How To Open A Bank Account In Costa Rica

Costa Rica is regularly voted as one of the world’s happiest countries, so it’s no surprise that many expats are choosing to settle down there. Stunning beaches, friendly locals, and a relaxed way of life all contribute to the country’s sky-rocketing popularity. Many cities and towns are now very well set up for expats … … Read more

How To Rent Or Buy Property In Costa Rica

Famous for its relaxed way of life and smiling locals, Costa Rica is a popular destination for expats. It regularly ranks as one of the world’s happiest countries. It’s no wonder, therefore, that Europeans and Americans alike are choosing to make this surfer’s paradise their long-term home.Costa Rica is divided into four regions, with Central … Read more

How To Apply For A Visa In Costa Rica

Whether or not you need a visa in order to enter Costa Rica depends on your nationality or country of residence, the purpose of your visit, and how long you are planning to stay. If you are unsure about whether or not you require a visa, you can check the requirements by country on the … Read more

Mike White, Guanacaste

Who are you? Mike White, Founder of The Happy Rollers (helping people move to Costa Rica so they can experience the same incredible country as I do every day). Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to the Guanacaste region in Costa Rica with my wife, two daughters (3 & 6) and … Read more

How To Find A Job In Costa Rica

While Costa Rica is an attractive destination, finding a job there can be challenging. With a highly literate, skilled local work-force and very tight residency laws, there are few opportunities for foreigners, and those that are available are largely restricted to people who already have Permanent Residency and have been sponsored by a potential employer … Read more

How Much Do Health Procedures Cost In Costa Rica?

When it comes to healthcare in Costa Rica, the country has a variety of options for you to choose from. Comprising of both public and private healthcare services you have the option to choose between what type of service you’d like, and where to seek treatment. The main difference between the two is in the … Read more

How To Keep Your Insurance Costs Low In Costa Rica

When it comes to health insurance in any country, it pays to be prepared. After all, you never know what costs you might be facing, until a time comes when you are ill or injured and require treatment. And as with any area of life, being presented with an unexpected bill is never a good … Read more

How To Register With The Health System In Costa Rica

When it comes to healthcare in Latin America, Costa Rica has excellent standards. Frequently placed in the World Health Organisation’s top country rankings for long life expectancy, Costa Rica’s tropical climate and non-preservative-laden foods play a huge part in keeping its residents happy and healthy.The Nicoya Peninsula region, situated on the Northern Pacific coast, is … Read more

What Quality Of Healthcare Can You Expect In Costa Rica?

Moving abroad presents a number of challenges and questions, chief among these being the issue of healthcare. Will you have access to the same quality of treatment as you had in your home country? How much of a difference is there between the public and private health systems?Costa Rica has long been a destination for … Read more

Moving To Costa Rica? Here’s What You Need To Know About The Zika Virus

As colourful as its currency and its national flower – a stunning orchid called a purple country girl – Costa Rica is a magical place to live. From the rugged volcanic rainforest terrain to its stunning protected coastlines and beaches, this truly beautiful country has so much to offer local people and expats alike.Home to … Read more

Decreasing Costa Rican Crime Rates Make It A Popular Expat Destination

For the first time since 2012, Costa Rica recently ended a year with a decrease in homicides, coinciding with a country-wide decrease in crime. To further decrease the rate of homicides in particular, the government intends to reform laws around gun control. This is positive news for all concerned and is especially encouraging for expats … Read more

Homeschooling In Costa Rica: A Realistic Option For Expats?

Homeschooling is popular within expat communities and travelling families due to the flexibility it affords them. Whether you have moved to a new country or are passing through, homeschooling your children gives you options that traditional schooling, whether public or private, does not.And if you find yourself in a country such as Costa Rica where … Read more

Sustainable Costa Rica: Eco Initiatives And Fiscal Funding

If you’re concerned about the environment, are interested in the ecology and are thinking about moving to a country which has a commitment to sustainability, then it’s likely that Costa Rica will be one of your first choices. It’s a fascinating place in its own right; one of the go-to countries for studying nature conservation … Read more

How To Make Sure Your Costa Rican Property Taxes Are Up To Date

Costa Rica is somewhat of a haven for those looking to buy houses, as the property taxes are low compared to many other countries. However, some find the system confusing and are not sure how to go about registering all the necessary details or checking that their taxes are up to date. While there are … Read more

Doron Nadivi, Grecia

Who are you? Doron Nadivi, Chief Commercial Officer of Pruvo.Where, when and why did you move abroad? In October 2013, U moved to Costa Rica because I was dating a Costa Rican for three years and we decided to get married. What challenges did you face during the move? The two main challenges were: 1) … Read more

Debbie Rudd, Grecia

I am Debbie Rudd and I am about to turn 70 in a few weeks. I came here at age 63 from Colorado Springs, CO after I retired as a public school teacher because I realized I would not be able to survive in the US on my pension. I had been to Costa Rica … Read more

Will Costa Rica Be The Next Digital Nomad Hotspot?

