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Family Life in Costa Rica

If you are planning on moving to Costa Rica with your family or want to start a family once you move to Costa Rica, you will be happy to know that family values and ties are a very important aspect of life in Costa Rica. Due to the importance of strong family units and close family connections, you will find that Costa Rica is a great place to raise a family.

Family life in Costa Rica may seem like family life back home, depending on where you are from, or it may seem more traditional than what you are used to. Often times, children will live at home with their parents until they are married. Sometimes children live at home until they are in the 20’s or 30’s, and then once they have married they move in with their spouse. It is also quite normal in Costa Rica for extended family members to live together. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins may share one house, or live in very close proximity to each other so as to see each other frequently. Family is very important to Costa Ricans and usually a Costa Rican’s social life is closely intertwined with his or her family life.

When you go out to eat or to an event in town, it is common to see many generations all out together. From newborns to great-grandparents, the whole family will usually spend special occasions and outings together. If a Costa Rican friend invites you over to his or her house, be prepared to meet the whole family, since many Costa Ricans either live with or spend the majority of their free time with their family.

Brothers, sisters, and cousins usually live together and attend the same schools growing up so they become each other’s best friends. As such, siblings and cousins usually continue living close to each other throughout their lives. It is not uncommon in smaller communities for many of the residents to be related either by blood or through marriage. While there are a number of people who migrate from smaller communities to the San Jose area, they tend to stay in close touch with their families and return home on weekends or for holidays to visit family members.

Babies and young children are considered very special parts of the family life in Costa Rica. If you have a baby in Costa Rica or move there with your young children, you can expect much of your new community to take an interest in your child. Because children are seen as very important members of society, making sure they receive a good education is very important to Costa Ricans. This is part of the reason why Costa Rica has such a strong education system.

Family life in Costa Rica has a very strong foundation so moving to Costa Rica with your children can be a great decision. You will be immersed in a culture that values family connections and respects the rights of children. Raising a family in this environment can help you strengthen your own family values and relationships. You can feel confident that moving to Costa Rica with you family will have a positive impact on your family life. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or if you need help planning the logistics of your move.

 

 

Long Term rentals Costa Rica

If you are planning on visiting Costa Rica for a short time, you will probably be staying in hotels throughout the country. But, if you have decided to stay in Costa Rica for 4 months or longer, you will want to look for long term rentals in Costa Rica. By renting a house, condo or apartment for a longer period of time, you will save money on your housing costs.

There are many vacation rentals available throughout Costa Rica and Send me South can help with your search for a house or apartment. It is advisable to wait until you are in the country to visit a house or apartment before committing to a long lease, so that you can be sure that the house or apartment you are renting is in good condition and fits your needs.

In addition to vacation rentals, there are also houses that belong to Costa Rican citizens or residents that are only in Costa Rica for part of the year, meaning the other part of the year their houses or apartments are available for rent. Whether you decide to rent a vacation house or house or apartment that unoccupied for part of the year, you will most likely want to find a house that is furnished. If you are planning on moving permanently to Costa Rica, you may want to find an unfurnished house so that you can bring or buy your own furnishings. Renting a furnished apartment or house will be easier if you do not have the means or the desire to ship or purchase your own furnishings.

Costs for long term rentals in Costa Rica are as varied as in any other country, meaning you can spend as little or as much as you like. Some long term rental apartments or smaller houses may cost as little as a few hundred dollars per month. Larger houses with more amenities, like high-speed internet, laundry facilities, or swimming pools can be more costly, with monthly rent in the $1,000 to $3,000 range. You will need to decide what amenities are important to you when you are searching for long term rentals in Costa Rica. Additional costs in your rent may even end up saving you money in the long term. If you pay more for a house with laundry facilities, you may still save money since without laundry facilities you would have to pay a laundry service. In the end, paying more upfront for your house could save you money.

The cost of your long term rental in Costa Rica will also depend on what region of the country you decide to live in. Desirable locations that are closer to the beach and draw a large tourism crowd will have higher rent prices than locations that are further from the beach and don’t see many tourists. Certain neighborhoods in the San Jose area house more affluent families and as such the rent is higher in these neighborhoods than others. Also, rentals that offer caretakers and housekeeping services will have higher monthly rent, but sometimes these services are indispensable. Remember, if you are considering moving to areas of the country that are surrounded by the jungle, it takes a lot of time to maintain the grounds. Local knowledge of plant and animal life is also important when maintaining a clean home and yard space. Having a caretaker and housekeeper can help you reduce the chance of dealing with pests like spiders, snakes, termites or other critters common in the jungles of Costa Rica.

