another Patron Saint with parades and costumes made entirely of corn husks, grain, and silks.

- All Souls day - Nov 2 - Day of the Dead.

- Central Valley Coffee picking contest, music and dancing

- International Arts Festival, plays, street theatre and other entertainment.

- Fiesta de los Negritos - very big event held in the Indian village of Boruca, and ancient Indian ritual is combined with honoring the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception.

- Nicoya Fiesta de la Yeguita - Processions, bullfights, fireworks, concerts.

- Festejos Populares (Year-end Festivals) - Dec 25-31

- Tope - Annual horse parade. Careful where you step!

- Carnival - Head to downtown San Jose for the biggest block party of the year!

II. Free Museums

- The Museo de Oro Precolombino (Museum of Precolumbian gold) is located under the Plaza de la
Cultura in downtown San Jose. This impressive underground building houses the exhibit that creates a mysterious and dark background for the gleaming beauty of the golden pieces, which seem to float because they're suspended by transparent strings.The Museo de Moneda, or the Coin Museum, is located in the
same building, and its exhibit includes information on coins, as well as interesting samples. And it's FREE.

- The Museo de Jade, or the Jade Museum.o Lcated in the INS building in downtown (in the National Insurance building. The exhibit in this museum is the largest American jade collection in the world. The collection is extremely valuable because of the rarity of the mineral and of the religious and historical significance that it has for the Indian population and for the Costa Ricans in general. Like the golden pieces, the jade artifacts also depict animal shapes.

- The Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle (Natural science) and the small Entomology Museum in the University of Costa Rica. The first museum is located in La Sabana and presents a taxidermy collection of various animals and a preserved fish and reptile exhibit. The small university museum houses a large collection of insects of Central and South America, including beautiful butterflies. 

III. Free Markets 

The most popular market in Costa Rica is Mercado Central (Market Central) and has to be seen to be believed. A variety of craft work , leatherwork and crafts not to mention some of the cheapest meals in San Jose town. Come to think of it, almost every town of any size in Costa Rica has a mercado central, where
in addition to produce, fruits and meat, there are booths selling everyday items.

IV. Other Free activities

The Hummingbird gallery:
Next to the Monteverde Reserve entrance. Feeders outside attract dozens of hummingbirds representing about 7 species.

V. Art & Artisans
Traditional Costa Rican artisans in Guaitíl hand throw Chorotega pottery while you watch, and the wood carvers of Sarchí transform rainforest hardwoods into every imaginable shape. Drums, baskets, textiles, and pre-Columbian reproductions are just a few of the things you'll want to take home with you. 

VI. Bird Watching
Botaurus pinnatus, Tigrisoma fasciatum, Tigrisoma mexicanum, Egretta thula, Egretta caerulea, Agamia agami, Cochlearius cochlearius- and that's just the most common Aredeidae. Avid birders know that Costa Rica is one of the top spots in the world, but you don't have to spend hours with binoculars glued to your
eyes to see fascinating bird life in Costa Rica. Buy an Hermosa Beach Bungalow, and see hundreds of birds from your patio.

VII. Waterfalls & River Hiking

The number of spectacular waterfalls in Costa Rica reflects rainfall averages of over 20 feet a year and the sheer drops of some of the mountain ranges. Some are visible from paved roads as you travel from place to place, but others require significant effort to reach. The surest way to find a falls with a deserted swimming hole at the bottom is to start walking upstream.

So there you have it: some truly fun things to do that are free! You're no doubt going to discover
many more free things to do and see once you set foot in beautiful Costa Rica. Follow your instincts and not your pocket book and you'll come up with your own list of free activities in Costa Rica!



Looking for a support group, local activities, political kindred spirits or a way to pursue
your favorite hobby in Costa Rica? Check out this partial list of some of the country’s clubs and organizations, particularly those with multicultural or international areas of interest and membership. (Want to see yours here? Let us know at Please include contact information, website/Facebook page and any relevant schedule information.)

Alcoholics Anonymous

American Legion Post 10: Escazú, meets first Saturday of the month, 4034-0788,

American Legion Post 16: meets first Saturday of the month, Heredia, 2591-1695

Animal Shelter: Heredia.

Association of Residents of Costa Rica: 2233 8068,

ATEC (Talamancan Association of Ecotourism and Conservation): Puerto Viejo’s eco-tourism provider, help visitors find and interact with ecological activities.

Birding Club of Costa Rica(BCCR) observe and identify the 900+ species of birds found here, travels around the country. Patrick McDonnell,

Bridge: Asociación Recreativa de Bridge, 2220-2818, html

Coffee Pickin’ Square Dancers: San Francisco de Dos Ríos, Grace Woodman, 2249-1208, 8369-7992,

Costa Rica’s Writers Group: Currently maintaining a roster of over 50 members. Meets the third Thursday of each month (except December), 11AM, Henry’s Beach Cafe,
Escazú. Contact Bob Brashears:  8684-2526. Visits its 
Facebook page.

DAWG: domestic animal welfare group, Uvita. Adoptions, Saturdays, 9 a.m. -1 p.m. Centro Veterinario building, Uvita (across main highway, block north of  Banco de Costa Rica,

Democrats Abroad: politics, issues, register absentee voters. Meet last Saturday of the month, invited speakers on topical issues.

Hash House Harriers: Costa Rica HHHmeet Mondays to run in the Santa Ana – Escazú area and Thursdays in San José.

La Leche League: For nursing moms.

Little Theatre Group: English-language community theater, 8858-1446,

Newcomer’s Club of Costa Rica: monthly meetings focus on providing valuable information about Costa Rica.

Professional Women’s Network:

Republicans Overseas Costa Ricasucceeds Republicans Abroad, meets once a month, participate in US Embassy and local government activities.

Salvation Army: Cuartel Divisional, Calle 3 y 6, Ave. 18, San José, Apdo. 6277– 1000, San José. 2248 9087 / 2248 9175 / 2248 9181,

San Vito Bird Club:,

Wine Club: renbrantly@aol.com2288-6515.

Women’s Club of Costa Ricafriendship through service. Main goals are building friendships and promoting education for Costa Rican young people.

Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom: 2433-7078,

Women’s Slow-Pitch Softball League: Roberto Castro, 8839-3856


Anglican Episcopal Church: Ca. 3/5, Av. 4, north side of Colegio de Señoritas, 2222-1560,

B’nei Israel: La Sabana, 800 m west of Pops, 2231-5243,

Baha’i Faith Firesides: La Uruca, 2249-1231.

Beach Community Church: Sun., 10 a.m., Brasilito, Guanacaste, next to Country Day School, 2653-4437,

Chabad Lubavitch: Rohrmoser, in front of Antojitos; Escazú, 50 m west of Banco General, 2296-6565,

Christian Center: San Roque, Grecia, 2494-0970,

Church of Christ: Quircot, Cartago, 8839-4331.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Curridabat, Edificio Trébol, 500 m south of Pops, 2224-9401,

Costa Rican Lutheran Church: Barrio El Carmen, San José, 600 m southeast of San Cayetano Church, 2227-8080,

Episcopal Diocese of Costa Rica: Zapote, 75 m north of Plaza Cemaco, 2225-0209,

Escazú Christian Fellowship: Interdenominational, Sun., 5 p.m., International Baptist Church, Guachipelín, Escazú, 8395-9653,

Foursquare Church: Monthly English-language worship service, Sunday school, Manuel Antonio, 8338-4655, 8702-0807, 8390-0591.

Guadalupe Missionary Baptist Temple: Guadalupe, 300 m east of cemetery, 2222-4757,

Hare Krishna Center Gaudiya Math: Cuesta de Núñez, #1331, Av. 1, Ca. 15/17, 2256-8650,

Harvest Vineyard Church: Sabana Oeste, Lexicon Library, 200 m north, 100 m east, 75 m north of UCIMED, 2291-4383,



International Baptist Church: Guachipelín, Escazú, west of Multiplaza, north side of highway, 2215-2117,

Jehovah’s Witnesses: La Asunción, Belén, across from Avis, 8982-3381.

Mass for hearing-impaired: With translation in Costa Rican sign language, Sat., 6 p.m., Immaculate Conception Church, Heredia.

Muslim Center: Guadalupe, Calle Blancos-Montelimar, 100 m east, 80 m south of Escuela Santa Mónica, 2240-4872,

Nondenominational Christian Church: Sun., 8:30 a.m., El Empalme, San Ramón, Pastor James Rush, 8385-6403,

Quaker Meeting: Sun., 11 a.m., Friends Peace Center, San José, Ca. 15, Av. 6/8; Monteverde School, Monteverde, 2222-1400,

Roman Catholic Mass: Sat., 4 p.m., cathedral, San José, Ca. Ctrl./1, Av. 2/4, 2221-3820.

San Pedro Christian Fellowship: San Pedro, Centro Comercial Calle Real, 2267-6038,

Science of Mind Study Group and Potluck: Escazú, 8378-6679,

St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Chapel: Mass, Sun., 4 p.m., Hotel Ramada Plaza Herradura, Cariari, 2209-9800.

Union Church: San Rafael, Moravia, 100 m east, 400 m north, 100 m west of Lincoln School, 2235-6709,


Zen Buddhism: Casa Zen, Santo Domingo, Heredia, 2244-3532,


Acting: Carpe Diem Theater, Alajuela, 8810-3892; Fundación Skené, Barrio González Lahman, basic acting, 2258-7236, 2256-6978,; Giratablas Theater, Los Yoses, theater for kids, teens and adults, 2253-6001.

Agility: For dogs and owners, weekends, Pets’ Paradise, La Guácima, Alajuela, 8381-8285, 8393-4904.

Agro-ecotourism: Also tropical ecology, Costa Rican natural history, organoponics, labyrinths and mazes, Barrio Francisco Peralta, 8819-3173,

Art: Casa del Artista, Guadalupe, all ages, 2234-1233, 2281-0693,; Fundación Skené, Barrio González Lahman, 2258-7236, 2256-6978,; Galería Valanti, Barrio Escalante, painting, drawing, art appreciation, 2253-1659,

Arts: Art, literature, music and theater courses, talks and workshops at CCCN, Barrio Dent and La Sabana, by the Institute for Study of the Arts (INESA), 2290-5113,

Baby Massage: For parents with babies older than 2 months, Mon.-Tues., Desarrollando Mentes, Escazú, 2289-4586,

Badminton: Academia de Bádminton Costa Rica, San Pedro, classes for all ages, group play for experienced players, 8897-5313, 8990-9295,

Belly Dancing: Led by Jerusa Alvarado, basics, 8876-6184,

Biocourses: Trips with the Organization for Tropical Studies, 2524-0607,

Classes: Art, tai chi, qigong, opera, food, Florencia Culture Center, Plaza Florencia, 200 m north of BAC San José, road to Guachipelín, Escazú, 2289-3557,

Classes at Terapiarte: Portuguese, English, drawing, painting, cartoon, graphic design, clay modeling, yoga, belly dancing, popular dance, guitar, violin, Alajuela, 50 m north of Palí, Cristo Rey, 2441-0290, 8970-5026.

