Biodiversity in Costa Rica

Birds, monkeys, snakes, oh my! Costa Rica is the land of biodiversity. Home to more than 500,000 species, Costa Rica is one of the top 20 countries with the highest biodiversity in the world! That number represents nearly 5% of the total species estimated worldwide. Costa Rica may be a tiny country, but it definitely has variety.

Land 

First, let’s talk about the land. Costa Rica’s territory is so important and biodiverse, that over 25% of the land is protected! The many different biomes that can be found throughout Costa Rica are the reason the country has such great biodiversity. These biomes include: the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, the tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests, the montane grasslands and shrub lands, and the mangroves. 

Each one of these eco-regions is characterized by a certain combination of flora, fauna, and climate. Many plants or animals that live in one biome cannot live in another, even though the distance between them may be small. Elevation, geographic location, climate all play an important role in creating these eco-regions. 

Playa Nacazcol drone photo

Water

Next, the water! Costa Rica is bordered by the Atlantic & Pacific ocean. These warm coastal waters are home to a variety of whales, sharks, dolphins, fish, corals and so much more. The marine biodiversity of Costa Rica comprises a total of around 95,000 species, representing about 4.7% of all marine species reported worldwide! Off the coast is Isla del Coco, a biodiverse haven, which holds 41.5% of the country’s endemic species! 

Not only are the oceans full of life, but the lakes, wetlands, and rivers as well. Palo Verde National Park, which is 50% wetlands, is considered one of the most biodiverse areas in all of Costa Rica! It is a sanctuary for thousands of aquatic birds.

Flora

Onwards to some more incredible numbers, this time about plants. Costa Rica’s abundance of flora is absolutely remarkable! This tiny country holds over 9,000 different flowering plants and around 800 species of ferns. You can even find over 1,500 different orchid species!

Costa Rica’s rainforests are a big factor in the biodiversity of the flora. Since rainforests are extremely rapid ecosystems, the competition between plants is fierce! The flora must do everything to survive and adapt, thus creating a variety of new beautiful species intrinsically designed to fit in a niche environment. 

Fauna

Lastly my favorite, the animals. Over 200 species of mammals, 850 species of birds, 220 species of reptiles, 200 species of amphibians, and a whopping 300,000 species of insects coexist in this magically biodiverse country. Costa Rica’s fauna is admired by all. The critters are the reason so many are drawn to the exquisite place. Where else can you see a toucan, sloth, monkey, macaw and red eye tree frog all happily tucked in a lush jungle landscape? 

No matter where you travel throughout Costa Rica you are bound to see hummingbirds, crocodiles, coatis, snakes, and lizards. Large fauna can be a bit more elusive such as tapirs, jaguars and deer but they are alway present.

Why bother going to the zoo or a botanical garden when you can come to Costa Rica and experience biodiversity at its finest? The ever evolving wild beauty of this country will leave a mark on your heart and a longing to never leave!

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Costa Rica’s Luxury Home Tax

Taxes. Everyone’s least favorite topic but important information for those wanting to move to Costa Rica. So what is the luxury home tax? Below, I will go into detail of what this tax is and who it applies to.

patio of a home subject to the luxury home tax

What is the Luxury Home Tax and Who Needs to Pay it?

The Solidarity Tax for the Strengthening of Housing Programs or simply put, the luxury home tax, is an additional tax placed on homeowners who own a house, condominium unit, or apartment with a current value over ¢133,000,000.00 (approximately US$ 214,500).

Every 3 years, homeowners must do a luxury home tax evaluation to determine if their dwelling in Costa Rica is subject to the Luxury Home Tax. The tax rates start with 0.25% and end in 0.55% of the home’s value, determined by the home evaluation performed specifically for the luxury home tax. Payments of this tax must be made by Jan. 15 each year or penalties will be imposed.

