When traveling to Costa Rica in search for real estate, there are a number of travel tips you’ll want to keep in mind before you leave home. Costa Rica is a beautiful place and can be the perfect location for your first or second home, so let’s make sure you’re ready and answer a few questions first time visitors usually have.
1. Be Prepared For the Weather! Costa Rica is definitely a tropical country; the average annual temperature for the majority of the country is between 71 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The yearly climate is divided into two seasons: the dry season, which is from January through May, and the rainy season, which runs from May to November/December. Some areas receive as much as 18 feet of rain a year!
2. Do I Need A Visa? Costa Rica welcomes tourists and locals typically have a very friendly attitude towards visitors. But first we have to make sure you’ll get in! Most visitors are free to stay in Costa Rica for up to 90 days without a visa (you will of course need your passport). Travelers from The United States, Spain, Canada, Germany and Austria are included. If you are not from one of the previously mentioned countries please check this completed list.
3. How Long Will It Take To Get There? Costa Rica is actually very close to the United States, making it a prime location for Americans to have a vacation home or to invest in real estate. A flight from Miami to San Jose is only two and a half hours. It’s actually even shorter then a flight from N.Y. to San Jose, Costa Rica, then from N.Y. to California!
4. What Airports Are In Costa Rica? Costa Rica currently has two international airports, San Jose’s Juan Santamaria in the Central Valley, and Liberia’s Daniel Odouber in the Northwest region.
5. Is it necessary to speak Spanish? The primary language in Costa Rica is of course Spanish, however it’s not totally necessary that you speak the language. Although we do highly recommend it to be able to get the full experience of being in another culture, most tourist areas are generally English speaking and quite easy to communicate and get around in.
6. What Should I Bring? Packing for such an adventure is very important, you want to make sure you have all of the proper amenities to have a successful and enjoyable trip. Some of those things include:
- a. Passport, drivers license, cash and traveler’s checks
b. Both beach sandals and hiking/walking shoes, Sunblock, bug repellent, and sunglasses
c. T-Shirts, including a long sleep shirt to protect you from sunburn, both pants and shorts, jacket, baseball cap, and a bag of some kind to keep wet clothes.
d. Extra batteries and film for your cameras, (these may be hard to find in Costa Rica)
7. Taking Photo’s In a Tropical Climate. Costa Rica is very humid, so even when it’s not raining there is plenty of moisture in the air. This often puts visitors camera equipment out of commission. Costa Rica is an absolutely beautiful place to visit and there will be countless photo opportunities on your trip regardless of what kind of visit you have planned, whether it be hiking, site seeing, or real estate shopping. So it’s not a bad idea to first make sure your camera can handle moist environments. Buying a waterproof case for your equipment isn’t a terrible idea.
8. The Costa Rican Property Market. More and more American, European and Canadian investors are being attracted to the real estate market of Costa Rica. It’s a very attractive alternative to the volatile, insecure, and expensive domestic property markets. Land and housing prices in Costa Rica are very affordable, even with the recent real estate boom the prices are yet to reach anywhere near that of the US, UK, or Canada.