Cooking: Boc Art Gourmet Shop and Cooking School, Escazú, Plaza Itskatzú, 2228-0804, and Guadalupe, 300 m south of La Católica Hospital, 2225-1013; Brunetti, Santo Domingo de Heredia, 2268-9423; Culinary Trainer School, San José, Av. 4, across from Sala Garbo, 2222-0361,; Estudio Gastronómico Mucho Gusto, Los Yoses, 2234-0840,; Radha’s Kitchen, Escazú, gourmet vegetarian and vegan cooking, 2288-3294,

Dance: 29/4, ballet, jazz, tap, flamenco, hip-hop, break dancing, cardio dance, yoga, Sabanilla, Montes de Oca,; Academia Danza O, Middle Eastern, yoga, ballet, tap for girls, La Uruca, 2296-2022; Al Andalus, flamenco, tango, Sabanilla, 2225-2793, 8342-4083; Baila SAP, traditional, hip-hop, jazz, rumba, tango, yoga, theater, aerobics, Guadalupe, Moravia, Desamparados, Rohrmoser, San Ramón, Grecia, Palmares, Liberia, 2224-0834, 2224-6364; Dance Force Center, ballet, flamenco, tango, jazz, ballroom, Pavas, 2290-2271; Danza Abend, Calle Blancos, 2236-0700; Escuela de Ballet Piruetas Dance Studio, ballet, Jewish dance, flamenco, contemporary, all ages, Heredia, 2260-1549; Estudio Danza Libre, ballet, contemporary, jazz, Latin, hip-hop, fitness, all levels and ages, Guadalupe, 2253-8770, 8994-1124; Signos Teatro Danza, aerial dance, contemporary ballet, dance theater, yoga, break dancing, hip-hop, Lourdes de Montes de Oca, 2234-5584, 8714-5128,; Taller Nacional de Danza, ballet, belly dancing, flamenco, contemporary, jazz, tango, Indian, Afro-Caribbean, break dancing, hip-hop, all ages, Barrio Escalante, 2223-3319, 8776-1244,; Zíngari, flamenco, Santa Ana, 2282-1127, 8833-4260,

Feng Shui: With Iside Sarmiento, Moravia, 8851-8899,

Gardening: Centro Nacional de Jardinería Corazón Verde, Pinares de Curridabat, 2271-0303, 2271-1919,

Holistic Classes: Creciendo en Grande Institute, Zapote, 600 m west, 200 m north of Casa Presidencial, 2283-3736,; Kasasana, Barrio Escalante, 2253-8322, 

Karate: Kids, daily, 5-6 p.m.; adults, Mon., Wed., Fri., 6:30-8 p.m., and Tues., Thurs., 7-8:30 p.m., Heredia, opposite Mercedes Norte cemetery, 8816-8387.

Mandarin Chinese: Liu-Yi Centro de Idioma Chino-Mandarín, Heredia, San Joaquín de Flores, San José, 8878-9875,

Martial Arts: Pavas, Rohrmoser, Parque La Amistad, 8873-3859, 8873-4265, 2232-9801,

Meditation: Inner Balance, Escazú, Mediplaza, 500 m south of Multiplaza, 2201-7201, ext. 2,

Music: Café Liberia, Guanacaste, singing, piano, electric and acoustic guitar, 2665-1660, 8339-0492; Centro Artístico Omar Arroyo, Moravia, 2297-2559; Editus Arts Academy, Barrio Escalante, 2253-5135, 2234-0491,; Escazú Music Academy, 2228-9327,; Estudio Arte Heredia, singing, guitar, clarinet, sax, flute, piano, music theory, Barrio María Auxiliadora, Heredia, 2263-4184, 8704-9775; School of Rock, Sabana Sur,, 8840-7204.

Paragliding: Escuela Parapente Costa Rica, 8849-0777,

Photography: Escazú, basic to intermediate,

Pilates: Classes at your home given by certified instructor Michael Miller, all levels, contact Hernán Sain, 8861-9336,
Qigong and Tai Chi: San Pedro, Sabanilla, 2234-2680, 8715-0573,

Robotics: Ages 6-12, Abacus Institute, Edificio Colón, Paseo Colón, 2222-1446,; Laboratorio de Robótica, Escazú and Pinares de Curridabat, 8880-2424,

Satsangs: Sat Yoga Institute, Escazú, 2288-3294.

Synchronized Swimming: Girls, Mon.-Fri., 4-6 p.m., La Salle School, Sabana Sur, 2291-0147, 8373-4005.

Tai Chi: Bambú Dorado, Escazú, San Pedro, adults and seniors, 2225-4411, 8829-0237,; Heredia, adults and seniors, International Taoist Tai Chi Society methods, 2263-5075,

Wine Seminars: Bodega05, HA&COM Bebidas del Mundo, Llorente de Tibás, 2297-1005.

Yoga: Bamboo YogaPlay, Dominical, 2787-0229,; Café Liberia, Liberia, Guanacaste, Mon. and Thurs., 7 p.m., Sat., 6 p.m., 2665-1660; Desarrollando Mentes, Escazú, for kids ages 3-5, Tues.-Wed., 3:30-5:30 p.m., 2289-4586,; Fit Yogis, Escazú, yoga for kids, 2228-9141,; Gayatree Yoga Center, Sabanilla, yin and Nidra yoga, 8848-2347,; Jardín de Yoga Kapoli, San Rafael, Escazú, 2228-1350, 8325-2397; Rincón Natura Spa, Sabana Sur, 2291-4505; Sat Yoga Institute, San Rafael, Escazú, 2288-3294,; Turya Yoga Studio, Escazú, 2289-7524, 8887-8835,


US Money’s Practical Check-off List for Overseas Home Purchases

When shopping for a new home for your overseas retirement, the most important thing is to follow your instincts. Choose a new home for your new retirement life in another country because you like it and it feels right to you. Here is a check-off list to consider when thinking through your overseas home purchase.

Original Article Text From US News Money:

10 Questions to Ask About a Retirement Home Overseas

When shopping for a new home for your retirement overseas, the most important thing is to follow your instincts. Allow yourself to be led by your heart and your gut. Choose a new home for your new retirement life in another country because you like it and it feels right to you.

You aren’t buying a retirement home to make money. Perhaps the property you buy ultimately will be worth more than you’re paying for it and turn out to have been a smart investment, but don’t allow that agenda to get in your way.

Of course, there are also many practical considerations when making any real estate purchase. Here is a list of some quantifiable things to consider when thinking through the purchase of a new home in another country. The answers to these questions will help you to pin down the lifestyle you imagine for yourself in retirement. You can then work backward from that lifestyle to the house that would best support it.

1. How much space will you need? Do you want an apartment or a house? One bedroom or two? (You probably won’t need more than two.) Two levels or only one? A guest room or even a guest house? Will you have guests often, for example? Will you want them to be able to stay with you, or would you prefer if they came and went from a hotel nearby?

2. Do you want a front yard, a back garden, or a swimming pool? All of these things require care and maintenance.

3. Do you want to be in the heart of downtown or out in the country?

4. Do you want a turn-key, a renovation project, or something in-between?

5. Do you like the idea of living in a gated community, or would you prefer a more integrated setting, such as a neighborhood where you could become part of the local community? This is a key consideration. Going local means you have to learn the local language (if you don’t speak it already). Or perhaps you’d prefer to be off on your own with undeveloped acres between you and your nearest neighbor. In this type of rural setting you will need to build your own in-case-of-emergency infrastructure.

6. Consider traffic patterns and transportation. Where you base yourself determines whether you’ll need to invest in a car, which is an important budget consideration.

7. Consider the convenience factor. How far is it to shopping, restaurants, nightlife, parking, and the nearest medical facility?

8. Do you want a furnished home? You may have no choice but to buy unfurnished (unless you buy, say, from another expat who’s interested in selling his place including all contents). Buying unfurnished means you’ll need to purchase furniture locally or ship your household goods from home.

9. What’s your budget? This is the most practical guideline of all, of course. Be clear on your finances before you start shopping, and, if your budget is strict, don’t be tempted to consider properties outside your price point. You’ll only be disappointing yourself unnecessarily.

10. Finally, ask yourself what kind of view you’d like from your bedroom window each morning. This can be an effective way to focus on something important that might otherwise be overlooked until it’s too late.

Link to Original Article: From US News Money


UPDATED JAN. 17, 2019

Veterans Affairs info to get you started:    

 Meeting location- San Jose, CR; Casa de Espana First WEDNESDAY of the month-12 Noon CONTACT   MAIN NUMBER(506)4034-0788 ...


Health Care for Veteran's in Costa Rica


The Clínica Bíblica now accepts medical coverage through Tri Care Latin America and CHAMPUS for hospital and pharmacy services.

Here are the requirements for medical benefits for U.S. military retirees and their families:

  1. A current U.S. military retiree ID card (20 years of active duty)
  2. 65 years or over and have Medicare Part B.
  3. Current ID cards for all dependents under 21 years of age if in college with proof of enrollment
  4. Unmarried widows must have the related documents above for their husband. Medical benefits for U.S. veterans: The disabled veteran can only be treated for the disabilities listed on the Treatment Authorization Sheet from the VA. If the veteran is 100 percent disabled, all dependents will receive total health care, not including dental and glasses.

    The following documents are required:
  1. Current CHAMPUS VA card.
  2. Current ID card for all dependents under the age of 21 and up to 23 years of age if in college with proof of enrollment.
  3. Copy of DD 214
  4. Unmarried widows must have the related documents above for their husband.

E-mail: seguros@



Costa Rica Jaco Retirement-Lifestyle Tips & Advice


   Costa Rica  Jaco, Central Pacific  
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Tips!


(from non-realtors) ???

I love this group because they have 5000 members that either have lived or currently live in Costa Rica or are thinking about it.
Want to research every possible question you may have? This is the source!
Often times their archive list will have the exact current information you seek!

If after researching the archives of Costa Rica Living, you still don't have the answer to your questions, please call us! Each of our Jaco sales executives have lived here for many years, and can answer almost anything. 