The value of your constructed home, along with other improvements such as swimming pools, walls, bodegas, ranchos, sports fields, etc. is what will determine whether or not you need to pay this tax. The threshold at which the tax goes into effect only applies to these types of construction and improvements, but not the land itself. The land value will be added to the construction value only after you surpass this threshold. Then you will have to pay the tax based on the entire amount.

view of the Pacific Ocean from the bedroom of a luxury home in Costa Rica

So what’s the next step?

If you are a homeowner that is currently paying the tax, you should perform a new evaluation to determine if the dwelling remains subject to the tax for the next 3 years. As well as if there are any changes in regards to how much the tax would be for those following 3 years or if the home is even still subject to the tax.

If you are a homeowner that bought a new house, condo, or apartment during 2019-2021, you should perform the evaluation to determine if the dwelling is subject to the tax for the next three years.

If you are a condominium unit owner with an area of over 120 square meters (1,292 square feet) you should contact the condominium administrator to determine if there is a decision about addressing the valuation as a group and if not, consider performing his/her own evaluation.

View of a Playa Hermosa luxury home from the side of a hill

In Conclusion

Taxes are not always a pleasant topic, but they truly are a small price to pay to live in paradise! These taxes are also very beneficial to the Costa Rican people because the purpose of this luxury tax is to build homes for people living in poverty.

If you have any questions, please reach out and I would be glad to assist you!

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Flights to Costa Rica!

It is that time of the year again! The United States, Canada, and Europe are all getting chilly again… Below are all the flights that are coming into Costa Rica. This is critical information for all those looking to feel warm, relaxed, and pura vida once more! Or looking to purchase that dream property you have always thought about.

Airplane in flight

Let’s start with the United States.

For those seeking flights into Guanacaste:

  • Los Angeles: Alaska (ends in August), Delta (November to January), JetBlue, United.
  • San Francisco: United.
  • Denver: Southwest (November to April), United.
  • Austin: American (starts in November).
  • Dallas: American.
  • Houston: United (IAH), Southwest (HOU).
  • Minneapolis: Delta (December to April), Sun Country (December to April).
  • Chicago: American (November to April), United.
  • Atlanta: Delta.
  • Miami: American.
  • Orlando: Frontier (starts in November).
  • Charlotte: American (starts in December).
  • Washington, D.C.: Southwest (BWI).
  • New York City: United (EWR), American (JFK; starts in December), JetBlue.
  • Boston: JetBlue (ends in April).

For those seeking flights into San Jose, here are your options:

  • Los Angeles: Alaska (as of November), Avianca (as of December), Delta, JetBlue (ends in October), United.
  • Phoenix: American (December and January).
  • Denver: United.
  • Dallas: American.
  • Houston: United (IAH), Southwest (HOU).
  • Chicago: American (November to May), United.
  • Atlanta: Delta.
  • Orlando: Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit (ends in May).
  • Miami area: American (MIA), Avianca (MIA), Frontier (MIA; as of November), Spirit (FLL and MIA), JetBlue (FLL).
  • Washington, D.C.: United (IAD).
  • New York City: United (EWR), American (JFK; starts in November), Avianca (JFK; starts in December), JetBlue (JFK).

Playa Penca in Costa Rica

Next, Canada!

Flights to Guanacaste:

  • Calgary (YYC): WestJet (from November to April).
  • Montreal (YUL): Air Canada (from November to April), Air Transat (from December to April), Sunwing (starts in November).
  • Toronto (YYZ): Air Canada, Air Transat (from December to April), Sunwing (starts in November), WestJet.

Flights to San Jose:

  • Montreal (YUL): Air Canada (from December to April), Air Transat (from December to April).
  • Toronto (YYZ): Air Canada, Air Transat (from December to April), WestJet (starts in December).

Playa Del Coco Costa Rica

Lastly, below are the flights from Europe into Costa Rica.

To Guanacaste:

  • Amsterdam: KLM (from November to March).
  • Zürich: Edelweiss Air (from November to May).

