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FAQs About Moving to Costa Rica

If you’ve fallen in love with Costa Rica and you’re thinking about becoming its resident… Then you probably have some questions and perhaps even concerns about living there. To help you learn a bit about this country and get ready for your upcoming relocation, we compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions about moving to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Aerial View

What’s the cost of living in Costa Rica?

Naturally, living costs are among the most important questions to ask when moving to another country. The good news is that living in Costa Rica is much more affordable than it is in the United States. This includes your groceries, utility bills, eating out, and everything else you need for a comfortable lifestyle. While popular destinations are naturally, more expensive than other places in Costa Rica, you can still expect to live well with as little as $1,500 a month if you’re a single person. For those moving to Costa Rica with a partner, things are even more affordable. Two people can expect to live comfortably on as low as $2,000. Again, this depends on the location and your lifestyle. But, you should have no trouble living a better lifestyle with less money than in the U.S.

How is housing and rent in Costa Rica?

The affordability of Costa Rica also shows in housing. This is probably one of the biggest draws when you’re moving here from the United States. If you’re looking to live alone in the city center, you can expect to find a one-bedroom apartment for less than $500. And if you’re comfortable with living a little bit further away from the center, you could leave alone in an apartment for less than $400. In case you’re dreaming of being a homeowner, your chances are much better in Costa Rica, with prices much lower compared to the U.S. While there’s been an increase in prices, estate prices are still a real bargain. Especially if you’re moving an expensive city such as NYC, LA, Boston, Washington, etc.

San Jose Costa Rica

But even if you’re moving to Costa Rica from an affordable American City, you’ll still find the state fairly affordable, even if you’re checking out luxury real estate.

Do I need a visa to move to Costa Rica?

In case you just want to check out the state before deciding if you should move there, then you won’t need a visa since you’ll be visiting as a tourist. The only thing you will need in this case is proof that you will leave the state after a maximum of three months. This can be as simple as your return ticket. On the other hand, if you’ve decided to actually live in Costa Rica, then you will need a visa regardless of whether you’re the U.S. or Canadian citizen.

There are several options for long-term living in Costa Rica, such as Pensionado Program and Rentista Program. You’ll need certain documents like the income certificate, birth certificate, FBI report of Good Conduct, etc. The best thing to do when you’re moving to Costa Rica is to visit the embassy’s official website and check for requirements and updates. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemics caused many changes and restrictions.

What is the weather like in Costa Rica?

For those moving from cold states and dreaming of sunshine and beaches, Costa Rica may be the closest to paradise. The tropical climate makes this country warm for most of the year. With two seasons – rainy and dry. Even during September and October, which are the rainiest months, the temperature remains between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. So, you can rest assured you will never be cold in Costa Rica.

Beach Costa Rica

Is it safe in Costa Rica?

One interesting fact is that Costa Rica has no army and it’s ranked #39 in the world on the 2021 Global Peace Index. So, the state is considered to be the safest in all of Central America. And while petty crime is usually the biggest threat, it’s always a good idea to be cautious. Keep in mind that violent crime happens in every country, including Costa Rica. So, some caution and awareness without displaying your wealth too much is advisable.

Where should I live in Costa Rica?

While the country offers so many amazing places to call home, the perfect spot depends on your preferences and whether you’re looking for a quiet peace of tropical paradise or like the urban capital better. San Jose is, of course, one of the most popular destinations, but you could easily find smaller places more appealing. For example, Escazu may be a good choice since it’s close to the capital. It also welcomes many newcomers. Then Atenas may be a good fit if you’re looking for a relaxed and authentic experience that’s still somewhat close to San Jose. Or, head to Heredia if you’re looking to join many expats, students, and young people contributing to a vibrant atmosphere in this hilly town.

Another city worth mentioning is Tamarindo, and this is one of the best places to call home if you’re relocating primarily for gorgeous beaches. Tamarindo boasts some of the most beautiful beaches you’ll ever see. If you’d rather choose a city that’s favorite among visitors and expats, then you should check out Dominical. Dominical is another beach town that gives you access to countless beach activities.

What’s the quality of life in Costa Rica?

Probably the main reason why people move from the USA to Costa Rica is a completely different quality of life. Access to breathtaking beaches and picturesque rainforests, year-round warm weather, and low cost of living all contribute to a pleasant and relaxed lifestyle. The county is known as one of the happiest countries in the world so if you’re smiling at just the thought of it, then go ahead and check how fast you can move to Costa Rica.