Bringing Pets to Costa Rica

Bringing Pets to Costa Rica

Whether you’ve decided to move permanently to Costa Rica, or to just visit for a greater part of the year, your pets are like family, and you don’t want to leave them behind. You’ll both miss each other, and you may not wish to bentrust their care to a stranger. It’s actually easier than you think to bring your dog or cat to Costa Rica. Why leave them at home, sad in your absence, when you can bring them with you? With a small amount of preparation and documentation, you can bring your dog or cat with your to Costa Rica.

Be sure to check for all documentation required in advance, as there is usually a two week window where you’ll need to get all tasks done, and to be aware of any fees required.

You’ll first need to get a health certificate from your pet’s veterinarian. It will then need to be endorsed by a veterinarian (VS—Veterinary Service) who works for the USDA—US Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

To find these veterinarians, you’ll need to find the local office that is in your state. You may visit the APHIS(1) website to find these listings, and then the “Travel with my Pet” link.

The vet will examine your dog or cat to be free of infectious illness, and to be declared healthy. This visit must be done within two weeks of the departure date. Cats must be vaccinated against rabies, while dogs have a more extensive list, including rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, etc. If dogs and cats are over three months of age, they must have current vaccinations.

Your vet will use the International Certificate APHIS Form 7001 for small animals. It will need to be written in duplicate. You do not require a Notary Public Stamp for it, nor for a Costa Rica Consular office stamp.

If you’re bringing animals into Costa Rica for resale, you’ll need an Import Permit, but if you’re bringing your pet in, as long as they will reside with you, you do not need this permit. Be sure to clip your pet’s rabies vaccination certificate to the rest of the forms. When you enter Costa Rica these documents will be examined, and possibly your pet as well.

If you wish to return to the USA from Costa Rica, you’ll need to visit a vet in Costa Rica. They’ll be able to provide the required certificates. This will require stamps and a fee, but involves only a one stop trip.

While the process may seem a bit cumbersome at first, it’s more than worth it to be able to bring your beloved pet with you to Costa Rica, and back home again too. Once you’ve gone through the routine once or twice, it’ll become a part of your process for moving between both countries, and be easier the next time round.


Source: 1.

Real Estate for Sale in Costa Rica

Real Estate for Sale in Costa Rica

Costa Rica makes the perfect home away from home for many residents of the USA, and Canada. While many set up their base permanently, many people spend part of their year in Costa Rica, before returning home again. A great way to obtain residency status in Costa Rica is to purchase a house or condominium. As long as you return at least once a year to Costa Rica, you’ll be able to maintain this status. Your spouse, and your family will also be allowed to achieve residency status too.

Costa Rica 9.3has a warm climate which is perfect for people who need a retreat away from a bustling work environment. Life is slower and happier in Costa Rica. The climate invites you to rest and relax. Of course if you’re ready for adventure, there are plenty of outdoor activities for you and your children to enjoy. Costa Rica contains world class beaches along northern or southern coastlines. You can get away to relax on a lounge chair, or go swimming, or boating.

Many expats choose to make their home in Manuel Antonio, Playa Dominical, and Uvita. There are plenty of homes that your real estate agent can help you choose.One of the biggest decisions facing an American is whether to buy a house or a condominium. Each offers their own special benefits. A house is the same as back at home—it always requires more upkeep. But if you plan on spending the majority of your year in Costa Rica, and have a larger family, it may be your best choice.

Condominiums make the perfect choice for the single person, a couple, or a couple with only one or two children. There’s no need to worry about leaning the common spaces, or doing the gardening, as these are handled by the home owners’ association...1

If you’re planning on leaving your home vacant for any length of time, to return to home, or to travel, a condominium may be the best choice for you. You won’t need to worry about the upkeep of your property while away, as someone else will be doing it for you.

Another great option that many property owners in Costa Rica consider is renting their property while they’re back at home in the USA. Since home owner fees can accumulate even when you don’t live there, rental income can help cover these fees, and provide an income source. People who have residential status in Costa Rica are able to earn an income from their property, and it is considered tax-free.

Searching for real estate for sale in Costa Rica means that you can stop pouring money in a hotel or an apartment rental, which is much like a sieve for all your hard-earned cash. You can make an investment in buying a house or a condo, and benefit from the equity. Your dreams for living in a warm climate can be achieved more easily in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Private Schools

Costa Rica Private Schools

If you’ve decided to set up permanent residency in Costa Rica, you’ll discover that there are many great schools where your children can be nurtured and be inspired to grow. The curriculum is diverse and promises to provide the growth needed to keep your child entertained and educated.