Costa Rica is on a fast track to become one of Latin America’s best destinations for digital nomads. Remote workers flock to this idyllic country for an average of three to six months. Becoming a digital nomad is an option for anyone who can earn a living over the internet: remote yoga instructors, foreign language … Read more

How To Start A Non-Profit Organisation In Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a popular destination among expats for many reasons, not least the beautiful scenery, pleasant climate and laid-back pura vida lifestyle. It enjoys a degree of political stability as well as a high standard of education. The country also has one of South America’s highest levels of foreign investment, due in part to … Read more

What Costa Rica’s Measles Case Tells Us About Not Vaccinating Our Children

Two unvaccinated American children have fallen ill with measles in Costa Rica’s first native outbreak since 2006. The airborne virus is highly contagious and is spread by an infected person coughing or sneezing. It is thought that the children contracted the disease from an American woman who had visited the family earlier in March.Four of … Read more

Can Expats Buy Land In Costa Rica?

Buying a property or land in any country, even the land where you were born, can be confusing. When it comes to living abroad, things can get even more complicated. In many countries, expats and migrants face a lot of difficulties when trying to make such purchases.Costa Rica has long been a popular destination for … Read more

How To Obtain Residency In Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an increasingly popular destination for expats. With spectacular tropical landscapes gliding down into two oceans, this isthmus state offers sun, sea and a peaceful pace of life.Of course, if you have large amounts of cash, it helps that the country is also seen as a tax friendly location. While not strictly a … Read more

Shopping In San Jose: A Guide For New Arrivals

Visiting new countries is an incredible experience. Not only do you get to see new places and experience new things, you also have the chance to learn about the style and culture of those who inhabit the area. San José, Costa Rica’s capital, is no exception. Sitting in the Central Valley region, the city is … Read more

Costa Rica Or Panama: Which Would Suit You Best?

The neighbouring countries of Costa Rica and Panama both have a lot to offer expats. We take a look at the factors to consider. Costa Rica and Panama are both long, thin countries with thousands of kilometres of coastline overlooking the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. They have interesting and varied landscapes offering a range … Read more

Sarah, San Jose

Who are you? Hi! My name is Sarah. I am originally from Boston. I run a Costa Rica budget travel blog for a living.When I’m not blogging or traveling you can usually find me reading a book or cooking way too much food. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved abroad in … Read more

Contributing In Costa Rica: An Expat Guide To Community Projects

There is no dearth of things to see, do and experience for expats moving to Costa Rica. From its biodiversity to its water sports, from its outdoor activities to its rocking nightlife, this country has a lot to offer people of all ages. You could spend months exploring the various beaches, forests, national parks, hiking … Read more

An Expat Guide To Dealing With The Bugs In Costa Rica

Costa Rica is undeniably one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It is known for its lush forests, stunning volcanoes, expansive coastline and picturesque landscapes. Tourists from all over the globe are attracted to this region of Central America thanks to its unique and diverse flora and fauna. Costa Rica has also become … Read more

Ben von Jagow, Puerto Jimenez

Who are you? My name is Ben von Jagow and I am a Canadian-born traveler and aspiring writer. I spend half the year playing professional football in Europe and the other half is spent working and traveling in Latin America.I am currently living in Puerto Jimenez, a beautifully verdant and quaint seaside town on the … Read more

Bob Normand, Quepos-Manuel Antonio

Who are you? I’m a 73 year old retired, single expat born in Massachusetts where I lived my first 20 years.I have a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering and worked 17 years for two major plastics and chemical companies in marketing and strategic planning. I also owned my own computer-related business for ten years and … Read more

Why Moving To Costa Rica Will Probably Make You Happier

Costa Rica is one of the most sought-after destinations for travelers. The country is a small one, geographically speaking, but it is big on tourism, thanks at least in part to its incredible diversity. Divided into six regions – the Caribbean Region, the Central Pacific Region, the Central Valley Region, the North Pacific Region, the … Read more

Starting A New Business In Costa Rica – A Guide For Expats

It may not be the first destination to roll off an entrepreneurial expat’s tongue, but starting a new business in Costa Rica has a lot to recommend it. It is not only an increasingly popular destination for tourists, but expats are also gravitating to the country, no doubt attracted by its reputation as being one … Read more

A Healthcare Guide For Expat Retirees In Costa Rica

Not only is public healthcare relatively cheap but the standard of living for expats there is also very good. Costa Rica has some of the best medical facilities to be found in Latin America the country has two healthcare systems that they can access. Among the surveys placing Costa Rica as a great place for … Read more

