The Ultimate Guide to Costa Rica Real Estate

Costa Rica real estate is such an eclectic and multi-faceted proposition: From the golden sands of Guanacaste and the coffee-covered hills of the Central Valley to the rainforests of Manuel Antonio and the active volcanoes of Arenal, this tiny country – officially, about 19,700 miles (smaller than West Virginia or Portugal) – beckons you to any lifestyle, any view, and any hope you can dream up.

At Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica, we’re proud to offer some of the best properties in the country. We have both condos and homes, land and businesses for sale. We have everything from cozy (or borderline palatial) condos and picture-perfect building lots to traditional single-family homes and sprawling beachfront villas directly on the ocean, adorned with high-end luxuries like pools, Jacuzzis, marble countertops, energy-efficient windows, and eco-living amenities. And we also specialize in some of the best gated communities in Costa Rica.

But enough about us. We’re in this for you. Really. You, our clients, are our motivation. Our goal is to help you fulfill a dream. So, let’s talk about that. This guide to Costa Rica real estate focuses on Guanacaste, our area of expertise – roughly, from Playas del Coco south to Tamarindo – and introduces you to each beach town, property type, and view, before rounding out with a brief property FAQ. If you have any questions along the way, get in touch. We look forward to it!

Table of Contents

Why Blue Water?

When was the last time someone listened to you? Really listed. Because at Blue Water Properties, that’s the very heart of what we do.

Because the essence of our work is more than real estate: It’s you. It’s your needs, your dreams, and your goals, both short- and long-term.

We go above and beyond, in every way we can. We deliver a best-in-class experience through excellent communication, bilingual and local expertise, and cooperation with our colleagues, to serve our clients with the widest and highest-caliber selection of real estate services and properties in Guanacaste.

Above all, Blue Water Group is founded on and rooted in values – in core beliefs and basic tenets of business that resonate honesty, quality, value, and experience in one. Our job is to improve your life and our community through hard work, commitment, and attention to detail. So, whether you’re buying or selling Costa Rica real estate, here’s our promise to you:

Your Buying/Selling Experience

Costa Rica real estate with a view

Our business is built on a superior client experience and word-of-mouth referrals, often based on our national reputation for 5-star service.

This goes beyond fast response times and local expertise: It’s using our extensive network to find your ideal property, even if it’s not well advertised. It’s knowing what to watch out for, behind the scenes. It’s knowing you well enough to know that a seemingly “perfect” property is too far a drive from your kids’ school. We sweat the small stuff, so you don’t have to.

Quality + Excellence

You’ll sense it from the first time you get in touch: Not only are we quick to respond, but we truly listen to your needs and wants, goals and priorities. We ask the right questions. We send information quickly – and include all the specifics that you request. We check in. We put you first, second, and third, in everything we do.

One-Stop-Shop

Did you know there’s no MLS in Costa Rica? That poses a serious challenge when searching for Costa Rica real estate: Not only is it harder for you to window-shop for properties you’d like to view (if you’re buying) or for comps (if you’re selling), but it creates a barrier for real estate agents who don’t have extensive – and friendly – networks.

Luckily, that’s not a problem we face. We are good people and we play well with others. We work to foster relationships with all our region’s real estate companies, so we can show not only our listings but all of our colleague’s listings, too. And for you, that means you only have to connect with one real estate agent. To tell your story one time. To explain your priorities but once. We’ll take it from there.

Honesty + Integrity

Honesty is the ribbon that runs through Blue Water Properties. Our agents tell the whole truths, the exciting truths, and especially the hard truths, because honesty builds trust and helps form accurate expectations. We help you enter this exciting transition with your eyes wide open.

Fast Response Times

We are sticklers for responding within 24 hours. Yes, even you’re googling your dream homes at 2 a.m. on a Saturday, we’ll send you that information by Saturday evening.

Community-Focused

At Blue Water Group, we may come from around the world but here, we are one community. And we love this community. As a company and as individuals, we give back. We work with CEPIA, a local nonprofit. Every year, we give away a home to a family who is truly in need. We know – we truly believe – that money doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning, if we can’t use it to do good things in this world.

