The national currency of Costa Rica is the Colon. U.S. dollars can be easily exchanged throughout the country at any bank, national or private, and also at most hotels and money exchange companies. In addition, nearly all hotels plus some restaurants and shops will accept U.S. dollars as payment. Canadian dollars may be exchanged at branches of Banco Nacional and other monetary currencies should be converted in San José at either Banco Central de Costa Rica or at a currency exchange house. Be certain to check daily exchange rates at local banks, currency houses or in the local newspaper as it changes continually.
The banking system in Costa Rica is very modern and offers all local and international services. This includes issuing credit and debit cards, loans and both personalized and computerized banking. Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s) are available throughout the country and will accept PLUS cards as well as local ATM cards. Visa credit card advances are easily obtained at most local banks.
Out-of-country income is not taxed in Costa Rica, and if you are employed in this country, income tax is minimal. Basic property taxes are six-tenths of one percent of the property stated value, which is nominal by North American standards.
The cost of living is probably one of the most important issues concerning prospective full-time residents. Although the cost of living here is less than that of the United States, the difference is not dramatic. Housekeeping and gardening help is very affordable, as are other conveniences, which are often considered a luxury. On average, a monthly income between $1,500 to $2,500 with established accommodations will provide for quite a comfortable lifestyle.
Costa Rica weather boasts about as many microclimates as could be found in any country in the world. Like it cool? Try high up in the mountains above the Central Valley of Costa Rica. Hot and dry on the beach? Try the Guanacaste Gold Coast. Want to live in the rain forest? Like remote? Check out the Osa Peninsula. Whatever your preference, Costa Rica has something for everyone.
Some areas such as Grecia and Atenas, forty-five minutes from San José, are famous for their comfortable climate. In fact, the whole of Costa Rica boasts spring-like climate at least ten months out of the year. Temperatures in the Central Valley and the mountains average 68º degrees Fahrenheit (20º degrees Celsius) and in the lower coastal areas, about 79º degrees Fahrenheit ( 26º degrees Celsius). In the northern province of Guanacaste they say half the year is like living in Hawaii and the other, like living in Palm Springs, California.
The expression “Pura Vida,” literally translated as “Pure Life,” describes the Costa Rican way of life. Ticos, as the locals commonly call themselves, are their country’s greatest asset and are renowned for their friendliness. They are warm hearted, gracious, educated, entrepreneurial and ready to accept you into their country, their lives, and their homes. In addition, foreigners are usually pleasantly surprised to discover how many of their neighbors are also from foreign soil.
The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish, but a great many Costa Ricans speak English. Additionally, as Costa Rica continues to attract visitors from the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, other languages such as French, German, Italian, Chinese and Dutch are becoming more and more prevalent.
- Political stability.
- Peace and democracy.
- No army.
- Fiscal incentives and local exemptions.
- Regional incentives.
- Low cost of living in Costa Rica and highly qualified labor force.
- Streamlined real estate investment procedures.
- Costa Rica realtors offering real estate investment opportunities
- Simple and streamlined import and export procedures.
- Official participation in important international exhibitions and commercial missions to main international markets.
- Excellent electricity, water, telecommunications, insurance, banking and health services.
- Infrastructure suited to export and tourism needs.
- Excellent Costa Rica weather and geographic location.
- Protected national parks and reserves with great variety of flora and fauna.
- Special immigration status for investors, executives, technicians and their families.
- International prestige and recognition of Costa Rican products. Open support to private development initiatives that promote employment, technology transfer, national income, social and economic development and the preservation of the environment.
This is just a small collection of the positive attributes of living in Costa Rica.
Most Costa Rican visitors fall in love with this beautiful country and its very friendly people and start to dream about living in Costa Rica. From exotic beaches and verdant mountains where the climate is always pleasant, to tropical rain forests with amazing flora and fauna, Costa Rica real estate enchants everyone.
Costa Rica property has much to offer. Whether you come as a visitor or an investor, or are thinking about living in Costa Rica, there is something attractive here for you. New Costa Rica resorts are offering the finest in vacation rentals and hospitality.
As one of the oldest democracies in the Americas (and having abolished its army over 57 years ago), Costa Rica has instead chosen to spend its money on education, health services and now infrastructure. All this makes living in Costa Rica a great idea. Having established political and social stability, Costa Rica is a peaceful and prosperous nation, safe for foreigners and locals. Below you will a summary of the advantages of living in Costa Rica.
Columbus called Costa Rica the “Rich Coast” upon his discovery in 1502. Rich in beauty, rich in ecology and rich in flora and fauna with thousands of species of plants, animals, birds and insects that live in magnificent and sometimes mysterious Central American tropical forests. Costa Rica’s wealth of natural resources is so abundant that Costa Rica even exports oxygen, an essential nutrient for a better, healthier and cleaner way of life. Some call Costa Rica the “Switzerland of the Americas”, others call it “Paradise on Earth”. You can call it what you like, but one visit to Costa Rica and the memory of your Costa Rican vacation will be etched in your mind forever.
About the size of West Virginia, Costa Rica encompasses about 51,000 square kilometers of enchanting rainforests, majestic mountains, and countless virgin beaches among rocky bluffs, enclosed by numerous peninsulas and bays of unsurpassed scenic beauty. Costa Rica’s natural heritage form one of the world’s most outstanding biological reserve and national park systems. Costa Rica has become a favorite vacation destination and provides excellent beachfront vacation rentals.