Casey Bahr, San Isidro de El General

Who are you? I’m Casey Bahr, a retired software engineer who moved to Costa Rica with his wife and younger son. I am the author of a Costa Rica-centric blog, A Dull Roar (and 3 other blogs), and I perform part-time copywriting for extra cash. My wife is an accomplished architect and artist in several … Read more

Costa Rica – Recommended Social Media Accounts

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Costa Rica and some of the social media accounts you should be following if you’re thinking of moving there.The Expat's Guide to Costa RicaFacebook … Read more

Costa Rica – Recommended Blogs

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Costa Rica and some of the blogs that might be useful for expats there.De la Pura Vida Putting down roots as an expat can … Read more

Katia Caprarella

Who are you? I’m an Italian single mom who has been living in Costa Rica for the last 14 years. I love surfing an outdoor activities.Where, when and why did you move abroad? I actually did not plan on moving to Costa Rica. At the age of 25 I decided to take a couple of … Read more

Interview With Casey Bahr, American expat blogger in Costa Rica

Expat Focus: So Casey, you’re currently living in Costa Rica. Could you tell us a bit about the culture and what it’s like to live there? Casey: Well, it’s like any other Latin American country, in that it’s fundamentally a Latin culture, and Catholic. And what that means is that there’s a little less emphasis … Read more

Samantha Wei, Playas del Coco

Who are you? My name is Samantha Wei and I’m a mid 20’s Asian-American from Olympia, Washington, USA. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved abroad August 2012 to Costa Rica. I moved purely for love. My boyfriend is Costa Rican and we had been long distance for two years and since … Read more

Nadine Hays Pisani, Flamingo

Who are you? My name is Nadine Hays Pisani, the author of the best-selling series Happier Than A Billionaire. I used to be a chiropractor but decided that working ten hours in an office was not a whole lot of fun. Where, when and why did you move abroad?“Two plane tickets, no plan, one dream,” … Read more

Dolores Plate, Heredia

Who are you? I’m a 50-something US Air Force retired woman. I like working out and do it just about every day. I have 2 dogs, a Schnauzer and a Pekingese/mix. I really love animals so I volunteer with two rescue groups, ABRAZA in Zarcero and Adopciones Grecia in Grecia. I became vegan a few … Read more

Jackie Minchillo, Playa Langosta

Who are you? My name is Jackie. I am a 26-year-old communications professional and freelance writer. I grew up in Michigan in the United States and most recently I lived in Chicago with my husband Junior and our dog Harvey. I’ve always had a passion for travel and a craving for international experiences. My husband … Read more

The Dark Side Of Expat Life In Costa Rica

Costa Rica is regarded as a paradise by tourists from around the world because of its pristine beaches, scenic beauty, rich culture and vibrant nightlife. Each year, this country sees more than 1.5 million tourists. In addition to having one of the highest rates of wealth and literacy in the region, Costa Rica has been … Read more

Costa Rica – Five Recommended Expat Blogs

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Costa Rica and some of the bloggers who write about living there. Costa Rica Bargain Hunter After retiring from the US Air Force, Dolores … Read more

A Guide To Office Culture In Costa Rica

You will often hear the term “pura vida” in connection with Costa Rica. It means pure life and is used by the locals as a form of greeting, to express gratitude and even to refer to a person who is friendly. It is reflective of the relaxed Costa Rican lifestyle and is an ideal description … Read more

5 Things You Should Know Before Moving To Costa Rica

Travelling to Costa Rica on a vacation is quite different from moving to the country as an expat, so don’t form your expectations based on your Costa Rican beach holiday! Moving to a new country always presents its fair share of challenges and Costa Rica is no exception. There are various aspects of life and … Read more

Learning To Communicate With The Locals In Costa Rica – Some Tips For Expats

Communication is invariably a problem when moving to a new country, and this is especially true for most Latin American countries because of the huge cultural differences that shape and dictate the norms of socially acceptable behavior and communication. Costa Rica’s history has left it with a population demographic that may make it seem more … Read more

Using The Healthcare System In Costa Rica – A Short Guide For Expats

Costa Rica is known to have one of the best healthcare systems in Latin America and the life expectancy of the population is among the highest in the world. Both public and private healthcare is undergoing continuous modernization with new equipment, new techniques and improved training. The best part is that the costs still remain … Read more

Legal Aspects To Consider When Relocating To Costa Rica

by Federico Altamura Arce Alpha Legal Over the past decade Costa Rica has attracted thousand of expatriates that are enchanted by its natural wonders and by the relaxed lifestyle of our people. I share the same amusement and truly think that we are very fortunate, living in the happiest country in the planet with no … Read more