You will find many options in your search for long term rentals in Costa Rica and it can be very fun looking for housing options in your new home country. Set up a few appointments to view long term rentals once you arrive in the country. If you need assistance finding the right long term rental to suit your needs, make sure to check with Send Me South, we offer scouting trips and orientation tours to help you find the area you want to live and then the perfect home in that area. Working with experienced representatives who are familiar with the regions of Costa Rica and the housing options available will help ensure that you find a long term rental in Costa Rica that is right for you!

Buy a Car in Costa Rica

You may be considering buying a car in Costa Rica once you move. Having your own car in Costa Rica allows you to travel around the country more freely. If you buy a car with 4-wheel drive (which is recommended if you live almost anywhere other than the San Jose area) you can access remote, secluded parts of the country. The process to buy a car in Costa Rica is a bit more complicated than in the United States, but it’s nothing to be intimidated by.

You will want to consider which make and model of car you should buy in Costa Rica. This will depend on a few factors. First off, do you have a family? How many people does the car you buy need to seat so that you can get the most enjoyment and benefit out of owning a car in Costa Rica? The kind of car you buy in Costa Rica will depend on who will be riding in that car and what activities you like to do. If you enjoy surfing, you may want to get a truck or SUV. If want a car for driving around San Jose, you may want something smaller and more gas efficient. If you want to be able to access all of the roads in Costa Rica, you will want to buy a vehicle with 4-wheel drive capabilities. Keep in mind, this will add to the cost of the car you buy, but 4-wheel drive is necessary in certain parts of the country during rainy season.

The cost of cars and vehicles in Costa Rica is considerably higher than in the United States. For example, a 10 year-old used SUV in the United States would be valued in the $2,000-$5,000 range, whereas in Costa Rica that same SUV would sell for $8,000-$12,000. While the fact that cars and vehicles in Costa Rica are expensive may at first seem like a negative aspect of buying a car, in reality, it means that cars retain their worth and resale value. If you ever try to re-sell your car in Costa Rica you will be happy to find that you will get a good price for your vehicle.

You can purchase new and used cars through dealerships, and used cars can also be purchased through private sellers. If you buy a car in Costa Rica through a dealer, most of the paperwork will be handled for you by the dealership. If you are buying a car through a private seller, you will want to speak with either a lawyer or contact us, to help you with your paperwork and to explain the process of passing Riteve, the inspection process to ensure the car is in good working order, and registration, or Marchamo.

Once you have purchased your car with a notarized bill of sale, passed Riteve and filed your Marchamo, you will have completed the process of buying a car in Costa Rica. Keep in mind that speaking Spanish fluently is necessary to buy a car in Costa Rica on your own. If you do not speak Spanish that well, or if you speak none at all, you will definitely want to enlist the help of a lawyer or a representative from Send Me South. Even if you do speak Spanish fluently may still want help with buying a car. As in the United States, Canada, and Europe, buying a car or completing any other legal transaction can be complicated and if done improperly can result in delays or other complications. By utilizing the services provided by a lawyer or a Send Me South representative, you can be driving in your new Costa Rican car in no time!

How to move to Costa Rica

You’ve decided to move to Costa Rica and now are you wondering, “OK, so exactly how do I move to Costa Rica?”. This is a good question to ask! Having the idea of living in a foreign country is simply the first step in the process. Now, it’s time to look at the logistics of making that move. When thinking about how you will move to Costa Rica there are a few things you will need to consider. Visa and residency requirements are an important part of the process, as is figuring out where you want to live and how long you plan on staying. You will also want to learn how to manage your finances and support your lifestyle, and have access to any prescriptions or medications that you need.

The best piece of advice for figuring out how to move to Costa Rica is to visit the country first. Many people decide to move to Costa Rica without first coming to the country to see which region they most enjoy and whether or not the Costa Rican lifestyle fits their desired lifestyle. Planning a trip for a few weeks to visit different parts of the country and explore what each region has to offer will be a key factor in successfully completing your move to Costa Rica. Once you have visited the country and know where you would like to live, you will want to look into your options for applying for residency, which is necessary to stay long term in the country.