To San Jose:

  • Amsterdam: KLM.
  • Frankfurt: Lufthansa.
  • London: British Airways (from December to April).
  • Madrid: Iberia, Evelop (ends in April).
  • Paris: Air France.
  • Zürich: Edelweiss Air.

Please remember to check with airlines and local governments because the international routes continue to change frequently due to Covid-19 and varying mandates.

Be sure to make plans to escape the cold this winter… Visit Costa Rica! The best way to stay healthy and happy is to receive plenty of sunshine and a large dose of “Pura Vida”!

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Costa Rica HOA Pros and Cons

To live with a HOA, or not to live with a HOA, that is the question… The truth is, living with a Home Owners Association in Costa Rica is all about personal preference. Below are some pros and cons of HOAs to help you make a decision when purchasing property in Costa Rica.

Hillside condo community in Costa Rica

HOA Pros

Landscape Maintenance

If you hate maintaining a yard or garden, you will definitely need to purchase a condo. The HOA will make sure the lawn is mown, flowers are planted, pests are controlled, and the trash is picked up. As well as any other landscaping duties. If you end up purchasing a property and are not planning on staying in Costa Rica full time, it is convenient to have your landscape taken care of. This way, you do not come home to an overgrown jungle!

Exterior Home Maintenance

Particularly in a condo complex, the HOA will repair the roof, the exterior walls, replace external lights and take care of the exterior paint on the building. This is a major weight off the homeowners shoulders. The only maintenance the owner has to worry about is the interior of their home.

Amenities

Many HOA developments here in Costa Rica include swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, playgrounds, beach clubs, and gyms in their communities. The best part is that you won’t have to maintain any of it! Paying HOA fees covers the costs of all these amenities. This is perfect for those looking to have recreation and social options right within their community.

community road in Costa Rica maintained by the HOA

Conflict Resolution

Do you dread conflict and confrontation? Then a HOA is perfect for you! If you have an issue with a neighbor, you simply let your HOA know and they will mitigate and handle the situation. There is no need for you to directly contact your neighbor about any unsavory topics.

Security

Most gated and guarded communities in Costa Rica have a HOA. This adds a lot of security and value to your property. The HOA is in charge of the security service, the fencing around the community, and maintenance of the entrance.

HOA Cons

Fees

Nothing is for free…oftentimes the HOA fees are not cheap! The more amenities and perks that are offered, the steeper the price you end up paying. HOA fees in the Playa Hermosa and Playa del Coco area range from $100 to $1400 A MONTH! These fees can be a large part of the monthly cost of owning a condo in Costa Rica.  Be sure to find out what the fees cover before making any decisions.

Exterior Regulations

Say goodbye to your dreams of a pink home… HOA’s often have very meticulous guidelines in regards to homes’ exteriors. Some HOA’s even have regulations on what style of roof tiles you can use or what building methods you employ. When choosing to build a home in a community with a HOA you must be very mindful of the regulations they have in place.

Rules

Not only are there regulations for the exterior of your home but also plenty of other various rules and restrictions. Such as the number of pets allowed, what can be placed on the balcony, or where you can hang your laundry. You also may not be allowed to wash your car in the driveway or have too many guests over. If you don’t like to abide by rules a HOA may not be for you…

Hi rise condos in Costa Rica covered by HOA fees

Cookie Cutter

Since there are many rules and regulations about the exterior of your property, a HOA can cause a development to look monotonous or “cookie cutter”. The buildings will all have a uniform look and style. There is not much room for uniqueness and individuality. This usually the case for a condominium project.

Management

Who’s in charge? A HOA can be efficient and professional or a disorganized disaster. If the HOA is mismanaging money or the community, many problems can arise. It is important to stay on top of your HOA or become an active member to make sure it is being governed properly.

 

All in all, depending on your needs an HOA can be good or bad. Weighing all your options and deciding what route will work best for you is the key to a happy purchase. If you have any questions or need any assistance please reach out and I will be happy to help!