Recommended Reading For Expats Moving To Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a lot to offer to expats who move there. The cost of living is low enabling expats to live better for less. The healthcare system provides good medical care to citizens and permanent residents. The country has a literacy rate of 95% and most Costa Ricans speak Spanish, as well as English. … Read more

A Few Tips For Expats Driving In Costa Rica

Driving in Costa Rica is considerably different from driving the US and the UK – the roads are not particularly well-developed, and people have a tendency to treat the traffic rules very lightly, which can be unnerving for an expat. Most people in Costa Rica don’t own a private vehicle because of how expensive cars … Read more

5 Great Golf Courses For Expats In Costa Rica

Ever since Costa Rica witnessed a tourist boom in the early 1990s, the construction of golf courses has increased rapidly. Many reputed golf architects have lent their expertise in creating some top quality courses over the years. Today Costa Rica is considered to be among the popular golfing destinations in the world. Here are five … Read more

Matt and Niki Meeks, Atenas

Who are you? Matt & Niki Meeks, children Max 4 ½, Sara 2 ½ and Sofi 5 weeks and Coffee Dog We consider ourselves a young family, only because of the age of our children. After working 20 years for the same company, growing weary of the negativity around us, and having to set appointments … Read more

Starting A Business In Costa Rica: Perrovida Craft Beer

Shannon Enete interviews Kyle Kersey, Perrovida Craft Beer Who are you? Tell me a little bit about your family. I’m Kyle Kersey from Washington D.C. area. I grew up there. My wife and I went to high school together. We joke that our relationship is a homecoming dance that never ended because our first date … Read more

Tis’ The Season To Be Bitten In Costa Rica

3 Steps to Keep You Safe The green season could also be called the slithering season due to the increase of snake sightings. The rain brings the snakes closer to residences, because of this fact, you should know a few things about them. Out of 139 species of snakes in Costa Rica, only 22 of … Read more

Jacqueline Bain, Orosi Valley

Who are you?
 I am a woman in my mid-twenties from Minnesota, United States. I went to undergraduate in Arizona and gained a BA in Social Psychology. I then went on to earn my MA in Social Entrepreneurship from a university in California. I enjoy writing and reading, especially novels about utopian/dystopian and conflicting ideals. … Read more

Shannon Enete, Central Pacific Coast

Who are you? I’m an outdoor enthusiast from San Diego, California who loves to meet new people from around the globe. I absolutely love kayaking, hiking, camping, surfing, and exploring. I am married to an extraordinary woman, Cammy Enete whom I met here in Costa Rica. She was the daughter of my property manager! Where, … Read more

Becoming an Expat: Costa Rica

Expat Focus talks to Shannon Enete about her latest book, “Becoming an Expat: Costa Rica”, a guide to your new life in Costa Rica. It explains what living in Costa Rica is like without sugarcoating, covering the good, the bad, and the things that you wouldn't even consider. Shannon, please tell us a little bit … Read more

Casey Bahr, American expat blogger in Costa Rica

<iframe width="400" height="225" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> Casey’s blog: adullroar.blogspot.comCasey’s Expat Focus column: below for interview transcript.Expat Focus: So Casey, you’re currently living in Costa Rica. Could you tell us a bit about the culture and what it’s like to live there? Casey: Well, it’s like any other Latin American country, in that it’s fundamentally … Read more

Jerry Nelson, San Jose

Who are you? My name is Jerry Nelson. I am a 57yo male from America. As a freelance photojournalist, I get to travel many different places and experience many different things. Much different than the life I would’ve had if I’d have stayed in the small mountain town in Virginia where I was raised. Where, … Read more

Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a land of sunshine, educated and friendly Ticos (as the Costa Ricans are called), and affordable prices for real estate and cost of living. The country offers its residents 23 distinct climates to choose from, one of the highest standards of living in Latin America, and an amazing natural exuberance which includes: … Read more

John G. Dungan, Arenal

I am a retired RN, married for 44 years to a retired school teacher. We moved to Costa Rica in April of 2009, after researching and preparing for nearly ten years. We had purchased a small lot about seven months prior to our move, and we made the mistake of paying to ship a container … Read more

Andy and Fran Browne, Playa Hermosa Guanacaste

Hello, we are Andy and Fran Browne, two hard working yet forcibly retired gringos now living in Playa Hermosa Guanacaste Costa Rica. Fran and I grew up in South Florida, attending many of the same schools and lived only blocks apart, but somehow we never met. One day while at party at a friend’s house, … Read more

Deb Klipper

I am Deb Klipper and I have been joyfully married to my best friend Rob for 28 years. I am 58, he is 62. I left a job as a Special Educator in San Antonio Texas and he retired from a job as a biomedical researcher. We have two grown daughters and two granddaughters all … Read more