The following three schools are often chosen by new residents because their beliefs and goals will align with what you want for your children, while also providing a bilingual environment. Escuela Verde Costa Bellena, Uvita Christian Academy, and Colegio Delfines are three that are worth having a closer look at for your kids.

Escuela Verde Costa Bellena

The philosophy of Escuela Verde Costa Bellena is to nurture the entire child. Once they begin to feel accepted within their community, they’ll be inspired to learn. The school aims to do this by allowing children to have a hands-on approach to activities, rather than merely observing. There are many activities planned throughout the year, including indoor and outdoor events. Students will receive a bilingual education in both English and Spanish.

This school encourages parents to take an active interest in their child’s learning, and believes that the process of learning is more important than the final result. Students may enroll for pre-kindergarten up to sixth grade.


Uvita Christian Academy

Uvita Christian Academy provides an individualized learning environment to your children, all while teaching Christian morals and values. The school teaches in a bilingual environment, so students may develop both English and Spanish skills. Graduates from the UCA will qualify for a USA high school diploma. Students from kindergarten to grade twelve will be able to study here.

Each student at UVA is treated as an individual. They’ll receive their own study guides and individual attention from their teachers. The school is a flexible school, so that in the event of absences, the child may bring school work with them, whether they’re sick at home, or travelling with family. There are separate learning centers for each grades level, and plenty of hands-on learning activities for all ages.


Colegio Los Delfines

Colegio Los Delfines offers children a chance to be taught in English classes, and likes to place a strong focus on music, computer skills, and physical education. They focus on providing education while keeping children fit through a variety of physical activities. They believe in placing the student into their particular skill level, to keep them focused on learning. They offer classes from kindergarten to grade twelve.

The school has a variety of clubs for children to join, including the arts, music, soccer, and swimming. The school is located in Paquita, and encompasses over fifteen acres of land. The learning center has large classrooms, well-maintained sports fields, recreation areas, and green areas. The school has an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Children have plenty of space for learning, as well as providing a secure and nurturing emotional environment. All facilities are modern, and each class has its own bathroom.


Opening a Bank Account in Costa Rica

Opening a Bank Account in Costa Rica

If you’ve decided to move to Costa Rica you’ll need to set up a bank account to either prove income source, or to have a way to deposit rental or company earnings into your bank account. While you’ll definitely need to set up a bank account if you’ve applied for Costa Rica status, in some instances they allow the tourist and student to set up an account too.

In Costa Rica, you’ll find a range of different banks. You may recognize Citibank or Scotiabank from Canada and the USA. There are also international banks with branches here.

You’ll have the option to open up an account in Dollars or Colones —official currency of Costa Rica.

Setting up an account may be more cumbersome than setting up one at home. There can be a lot of paperwork involved. It’s best to remain patient—it will be done in time. Even daily transactions may involve more  time.

Should you decide to open an account with a state-owned bank, there can be many benefits. For one, your deposits will be guaranteed. You’ll also find more banks to do your banking, with extensive branches throughout the country. This is beneficial if you live in a remote part of the country. This can already cut down on part of the time required to bank in Costa Rica.

To begin the process, you’ll start with a savings account. These usually offer a small amount of interest that can accrue over time. You will receive a debit card that you can use to deposit cheques at one of the ATM machines. The bank may also offer an international debit card that you can use in your home country, or when traveling abroad. If you choose to use a state-run bank, expect longer lineups on the 15th and last day of each month. You can avoid some of this by using the ATM.

You may choose to use a private bank. These will often be bilingual, and they’ll have better service, and fewer lineups.

Before deciding to open a bank account, ensure that you have the following documentation with you, otherwise you’ll have to return to your home to get it and waste more time.

You’ll be required to have your DIMEX card—Documento de Identidad Migratorio para Extranjeros. Tourists need only show their passport, but if you’re a foreign resident, you’ll need to show this card. If you do not have residency it is much easier to open a bank account using a local corporation known as a Sociedad Anonima. A local attorney can help you set one up.

You’ll also be required to deposit a minimum amount. Find out in advance if it’s $25, or $1000. You’ll need to show the bank a utility bill for proof of residence. You also need to provide a proof of income.

For USA citizens, you’ll need to fill out several forms and documents to let the IRS know that you are opening an offshore bank account. Expect to be able to visit your chosen bank during the weekdays, from 9 am to 4 pm.

If you’re considering purchasing property in Costa Rica, please give us a call and we can help you with your questions.