Moving to Costa Rica?
 We love living here and will gladly try to help you relocate to our "almost" Paradise.  Remember the more time you invest in research,
the smoother the move!
if you want to learn about 
Medical Tourism, click here!
Angry attack is the quickest way to get thrown out of an office
By Edward Bridges* Special to A.M. Costa Rica
A hot temper gets you the door in Costa Rica. If you lose your temper with a Costa Rican at a Costa Rican business, you may find yourself being asked to leave.
That is in contrast to an article Tuesday that pointed out cultural differences between Chinese and North American customer service workers. North American service workers are more likely to sabotage rude customers, while Chinese react by disengaging from customer service altogether, said the study.
Living in Costa Rica for more than 20 years, I have had the opportunity to view our North American culture objectively from a Costa Rican point of view.  Coming from a long heritage of screamers in my North American family line, I have often been asked by my Costa Rican daughters not to get angry when their friends are visiting because that is considered very abnormal and unacceptable behavior in Costa Rica and their friends will think I have a mental disorder. 
Working with many North American clients over the years, I have seen this numerous times.  Being a bully and threatening employees when things do not go well is not uncommon in our culture, and North American employees are trained to deal with hostile customers. Costa Ricans are not.  Their first response, if you lose your temper, is they will often ask you to leave the establishment or they will simply walk away and not return to deal with your complaint.  If you are dealing with government employees here, multiply this response by ten. They absolutely will not tolerate anything short of a completely polite and calm conversation about your problem.
My two oldest girls have worked in call centers in Costa Rica offering customer service to North American customers.  They found it amusing to report to me how crazy some North Americans are when complaining about a service or product on the phone.  This is something they are not used to at all in Costa Rica.  Ironically, they both learned how to sometimes get the customer to laugh at their own hostile behavior by responding in a completely polite and normal tone to often ridiculous complaints.  This is, perhaps, one of the reasons American companies prefer opening call centers here.
So if you want to get great service here, never raise your voice, even a little bit, when dealing with a Costa Rican employee.  Keep in mind, in most cases the employee was not personally responsible for the complained about activity or action.
I remember a Costa Rican business associate pointing out a common difference between our countries.  In Costa Rica when your phone call is answered by the secretary, Costa Ricans will often spend a minute or so greeting the secretary with social pleasantries like "How are you today, Jessica, etc."  In the U.S.A., such an approach will often irritate a busy secretary who just wants to put your call through and get back to work.  
If you promptly ask a Costa Rican secretary to connect your call, this will often be regarded as rude, but they will comply.   Or they may just tell you he is out of the office, when he is really there.
* Mr. Bridges of Desamparados has lived in Costa Rica for 20 years.

   Why Retire in Latin America?    By Rosemary Rein (Jeff will offer his opinion after each category!)

That was a headline on AOL News that caught our attention with this description of Costa Rica:

"It's got the good weather of Florida, but a much cheaper cost of living. And it's a lot more adventurous than Daytona. Politically stable, Costa Rica has a thriving industry of recruiting American retirees. Thousands of Americans are spread throughout Mexico, Panama and the rest of the region."

As residents of Costa Rica for 10 years, we are often asked the reason why we moved here in the first place .. so here's our Top 10 list for those of you contemplating your own adventure, living, working and or retiring in paradise.

10), Climate, Climate, Climate.. You can almost pick your preferred temperature in Costa Rica and we selected 72 degrees year round at our home in the Central ValleyMountains. But what about the Rainy/Green Season? Sure, we have about 2 hours of rain during our "winter" months each day, but most mornings are beautiful and sunny. That sure beats Fargo in Winter and Phoenix in Summer! We also happen to delight in that expected afternoon rain in green season for a few hours. In fact if you haven't experienced the sound of rain falling on a tin roof, with a good book, frankly, you haven't lived.

Jeff: Here in Jaco Beach we experience daily averages of about 78 degrees with only a few days yearly over 90. What I love about this area is that I am able to go with short sleeve shirt, sandles and shorts,  ALL year-round. And at home, day and night, I keep all the windows open. At night it cools down to 65. The rains keep Jaco green year-round and begin in May generally with about 2 hours of sporadic rain until October. That's the rainiest time of year in this area and when most Ex-pats like to go visit the States. October 2009 had the least amount of rain in years, but things are still green!

9) Nature Lover's Paradise: From rain forest to crisp mountains to experiencing the "Gifts from the Sea', Costa Rica is a Nature Lover's Paradise. Each morning Barry and I hike out our front door to the countryside where following a cow on the road is as common and much more delightful than interstate traffic.

Jeff: I love living at the beach, where I can leave my house unlocked, walk-out barefoot to the sand, and enjoy the peacefulness that Playa Hermosa offers. Obviously Costa Rica is a nature lovers paradise and you will discover the joys of the beach, the forest, the mountains, and rivers all in a single day if you so choose. The quality of surfing and fishing is of course world renowned. The most popular national park, Manuel Antonio is only one hour away, and our favorite volcano, Arenal, is only 3.5 hours. Want to be in a tropical forest? Go 10 minutes north of Jaco for Carara national park. White sandy beach? Check out Punta Leona!

8) Health Care: As Business Owners in the United States faced with staggering insurance costs, we sought out a location for retirement that would provide, quality, affordable health care. Costa Rica has U.S. Trained Dr

's with state of the ArtHospitals and Medical Facilities. It also has a thriving medical tourism industry. When we first moved to Costa Rica, private insurance cost $1400 annually for the two of us covering most of our medical costs and prescriptions. What this meant was state of the art care when hospitalized. Third World? I don't know about that. In my private hospital room, I had a flat screen t.v. dining menu options and a companion bed for my husband to stay with me. While our insurance has increased slightly as we have aged, I believe the care in Costa Rica unbeatable.

Jeff: When we hear all the horrors of the U.S.-Canadian medical system we smile, especially regarding the costs! Of course one must have the private insurance to insure care with respect!
Overall Costa Rica is a medical-dental destination for U.S.-Canadian residents due to the highly professional services offered here from 50% to 75% off the costs of similar treatments at home! Some Costa Rican hospitals are now working with U.S. medical plans-ask your provider! Another great advantage here is being able to go to a pharmacist without a prescription, and 90% of the time receiving what you need. And you can even buy just a couple of pills, not the entire box!!!
As a 58 year young man, I pay $1650 annual for my international medical policy and recently my friend, his wife, and child were quoted $3100!

7) Adventure: We probably saw too many Raiders of the Lost Ark movies, but we wanted the next chapter in our life after the rat race to be a "True Learning Adventure!" Flying through the Forest Canopy, White Water Rafting are just two examples and we have a long list of adventures still on the list. Every day, daily living in Costa Rica is an adventure from exploring exotic fruits to rescuing a sloth. I have to say it beats going to Wal-Mart.

Jeff: Whether being a couch potato, surfer, boatsman, golfer or an extreme adventurer, the Jaco area offers more options than almost any other area in Costa Rica!  Driving for many in Costa Rica is also an adventure and we love the fact that the Jaco area has no traffic signals!  Drunk driving laws are now strictly enforced, and are no longer a joke.....

6) Social Community: We could keep ourselves entertained 7 days and nights a week with Costa Rica's busy and diverse ex pat community. There's a club for every interest (Birding, Hiking, Bridge, Gourmet Food and Wine, Volunteer Opportunities) just name it and it's here. Foreign residents find each other at social centers and hubs and groups like the Newcomers Organization that help with the transition of moving to a foreign country.

Jeff: Jaco has a great community of Expats from the States and Canada and there is no reason to be bored with all the groups and events going on. Don't believe me, just check or the Costa Rica Living group, or the Tico Times groups announcements.

 5) Safety: While we now look back to the good old days when there was virtually little crime when we came to Costa Rica. Sadly we are not immune to the increasing crime rates that you find almost everywhere in the world, much linked to the growing drug problem. Still crime tends to be more property related than violent and so we have added precautions like a home security system. What should be noted is there is more violent crime in most major U.S. Cities in one day, yet the media will spotlight any violent crime against U.S Citizens that occurs outside of her borders. Costa Rica, it should be noted, is also a peace-loving and stable country with no Army, often referred to as the Switzerland of the Americas.

Jeff: The world has gotten to be a more violent place, but I still feel safer here than I did in California. You just gotta be smart, and know that robberies occur more often here against Gringos because they know-believe that we will immediately replace all the stolen goods (whether we can afford them or not!)  Years ago guns were never used, now unfortunately they are a little more common. 
HOWEVER, I feel extremely fortunate that in my 16 years of living here, I have never been robbed nor burglarized!  (yes I am knocking on wood!).  Jaco has increased dramatically the presence of police so now in their new cars and trucks you will see the Municipal force, the Transit police, Tourist police and the OIJ,(FBI wannabees). It ain't perfect but its getting better all the time!

4) Cost of Living: Indeed there are financial benefits of being a U.S. citizen living in Costa Rica. One of the attractions for us in selecting and moving to Costa Rica was the (tax-free foreign earned income benefit --currently $82,400 for each person) Another? property taxes on our new contemporary home in Escazu, Costa Rica were a whopping $100.00 a year. That sure beat $6,000 a year property taxes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We indeed would pay more for better infrastructure and suppport to the people of our host country. There was also no heating or air-conditioning expenses to contend with and the real kicker indulgence for me was massages were $10.00 an hour. I remember saying "I'm so there" There is no doubt, that we could not afford our current lifestyle in the United States and while Costa Rica is unfortunately being increasingly discovered and developed, there are still affordable options for creating a quality lifestyle at a fraction of U.S. prices.

Jeff: Yes Costa Rica is the most expensive place to live in Central America. Yes gas costs almost double here compared to the States. However-how much do you pay for a maid or an electrician or plumber or mechanic or secretary? Maids average $3.00 an hour part-time or $250 MONTHLY  for a live-in. An electrician, plumber, or car mechanic will generally charge $10-$18 an hour for small jobs, and a bilingual secretary in Jaco will cost between $600 to $1000 monthly.

Regarding utilities: cell phones are incredibly cheap here-no charge for incoming calls; regular land-home phones are much less than the States; electric has just gone up tremendously, water is very cheap, and gas is 50% more expensive than the States (although still cheaper than Europe!) 
Food costs: "As a foodie" I have always been aware of what we have and don't have here in Costa Rica. A huge difference of imported goods has occurred over the past 16 years, to satisfy the most discriminating palate: from organic granola and soy milk to imported "hot links" or New Zealand rack of lamb or Alaskan King Crab. 
Fruits and vegetables are of course "dirt" cheap with great fresh picked flavors; the basics of rice, beans, breads, milk, chicken, eggs are similar to the States, and yes we do pay more for imported goods. Fish is widely available at almost half the U.S. price, although lobster and shrimp are not. Quality beef is not readily available, except to the discriminating shopper.   The newly passed free trade agreement with the 
U.S. should reduce all imported food costs-soon!

The really big savings is in the unbelievably low property taxes for your home, and the fact that there still are no capital gains taxes in Costa Rica!!! 

 3) Warm and Hospitable Costa Rican People. Pura Vida! "That's a Costa Rican expression that means "pure life". Sunday morning is our favorite day for walking in the barrio...Mothers and Fathers walking hand in hand with their children to church reminding us of our own childhood. "It's like the United States in the 1950's" . There is tranquility and a commitment to family.

