Long term rentals in Costa Rica are perfect for both tourists and those wishing to move to Costa Rica. However, finding a good long term rental is not as easy in Costa Rica as it is in some other more developed countries. This means that the search for a good long term rental in Costa Rica might take a bit longer than you anticipated and be a lot more research than you bargained for. But, if you are reading this post, you will be well on your way to cutting that work load down a bit.
Below you will find a plethora of information and resources on finding a long term rental in Costa Rica.
Why a Long Term Rental
As I mentioned above, long term rentals are great for both tourists and wannabe expats. The pros for would be expats are obvious. A long term rental allows someone to really experience living in Costa Rica before they make the plunge of moving here for good. All too often people come here on vacation, fall in love with it, and automatically start looking for a place of their own to buy. Only to realize after six months of living here that it is a bit different than vacationing. That said, lets talk about why long term rentals in Costa Rica are ideal for tourists.
If you are looking for a long term rental because you want to move to Costa Rica, I suggest reading my post on planning your fact finding trip to Costa Rica. If you have pets, you might want to read this post about bringing your dog to Costa Rica as well.
If you are the type of traveler who wants to explore the entire country and stay in various locations for weeks at a time, a long term rental probably isn’t for you.
But, if you like the ideal of “living” in a specific area and getting to know people, a long term rental can make for a good basecamp for your vacation. Renting long term doesn’t mean you can’t see the rest of the country though. Many people rent houses in areas of the country they like and take regular multi-day excursions to other parts of the country. The people that tend to rent long term are those who want their own privacy or don’t feel like dealing with the crowds at hostels. A long term rental allows you to live more comfortably than a hostel would and a lot less expensive than a hotel would.
Another cool thing about long term rentals is that they allow you to get to know locals and expats that live in a certain area. Building up these sort of relationships is nice because it allows you to get inside knowledge of the area and find out about “local only” spots and other cool things that are way off the beaten path.
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Advice on Renting long Term
The best piece of advice I can give about renting long term is to try and see if you can pay for one months rent with the options to continue renting. This won’t always be an option due to busy seasons and popular rental houses with many reservations. But some less popular rentals and those during the slow season might be willing to offer something like this.
Why do I suggest this? Mainly because a rental house you see online might not be all the ad said it would be. Main times people tend to exaggerate things in their ad. They may advertise a two bedroom house with internet and it end up being a one bedroom apartment with a community laptop. Sadly, that is not an over exaggeration on my part.
Also, if you don’t know the are well, you may find something that looks like its only a few minutes from town, but in actuality its a 30 minute walk or a US$10 cab ride. Sometimes rental ads will say they are only a 15 minute bike ride from town. They very well only be 15 minutes from town, but if you haven’t rode a bike in a while, that 15 minute ride in the scorching sun can seam like forever.
The other reason I suggest this is that there are probably a ton of rentals in the area that are not listed on the internet. These rentals are usually a lot cheaper than the ones you find online. So secure a place you find online for a month and then use that time to ask around about rental properties in the area.
Finding a Long Term Rental
Costa Rica doesn’t have any sort of MLS for rel estate, which means finding one central site to look for rental properties is impossible. More than likely you will have to search a variety of sites and Google various terms to find something to your liking. Below, I have included some popular rental houses and websites that are a great place to start your search for a long term rental.
Craigs List – If you are on a budget and looking for a cheap long term rental, this is going to be your best bet. As with anything Craigs list, be cautious about sending money ahead of time.
Properties in Costa Rica – website – This is a great site that offers house for a variety of budgets. Every now and then you will find super cheap rental properties here, but the majority of the rentals are mid to high price wise.
Vacation City – website – These guys probably have the largest selection of rental properties listed anywhere on the internet. The budget ranges from low to extra high. They are also one of the more reputable online reservation systems for renting a house in Costa Rica.
La Salvetica – I personally live here for several months and loved it. Read my review of La Salvetica.
Casa Mono – I also lived here for several months. Read my review of Casa Mono.