Costa Rica Property

Costa Rica Property

Many people choose to live in Costa Rica—a vibrant country full of friendly people and beautiful sights. It’s one of the more popular destinations for travelers from Canada, USA, and Mexico, but often after their first visit, people begin plotting how to take up residence in this beautiful country. There are about five major ways to gain residency, one of them being to purchase Costa Rican property.

Many people may weigh the options between purchasing a property, or continuing on with a long term rental. It’s best to place things into perspective, and examine the benefits of buying versus renting.

Simply renting a house, condominium or staying at a hotel is not going to gain you residency status in Costa Rica. You’ll need to qualify as a pensioner, investor, marry a Costa Rican, have a child who is born in Costa Rica, or be a company representative.

To gain residency, it can be as simple as purchasing a house, or condominium. With residency status you’re going to be able to return to your property whenever you want, as long as you visit Costa Rica once a year.

It may be expensive renting a property in Costa Rica, which you’ll need to continue paying for, should you decide to travel back and forth between the two countries. You also have the option of shuttling your belongings back and forth each time, but that can be cumbersome, plus there’s no guarantee that your favorite apartment will be waiting for you upon your return.

If you purchase a property, you have a permanent place to call home in Costa Rica. There will be no worries about where you’ll stay during your next visit—your home will be waiting.

There is also the possibility of earning rental income through your property. This is allowed when you have achieved Costa Rican residency status, and are allowed to earn income through the rental of your property. You can have it managed by a property management company in your absence. They provide their services for a modest fee, which provides you with not only an income, but cleaning services, rental management, and peace of mind.

You simply notify the management company on your chosen residency dates, and they’ll rent out your property around your plans.LA LIBELULA - 4 Bedrooms Brand New Luxurious Villa On A Quiet Secluded Private 3-acre Estate !!

Owning a property means you can build up equity over time, which can be profitable should you decide to sell in the future. You may wish to upgrade to a better home, or to purchase two new homes, and only rent one of them out.

Just like at home, you can either buy a property outright, or choose to have a mortgage where you make monthly or biweekly payments to pay it off. While financing would be similar to rental payments, you’re actually investing in your own home, rather than giving it to a landlord.

If you are considering purchasing a Costa Rican property, please contact us today. It can be a life-altering decision to move to a new country, and we can help to make that transition easier.

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Costa Rica Residency

Costa Rica Residency

Many people who wish to move to Central America choose Costa Rica as  their new home. Costa Rica has a warm climate, full of beautiful scenery and attractive beaches. There are many benefits to obtaining a Costa Rica residency. The southern Pacific coast is a popular location for many expats. Many choose to make their new homes in Playa Dominical, Uvita, and Manuel Antonio.9.3

Costa Rica offers five different residency types, making it easier to enjoy the benefits of being a resident in this wonderful country.


To be an investor, you can either purchase a property, or a business, as long as it’s worth more than $200,000 US. In order to continue your residency, you must visit Costa Rica at least once every year.

For those investors who have a spouse or children under 18 years of age, they will automatically qualify for residency status as well.

There are many benefits to investor status as you can also get income from your business or from renting a property out to others.


To qualify for pensionado status, you’ll need to provide proof that you haveat least $1000 worth of income per month from a permanent pension source, or from a retirement fund. You must also visit Costa Rica at least once a year.

If you have a spouse or children under 18, they will also gain residency. You may not work as an employee for any business in Costa Rica.

You may also own a company and receive dividends from the business.


To qualify under the independent residency, you must provide proof that you have an income of $2500 per month, for at least two years. This must be confirmed by a banking institution. You may also deposit $60,000 into one of the pre-approved Costa Rican banks. This amount covers a spouse and children under 18 as well.

Under this plan, you must also visit Costa Rica once per year, and not work as an employee, but you can still own a company and income from that source.


To qualify under the representative program you must be the director of a business that meets certain criteria. This company must employ a specific number of Costa Ricans as per the labor law. Financial statements must also be provided from a qualified professional accountant.

Under this plan, you must also visit Costa Rica once per year, and it includes a spouse and dependants under age 18. You are not only allowed to own the company, but to receive an income too.


You may obtain permanent residency if you marry a Costa Rican citizen, or have a child with a Costa Rican, or just have a child that is born in Costa Rica even if neither parent is Costa Rican.

You may also apply for permanent residency if you have had another status for at least three years.

Under this plan you must also promise to visit Costa Rica at least once per year, and will be able to claim your spouse and children under 18. You may also work, own a company, and receive income from that company.