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Adventurous Day Trips

Costa Rica is the land of beautiful beaches… but it has so much more to offer! Why sit at the beach all day when you can go on an adventurous day trip? These magical spots are only an hour or two away from Playa del Coco!

Day Trip to Cortez Waterfall

Just 1 hour away from Playa del Coco is the Llanos de Cortez waterfall. This truly magnificent waterfall is located in Bagaces. Affordable and very wellLannos de Cortez Waterfall in Costa Rica maintained, this is an ideal spot to bring the family. There are restrooms and showers. The walk down to the falls is manageable for most visitors in decent physical shape. When you arrive at the base of the falls, you will be enchanted. A sunny sandy beach hugs the shore of the falls where you can take a refreshing swim. You can even swim beneath the waterfall! Interested in other waterfalls? Check out my previous blog about Costa Rica waterfalls.

Day trip to the Mud Baths

Do you love being slathered in mud? Well I have some great news about another day trip! Both the Rincon de la Vieja and Miravalles volcanoes are surrounded by bubbling mud pits. These hot bubbling mud pits are rich in minerals and have plenty of therapeutic as well as rejuvenating properties. There are numerous locations, all within a two hour or less drive from Coco, that offer this muddy spa experience. A few great options are Hacienda Guachipelin,  Borinquen Mountain Resort, or Las Hornillas.

Las Hornillas mud baths in Costa Rica

Day Trip to Rincón De La Vieja

After being coated with mud and feeling 20 years younger, you can go for a hike at Rincón de la Vieja. Rincón de la Vieja is a national park located only an hour Rincon de la Vieja Waterfall in Costa Ricaand 20 minutes away from Playa del Coco. This national park is over 31,000 acres and has a plethora of incredible walking trails. Within this park are also many beautiful waterfalls. You will come across endless wildlife and breathtaking landscapes as you hike throughout the park. Rincón de la Vieja is a must see destination and is great for all ages. For more information, check out my previous blog about Rincon de la Vieja.

Day Trip to Palo Verde Boat Tour

Crocs, monkeys, birds, oh my! A Palo Verde Boat day tour will captivate you for hours. Palo Verde National Park surrounds the Tempisque Conservation area. This conservation area is especially important because it is one of the most endangered ecosystems in all of Central America. This boat tour will teach you about all the migratory birds that depend on this area for mating and raising their young. You will see 6ft long crocodiles and playful capuchin monkeys as you gently cruise down the river. A great experience for birders or families!

Crocodile seen on the Palo Verde Boat Tour

Whitewater Rafting Day Trip

Lastly, this one is for the real thrill seekers! An hour away, just outside of Canas, you will find RCR Rafting. This whitewater rafting tour company will take you down the Tenorio River toWhitewater Rafting day trip experience Class III-IV rapids! Whitewater rafting is perfect for those looking for a wild adrenaline rush while still taking in the beauty of Costa Rica! An experienced guide takes you through the rapids and teaches you a few things along the way. For those who are a little less adventurous… RCR also offers a slow moving tour of the Corobici River.

No matter what Costa Rica day trip adventure you choose, it is bound to be a great experience. Costa Rica is definitely so much more than just a beautiful rich coast!

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Independence Day in Costa Rica

This year, Costa Rica is celebrating its 200th year of independence from Spain! This bicentennial celebration was a bit different from years prior…

Dolls dressed up in traditional costumes for Costa Rica independence day

First, let’s start with some history. On September 15th, 1821, all of Central America gained independence from Spain. Unlike many of their neighbors, Ticos managed to win their freedom without any revolution or bloodshed due to being such a remote province. Costa Rica actually did not find out about its independence until a whole month later! Very “Pura Vida”!