Jeff: Ah, this is one of the great benefits of living here. There is NO overt "Gringo" resentment and the Ticos are genuinely friendly! The ones in the countryside will offer you all kinds of assistance when you are in need. "Salt of the earth kind of folks."  The ones from the city will look you in the eye, as the "fear" factor is so much less than the States! Smiles are easy to come by and the Ticos take great pride in their teeth, and in their clothes.  In the tourist areas Ticos are generally eager to demonstrate they know some English.

The Costa Ricans know that they are the "land of peace", the nation without an army, and they are fiercely proud of this fact. They are also incredibly patriotic although always distrustful of their government, and they resent any Gringo that comes down here thinking that Costa Rica is a territory of the U.S.  They know they have something special going on, especially compared to their neighbors!

 2) Connected: Today's Ability to Work and Live Anywhere. Yes, we have wireless Internet and low-cost phone service in Costa Rica that enables us to work from home on the deck with parrots flying overhead. It's not everywhere in the country and certainly not deep in the rain forest, but technology has enabled us to work and stay connected with our offices and families and friends. Just 2.5 hour flight from Miami and 3 .5 hour flight from Houston, we are closer to many relatives and clients than they are with others living within U.S. borders.

Jeff: At my beachfront place in Hermosa, I have a phone, cable t.v., high speed internet, and a Satellite dish. The picture quality is generally better than the States, (OK, this probably changed for the U.S. with the digital switch) and there are plenty of channels in English, and one in French, Italian, German, Chinese, and jibberish!


1) The Mangos, The Monkeys, The Magic: I love to watch visitors in our learning retreats discover their own magic here while staying amidst the jewels of the Costa Rican rain forest. Forever changed from their journey to paradise, their discovery is almost child-like. I developed the brand for my speaking and retreat business from the voices of those who have discovered their own passion here. On seeing lava flow from an active volcano, a child-like WOW would be uttered competing only slightly with the volcanic rumble.

Jeff: I drive along the beach to get to work, with beautiful greenery all around me. The mountains serve as a beautiful backdrop to the entire Jaco area and the Sunsets are Spectacular. Monkeys can be seen with the naked eye from my balcony, as well as 20 species of beautiful birds.
Is this paradise? For some it is, and for others like me, its close enough!!!.   C'mon down.............................

  Rosemary Rein is the author of "Go Wild! Survival Skills for Business and Life" and a new book to be published in January 08 with Dr. Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard entitled "The Blueprint for Success and Survival".  Rosemary speaks internationally on Leadership, Customer Service and Creativity and sponsors personal growth and discovery retreats of Costa Rica. For additional information write Rosemary at

Updated June 15, 2010 from Inside Costa Rica;

We moved to Costa Rica in early 2000, after having visited a couple times a year since 1993. We knew from our first visit that we liked it here, but did not have the ability to retire at that time. I suppose my biggest complaint about the country would be that they have made the pensionado et al process so difficult and time-consuming, as well as expensive, including renewals, but I suppose that is true of all bureaucracies everywhere. The absolute worst was their requirement that my US car not only pass a smog-check, with the MECHANIC's signature notarized, then notarized again at the CR consulate in the United States, but then the very first thing that has to happen when the car enters Costa Rica is pass THEIR version of the smog check inspection!
(Jeff sez: this is why I recommend you buy your car in Costa Rica. It’s easier and your cash these days can enable you to sometimes get such a great deal that its like the taxes-duties are not included.)


At any rate, we moved here because we liked the weather, the people, and the cost of living. The first two are still fine. I also liked their laid-back way of life, though, and have emulated it, so I don't have a lot of patience with gringos who keep thinking that somehow the people HERE are supposed to change. I have a gringo friend who is always complaining about the way Tico's drive, especially the way they will stop in the middle of the street to chat with friends on the side of the road. Hey, I get to do it, too, then, and where am I going in such a hurry, anyhow? I don't care much for their habit of passing on blind curves, true, but if you passed only where it was legal you'd stay behind the same sugar-cane truck all the way from La Fortuna to San Ramon, just about. Considering the nature of the roads and the amount of driver training they get, I think Tico drivers are rather successful, on the whole. There are always the exceptions who drive too fast, or drunk, or pass dangerously, but every driving population I've ever encountered in quite a large number of the United States contains about the same percentage, seems to me.


Actually, I sometimes wonder where these complainers are driving, since my experience has been that Ticos are rather courteous in yielding right of way.
Even in congested San Jose traffic I've seen people manage to squeeze in off of a side street when they'd still be sitting there waiting for midnight in some US cities.
My wife once described Tico drivers as "intent" can have the right of way when it's your turn, but you have to be ready and waiting to take it, they're not going to sit there while you make up your mind. Strike while the iron is hot seems to be their motto. In rural areas, like where we live in La Fortuna, the other driver is as likely as not to graciously wave you ahead.


In more situations than you might imagine, I've been given what seems to me to be extra consideration in situations where I didn't understand enough Spanish to figure out what to do next. I don't think I've ever been refused help doing anything, and often offered it when I didn't need it. I'm 75 and my hair is, er, very very light blond, shall we say, and I make almost daily walks to the grocery store for exercise as well as necessities, and often when I'm walking home, puffing, some younger person--total strangers--will offer to carry a bag. I thank them, since I'm purposefully engaged in weight-bearing exercise for my health's sake, but they offer.


If fact, in general I have been so well treated in Costa Rica by Ticos that it has made me feel guilty about how little courtesy I unthinkingly missed offering to Spanish-speakers in my native California much of my life.
Frankly, sometimes I wonder how they manage to have such a friendly attitude toward gringos, since we sort of view a lot of them with some suspicion, ourselves.


If there's a perfect country then I haven't lived in it yet, and while there are a few things I could wish different about Costa Rica, perhaps, that's also true of the others, as well...just different things.
I like the “Pura Vida” attitude, the “si Dios quiere” philosophy, the fact that everyone you encounter, even strangers for the first time, shakes hands, from the kid who pumps your gas to the kids who stock the super market shelves, the bank guard as well as the bank manager, taxi drivers, waiters who unfailingly greet me by name and come by to say hello even not expecting more than the tip on the bill and many of them not even involved at my table. I enjoy their compliments on my disgraceful Spanish even while I feel ashamed it's not much better than it is.


Our 7-year-old is in the first grade and we're struggling learning Spanish while helping him with homework, while he tells us his teachers often call on him to help with their English, and on the whole we think the school system is pretty good, we're trying to help when we can to improve things.


So I can't be too sympathetic with the gringos I hear complaining when it seems to me there is so little to complain about compared with what is going on back in much of the United States, from what I read.

Pura vida, indeed! 

G. Calkins


Miscellaneous Tips: 

No we don't take "siestas" like in Mexico!

Most Banks are open from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and do not close for lunch. Some Banks in tourist areas are open 9-6 everyday and saturdays 9-1, however this varies greatly with the bank and branch.

 Steps away from our office is a very good bank, Banco BAC for changing money. The rates are great, the hours 9 to 6 plus Saturdays and it is MANDATORY you bring your passport. Don't bother arguing because even the recommended plasticized passport copies (available at the Jaco copiers across from our office) won't work. Also, sorry to say, Traveler's Checks are not that convenient here. Credit-debit cards are widely used with many tellers near our office. (Yes it seems many things are near our office-since we are in the center of Jaco!)

Government offices are open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. usually.  Most commercial businesses open from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m, (malls not found in Jaco are open 10-8),  but in tourist towns 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. until 7 or 10 p.m.   
Most restaurants open from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm but closed between 3-5.
However most Costa Ricans eat early breakfasts with "Gallo Pinto", lunches between 12-3 usually are "casados"- beans, rice, salad, vegies, drink, and choice of chicken, or overcooked meat or fish for only $4  *gourmands need to say "termino medio" for fish, lobster, shrimp or meat at EVERY restaurant-because most
Ticos prefer "bien cocido". Ticos often have dinner after 7:00 and rarely are there early bird specials. However both sushi bars in Jaco have "happy hours" with reduced prices and great fish!   
There is a 13% general sales tax applied everywhere but grocery stores, and most restaurants do add a 10% service tax. It has been brought to our attention that the entire 10%  may not go to your waiter or waitress. So be aware of this when you see the propina line on your credit card slip. If you had great service, please tip generously (because great service isn't common here). Oh another tip: you have to ask for the check! The culture here feels it is rude to ask the Client if they want the check- so if you are in a hurry, ask for "la cuenta por favor."




 Communication & Language:  National or official languages 

1st Spanish spoken clearly

2nd Spanish slang “pachuco”    3rd Gringos butchering Spanish

4th Ticos butchering English     5th many Chinese dialects
6th Italian  
7th German    8th French



96% can at least read stop signs however 95% ignore them.

50% go to Colegio.  (colegio is called high school here, when they graduate they receive a “bachillerato”)  


Land lines with direct-dial telephone services, fax, telex, radio (119 commercial and 17 public service institutions):  

Approx. 90 TV Stations including Cable and Satellite   

Bilingual operator assistance for international calls dial:116  

Local information dial: 113  

Long distance information dial: 124  

Emergency dial: 911  

Internet cafes are available in most towns and hotels, high speed available in many locations.  


  The Ten Things I Have Learned As an Ex-Pat in Costa Rica (There are many more but these are the highlights): By Alexandra L.

 1) Patience is more than a virtue here. It is necessary in order to be happy here.

2) Resourcefulness: because I love it here I have found ways to "make do", to "create", and to substitute (while working in the kitchen,) that I never would have learned had I not moved here 13 years ago.

3) Awareness: because life moves slower here I have learned to look at the faces of people, at the roadside stand of flowers, at the landscape, and find new perception.

4) Through frustration and hardship, at times, I have learned to stick things out. The borders are close together here and I have learned to confront life because it is closer to me than any other place I have lived.

5)Listening. Spanish is not my native language. Therefore I have trained my inner ear, the one that not only listens to words, but listens to the meaning behind words...the hearing "eye". Thus communication for me has changed and deepened.

6) Affection: In the States, where my life was more hurried and more anonymous, I drew back from people more. The Costa Ricans have taught me it is ok to pause, to hug, to touch with kindness in a way I would have feared doing in the States. This affection is a tonic for me in my village, San Isidro de Heredia...that I crave when I am feeling down. Go buy a cucumber and get a hug and a quick joke from the vendors.

7) Letting go: A few years ago I stopped harping about things like Potholes, long lines, a lack of things I thought I needed to have here in order to be happy: Now I try to focus on what I can change and I leave the potholes alone and stare at the small houses, people walking, the far mountains with endless varieties of green.

8) Mystery: The occult and peculiar nature of a culture that I will never fully understand: I have come to more or less (!) realize that it is this very mysterious quality that gives the country its charm. I believe I will never come to grips with some of the attitudes here and I no longer try.

9) Humor. The Costa Ricans have great humour and wit, which is accessed of course through their language, so I don't catch it all. But I try to understand with my heart and thus I laugh with them and sometimes we are laughing about the same thing.  Except for when they drive, they carry the "pura vida" attitude.