Capital Gains Tax Costa Rica


                                                                   Capital Gains Tax Costa Rica

Many people buy vacation property in countries around the world, but are in for a rude awakening when having to pay capital gains taxes. Costa Rica works a bit differently than in other countries. For example, in the USA, you must pay capital gains tax if your real estate investments appreciate in value. These profits must be taxed as they appreciate or when you sell the property. These taxes are one of the downsides to purchasing property for investment.

In Costa Rica, most banking account investments and real estate investments are not subject to a capital gains tax, even when interest is earned, or a property increases in value. This opens up many financial opportunities to the foreign investor wishing to make a move to this country.

These rules are applicable to individuals. Where capital gains taxes may be required is for certain types of business investments. Businesses normally pay taxes. In order for taxes to be exempt, the business must be participating in a business activity that is separate, or different from their regular business operations. If your business is solely real estate investments, then those profits are taxable.

For an individual buying property, it’s considered a personal capital gains environment. It’s considered that this individual has no intention of making a profit, as there is no business registered. Thus, the individual is exempt from capital gains taxes.

These tax rules make Costa Rica an attractive place for foreign investors to move to. In fact, there is plenty of foreign investment in the country.

If you’re planning on moving to Costa Rica and planning on buying a property or two for investment, there won’t be any capital gains taxes. But once you start building up your portfolio, you may need to consult an expert on whether your new investments will be subject to capital gains tax or not. Your real estate broker will be able to advise you as to whether your new property purchases will be considered as part of a business or not.

Your real estate agent can review purchase documents for your potential investments, to ensure that your new property is not taxable.

Many people also consider moving their investments to a new Costa Rican bank account, in order to take advantage of the country’s tax saving benefits.

Another great aspect to living in Costa Rica is that property taxes are also low, they are only 0.25% of the property value. This makes purchasing property in Costa Rica doubly beneficial to individuals and families looking for a home away from home. Playa Dominical, Uvita, and Manuel Antonio are popular residential locations for foreigners along the southern Pacific coast.

There are many investment opportunities in Playa Dominical and Costa Rica that are attractive to the foreign investor who wants a secondary way of making some extra cash, or who wishes to have a vacation home. Before embarking on real estate investment activities, consult with your real estate broker to ensure that properties are free of capital gains taxes.

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Buying a Car in Costa Rica

Buying a Car in Costa Rica

Foreigners who’ve settled in Costa Rica quickly realize that they can’t bring their cars in from other countries, as they’re subject to extremely high import taxes. The next best option is to purchase a car. For a Costa Rican, buying a car is no big deal. The slow process is a way of life, but then, everything runs much more slowly in Costa Rica. For the westerner who expects instant gratification with everything, buying a car in Costa Rica can be a long slow process.

Since cars in Costa Rica will generally cost you more money new or used, you’re going to need to spend time shopping around. Many people in Costa Rica purchase cars through private sales, rather than relying on used car lots. But how to get around town to look at all your potential new car purchases?

You have the option of renting a car, so you can drive around checking out potential purchases, or getting one of your local friends to drive you around.

There are several websites that have new and used cars on them. One of the best is There is also and

You may find that your Costa Rican friends are the ones who will make purchasing a car much easier for you. They can provide valuable advice on which car dealers to trust, who to avoid, and a reliable mechanic who can provide an inspection of your potential new car purchase.

Many people in Costa Rica own an SUV 4×4 vehicle, as some of the roads aren’t paved, and may be rough to drive on. If you’re purchasing a vehicle, you should consider buying this type of car, so you can truly get around to see all the fabulous sights of the country.

It’s recommended that you narrow down your selection between three different vehicles. Have each one inspected by your trusty mechanic. Your mechanic will provide advice on whether the vehicle will be a good purchase, and since you’ll likely be purchasing a used car due to the expensive costs of cars in Costa Rica, you’ll want to know how much any potential repairs will cost as well.

Once you’ve made your choice you need to visit an abogado, or lawyer. Sometimes it can be difficult to find one who can speak good English, so ask around. A friend may be able to not only provide a recommendation, but set up a meeting for you.

The lawyer will search a government database for information on the car, and whether there are any liens on it. You’ll be required to pay Marchamo, an annual road tax where you get a sticker to place on your windshield. Plates always stay with the car, and are never exchanged, even when the car switches hands.

The lawyer will fill out pertinent papers for you, and you’ll sign them. You’ll receive a temporary document until the papers are processed in San Jose. You’ll receive the keys, and will return to pick up the processed papers in two week’s time.

Treat your new car purchase as Tico style and don’t stress out over it. Once you have your new car, you’ll have freedom to travel anywhere.