Lasting Relationships

We don’t just sell something and then never speak to you again. We often become friends. And, we hope, you’ll come to rely on us not just for our professional advice but for our local expertise. We’re happy to help.

Inclusion

We cater to everyone. We never discriminate. Period.

Step 1: Narrow in on Location

The where is a big part of your decision to buy or sell real estate in Costa Rica. So, start there.

Tamarindo

Tamarindo beach aerial panorama

Tamarindo is one of the most popular choices for Costa Rica real estate and living. The beaches are incredible – supple white sand and world-famous surfing waves! – and much of town offers incredible mountain views, but the biggest draw is the Tamarindo lifestyle: One of Costa Rica’s most amenity-rich beach towns, Tamarindo offers excellent access to shopping, schools, dining, and other lifestyle amenities.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Tamarindo if…

  •     You Value Amenities: Tamarindo is as close as central Guanacaste gets to a beach metropolis. Let’s put it this way: If you live in Tamarindo, there will be over 50 restaurants within walking distance!
  •     You Like to Surf (or Want to Learn): There are few things more “I live in Costa Rica now!” than waking up, grabbing your surfboard, and walking into the surf. Tamarindo is one of those places where you can do just that.
  •     You Need Access to XYZ Service: Whether you require access to a specialist medical professional or need to be within a 5-minute drive of a specific bank, Tamarindo is likely to put you close.

>> View Available Tamarindo Real Estate <<

Las Catalinas

Las Catalinas beach real estate in Costa Rica

If you seek a deep and grounded sense of community, then you will love Las Catalinas. Located just north of Playa Flamingo, astride Playa Danta and Playa Dantita, this beachfront resort and residential community occupies 1,200 acres of spectacular landscapes and protected tropical dry forest. And, somewhere amidst it all, it houses a growing oceanside community with pedestrian walkways, shops, restaurants (including two onsite), and other community amenities.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Las Catalinas if…

  •     You Crave Community: Las Catalinas has managed to build not just a neighborhood, but a true community. If you seek great neighbors and new friends, this is an excellent place to start.
  •     You Prefer Pedestrian Life: Not the dull type of pedestrian life, but the walkable one! Because Las Catalinas is a walking town and here, there’s no vehicle required for daily life.
  •     You Live an Active Lifestyle: Las Catalinas is home to truly superb, world-class hiking and biking trails.

>> View Available Las Catalinas Real Estate <<

Playa Flamingo

A perennial favorite for Costa Rica real estate, Playa Flamingo is sometimes referred to as the Beverly Hills of Costa Rica: upscale and maybe a tad exclusive, thanks to the universal appeal of its white-sand beaches, Ecological Blue Flag, incredible amenities, and great restaurants. And now, a brand new marina!

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Playa Flamingo if…

  •     Flamingo Marina: If you want to get out on the water, then there’s no better place to call home than Flamingo, which hosts Central Guanacaste’s upscale Flamingo Marina. (Completion date: 2022)
  •     You Love to Swim: Not every Costa Rican beach is well-suited to swimming but Playa Flamingo, with its warm and calm waters, is one that is.
  •     You Love to Eat Out: Playa Flamingo is home to excellent restaurants – some of the best in the Guanacaste region, in fact!

>> View Available Playa Flamingo Real Estate <<

Playa Conchal

real estate in Playa Conhcal Costa Rica

Known for the crushed seashells that adorn its beach – and inspire its name – Playa Conchal (“Shell Beach”) is also known for its spectacular landscapes, championship golf course, resort living, and rich amenities, especially for residents of Reserva Conchal, a private resort community.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Playa Conchal if…

  •     You Love Resort Living: If you’re seeking the resort side of life in Costa Rica, be sure to look into the beachfront gated resort and community of Reserva Conchal, complete with a multi-million-dollar Beach Club.
  •     You’re a Snorkeler: If you love to grab your snorkeling gear and dive right in, you’ll find many Costa Rican beaches a challenge, either in sights or visibility. Luckily, Playa Conchal’s white-sand beach is also one of the best for snorkeling.
  •     You’re a Full-Timer: Playa Conchal is home to a contingent of full-time residents, including a handful of full-time families.