10) My priorities. When I visited for two months in the States recently, and observed how life has become there, I came back to Costa Rica and saw what has become important to me here: Clean air, love in its myriad manifestations, a lifestyle less spent on pursuing money, family life (my employees on the finca, I came to realize, are my nuclear family, good health (which the U.S. cannot give me since I am one of the great Un-insurables in the U.S), quiet time apart from the bustle that one becomes acustomed to in a society like the U.S. where upper class people barely even raise their own children. Every Ex-Pat here will have his or her own list. Hopefully, there is something to be gleaned from all.

Written  in Escazu, Costa Rica 2007



People spend hours on the internet learning about real estate, healthcare, transportation, and restaurants, but they often fail to invest in learning about the culture. This is a grave error because the majority of people who decide to go back home, don't do it because they couldn't find their favorite beverage or a suitable appliance. They leave because they couldn't adjust to the culture.

Those planning to live permanently in Costa Rica need to learn how to adopt a new attitude and adapt to the culture. The term "Culture Shock" has been used to describe the anxiety and feelings of disorientation experienced when people have to operate in a different cultural environment. That's when a person finds that the ways that things always have been done no longer work in a new culture. For example, the currency exchange, language, traffic and even the sense of humor change when a person enters another country.

Visitors to Costa Rica are often struck with how familiar things appear on the surface, and upon this assumption many make plans to stay permanently. However, the unexpected trials and wide differences in cultural understanding often make the transition much more difficult than expected. As North Americans, we have become accustomed to things such as promptness, efficiency and courteous drivers. That's our baggage from up north.

The expectation that these things exist in Costa Rica is our problem not the Tico's. I you're expecting things to be the same as in your home country in another then you're bound to get disappointed. A move to another country allows you to start over with a new life and experience a new culture in a new environment. That's why people move to Costa Rica.

A good percentage of North Americans planning to stay in Costa Rica go back. They cannot deal with the inefficiency. Obtaining residency usually takes much longer than expected. You need to hire a consultant to get a drivers license. The list of frustrations goes on and on. The bottom line is they are not able to slow down and adapt to the culture.

Culture shock affects people differently according to the coping strategies each individual employs in order to successfully adapt. After 15 years, I still have to remind myself; "If you don't expect much, you won't get disappointed" Then I step back, take a second look at the situation that is beginning to frustrate me and remind myself where I'm at, whom I'm dealing with and why I'm here. Then the situation at hand doesn't seem so irritating. Expats who do manage to stay for a long time in Costa Rica do so because they possess patience and flexibility.

Years ago I noticed several cultural differences that used to make my life in Costa Rica frustrating. Concept of time, expectations of efficiency and understanding the local language. North Americans are continually bothered by what we view as a lack of punctuality on the part of Costa Ricans. Costa Rican's will say, "I'll come over tomorrow", but they usually don't. Often they are not hours late, but days late, with no excuse, no phone calls, no apology. This used to bother me, and sometimes it still does. But I get over it much more quickly after living here 15 years.

For North Americans, a person is considered late if he/she arrives 10 to 15 minutes after the scheduled time. For Latin Americans, a person is considered late if he/she arrives 30 minutes after the scheduled time. North Americans often begin to feel tension if a person arrives 15 minutes late, while Latin Americans begin to feel tension if a person arrives 30 minutes after the deadline. These differences in concepts of time often cause misunderstandings between Costa Ricans and North Americans.

The cultural differences in comprehending time can be attributed to the fact that Costa Ricans and North Americans place different value on time. In the U.S., people live to work and time is money. Here in Costa Rica, time is gold. Tico's live for the moment and occasionally during the week take the time to accomplish some work. In Costa Rica, if you run into a friend, you stop and talk and ask "how's the family". Time is for you and not for you to be bound by it. Expats who can slow down and adjust to Tico time, have a much better chance of successfully acculturating.

For new expats arriving to Costa Rica, one of the most frustrating obstacles is dealing with what they view to be a lack of efficiency. In North America there is more efficiency, primarily in the services sector. This makes it particularly hard for North Americans to adapt to life in Costa Rica because they have grown accustomed to the speed and efficiency of services in their home country. If you have the financial ability to hire a consultant to complete these frustrating tasks for you, then you won't have to go through it and will probably be happier for it.

Culture is embedded in the language, and misunderstandings often arise due to the ways in which people of distinct cultures express and understand language content. North Americans are more direct.

In Costa Rica, the Tico's don't say things up front. It's part of their culture and is considered bad manners. Therefore if you don't understand the culture you get frustrated and some folks become angry and this offends the Tico's. Misinterpretations therefore arise because Costa Ricans view their North American counterparts as "rude" while North Americans find Costa Ricans to be "indirect" or even "dishonest."

Many expats feel that they have had to learn to decode what their Costa Rican associates and friends are really trying to say. It is not that Costa Rican's lie more, it is that they are trying to save face. Costa Ricans don't want to disappoint you. If they don't know the answer, they say to themselves 'I don't know but I want to give my best guess.' You have to learn to listen carefully and read between the lines. A simple word like "Ya" can mean "it's already done", "I'm doing it right now", or "I'll get to it soon.

Despite the numerous challenges and obstacles which expats face in Costa Rica, those who have stuck it out here are convinced that the benefits outweigh the hassles. The country's strong democratic tradition, innovative environmental programs, museums and cultural activities, and cheaper living costs continue to make Costa Rica a popular destination spot, particularly for tourists and retirees. And the option to live a lifestyle similar to that in a large North American city is here if you want it. Check out the selection and pricing in any of the major malls or at Super Saretto or Auto Mercado supermarkets. Most products that are imported here from another country incur duties. These duties are built into the price you pay at the cashier. If you want to live and consume the same products available in North America, they are available here. But in many cases those same products are less expensive in Florida. Perhaps if the new free trade agreement becomes a reality, this will change.

I prefer the old days before there were malls and Hooters. I don't miss any of what these new franchises have to offer. I patronize typical Costa Rican businesses and my budget is much more affordable. It's nice to have options and that's my new philosophy. Plans tie a guy down. Options offer freedom. You don't irritate someone because you exercised an option. But there are many times when plans did not materialize as expected and someone gets irritated. Keep your options open and your plans to a minimum.

Live like the Tico's, adopt their attitude and adapt to their culture. You'll probably live longer and happier! Pura Vida!

 You know you’ve become Tico (Costa Rican) when:

  • You point with your lips.
  • You snap your index finger against your second (bird) finger when you think something’s funny or incredible.
  • You miss the chaos when you leave the country.
  • You miss the way black beans in restaurants used to be whole and had a different flavor.
  • Diay and puta come out of your mouth like you were born to them.
  • You watch a Spanish language movie and you understand the body language that gives another layer of nuance to the acting.
  • You start to prevaricate so somebody else can save face.
  • You answer bien por dicha even when the other person doesn’t ask you how you were, but you were expecting them to, so you say it automatically.
  • The sound of a gringo accent in Spanish makes your ears bleed.
  • You get pissed off when your friend slams the door to your car.
  • You go to an English speaking country and when you want to ask for a glass of water the first thing out of your mouth to a waiter in a restaurant is “mae, regalame….” and you don’t get why he’s looking at you funny.
  • You are in shock and awe when someone shows up “on time”.
  •  You are in shock and awe when YOU show up on time. You haven’t looked at your wrist in years to see what time it is.
  • You forgot that there used to be a watch there…You haven’t had a tan line where the watch used to be in years….You don’t own a watch.
  • You can even travel in other countries without a watch.
  • You whip out the debit card for amounts less than a thousand colones
  • You call everyone “mi amor” or “cielito“.
  • You know that 3 oçlock means 4, four oclock means 5 etc….
    thanks to: Christopher Howard M.A,    Author of The Guide to Costa Rican Spanish²*



The law was adopted unanimously by the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday and is expected to go into effect as soon as February 2010. 

Important Points From the Newly Approved Immigration Law:

1. Foreign visitors on tourist visas may stay in the country for up to 90 days, provided they prove they have adequate means of subsistence.

2. Foreigners who stay in the country beyond the time period granted by immigration authorities will be fined the equivalent of $100 for each month of residence in the country.

3. Foreigners will have to pay an additional $25 in order to renew residency in the country. 

4. Retirees looking to gain permanent residency in Costa Rica must show they receive a monthly pension of no less than $1,000. 

5. Rentistas (self-employed businessmen or foreign investors) must prove a monthly income of no less than $2,500 to gain residency. Currently, the minimum income is $1,000. 

6. Hotels and other hospitality sites must create a registry of people who stay at their establishments, which can be made available to immigration officials at any time.  

7. Individuals who provide work to undocumented foreigners risk being fined from two to 12 times the employee's base salary. 

8. To obtain residency through marriage, a couple must be able to prove cohabitation. This must also be demonstrated on an annual bases for a period of three years, if the foreigner wants to renew his or her residency. 

9. Foreigners may apply for residency from within Costa Rica.  

10. Police may not detain immigrants with questionable residency status for more than 24 hours.

 How Can I Get Residency In Costa Rica?   

There are several ways to get a residency here, with different types, such as Pensionado, Rentista or Inversionista. It depends on your individual situation; we recommend consulting a lawyer regarding residency.

For all residency requirements and updates we highly recommend: such as:  or

The easiest? way is to fall in love and marry a Costa Rican. They recently have changed the divorce laws, so now, it no longer  3 years before one can file for the divorce. The government has NOW (Nov. 15, 2009) cracked down HEAVILY on obvious "fake" marriages-where husband and wife didn't even know their spouses name!
 If you are serious about falling in love with a Costa Rican, we suggest meeting your "soul mate" thru the very few reputable and legit Costa Rican "introductory services" (our favorite: 

What Do I Need to Open a Bank Account here?

Nov 3, 2009 By Explroe Costa   

With a handful of state-owned banks and around 19 private commercial banks, there is no lack of options if you’re looking to open an account in Costa Rica.
All of these banks offer services to foreigners, whether residents, students or workers. The majority offer accounts in colones or dollars, and in some cases, euros.

The first decision you must make is whether to open an account with a private
or a Costa Rica state bank.
State-owned banks guarantee all deposits and have the most branch and ATM locations. For example, Banco Nacional or Banco Costa Rica (BCR) offers the most ATM locations all around Costa Rica.
While there are a number of advantages to state banks, there is one very important downside to keep in mind: long lines.

Patience is the first requirement when doing business with state-run banks in Costa Rica. If you simply do not have the time or patience to wait, consider one of the private banks, such as the Canadian-owned Scotiabank. In addition to much shorter wait times, many of the private banks are more likely to have a banker or teller that can assist you in English if your Spanish is limited.


What do you need to open an account?

