New Flights Coming To And From Costa Rica

High season is quickly approaching and airlines are preparing by offering new flights to Costa Rica! This is fabulous news for travelers hoping to spend some time in the sun. 

plane

First let’s talk about the U.S. airline Frontier. Frontier has announced new non-stop flights from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to the two main airports in Costa Rica.  There will be one weekly flight into Liberia International Airport starting December 17th and Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose will have flights twice weekly starting November 17th.

Frontier is hoping to help boost tourism by offering new routes to preferred destinations. Costa Rica is a very sought after destination for many U.S. travelers due to the country’s numerous outdoor activities, welcoming culture, and commitment to environmental preservation. 

Best part is, Frontier is known for offering ultra-low fares that allow travelers more affordable access to countries such as Costa Rica. Travelers with a love for nature can come and truly experience everything this beautiful country has to offer. 

Another airline increasing flights into Costa Rica is the Swiss airline Edelweiss. Starting November 2nd, Edelweiss will have an Airbus A340-300 fly into Guanacaste from Zurich twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays. Costa Rica has become a very popular holiday destination among the Swiss and there is definitely an increase in demand!

Edelweiss’ increasing frequency of flights to Guanacaste shows that Costa Rica is growing as a destination worldwide. This is a big deal for Costa Rica’s tourism sector as well as for property owners here in Guanacaste. More tourists means more rentals and more business! 

For those living here, Arajet, Dominican Republic’s low-cost airline, announced that it will begin operations in Costa Rica! Arajet offers flights to the Dominican Republic, the United States, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Curaçao, Mexico, Panama, Aruba, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Peru, Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, El Salvador, and Jamaica from Costa Rica.

beach

Arajet has already begun offering and selling tickets for direct and convenient flights to many of these destinations starting in October.  The airline anticipates flying 5 times a week. Arajet also plans to offer ticket prices 30% to 60% lower than the market average. 

Costa Rica hopes to start this high season with an influx of new travelers as well as affordable prices for those who visit every year or who have made Costa Rica their home. Keep an eye out, other airlines are sure to increase flights into Guanacaste. Come and enjoy everything this beautiful country has to offer!

Recreational Marijuana In Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is working towards the legalization of recreational marijuana. During the commemoration of President Rodrigo Chaves’ first 100 days in office, Chaves announced a bill that would do just that! This bill for legalizing recreational marijuana will be presented to the Legislative Assembly by November 1st at the latest. 

Earlier this year in March, as soon as the Legislative Assembly approved a bill legalizing medical marijuana and hemp, former President Carlos Alvarado signed the bill into law. Both former President Carlos Alvarado and current President Rodrigo Chaves believe cannabis will be a great benefit for the country.

Hemp received a warm welcome by the agricultural and business sectors. Hemp’s legalization will help farmers generate a new form of income by taking advantage of this growing international market. Improving Costa Rica’s current economy and providing high quality exports.

Recreational marijuana may have a more difficult time getting approved by Congress. The proposal has already generated a few negative reactions in certain political sectors and some politicians are saying they will oppose the bill. The Costa Rican people are divided. Some believe legalization can lead the youth to turn into addicts or that marijuana can affect brain development.

President Chaves feels that legalizing marijuana would hinder criminal groups’ economic activity. The Ministry of Finance could start collecting taxes from the commercialization of marijuana, instead of the criminal groups lining their pockets. It is no secret that marijuana is being consumed in this country so why not have the government benefit off of it instead of the criminals?

Legalizing recreational marijuana would also make it a regulated activity, thus helping the Costa Rican government to have better control over the population’s consumption. Many other countries have already decriminalized recreational marijuana and have obtained great results. Decriminalization can lead to a more transparent use of cannabis.

Only time will tell if Costa Rica will approve recreational marijuana. When the Legislative Assembly is presented the bill later this year, they will be responsible for deciding what is best for the country.

Financing In Costa Rica With LAFISE

Financing options for foreigners were always very limited in Costa Rica but now Banco LAFISE  is making mortgage loans available for USA and Canadian citizens. Loan availability will now make buying your dream home in paradise a possibility!

Founded in 1985, LAFISE is a modern and diversified business holding company. LAFISE has established itself as the regional financial leader in specialized services such as banking, brokerage houses, investment banking, insurance, investments and management of venture capital funds. LAFISE operates in the markets of Central America, the United States, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Colombia.

Currently, LAFISE has conditions for mortgage loans for home purchase, lot purchase, construction on own lot and transfer of mortgages or the purchase of a current mortgage in another bank. The maximum term is 30 years for a house or condo, and 15 years for a lot.

Now let’s talk about the requirements for USA and Canadian citizens interested in getting a mortgage loan through Banco LAFISE.

  • Copy of passport
  • Income tax of the last 3 years
  • 6 months of statements and certification of income by public accountant (required for self-employed)
  • Last 4 pay stubs with salary constance and 3 months of statements (required for salaried employee)
  • 3 credit references or score (for example: Equifax, TransUnion, Credit Solutions, Karma Credit, Borrowell, Experian, etc.)
  • KYC form, credit application form, and SUGEF form, all must be completed by the client and signed
  • Proof of pension (required in case of being pensioned)
  • Value of the property you wish to acquire
  • Contract of purchase and sale or reservation

LAFISE requires each client requesting a loan to have a life insurance policy with LAFISE. In the case that a client has a preexisting life insurance policy, that policy can be used as long as LAFISE is named the beneficiary. 

The interest rate in dollars today is 6.75% fixed for 2 years and from the 3rd year the rate is variable with a TRI-merge credit report of 12 months + 4%. Depending on the property, LAFISE can lend from 50% to 80% of the value of the property according to the appraisal.

If the property is near a beach (for example located in Playas del Coco or Playa Hermosa) the client needs to put a 30% premium. Although if the value of the condo or house is high the client may need to put up to a 40% or 50% premium. Also if the property will be used as a rental or vacation home, the premium starts at 35% or higher depending on the value and location of the property.

If the property is far from a beach, such as a city like Liberia, the premium can start as low as 20% but if the value of the condo or home is high, LAFISE will require a higher premium percentage.  Each individual case is different.

LAFISE has an office in Miami, Florida, which is in charge of reviewing these documents. These documents can be submitted digitally to a loan agent who will carry out  a credit study. Once approved, the client must be present in Costa Rica for the signing of the mortgage protocol at the LAFISE office in Liberia. 

Loan availability with reasonable interest rates in Costa Rica is a game changer! So many more people will be able to make their dreams a reality. Interested in more details or getting in touch with an agent at LAFISE? Please reach out and I would be happy to assist you!