>> View Available Playa Conchal Real Estate <<

Playa Langosta

Playa Langosta real estate in Costa Rica

If you want to have access to it all, but don’t want to share your living space with it all, then this quieter “suburb” of Tamarindo could be an excellent fit. Located 1 kilometer (just over half a mile) to Tamarindo, you can live here – and enjoy the quiet – while still walking (or drive, or bike, or golf cart) to all that Tamarindo has to offer.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Playa Langosta if…

  •     You Want to Be Close to It All: Want to walk to dining and nightlife? Need to shop at AutoMercado? You’re just a few minutes drive (or a 15 to 20-minute walk) from Tamarindo and its myriad amenities.
  •     Scenic Beauty: From its sandy beaches to its amazing tidepools, Playa Langosta is a striking feast for your senses.
  •     You Love to Surf: Grab your board and walk out onto the beach. Playa Langosta offers great waves!

>> View Available Playa Langosta Real Estate <<

Playa Potrero

Playa Potrero beach real estate Costa Rica

A bedroom community to Tamarindo, if you will, Playa Potrero blends beachside living with full-time living  (and, often, family life), making for a picture-perfect place to call home. The town is largely residential and now booming, thanks to surfside development – walk to amenities, including restaurants, a mini-mart, and more – and offers perhaps the best value in Guanacaste real estate.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Playa Potrero if…

  •     You’re Looking for a Deal: Playa Potrero promises a lot of bang for your buck, so it’s a great choice when you’re looking for a type of property that might be out of your price range in larger towns or more touristed areas.
  •     You’re a Full-Time Resident (or a Family): Playa Potrero attracts lots of full-time residents and families, so it’s a great choice if you fall into either (or both) of those categories.
  •     You Love to Swim: Playa Potrero may not be one of the most strikingly beautiful beaches in the area (although it’s pretty, in its own right), but in contrast to many beaches, this one is a bay and it’s safe for swimming.

>> View Available Playa Potrero Real Estate <<

Playa Grande

aerial view of Playa Grande Costa Rica

Located just north of Tamarindo – and by just, we mean literally just over the estuary at the north of town – Playa Grande is a booming beachfront community known for its surrounding Las Baulas National Marine Park, surfing, and cinnamon-sand beaches.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Playa Grande if…

  •     You Crave Amenities: Another best-of-both-worlds, Playa Grande offers easy access to Tamarindo’s bigger amenities, plus a generous handful of its own, including a smorgasbord of excellent restaurants.
  •     You Love to Surf: Welcome to one of the best surfing beaches in Costa Rica!
  •     Strong Local & Expat Community: Live in a diverse community, where plenty of expats have already been there, done that – and are happy to help you adapt to your new life in Costa Rica!

>> View Available Playa Grande Real Estate <<

Playa Avellanas

Playa Avellanas Costa Rica real estate

South of Costa Rica and partially included within the upscale resort community of Hacienda Pinilla, Playa Avellanas offers a quiet mix of seclusion and convenience.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Playa Avellanas if…

  •     You Want to be Surrounded by Nature: The balance between development and nature is delicate, especially in a country as small as Costa Rica. Playa Avellanas does it beautifully: Not too developed, but not too secluded, this is a great choice for people who crave a little of both.
  •     You’re a Surfer: Playa Avellanas is close to one of the best surfing beaches in the country. And this country has a lot of great surfing beaches!
  •     You Love to Dine Out: Despite its small size and relative seclusion, Playa Avellanas is home to some really great restaurants.