Whether you’ve chosen a state-run or private bank to open a savings account, there are a number of guidelines:


1) Identification - All banks will require your passport if you’re not a Costa Rica resident, and may ask for an additional form of identification, such as a driver’s license (from country of origin is acceptable).


2) Utility Bill - You’ll also need to obtain a copy of a utility bill that confirms the address where you reside in Costa Rica.


3) Purpose in Costa Rica - This requirement varies bank to bank, but if you’re a retired Costa Rica resident, you’ll want to bring your residency card or some document from immigration or your lawyer that shows you’re in the process of obtaining it. Students should provide a letter from the institution where they study stating their purpose in Costa Rica, and any foreign workers should provide their orden patronal – a small document that reports income and proves payment into social security, or La Caja.


4) Initial Deposit - This amount varies widely, ranging from 3,000 - 25,000 colones, or $10 - $500 for accounts in dollars.


5) Letters of Reference - Most Costa Rica banks will require an average of two reference letters. They can be as simple as letters from your lawyer, or friends who have accounts in the bank where you are applying; stating your relationship and their confidence in your reliability. There is some variation in what is expected, but in general,  letters from other banks where you have made deposits before is most helpful
In fact, you can help facilitate the process if they can accompany you to the bank.


When doing your banking,  remember to try to avoid going to the bank the day before a holiday; the middle of the month payday period; and the end of each month’s pay period. The last friday of the month payday is the worst.
As long as you’re not rushed and have all your required documents, you will find most
Costa Rica bankers and tellers to be very friendly and helpful;
however you must ALWAYS have your passport or cedula available.

Colones, por favor! 

Capital:(and largest city) San José

9°55′N 84°4′W / 9.917°N 84.067°W / 9.917; -84.067

Official languages: Spanish

  • People and Society :: COSTA RICA

    Panel - Expanded
  • 4,930,258 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    noun: Costa Rican(s)
    adjective: Costa Rican
    white or mestizo 83.6%, mulato 6.7%, indigenous 2.4%, black of African descent 1.1%, other 1.1%, none 2.9%, unspecified 2.2% (2011 est.)
    Spanish (official), English
    Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%
    Costa Rica's political stability, high standard of living, and well-developed social benefits system set it apart from its Central American neighbors. Through the government's sustained social spending - almost 20% of GDP annually - Costa Rica has made tremendous progress toward achieving its goal of providing universal access to education, healthcare, clean water, sanitation, and electricity. Since the 1970s, expansion of these services has led to a rapid decline in infant mortality, an increase in life expectancy at birth, and a sharp decrease in the birth rate. The average number of children born per women has fallen from about 7 in the 1960s to 3.5 in the early 1980s to below replacement level today. Costa Rica's poverty rate is lower than in most Latin American countries, but it has stalled at around 20% for almost two decades.
    Costa Rica is a popular regional immigration destination because of its job opportunities and social programs. Almost 9% of the population is foreign-born, with Nicaraguans comprising nearly three-quarters of the foreign population. Many Nicaraguans who perform unskilled seasonal labor enter Costa Rica illegally or overstay their visas, which continues to be a source of tension. Less than 3% of Costa Rica's population lives abroad. The overwhelming majority of expatriates have settled in the United States after completing a university degree or in order to work in a highly skilled field.


Demonym OR Common Nickname: Costa Rican; Tico-men or all,  Tica-women.

Government Constitutional democracy

(Presidential republic)

 - President: Solis until Feb 2018  

   Independence from Spain (via Guatemala)

 - Declared September 15, 1821

 - Recognized by Spain May 10, 1850


 - Total 51,100 km2 (128th)  19,652 sq mi

 - Water (%) 0.7


 - May 2009 estimate 4,509,290 (119th)

 - Density 85/km2 (107th) 220/sq mi


GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate

 - Total $29.664 billion[1]

 - Per capita $6,543[1]

Gini (2001) 49.9 (high)

HDI (2007) ▲ 0.854 (high) (54th)

Currency Costa Rican colón (CRC)

Time zone (UTC-6)

Drives on the right

Internet TLD:   .cr

Calling code +506


Please Pronounce the name of your new country correctly:
not "casta rica" and not "costa"  for short.




last updated on September 11, 2017
Flag of Costa Rica
Location of Costa Rica
Map of Costa Rica
  • Although explored by the Spanish early in the 16th century, initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, including disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a permanent settlement of Cartago was established in the cooler, fertile central highlands. The area remained a colony for some two and a half centuries. In 1821, Costa Rica became one of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country's democratic development. In 1949, Costa Rica dissolved its armed forces. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.
  • Hide

    Geography :: COSTA RICA

    Panel - Expanded
  • Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama
    10 00 N, 84 00 W
    Central America and the Caribbean
    total: 51,100 sq km
    land: 51,060 sq km
    water: 40 sq km
    note: includes Isla del Coco
    country comparison to the world: 130
    slightly smaller than West Virginia
    total: 661 km
    border countries (2): Nicaragua 313 km, Panama 348 km
    1,290 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm
    tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
    coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major active volcanoes
    mean elevation: 746 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Cerro Chirripo 3,819 m
    agricultural land: 37.1%
    arable land 4.9%; permanent crops 6.7%; permanent pasture 25.5%
    forest: 51.5%
    other: 11.4% (2011 est.)
    1,015 sq km (2012)
    roughly half of the nation's population resides in urban areas; the capital of San Jose is the largest city and home to approximately one-fifth of the population
    occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season and landslides; active volcanoes
    volcanism: Arenal (elev. 1,670 m), which erupted in 2010, is the most active volcano in Costa Rica; a 1968 eruption destroyed the town of Tabacon; Irazu (elev. 3,432 m), situated just east of San Jose, has the potential to spew ash over the capital city as it did between 1963 and 1965; other historically active volcanoes include Miravalles, Poas, Rincon de la Vieja, and Turrialba
    deforestation and land use change, largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching and agriculture; soil erosion; coastal marine pollution; fisheries protection; solid waste management; air pollution
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
    four volcanoes, two of them active, rise near the capital of San Jose in the center of the country; one of the volcanoes, Irazu, erupted destructively in 1963-65
  • Hide

    People and Society :: COSTA RICA

    Panel - Expanded
  • 4,930,258 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    noun: Costa Rican(s)
    adjective: Costa Rican
    white or mestizo 83.6%, mulato 6.7%, indigenous 2.4%, black of African descent 1.1%, other 1.1%, none 2.9%, unspecified 2.2% (2011 est.)
    Spanish (official), English
    Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%
    Costa Rica's political stability, high standard of living, and well-developed social benefits system set it apart from its Central American neighbors. Through the government's sustained social spending - almost 20% of GDP annually - Costa Rica has made tremendous progress toward achieving its goal of providing universal access to education, healthcare, clean water, sanitation, and electricity. Since the 1970s, expansion of these services has led to a rapid decline in infant mortality, an increase in life expectancy at birth, and a sharp decrease in the birth rate. The average number of children born per women has fallen from about 7 in the 1960s to 3.5 in the early 1980s to below replacement level today. Costa Rica's poverty rate is lower than in most Latin American countries, but it has stalled at around 20% for almost two decades.
    Costa Rica is a popular regional immigration destination because of its job opportunities and social programs. Almost 9% of the population is foreign-born, with Nicaraguans comprising nearly three-quarters of the foreign population. Many Nicaraguans who perform unskilled seasonal labor enter Costa Rica illegally or overstay their visas, which continues to be a source of tension. Less than 3% of Costa Rica's population lives abroad. The overwhelming majority of expatriates have settled in the United States after completing a university degree or in order to work in a highly skilled field.
    0-14 years: 22.61% (male 570,063/female 544,502)
    15-24 years: 16.35% (male 410,993/female 394,865)
    25-54 years: 44.03% (male 1,092,504/female 1,078,458)
    55-64 years: 9.2% (male 220,879/female 232,530)
    65 years and over: 7.82% (male 177,882/female 207,582) (2017 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 45.4
    youth dependency ratio: 32.4
    elderly dependency ratio: 12.9
    potential support ratio: 7.7 (2015 est.)
    total: 30.9 years
    male: 30.4 years
    female: 31.3 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    1.2% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    15.5 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    4.7 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    roughly half of the nation's population resides in urban areas; the capital of San Jose is the largest city and home to approximately one-fifth of the population
    urban population: 78.5% of total population (2017)
    rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    SAN JOSE (capital) 1.17 million (2015)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
    25 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    total: 8.3 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 9 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 7.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    total population: 78.6 years
    male: 75.9 years
    female: 81.4 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    1.89 children born/woman (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    76.2% (2011)
    9.3% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    1.15 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
    1.2 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    urban: 99.6% of population
    rural: 91.9% of population
    total: 97.8% of population
    urban: 0.4% of population
    rural: 8.1% of population
    total: 2.2% of population (2015 est.)
    urban: 95.2% of population
    rural: 92.3% of population
    total: 94.5% of population
    urban: 4.8% of population
    rural: 7.7% of population
    total: 5.5% of population (2015 est.)
    0.4% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    13,000 (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    <500 (2016 est.)
    degree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever
    note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
    24% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    1.1% (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    7.6% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 97.8%
    male: 97.7%
    female: 97.8% (2015 est.)
    total: 15 years
    male: 15 years
    female: 16 years (2015)
    total number: 39,082
    percentage: 5% (2002 est.)
    total: 25%
    male: 21.3%
    female: 31.4% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
  • Hide