Homes for Sale in Costa Rica

Homes for Sale in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the nicest countries in Central America that offers plenty of real estate opportunities. The country is really appealing to those that want to invest in real estate property due to the lower costs of living and the nice scenery. There are lots of homes for sale in Costa Rica, and it all depends on your personal choice. You can find all kinds of homes, stunning villas, cottages, bungalows, beach houses and other properties which you can buy at affordable prices.

One great advantage for buying a home in Costa Rica is their good property laws. They are completely the same for both Costa Rican residents and foreigners, so there is no unnecessary bureaucracy. There is no requirement for you to live in Costa Rica in order to own a house. Property tax is also relatively low, and there are many other advantages for you to look at the market and search for homes for sale in Costa Rica.

Here are some of the best reasons to look for homes for sale in Costa Rica:

The country has wonderful landscape. From rain forests to nice sandy beaches, blue

skies and unrealistic nature – Costa Rica has it all. Owning a house in any region of

the country is like having a house in paradise.

 Amazing homes. All kinds of properties can be found in Costa Rica for any pocket.

Homes for sale in Costa Rica are well priced in comparison to other countries in

North or South or Central America and Europe.

 Great climate. Costa Rica is a tropical place and it has a nice, warm climate

throughout the whole year. Even in the rainy seasons the average temperature remains

pleasantly warm. The climate is perfect for those people that want to escape from

harsh winters and chilly autumn seasons.

 Costa Rica has rich biodiversity. It is a home to some of the rarest plant and animal

species in the world, which makes it a very exciting and exotic place to own a home.

Due to the rich biodiversity, Costa Rica attracts lots of people from all over the world,

so buying a home in Costa Rica is a great investment choice.

 Another reason to buy a home in Costa Rica is the higher standard of living. Due to

the increased number of rich people that search for homes for sale in Costa Rica, the

standard of living constantly improves which makes the country really attractive for


 Costa Rica is also very stable nation, free of political turbulences and unrest. There is

no active army, as it is safe country without problems and tensions with other

countries. That makes them perfect place for investing money into properties.

 Last, but not least – Costa Ricans are welcoming and friendly people. They take pride

in the natural beauties of their country and are used to international people. Those

people that buy homes in Costa Rica and invest into the country are highly regarded

and respected. You will definitely feel at home if you buy a home in Costa Rica.


Costa Rica: Visit for the Experience, Stay for the Lifestyle


Costa Rica is a small country of 4.5 million people, located on the narrow neck of Central America, between Nicaragua and Panama. To the left is the Pacific Ocean, and to the right the Caribbean Sea. It has the distinction of being a world-class tourist destination, with its lush vegetation, warm weather and world-class health care. There’s a saying that if you visit, you’ll end up making Costa Rica your home.

After many travellers see what the southern Pacific coast has to offer, they return to buy real estate. Costa Rica has some extensive environmental policies to protect the natural habit of plant and animal species. It’s the only country in the world to meet all five criteria for environmental sustainability. Recreational hunting has also been banned, to protect the wildlife.

Costa Rica is a country that used to be mainly dependent on its agriculture, but that’s now shifted to finance, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism. It has some of the best health care in the world, with a large percentage of its tourist base coming here for special medical treatments either not available in the Western world, or requiring a long waiting list. Hospital and clinics focus on medical tests, treatments, and surgery for the tourist, as well as mental health wellness spas.

Costa Rica has an interesting history. Prior to the 16th century, it was populated by indigenous people. After that time, the Spanish settled in. It declared its own sovereignty in 1847. It abolished its army in 1948, joining the list of nations without one.

Costa Rica is a great place to educate children. It’s one of the top countries in the world with an extremely high literacy rate. There are other interesting facts about Costa Rica lifestyle. The temperature remains steady throughout the year. 18 degrees Celsius/80 degrees Fahrenheit is the average temperature for most of the year.

The most common language spoken is Spanish. The capital is San Jose, and the currency is the Costa Rican Colon. Bananas is one of the country’s major exports.

There are few countries around the world that have lovely weather, yet are stable politically, and Costa Rica is proud to be one of those countries. The foreign traveler can safely travel around the region, without fear of combatting armies.
The people are genuinely warm and proud of their Latin heritage. The people of Costa Rica enjoy peaceful
democratic elections since 1948. They nickname themselves “Ticos”. People are gentle, and often don’t like to raise their voices. The word “no” is not commonly used, which can be frustrating for a visitor, until they get into the swing of things.

Some of the best places to live on the southern Pacific coast include the towns of Playa Dominical, Uvita, and Manuel Antonio. If you enjoy the Costa Rica lifestyle, you may be interested in searching for a luxury vacation rental or permanent homes in this lovely country.