Written by: Jay- September 2019
Moving Overseas to Costa Rica
Advice for planning a successful move overseas to beautiful Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has long been regarded as one of the most beautiful vacation spots to explore. With
sandy beaches, awe-inspiring mountains, and deep cultural roots, there’s something for
everyone to appreciate in this beautiful place.
Costa Rica boasts a successful economy, heavily relying on tourism as part of its success.
However, some tourists are so enamored by this place that they decide to pack up their lives
and move there for good!
Where to Move in Costa Rica
Before you can move overseas to Costa Rica, you’ll want to know where you’re headed!
Fortunately, the choices are plenty, and the advantages to moving here seem to be endless.
Costa Rica has been ranked one of the top places to retire in 2019, and that’s not the first time
it’s been given the prestigious ranking!
Costa Rica is well-known for its tropical climates, high-quality health care, low cost of living, and
natural beauty. Those are the main factors that attract potential homeowners to the area, in
addition to the affordable real estate market.
Not only that, but Costa Rica has long been a proud supporter of a peaceful culture, one that
practices harmony between its people, environment, and wildlife. You’ll be comforted to know
that Costa Rica is considered to be very safe, and progressive, so all are welcome.
If you’re not sure where you should be moving, you might consider the top five places to live in
Costa Rica to get you started. Depending on the type of weather you’re looking for, you might
want to be closer to the beach, or higher up in the mountains. Costa Rica boasts a range of
climates depending on the location.
How to Make Your Move Easier
Experiencing a stress-free move is all about preparation. If you’ve committed to moving to Costa
Rica, you’ll want to take care of these things ahead of time:
● Housing Situation
Once you land in Costa Rica, you’re going to want to head straight to your new dream home.
This is entirely possible; however, we suggest making at least one or two trips ahead of time, to
make sure you’re getting the house that you want.
Be sure you know what time of the year to visit Costa Rica, and have a real estate agent ready
ahead of time to assist you. You’ll want to stay in contact with this person for the remained of
If you’re not moving to Costa Rica to retire, then you’ll want to make sure you have a job lined
up beforehand. To make things easier, consider scheduling interviews while you’re in Costa
Rica on your house hunt.
If you have children coming with you, you’ll want to be sure that they’re going to a safe, highly-
ranked school. Speak with your real estate agent about this, since they’ll be able to show you
houses in good school zones.
● Personal Preferences
Costa Rica has so much to offer, but there might be some things that spark your fancy more
than others. If you have specific hobbies you enjoy or sports you like to play, consider looking
into the programs that are available in different areas.
Similarly, if you’re looking for a more low-key, relaxed lifestyle, this will affect where you live.
Some places in Costa Rica attract more tourists, especially if you’re close to nightlight and
downtown cores. If you’re not comfortable with this, it will be smarter to head further out of town
for peace and quiet.
Tips for the Big Move
Once you’ve got everything organized in Costa Rica, you’re going to need to get things
organized where you are now. There is a whole slew of things you’ll need to take care of before
you can finally say, Pura Vida!
According to industry-leading transportation companies like A1 Auto Transport, there is a list of
must-have documents and tasks that need to be completed when moving day looms closer.
● Paperwork for Your Car
If you’re bringing over a vehicle to Costa Rica, you’ll need a list of items including your driver’s
license, the Original Bill of Lading, proof of certified emissions test, and a temporary use permit
(TUP). The list goes on, so make sure you have everything prepared.
● Paperwork for your Possessions
If you’re bringing a lot of personal items overseas, such as furniture and decor, you’ll need to
claim all of this. The airport staff will need an exhaustive packing list, your Original Bill of Lading,
and values of each item in inventory, as well.
● Payment for Transporting Goods
Keep in mind you’ll need insurance for all of your shipped items, and you’ll also need to pay a
hefty sum to transport all the items. Typically, transporting items for a 2 bedroom home costs
between $3,000-$6,000, while a 4 bedroom home costs $6,000-$12,000.
Other Things to Think About
● Save Up Some Money
Just in case things don’t work out with your planned place of employment, it’s always key to
have at least three months of income saved. That way, you have a buffer while you get yourself
● Change of Address
Make sure you take care of all of your changes of address; some items might have to wait until
you’re in Costa Rica, but prep as much as you can by informing all businesses you're affiliated
with that you have a change of address.
Also, make sure to have someone available to collect the mail that still ends up at your old
● Register Kids for School
If you’re going to be moving with children, you’ll likely have to register them well ahead of time in
Costa Rica. Do this as early as you can, to ensure that you have all the right paperwork filed for
Making the Move
Preparation is key for a successful move to Costa Rica. Although it may seem stressful at the
time, doing things ahead of time can help you to fix any errors, and ensure that you’ve followed
every step of the protocol.
It’s a lot of work, but it will be worth it once your toes are permanently in the sand!