>> View Available Playa Avellanas Real Estate <<

Playa Junquillal

Part surf town, part residential paradise, Playa Junquillal is one of those hard-to-find (and you’re-so-glad-you-did) places that offer a slice of the rural lifestyle while still close (enough) to all the amenities you need in daily life.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Playa Junquillal if…

  • You Love to Surf: Grab your board because, in Playa Junquillal, the next great wave could be just outside your door!
  • Off the Touristed Track: If you’re more of a residential spirit, Playa Junquillal offers a good balance of being close to the beach town action, while still staying rural enough that you won’t see much in the way of tourist throngs.
  • Great Value: This is also one of the few places that still offer a great “deal” on beach-adjacent Costa Rica real estate.

>> View Available Playa Junquillal Real Estate <<

Playa Lagarto

Playa Lagarto real estate Costa Rica

Similar to Playa Junquillal, we’ve pegged Playa Lagarto as another up-and-coming beach town offering real value for people interested in somewhere not yet quite discovered.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Playa Lagarto if…

  • You Prefer the Quiet: You won’t have dozens of restaurants within walking distance, but you will have privacy and tranquility.
  • Great Value: As this is still somewhat off the Costa Rica real estate radar, Playa Lagarto offers excellent value for your money.

>> View Available Playa Lagarto Real Estate <<

Playa Negra

Costa Rica Playa Negra real estate

This cool little beach town offers a lot of what you’ll love – dining and proximity to amenities – without the things you don’t, like over-touristed beaches and crowds.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Playa Negra if…

  •     You Love to Dine Out: Despite its size, Playa Negra offers a menu of great restaurants to fuel your foodie soul.
  •     You’re a Surfer: This area is a favorite among surfers, thanks to its consistent (and often challenging) waves.
  •     You Want a Bit of Space: As yet not overdeveloped, Playa Negra offers a good balance of lifestyle amenities with off-the-beaten-path tranquility.

>> View Available Playa Negra Real Estate <<

Playas del Coco

Playas del Coco Costa Rica real estate

Playas del Coco, often styled as Coco or Playa del Coco, is Guanacaste’s biggest beach town – a city, even, if you’re loose with your definitions! But, don’t let the size fool you: Despite its diminutive acreage, this once-fishing village offers some of the best amenities on the coast, from excellent dining to proximity to the airport.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Playas del Coco if…

  •     You Fly Often: There’s nothing quite like proximity to Liberia’s Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) – a quick 30-minute drive! – to make you love beach life even more.
  •     You Need Big-City Amenities: If you require regular access to specialized medical care or other bigger-city amenities, Playas del Coco is just 30 minutes to Liberia, the capital (and well-equipped) city of Guanacaste province.
  •     And You Want Everyday Amenities, Too: Playas del Coco delivers there, with an AutoMercado, private schooling options, excellent restaurants, and more.

>> View Available Playas del Coco Real Estate <<

Playa Hermosa (Guanacaste)

Just north of Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa (Guanacaste) – not to be confused with the Playa Hermosa of Puntarenas province, just south of Jacó – is a more understated, northern suburb of Playas del Coco.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Playa Hermosa if…

  • You Fly a Lot: Like Coco, Playa Hermosa is about a half-hour to Liberia International Airport (LIR). So, if you fly a lot but don’t want to live in a city, this could be your perfect fit.
  • You Want Views: Playa Hermosa, Spanish for Beautiful Beach, is aptly named. Not only are Hermosa’s sands lovely but the ocean views are, too.
  • You Crave Lifestyle Amenities: Again, being this close to both Coco and Liberia, but juuust far enough away – well, you’ll have access to all the restaurants and banking and hardware stores and XYZ need you have, while still retreating to somewhere away from the hustle and bustle.

>> View Available Playa Hermosa (Guanacaste) Real Estate <<

Playa Ocotal

Playa Ocotal real estate in Guanacaste

Located very close to Playas del Coco, but just far enough to be its own beach town, Playa Ocotal serves both as a Coco bedroom community and attraction in its own right.

You Might Want to Buy Real Estate in Playa Ocotal if…

  • You Live/Work/Do Business in Coco: If you need to be in Playas del Coco on the regular, but don’t want to live in Coco proper, Playa Ocotal promises supreme convenience.
  • Incredible Ocean Views: Playa Ocotal’s unique topography delivers amazing ocean views.
  • You Love to Swim: Ocotal Beach has little to no current, making it not only scenic but a great place to swim.

