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10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Living in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a popular destination for people looking who are looking to retire o rjust live somewhere a little more exotic. If this is something you are intrested in, you have no doubtably looked at a number of books and website regaurding the matter. Many of these reousces are filled with great information, but much of it tends to be the same. This list is geared toward exposing you to some of the little facts you might not know about living in Costa Rica.

  1. Gringo is not a racial slur to white people. It is simply a term used to identify foreigners. Remember, the meaning of many words are very different in Costa Rica.
  2. As a tourist, you can stay in Costa Rica for 90 days. If you wish to stay longer, all you need to do is leave the country for 48 -72 hours. Don’t forget, Panama and Nicaragua are bordering countries. This could give you an excuse to go on a vacation every 3 months!
  3. A maid in Costa Rica can cost as little as $30 US a week. You can even hire live in maids for around $200 a month.
  4. If you are worried about security you can hire a local security guard. They will patrol your house and property during the wee hours of the night with firearms.
  5. Power outages happen often here, usually not for long. If you rely heavily on a computer, you may want to think about bringing a UPS.
  6. In locations other than beachfront property, the real estate market is still very slow. This is great for you as a buyer. It means you are in control. Don’t hesitate to ask a seller if you could first rent the home for six months before you buy it. Work out a deal that if you decide to buy the home, a percentage of the rent you paid go towards your down payment.
  7. Unless otherwise stated, homes come unfurnished. This means no fridge, dishwasher, stove, etc. If you buy a house furnished, you will be paying well more than you need to for the items in the house.
  8. Everyone in Costa Rico has a friend who builds, cleans, does real estate, etc. Finding good local recommendations is you best bet for doing anything here.
  9. Address barely exist in Costa Rica. Zip codes are non existent. Your best bet for mail is to rent out a mail box at the closest post office.
  10. Besides some businesses, nobody uses checks. You pay utility bills at your local bank.