    Government :: COSTA RICA

    Panel - Expanded
  • conventional long form: Republic of Costa Rica
    conventional short form: Costa Rica
    local long form: Republica de Costa Rica
    local short form: Costa Rica
    etymology: the name means "rich coast" in Spanish and was first applied in the early colonial period of the 16th century
    presidential republic
    name: San Jose
    geographic coordinates: 9 56 N, 84 05 W
    time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose
    15 September 1821 (from Spain)
    Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
    previous 1825; latest effective 8 November 1949; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
    civil law system based on Spanish civil code; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
    18 years of age; universal and compulsory
    chief of state: President Luis Guillermo SOLIS Rivera (since 8 May 2014); First Vice President Helio FALLAS Venega (since 8 May 2014); Second Vice President Ana Helena CHACON Echeverria (since 8 May 2014); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Luis Guillermo SOLIS Rivera (since 8 May 2014); First Vice President Helio FALLAS Venegas (since 8 May 2014); Second Vice President Ana Helena CHACON Echeverria (since 8 May 2014)
    cabinet: Cabinet selected by the president
    elections/appointments: president and vice presidents directly elected on the same ballot by modified majority popular vote (40% threshold) for a 4-year term (eligible for non-consecutive terms); election last held on 2 February 2014 with a runoff on 6 April 2014 (next to be held in February 2018)
    election results: Luis Guillermo SOLIS Rivera elected president; percent of vote - Luis Guillermo SOLIS Rivera (PAC) 77.8%; Johnny ARAYA (PLN) 22.2%
    description: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (57 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies - corresponding to the country's 7 provinces - by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 2 February 2014 (next to be held in February 2018)
    election results: percent of vote by party - PLN 25.5%, PAC 23.8%, FA 13.1%, PUSC 10.0%, PML 7.9%, other 19.7% ; seats by party - PLN 18, PAC 13, FA 9, PUSC 8, PML 4, other 5
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of 22 judges organized into 3 cassation chambers each with 5 judges and the Constitutional Chamber with 7 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Justice judges elected by the National Assembly for 8-year terms with renewal decided by the National Assembly
    subordinate courts: appellate courts; trial courts; first instance and justice of the peace courts; Superior Electoral Tribunal
    Accessibility Without Exclusion or PASE [Oscar Andres LOPEZ Arias]
    Broad Front (Frente Amplio) or PFA [Ana Patricia MORA]
    Citizen Action Party or PAC [Olivier PEREZ Gonzalez]
    Costa Rican Renovation Party or PRC [Gerardo Justo OROZCO Alvarez]
    Libertarian Movement Party or ML [Victor Danilo CUBERO Corrales]
    National Integration Party or PIN [Walter MUNOZ Cespedes]
    National Liberation Party or PLN [Bernal JIMENEZ]
    National Restoration Party or PRN [Carlos AVENDANO]
    Patriotic Alliance [Jorge ARAYA Westover]
    Popular Vanguard [Humberto VARGAS]
    Social Christian Unity Party or PUSC [Gerardo VARGAS]
    Authentic Confederation of Democratic Workers or CATD (Communist Party affiliate)
    Chamber of Coffee Growers
    Confederated Union of Workers or CUT (Communist Party affiliate)
    Confederation of Workers Rerum Novarum or CTRN (National Libertion Party affiliate)
    Costa Rican Confederation of Democratic Workers or CCTD (National Libertion Party affiliate)
    Costa Rican Exporter's Chamber or CADEXCO
    Costa Rican Solidarity Movement
    Costa Rican Union of Private Sector Enterprises or UCCAEP
    Federation of Public Service Workers or FTSP
    National Association for Economic Development or ANFE
    National Association of Educators or ANDE
    National Association of Public and Private Employees or ANEP
    BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS, OIF (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Roman MACAYA Hayes (since 18 September 2014)
    chancery: 2114 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 480-2200
    FAX: [1] (202) 265-4795
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Tampa (FL), Washington DC
    consulate(s): San Francisco
    chief of mission: Ambassador Stafford Fitzgerald HANEY (since 30 June 2015)
    embassy: Calle 98 Via 104, Pavas, San Jose
    mailing address: APO AA 34020
    telephone: [506] 2519-2000
    FAX: [506] 2519-2305
    five horizontal bands of blue (top), white, red (double width), white, and blue, with the coat of arms in a white elliptical disk placed toward the hoist side of the red band; Costa Rica retained the earlier blue-white-blue flag of Central America until 1848 when, in response to revolutionary activity in Europe, it was decided to incorporate the French colors into the national flag and a central red stripe was added; today the blue color is said to stand for the sky, opportunity, and perseverance, white denotes peace, happiness, and wisdom, while red represents the blood shed for freedom, as well as the generosity and vibrancy of the people
    note: somewhat resembles the flag of North Korea; similar to the flag of Thailand but with the blue and red colors reversed
    yiguirro (clay-colored robin); national colors: blue, white, red
    name: "Himno Nacional de Costa Rica" (National Anthem of Costa Rica)
    lyrics/music: Jose Maria ZELEDON Brenes/Manuel Maria GUTIERREZ
    note: adopted 1949; the anthem's music was originally written for an 1853 welcome ceremony for diplomatic missions from the US and UK; the lyrics were added in 1903
  • Hide

    Economy :: COSTA RICA

    Panel - Expanded
  • Since 2010, Costa Rica has enjoyed strong and stable economic growth - 4.3% in 2016. Exports of bananas, coffee, sugar, and beef are the backbone of its commodity exports. Various industrial and processed agricultural products have broadened exports in recent years, as have high value-added goods, including medical devices. Costa Rica's impressive biodiversity also makes it a key destination for ecotourism.
    Foreign investors remain attracted by the country's political stability and relatively high education levels, as well as the incentives offered in the free-trade zones; Costa Rica has attracted one of the highest levels of foreign direct investment per capita in Latin America. The US-Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which became effective for Costa Rica in 2009, helped increase foreign direct investment in key sectors of the economy, including insurance and telecommunication. However, poor infrastructure, high energy costs, a complex bureaucracy, weak investor protection, and uncertainty of contract enforcement impede greater investment.
    Costa Rica’s economy also faces challenges due to a rising fiscal deficit, rising public debt, and relatively low levels of domestic revenue. Poverty has remained around 20-25% for nearly 20 years, and the government’s strong social safety net has eroded due to increased constraints on its expenditures. Costa Rica’s credit rating was downgraded from stable to negative in 2015, upping pressure on lending rates - which could hurt small business, on the budget deficit - which could hurt infrastructure development, and on the rate of return on investment - which could soften foreign direct investment (FDI). Unlike the rest of Central America, Costa Rica is not highly dependent on remittances - which represented just 0.7% of GDP in 2015, but instead relies on FDI - which accounted for 4% of GDP.
    $80.7 billion (2016 est.)
    $77.35 billion (2015 est.)
    $73.86 billion (2014 est.)
    note: data are in 2016 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 93
    $58.11 billion (2016 est.)
    4.3% (2016 est.)
    4.7% (2015 est.)
    3.7% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    $16,400 (2016 est.)
    $15,900 (2015 est.)
    $15,400 (2014 est.)
    note: data are in 2016 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 102
    16.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    15.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
    14.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    household consumption: 62.3%
    government consumption: 16.9%
    investment in fixed capital: 22.2%
    investment in inventories: 0.5%
    exports of goods and services: 29.6%
    imports of goods and services: -31.5% (2016 est.)
    agriculture: 5.5%
    industry: 18.6%
    services: 75.9% (2016 est.)
    bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef, poultry, dairy; timber
    medical equipment, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
    4% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    2.295 million
    note: official estimate; excludes Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    agriculture: 14%
    industry: 22%
    services: 64% (2006 est.)
    9.3% (2016 est.)
    9.4% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    21.7% (2014 est.)
    lowest 10%: 1.5%
    highest 10%: 36.9% (2014 est.)
    48.5 (2014)
    49.2 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    revenues: $8.115 billion
    expenditures: $11.31 billion (2016 est.)
    14.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    -5.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    62.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
    60.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    calendar year
    0% (2016 est.)
    0.8% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    3.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
    21.5% (31 December 2010)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    14.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
    14.24% (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    $5.946 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $5.273 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    $21.55 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $18 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    $35.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $30.53 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    $2.015 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $1.443 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.445 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    $-2.055 billion (2016 est.)
    $-2.493 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    $9.824 billion (2016 est.)
    $9.422 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar; beef; seafood; electronic components, medical equipment
    US 35.2%, China 6.5%, Mexico 4.8%, Netherlands 4.4% (2015)
    $14.76 billion (2016 est.)
    $14.38 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum, construction materials
    US 46.8%, China 10.1%, Mexico 7.3% (2015)
    $7.96 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $7.834 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    $24.91 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $23.18 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    $31.86 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $28.75 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    $3.354 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $3.154 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Costa Rican colones (CRC) per US dollar -
    543.4 (2016 est.)
    534.57 (2015 est.)
    534.57 (2014 est.)
    538.32 (2013 est.)
    502.9 (2012 est.)
  • Hide

    Energy :: COSTA RICA

    Panel - Expanded
  • population without electricity: 24,362
    electrification - total population: 99.5%
    electrification - urban areas: 99.9%
    electrification - rural areas: 98.3% (2013)
    10 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    9.2 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    600 million kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    800 million kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    2.9 million kW (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    30.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    55.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    13.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    1,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    53,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    51,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    7.616 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
  • Hide

    Communications :: COSTA RICA

    Panel - Expanded
  • total subscriptions: 827,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    total: 8,063,091
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 165 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    general assessment: good domestic telephone service in terms of breadth of coverage
    domestic: point-to-point and point-to-multi-point microwave, fiber-optic, and coaxial cable link rural areas; Internet service is available
    international: country code - 506; landing points for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), MAYA-1, and the Pan American Crossing submarine cables that provide links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
    multiple privately owned TV stations and 1 publicly owned TV station; cable network services are widely available; more than 100 privately owned radio stations and a public radio network (2017)
    total: 3,217,277
    percent of population: 66.0% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
  • Hide

    Transportation :: COSTA RICA

    Panel - Expanded
  • number of registered air carriers: 1
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 39
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,617,075
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 9,284,160 mt-km (2015)
    TI (2016)
    161 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    total: 47
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
    914 to 1,523 m: 27
    under 914 m: 16 (2013)
    total: 114
    914 to 1,523 m: 18
    under 914 m: 96 (2013)
    refined products 662 km (2013)
    total: 278 km
    narrow gauge: 278 km 1.067-m gauge
    note: the entire rail network fell into disrepair and out of use at the end of the 20th century; since 2005, certain sections of rail have been rehabilitated (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    total: 39,018 km
    paved: 10,133 km
    unpaved: 28,885 km (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    730 km (seasonally navigable by small craft) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    total: 1
    by type: passenger/cargo 1 (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    major seaport(s): Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean) - Puerto Limon; Pacific Ocean - Caldera
  • Hide

    Military and Security :: COSTA RICA

    Panel - Expanded
  • no regular military forces; Ministry of Public Security, Government, and Police (2011)
  • Hide

    Transnational Issues :: COSTA RICA

    Panel - Expanded
  • Costa Rica and Nicaragua regularly file border dispute cases over the delimitations of the San Juan River and the northern tip of Calero Island to the International Court of Justice (ICJ); in 2009, the ICJ ruled that Costa Rican vessels carrying out police activities could not use the river, but official Costa Rican vessels providing essential services to riverside inhabitants and Costa Rican tourists could travel freely on the river; in 2011, the ICJ provisionally ruled that both countries must remove personnel from the disputed area; in 2013, the ICJ rejected Nicaragua's 2012 suit to halt Costa Rica's construction of a highway paralleling the river on the grounds of irreparable environmental damage; in 2013, the ICJ, regarding the disputed territory, ordered that Nicaragua should refrain from dredging or canal construction and refill and repair damage caused by trenches connecting the river to the Caribbean and upheld its 2010 ruling that Nicaragua must remove all personnel; in early 2014, Costa Rica brought Nicaragua to the ICJ over offshore oil concessions in the disputed region


Please feel free to contact us at for a big copy of the maps or try to save the maps in your "my pictures" and open them up with magnifier options! 