>> View Available Playa Ocotal Real Estate <<

Step 2: Pick Your Costa Rica Real Estate “Type”

This one boils down to lifestyle: Why are you purchasing property in Costa Rica? Do you plan to live here full-time? Are you going to offer your home as a short-term vacation rental? Do you plan to retire here in the future? Etc. etc. There are lots of questions to ask but, to give you an idea of what suits whom best:

Single-Family Homes & Villas

pool and ocean view from Costa Rica home

If you prioritize privacy and you’re planning to live in Costa Rica full-time – whether right now or at some future date – then you might love a single-family home or villa.

  • Price Range: $100,000 (small homes) – $3M+ (luxury homes)
  • Pros: You’ll have greater privacy and, usually, more room to spread out.
  • Cons: If you don’t plan to move immediately, you’ll have to hire a property manager to take care of your home. On top of that, you’ll be responsible for all maintenance, including gardening, pool maintenance, and more. (Although your property manager can help with that.)

Condos for Sale in Costa Rica

Malinche 112 B condo rental Reserva Conchal

Another sweet spot in Costa Rica real estate, condos – by the way, not the high-rise, apartment-style condos you may envision, but rather townhomes and units in, typically, small buildings – promise a lock-up-and-leave lifestyle, with security in place and for which everything is handled, from the gardener to pool maintenance.

  • Price Range: $100,000 (small one-bedroom condo) – $1M+ (luxury condos)
  • Pros: Resort amenities, often. Step right into your Costa Rican life, with few annoyances and little responsibility, thanks to well-managed HOAs. A great choice for part-timers, as you won’t have to worry about a housesitter or property manager while you’re away.
  • Cons: Less privacy [than single-family homes or villas] and sometimes more restrictions, depending on your homeowner’s association.

Lots/Land for Sale in Costa Rica

ocean view lot in Costa RicaFor exacting clients or not-quite-yet buyers, land can be an excellent Costa Rica real estate investment. Because, whether you’re looking to build your dream home right now or you’re in it for the long-haul, lot and land prices are going up. Buying now allows you to get in on today’s ground floor.

  • Price Range: $25,000 (1/8-acre, mountain-view) – $2M+ (acreage or large oceanview/oceanfront lots)
  • Pros: It’s a lot easier to find your perfect piece of land, than to find your perfect piece of land with your perfect home, already built. Plus, some of the best gated communities and developments are so new, you won’t find anything already built; if you want to live here, you’ll need to purchase land and then build.
  • Cons: There’s more permitting and other hoops to jump through when you purchase land for building. Additionally, until you live here, you’ll need to protect your land from potential squatters. (Security is a major bonus to purchasing land in a development or gated community.)

Businesses and Hotels (Commercial)

La Esquina business for sale in Guanacaste Costa Rica

If you’re looking to slide right into a Costa Rican business – one of the few ways to secure Costa Rican residency AND make a local income – then you might be interested in purchasing an established business.

  • Price Range: $90,000 (small shop) – $8M+ (large, oceanview hotel in a popular tourist area)
  • Pros: Depending on your investment, this purchase could fulfill the requirements for Costa Rican Inversionista (investor) residency. Additionally, while you can’t personally work in your business, you can make a profit from that business: one of the only ways for resident foreigners to legally earn an income in Costa Rica.
  • Cons: Doing business in a foreign country isn’t always easy!

Step 3: Choose Your View

When it comes to views, almost all Costa Rica real estate has a great one. Beachfront or oceanfront and beach-view or oceanview properties generate the highest demand and, therefore, are offered at premium prices, while mountain-view and landscaped properties unfold over rare tropical dry forest, exotic gardens, and towering mountains. You really can’t lose.

Beachfront & Oceanfront Real Estate

beachfront oceanfront Costa Rica real estate

You need to know that, within the context of Costa Rica real estate, beachfront and oceanfront property is hard to come by. That’s because about 95% of it is concession property (see our FAQ, below) and the other 5% rarely comes on the market.