Costa Rica shares this independence date with Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. This is very significant because an actual fire lit torch is run by foot from Guatemala starting Sept. 9th all the way to Cartago, Costa Rica by Sept. 14th. This tradition is celebrated every year by all 5 countries. The torch is even considered by Costa Rica as a national symbol! Check out this link to read about the national symbols of Costa Rica.

On the evening of Sept. 14th there is a traditional nighttime lantern parade or the “Desfile de Faroles” by the school children. The handmade lanterns or “faroles” are an important part of the independence celebration and a tribute to Dolores Bedoya. In 1821, Dolores Bedoya, equipped with only a lantern, spread the message that they were now independent nations. This reenactment is celebrated across the country.

Costa Rica flag decoration for independence day

September 15th is the day of the national holiday. But the celebration starts at the beginning of the month. All of September is considered the month of the nation or “mes de la patria”. The entire country covers itself with the Costa Rican flag, donning the blue, white, and red banners everywhere! The color blue represents the sky, white is for peace and wisdom, and red is for the warmth and generosity of the Costa Rican people.

This year, the festivities were a bit toned down due to Covid-19… But that didn’t stop Costa Rica from having an incredible display at the National Stadium in San Jose! 500 drones took flight and were positioned to represent figures such as the beloved sloth and traditional costumes. A tribute was paid to health workers during the pandemic and of course the national slogan was spelled out. PURA VIDA!

Although there were a lot less parades, marching bands, and fiestas, Costa Rica did it’s best to embrace its independence! The Costa Rican government moved the holiday to the 13th of September this year so families could enjoy an uninterrupted Independence Day weekend. The cultural centers in San Jose offered many virtual activities for everyone to partake in and all the concerts were broadcasted live. 

Patriotic banner used on independence day

Covid-19 may have slowed down the festivities but it didn’t stop the nation from being decorated in blue, white, and red. When you visit Costa Rica, you will see the immense pride Ticos have in their beautiful country and their heritage.

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Children’s Day in Costa Rica

Children’s Day or El Día del Niño is a celebration in Costa Rica that happens every year on September 9th. This playful celebration honors all the children of Costa Rica with festivities and various activities.

School kids gathered for Children's Day in Costa Rica

El Día del Niño was established in Costa Rica in 1946. Costa Rica was actually one of the first countries to celebrate Children’s Day. In 1954, the United Nations encouraged all other countries to follow suit and observe this holiday. Although it is not a legal holiday in Costa Rica, it is celebrated across the country with laughter, parties, and plenty of sweets!

There is much more to this day than presents and parties. It is an important day because it is a time to observe and promote the welfare of children around the world. Children’s Day is essential for promoting children’s rights worldwide. Some of these rights include freedom from discrimination, entitlement to name and nationality, free and compulsory education, protection, love and affection and so much more.

Kids enjoying special projects for Children's Day

More often than not, Children’s Day in Costa Rica falls on a school day. When this happens, schools organize various activities for the children. Teachers, parents, and sponsors fill the day with games, treats, competitions, and happiness. From face painting to relay races, the children enjoy plenty of silly entertainment. It is a day the children truly look forward to.

This year, I had the wonderful opportunity to sponsor gifts for 54 kids in the small town of Artola, near Playa del Coco. The local church was hosting a celebration for them. Boys and girls from the ages of 1 to 15 years old were all looking forward to a party and a little surprise!

Children's Day ShoppingI headed to Liberia with my trusted assistant Julia, so she could help with the selection of toys for girls and we let our inner kid out as we shopped for the presents. Dolls, Legos, fire trucks, jewelry kits, soccer balls and more! We even got the kids two piñatas, one for the boys one for the girls and plenty of candy and treats to fill them both to go truly crazy!

After seeing the photos and the smiles on the kids’ faces, I couldn’t be happier.Young boy getting ready to play soccer on Children's Day in Costa Rica Seeing the kids whacking the piñata and squealing with joy when the candy spilled out believe it or not is heartwarming. This is what Children’s Day is all about in Costa Rica! Bringing happiness to the kids, most if not all living in poverty and letting them know they are loved and appreciated. It has been a hard last two years with the pandemic. The simple things and small kind actions make a big difference here to the children and families of Costa Rica.