Costa Rica Minimum Labor Wage Scale for 2017

Costa Rica Minimum Labor Wage Scale for 2017

In Costa Rica the Ministry of Labor (Ministerio de Trabajo) sets the minimum wage scale.  The wage scale is  applicable to all workers in Costa Rica.   The minimum wage scale is reviewed by the wage council of the Ministry of Labor twice a year.

All employers in Costa Rica are obligated to comply with the minimum wage scale.   An employer may not pay their worker’s less then the amount established in the minimum wage scale.

The wage rates indicated below are some selected minimum wages for certain professions and occupations in Costa Rica.

Agricultural Laborers 9,822.07 $17.70 per day
Construction Worker 9,822.07 $17.70 per day
Carpenter 10,877.41 $19.60 per day
Gardener 10,877.41 $19.60 per day
Machine Operator 10,877.41 $19.60 per day
Maid 178,703.50 $321.99 per month
Guard 315,364.86 $568.22 per month
Vocational School Graduate 428,138.90 $771.42 per month
Receptionist 305,323.98 $550.13 per month
Secretary 320,344.36 $577.20 per month
Messenger 283,799.64 $511.35 per month
Cashier 315,364.86 $568.22 per month
Medical Technician 428,138.90 $771.42 per month
Bachelors Degree 524,477.85 $945.01 per month
Licentiate Degree 629,395.00 $1,134.05 per month
unskilled worker 293,132.61 $528.17 per month
semi-skilled worker 315,364.86 $568.22 per month
skilled worker 331,516.22 $597.33 per month
Technician with upper education 428,138.90 $771.42 per month
Diploma with upper education 462,406.00 $833.16 per month
Bachelor Degree 524,477.85 $945.01 per month
Licentiate Degree 629,395.00 $1,134.05 per month









Pet Friendly Properties for the Central Pacific-Jaco CR areas.





        "Pet Friendly Properties Jaco"


a division of CR Beach Investment Real Estate Costa Rica .......


    Costa Rica can be considered a "pet friendly country" but there are still rules and regulations to follow regarding bringing your pet here and establishing residency. 
    Did you know that your pet must have only one international travel document from a veterinarian saying that they do not have rabies, and all of their vaccinations are up to date?  

    We have discovered that there are far too many animals here in Jaco-to spare! Thankfully dedicated and conscientious people collect, spay and neuter, and adopt out animals. We’ve turned to them several times in the intervening years, and have always been impressed.

    We expect them to guard the property while away at work, to greet us affectionately upon our return and to persuade us to go down to the beach for the watercolour sunsets, the refreshing breeze and the enjoyment of splashing through the warm ocean waves ‘en famille’.


    Our Goal

    As part of our CR Beach Investment Real Estate goal of finding your 'home match' in paradise, we will treasure knowing your pets’ special requirements as well. We assure you that your pet family members can make the journey and will adjust very nicely to beach living.

    Condos rarely accept animals as dwellers, but there are some that do. We know which ones they are and can help you decide whether that is what you are looking for.

    We can offer suggestions on gated community homes, lots or development tracts and once we know your time frame, we can help you make those crucial travel arrangements.

    Jeff Fisher, Owner-Broker of CR Beach Investment Real Estate had this to say “ We believe we are not barking up the wrong tree by appealing to true animal lovers who wish to bring their beloved pets  to Costa Rica. Many household pets have discovered living in Costa Rica is like being in “the Garden of Eden”  especially because of the truly excellent year-round weather. This new real estate division will ensure efficient home hunting for the pet owner  (which should make Fluffy quite happy!)  Our goal is to see you and your pets settle nicely into our community of friends.


    4 PAWS & A TAIL ARE INVITED TO PARADISE TOO!     Traditionally, Realtors have chosen to ignore the needs and even the presence of their Clients’ family pets and yet, is always listed as one of the most frequently visited websites- maybe because there are more pets in this world than children (or better behaved?)

    So now with appropriate applause from our furry friends, CR Beach Investment Real Estate of Jaco, Costa Rica is introducing a new dimension in real estate services: Pet Friendly Properties Jaco!


    What we offer You:

    Help in knowing airline travel requirements;

    What you need for Costa Rican customs;

    Which limo service will be awaiting your arrival;

    Which hotel or condo to rent during your visit;

    Which “pet friendly” properties are perfect to purchase;

      Please scroll down for more pet travel requirements. Our main goal here is helping you find your perfect place to purchase or rent, that will earn your pets' “wag of approval."

     Any questions or comments? Please call our toll free number 1-888-782-1119 or in Costa Rica, 2643-4334   



    How do I bring my pet to Costa Rica?
    (info from



     Health requirements for dogs and cats:

    Dogs and cats entering Costa Rica must have a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, and endorsed by a Veterinary Service (VS) veterinarian. The examination for the certificate must be conducted within the two weeks prior to travel to Costa Rica.

    Health Certificate Statements:

    The dog/cat was examined and found to be healthy and free of any clinical signs of infectious disease.

    The animals were vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus.

    Vaccination Requirements





    rabies – for animals 4 months or older



The examination for the certificate must be conducted within the two weeks prior to travel to Costa Rica.

Please use a State or Federal U.S. Interstate, and International Certificate for Small Animals. For other countries, please contact the nearest Costa Rican consulate.

Enclose rabies vaccination certificate.

The Health Certificate does NOT need to be signed by a Notary Public, nor does it have to be authenticated by the Consulate of Costa Rica.



Re: Dog lovers - arriving at SJO airport with dogs 

If your animals are coming in as cargo

(NOT as luggage -- there is a big difference) then do NOT plan to arrive on a weekend.

There is no one in customs to clear the animal

from the cargo area.

Your dog will be trapped in the cargo terminal all weekend,

until you can process the papers with the cargo customs people on Monday morning.

It happened to me, and if I hadn't hired Dr. Adrian Molino to help, my dogs would have been dead by Monday.

No exaggeration.

The cargo area is not free boarding --

your dog will not be fed,

your dog will not receive water,

your dog will get nothing unless you intervene.

Pay the extra cost and fly in during the week.

Don't risk it.

Linda Gray Oct 4, 2009



Animals exported in commercial lot numbers must be accompanied by an import permit.


Sending a dog or cat back to the U.S.

As far as, shipping the dog back to the US, we were told that the dog had to have a stool sample which was within the 5 day period of leaving.   But, when we had that done at the Vet, we were also told that CR requires a 1 year rabies (up-to-date). Our dog's rabies was good until 2010. She had to have another. Then, you have to go to the MAG (located at the SJO Airport, near the Cargo area to get the Vet's Certificate stamped. That is required by CR, not American Airlines.


 I found the additional links very useful: (scroll down to airline kits- read details the site provides about shipping dogs) (Form 7001)



Our toll-free number: 1-888-782-1119 
We look forward to hearing from you,

                   Jeff  Fisher

                                                       CR Beach Investment Real Estate 

                                                                       Invites You To:  
                                                                      "See our Beach" 
                                                                     before You decide!


You have questions and we have the answers regarding living in Costa Rica Jaco Beach Playa Hermosa beach areas: Costa Rica weather?  Costa Rica  residency requirements?  Costa Rica Jaco Los Suenos homes for sale in gated communities; Costa Rica Jaco business license requirementsLos Suenos Costa Rica lots for sale oceanview; Jaco Costa Rica condos for sale oceanviewLos Suenos Marriott Jaco Costa Rica luxury condos homes for sale; Jaco Los Suenos Hermosa Beach Costa Rica beachfront homes;   Relocating & retiring to Costa Rica.   Jaco Luxury home ownership & living costs in Costa Rica.  Jaco Costa Rica businesses for sale?  Costa Rica Medical and Dental information    Costa Rica luxury real estate.  Costa Rica driver's licenseHow's the fishing in Jaco Los Suenos Costa Rica?   Do the real estate laws in Costa Rica protect foreigners?  Restaurants for sale in Jaco, Costa Rica? Costa Rica biofuel algae development properties. Shrimp farms Costa Rica for sale. Developing land and obtaining building permits in  Jaco Hermosa Beach Costa Rica   Top brokers costa rica real estate, jaco area! Costa Rica Jaco hotels and restaurants for saleShrimp farms for sale in Costa RicaCosta Rica jaco central pacific rentalsRetiring and Relocating Costa Rica.   Costa Rica vacation rentals?   Hotel casinos for sale in Costa Rica, ask us!   Costa Rica news and Jaco Beach-Playa Hermosa in the news! Properties Jaco area for saleJaco beachfront condos. Jaco cheap homes, jaco cheap condos, jaco cheap lots?  Costa Rica fire sales foreclosures homes, lots, and condos?  Costa Rica investment properties, Costa Rica development properties for sale?  Costa Rica beachfront condos, costa rica condos oceanview, costa rica beachfront homes, costa rica homes oceanview financing?
We live here-we know-we love Costa Rica,especially the Jaco Beach, Playa Hermosa Beach,  Esterillos Beaches, Los Suenos Marriott Jaco Herradura, Punta Leona, and Bejuco beach areas, and now Manuel Antonio!






                                    2006-2015© C.R. Beach Investment Real Estate  
                                                 Jaco Beach, Central Pacific
                            Costa Rica Real Estate Brokers & Property Consultants




Costa Rica Minimum Wages by Occupation


Costa Rica Minimum Labor Wage Scale for 2017

Costa Rica Minimum Labor Wage Scale for 2017

In Costa Rica the Ministry of Labor (Ministerio de Trabajo) sets the minimum wage scale.  The wage scale is  applicable to all workers in Costa Rica.   The minimum wage scale is reviewed by the Ministry of Labor twice a year.

All employers in Costa Rica MUST comply with the minimum wage scale.   An employer may not pay their worker’s less then the amount established in the minimum wage scale.

The wage rates indicated below are some selected minimum wages for certain professions and occupations in Costa Rica.

Agricultural Laborers 9,822.07 $17.70 per day
Construction Worker 9,822.07 $17.70 per day
Carpenter 10,877.41 $19.60 per day
Gardener 10,877.41 $19.60 per day
Machine Operator 10,877.41 $19.60 per day
Maid 178,703.50 $321.99 per month
Guard 315,364.86 $568.22 per month
Vocational School Graduate 428,138.90 $771.42 per month
Receptionist 305,323.98 $550.13 per month
Secretary 320,344.36 $577.20 per month
Messenger 283,799.64 $511.35 per month
Cashier 315,364.86 $568.22 per month
Medical Technician 428,138.90 $771.42 per month
Bachelors Degree 524,477.85 $945.01 per month
Licentiate Degree 629,395.00 $1,134.05 per month
unskilled worker 293,132.61 $528.17 per month
semi-skilled worker 315,364.86 $568.22 per month
skilled worker 331,516.22 $597.33 per month
Technician with upper education 428,138.90 $771.42 per month
Diploma with upper education 462,406.00 $833.16 per month
Bachelor Degree 524,477.85 $945.01 per month
Licentiate Degree 629,395.00 $1,134.05 per month