  • Price Range: $200,000 (lots) $2M+ (luxury homes)
  • Time on Market: A few days to several months
  • Average Inventory: Very low

Oceanview Real Estate

Costa Rica Real Estate

The sweet spot between rare and pricey, oceanview Costa Rica real estate is one of our favorites: Not only will you enjoy spectacular views to the Pacific, but you’ll probably be set into the hillside, where cool sea breezes add to the ambiance (and help lower your A/C bill).

  • Price Range: $99,000 (lots) to $2M+ (luxury homes)
  • Time on Market: 1-6 months
  • Average Inventory: Low to Medium

Landscape + Mountain-View Real Estate

mountain view real estate in Guanacaste Costa Rica

The thing about Costa Rica is that everywhere you look, there’s something to see. So, whether you prefer a home a little off the beaten path or just seek a lower price tag, landscape- and mountain-view properties promise lovely views of tropical gardens, dry forest and, of course, the surrounding mountains.

  • Price Range: $50,000 (lots) to $2M+ (luxury homes)
  • Time on Market: 3 to 6 months
  • Average Inventory: Low to Medium

Costa Rica Real Estate FAQ

Here are a few of our most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Costa Rica real estate and life:

Can foreigners buy property in Costa Rica?

Yes, a foreigner can own a property in Costa Rica.

Do foreigners have the same ownership rights as Costa Ricans?

Foreigners will have the same ownership rights as Costa Rican citizens. Ownership rights are guaranteed by the Costa Rican Constitution and apply to all, regardless of whether the property is placed in the name of a corporation or in the name of an individual.

What’s the difference between buying titled and concession property? 

Titled property (also known as “fee simple,” in English-language real estate parlance) means that you have absolute ownership and recognized rights of possession. Titled property holds the greatest and most ownership rights, when it comes to Costa Rica real estate. Notably, titled oceanfront or beachfront property is very rare in Costa Rica, due to a law that makes all beaches (and 200 meters inland) public or concession land.

Concession property is essentially the right to use and enjoy, for a specific time period (usually, 20 years), any property located within the public Maritime Zone. Essentially, concession property is a lease. As mentioned above, Costa Rican law dictates that all oceanfront (50 meters inland, as measured from high tide) is public land; land from 50 to 150 meters inland (200 meters, in total), as measured from high tide, is concession property.

There are some exceptions – and, yes, titled beachfront property occasionally becomes available – but they’re too many to get into here. So, we’ll finish by saying that foreigners have full and equal ownership rights to titled property and most concession property. The only caveat is for concession property held in a corporation: Foreigners may not own more than 50% of the shares in that corporation.

This is a big (and important) topic, we know. So, if you have additional questions about titled or concession property, please get in touch.

How do closing costs work?

Usually, but not always (and not required by law), the buyer and seller split closing costs 50/50.

As for the fees: In Costa Rica, closing costs are a function of transfer tax (1.5%), National Registry stamps (0.5%), documentary stamps, and a notary fee (typically, 1% to 1.25%). Additionally, you’ll pay 13% VAT (locally known as IVA) on all closing cost services (ex. the attorney’s services). While exact numbers will vary a bit, this closing cost calculator will give you an idea on the fees you can expect to pay.

Notably, the buyer always chooses the attorney for closing. The attorney must also be a notary public (a higher office, in Costa Rica).

Is buying property in Costa Rica a good investment?

According to the opinions of our clientele, buying a property in Costa Rica is a good investment since properties are sold for a fraction of what it would cost in the United States for something similar. Additionally, property taxes are reasonable and, whether you live in Costa Rica permanently or visit the country for vacation, you will be amazed by the abundant wonders Costa Rica has to offer.

Is it safe to buy real estate in Costa Rica?