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Preparing Your House For Sale In Costa Rica

The market is HOT here in Costa Rica! This is the perfect time to put your house up for sale. Inventory is low in the Playa Hermosa and Playa del Coco area. If you want your home to sell fast, now is the time. Here are some helpful tips when preparing your home for sale.

View of the Pacific from a Costa Rica luxury home

First impressions matter. When a potential buyer is coming to look at a home, the first thing they notice is the landscaping. Great landscaping is critical in Costa Rica. It can transform your property from being an overgrown jungle to a tropical oasis. It pays off to have an assortment of flowers, well kept hedges, and green grass. We are in paradise after all.

One of the most important steps in prepping your home for sale is to declutter! Remove any personal items such as family photos, various knick knacks, toys, and so on. Hide all your pool noodles and floaties. If you have pets, remember to put away their water bowls and beds. You want a buyer to come in and feel like this home is their new personal canvas. 

Next important detail is having a neutral color palette. Your dream may have been to live in a fuchsia colored home but many folks will feel otherwise. Or perhaps you decided to paint a jungle scene mural in the living room. Well, the best way to attract a buyer is to paint over any loud colors and keep it simple. 

Living in the tropics means you often find bugs near or around your home. This is something you get used to but you definitely don’t want a buyer seeing a scorpion! Make sure to fumigate your home often. It will deter all unwanted creepy crawlies from hanging around and scaring off a potential sale. 

Another key factor is having a crisp and clear bright blue pool. Essentially, you want to give the buyer the urge to jump in and enjoy! There is no bigger deterrent than a cloudy, overgrown, forgotten pool. The more enticing you make your outdoor living space, the higher the probability of a sale. The buyer needs to dream about living there. 

View of the Pacific Ocean across an infinity edge pool in Costa Rica

This may seem like common sense, but basic maintenance of your property is fundamental. There are many folks that own property in Costa Rica yet never do any basic maintenance. They end up buying a property, doing the bare minimum, and then hope to sell it for more than what they bought it for. Simple things such as keeping the gutters clean, power washing the pavers, and sealing around the windows will help your home stand out. As well as keeping the AC’s maintained, changing the lightbulbs, and making minor cosmetic repairs as needed. 

Lastly, the best way to prepare a house for sale is to pay for a home inspection. Before you even list the house, you will know exactly what to expect. There will be no surprises because you will find out about any issues the home may have. You can save a lot of money by doing an inspection ahead of time. When the time comes to close, it will happen seamlessly. 

So what are you waiting for? It is time to prep your house and sell! Please reach out to me if you have any questions. I would be happy to assist you in preparing your home for sale and will gladly do a free estimate of recommended selling price.

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Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Produce in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has an incredible selection of fresh and exotic vegetables and fruit to choose from. It is one of the many reasons I love living in this beautiful country. There is such a variety every time and the produce is always so enticing.

You will be pleased to find many familiar veggies when shopping for produce. Broccoli, kale, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, beets, green beans, potatoes, and more! But there are also plenty of uncommon vegetables that you usually do not see sold in the US or Canada.

Fruit and vegetable area of Luperon supermarket in Playa Hermosa

Some of these unusual veggies include chayote, taro, ayote sazon, yuca or plantains! Yuca is a great replacement for potatoes. Chayotes are so versatile that you can use them in apple pie because they take the flavor of whatever you cook with.

The moment you taste a pineapple in Costa Rica, you will be shocked. Fruits are much sweeter here and far more flavorful! Mangos, bananas, papayas, and pineapples are all grown in Costa Rica. Many of these fruits are even important exports (check out my blog about exports https://blog.costarican-american-connection.com/exports-of-costa-rica/).