Buying Costa Rica real estate is very safe from legal and lifestyle perspectives, as Costa Rica is among the safest countries in Latin America. That said, keep in mind that when it comes to finding property for sale, there are still plenty of sharks out there willing to take money from naïve expats looking to buy into their dream. Choose wisely! (We’re one of the good guys.)

What’s required to move to Costa Rica?

In order to move to Costa Rica and stay for extended periods, you will need to meet immigration requirements. There are several residency options, including the popular Investor Program (Inversionistas, including those who purchase Costa Rica real estate), the Pensionado Program (for retirees), and the Rentista Program, which requires either proof of a monthly income of at least $2,500 USD for at least 2 years or a $60,000 USD deposit into a Costa Rican bank account.

Where do most American expats live in Costa Rica?

Many American Expats live along the Gold Coast, the Central Pacific Coast, and the Southern Zone, as well as Arenal and the Central Valley, which runs from San Ramon to Cartago.

What’s Costa Rican medical care really like? 

In a (simplified) word, great. Tourists have access to private care, which is readily available for everything from a wellness checkup to emergency care, and is reasonably priced compared to U.S. costs. Depending on your home health insurance, or on your travel insurance, you may receive reimbursement for in-network private medical care.

Public healthcare is also good, although it’s only available to residents and citizens. As a member of the public healthcare system, known as the CCSS or Caja (pronounced cah-hah), you’ll pay a monthly fee (usually, a % of your income or pension) and will have access to no-added-cost medical care – again, everything from wellness checkups to emergency care.

What elementary/high school private schools are available in the area? 

We’re very lucky to have high-quality private schools in our area. From Playas del Coco south to Hacienda Pinilla, Guanacaste’s private schools offer a full menu of educational offerings, from alternative schools, project-based learning, and outdoor-focused programs to rigorous college preparatory curriculums with International Baccalaureate (IB)/Advanced Placement (AP)/dual-enrollment options.

What’s the weather like? How hot does it really get? How rainy is the rainy season? 

No bones about it: The beach is HOT. During the hottest months (March and April, usually), daytime temperatures in the sun can climb into the mid- to high-90s (35º C or higher). In the shade, you’ll hover in the more comfortable mid-80s (around 30º C). And, of course, a cold drink helps and a dip in the pool always help!

As for the rainy season – again, it depends. Guanacaste is the driest region of Costa Rica, so you’ll see less rainfall here than in, say, Arenal or the Central Valley. But, during the rainy season (May-November), as a general rule, you can expect sunny mornings with afternoon showers. Depending on the month (ex. May is drier than October), those afternoon showers can last anywhere from 60 seconds to several hours.

Let’s talk about getting around:

Where can I buy a car, go to the doctor, and generally go about living my life?

It depends. Really! Guanacaste’s two biggest beach towns (Tamarindo and Playas del Coco) may be just 32 miles (52 kilometers) apart, but if you live in one, you won’t want to do your daily shopping in the other. (For one, Costa Rican distances can be deceptive. Plan on about an hour’s drive between Tamarindo and Coco!)

That said, you’ll be happy to know that both beach cities – and many of the sandy towns in between – easily cover all your day-to-day needs, including grocery stores, restaurants, farmers’ markets, minor medical care, and pharmacies. AutoMercado, Costa Rica’s most upscale supermarket, which offers a wide selection of familiar imports, offers locations in both Tamarindo and Playas del Coco.

Want to know specifics? Local expertise is our bread and butter. So, get in touch. We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction!

Costa Rica Real Estate with Rebecca Clower Video

Hopes? Dreams? Questions about Costa Rica Real Estate?

You are our first and last priority, always. We will not try to “make a sale” on you. We will get to know you. We will understand your goals and your dreams and your limitations, too. And then, we’ll help you find what works for you. And we’ll cheer for you when you finally find it.


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    Costa Rica Real Estate and Rentals
    Average rating:  
     1 reviews
     by Patrick Smith on Costa Rica Real Estate and Rentals
    Living the dream

    I decided to move to Costa Rica 3 years ago. Since then I feel like living the dream in the Pura Vida country.

    Thanks Rebecca and staff for all your help in the process.