The more exotic fruits include rambutans, star fruits, mangosteens, passion fruits, soursops, guavas, star apples and so much more! Only in Costa Rica will you be able to try many of these fruits. The majority cannot be exported since they are delicate or not great for transport.

Rambutan - an exotic Costa Rica fruit

Fruit and vegetable shopping in Costa Rica is exciting because the selection is always changing depending on what’s in season. Throughout the year, there are produce stands next to the road selling whatever has recently been locally harvested. The best part is, you are buying directly from local farmers!

From March – June you will see an abundance of mangos! From July – August the delicious carambola, known as star fruit, is available. July – October you will see mountains of spikey looking little red fruits called mamon chinos. Other fruits are available year round such as oranges, soursops, and passion fruits.

Many non-native fruits are becoming more attainable along with having more reasonable prices. Strawberries and blueberries are now being grown in the country. Costa Rica uses hydroponics to grow a lot of vegetable produce that normally wouldn’t be grown outdoors such as kale or lettuce.

Pineapples for sale in Luperon supermarket

If you are looking for places to buy great produce, you are in luck! Playa del Coco has a bunch of great shopping options. Los Cartagos has an incredible selection. It is a very well organized and clean indoor fruit/veggie market. Feria del Agricultor El Coco is an outdoor market with a more rustic feel and plenty of great produce options. If you are looking for a specific fruit or vegetable such as cherries or romanesco broccoli, Automercado is the one for you!

Living in Costa Rica gives you great access to beautifully fresh produce. You are able to experience so many different flavors. The amazing vegetable and fruit produce available here is definitely one of the reasons I love living in Costa Rica!

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Population of Costa Rica

One of the reasons I love Costa Rica, is that here by the beach, it’s not densely populated! The Playa Hermosa and Playa del Coco area have enough folks to give a sense of community but not enough to feel congested. 

Playa Hermosa Salve monos gathering

Costa Rica has a total population of 5.048 million people. Some studies believe that the country will never reach 6 million. The country is relatively small, only 19,700 square miles. The majority of the population is located in the Great Metropolitan Area or also known as the Central Valley. Within the Central Valley you have the capital of Costa Rica, which is San Jose. Over 60% of Ticos live in urban areas. 

 

Here in Guanacaste, we have a population of approximately 400,000 people. Guanacaste is the most sparsely populated province in all of Costa Rica and it covers a total area of 10,141 km2 or 3,915 sq. mi. That’s only about 100 people for every square mile! 

Cafe de la Playa Playa del Coco

Even though the Guanacaste region is sparsely populated, you still have all the amenities & services! Out of the 400,000 people living in Guanacaste, 100,000 of those people live in Liberia. There is also the Guanacaste International Airport, hospitals, various shopping centers, restaurants, and more, all in Liberia. 

 

By the beach towns you will also have plenty of stores to choose from, restaurants to eat at, and services to enjoy. There are dentists, mechanics, manicurists, veterinarians, etc. Playa Hermosa and Playa del Coco have all the amenities you need without being overcrowded. You will never have to stand in long lines or wait too long for an appointment. Each time you go to dinner, there will be a seat available. 

 

In Playa Hermosa or Playa del Coco you will never have to worry about being stuck in a traffic jam. You may have to slow down for some goats or cows to cross the street but aside from that, the roads are clear! The beaches here have plenty of space. You will always have room to stretch out and relax. Even during the “high season”, the beaches never get too packed to enjoy.

Empty beach caused by sparse population

Due to the smaller population of people, we have a very close knit community. You really get to know your neighbors. The community often comes together to clean up the town, collect trash on the beach, repaint local schools, and host a variety of fundraisers. The majority of towns all over Costa Rica have a strong sense of community. 

 

The best way to get an idea of Costa Rica’s population density is to come and visit! You will be pleasantly surprised to find the perfect mix of urban and rural jungle living with all the amenities you could possibly need. But never any traffic or congestion! 

 

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