When you visit Costa Rica you are granted a 90-day tourist visa. At the end of this 90-day period, you must leave the country, for at least 72-hours before you can be granted another tourist visa. If you plan on moving to Costa Rica for more than 3 months, you will want to establish residency. To see what type of residency you may qualify for, it is best to speak with a representative from Send Me South, we specialize in helping people move to Costa Rica.

Another important piece of the puzzle in figuring out how to move to Costa Rica will be managing your finances. If you plan on opening a Costa Rican bank account, you can do your banking in person. But, you still may want to or need to keep a bank account in your home country. This means setting up online banking if you haven’t already and making sure you know how to transfer money and electronically handle your finances. You will also need to inform your home banking institution that you are planning on moving to Costa Rica so that they are aware of charges or activity that may show up on your bank statement. Major credit cards are accepted throughout Costa Rica at most larger businesses, but smaller restaurants and stores may not take accept credit cards, so you’ll need to be able to access local currency, Colones, with your ATM card, which means alerting your home bank to where you will be.

If you are currently taking any prescription medications or have health needs that require regular medical visits, you’ll want to speak with your current doctor about getting a supply of medications to last you until you have found a doctor in Costa Rica. The healthcare system in Costa Rica is very good with both socialized and private options available. Making sure you have access to medical support and certain medications that you need will play into choosing where you live and will also affect how successful you are in moving to Costa Rica and being able to stay long term.

These are just some of the things you will need to consider when figuring out how to move to Costa Rica. Please see other articles on this website that cover more topics like finding the right school for your children, costs of living, and housing options. You’ve already made the decision to move to Costa Rica, now the fun part of figuring out how to move to Costa Rica can begin!  Please feel free to contact us with more questions.

 

Living in San Jose Costa Rica

When most people think of moving to Costa Rica, they picture rainforests, beaches, and lots of exciting wildlife. While this is one version of living in Costa Rica, living in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica will provide another experience all together. Living in San Jose can be a fun and exciting way to get to know Costa Rica and may be the perfect place for you to live.

Set in the central valley of Costa Rica, San Jose is home to the majority of Costa Rica’s populace. While it is a small city compared to other cities worldwide, it provides many options for housing, education, medical services, theater and arts, and cultural experiences. No matter who you are or where you do end up living in Costa Rica, you will be spending time in San Jose, so it’s a good idea to get acquainted with the city.

Costa Rica’s international airport is located in Alajuela, a city bordering San Jose, so if you fly into the country, your first encounter with Costa Rican culture will be city-life. Government offices, museums, and many volunteer organizations are based in San Jose so living there will provide you with access to all these services and opportunities. By living in San Jose, you will be at the heart of all that happens in the country.

Because Costa Rica is a smaller country, you can access almost the entire country by bus or private car in just one day’s journey from San Jose. Public transportation is well maintained in Costa Rica and getting around by bus is easy as buses run frequently and to all major destinations multiple times a day. You may even find that the best way to explore the whole country is by living in San Jose and taking day or weekend trips to other parts of the country. Taking the city bus around San Jose is a great way to get to know the different areas and suburbs of the city. You will find lots of shopping, dining, and entertainment options throughout San Jose. If having access to a thriving nightlife is important to you, living in San Jose will make more sense than living in a less populated part of the country.

Also, by living in San Jose you will have access to more options for schools for either yourself or your children. Many of the best public and private schools in Costa Rica are found in San Jose and there are more language programs available in the capital than anywhere else. If you have a child that will be attending school in Costa Rica, or you want to study Spanish for at least part of your stay, then living in San Jose may be the right choice for you.

The best hospitals and clinics in the country are also found in San Jose. If you have a medical condition that requires constant medical attention, are pregnant, or simply feel more comfortable living close to the best hospitals and doctors, San Jose is your best option for healthcare. While there are hospitals and clinics throughout the country, the most advanced medical practitioners are mostly located in San Jose and the surrounding area.

By living in San Jose, Costa Rica you can have the best of both worlds: city living with easy access to the natural wonders of Costa Rica. You may have been picturing that jungle bungalow right on the beach, but just think, by living in San Jose you can have your nice home and never be more than a short drive away from that bungalow. Before you decide where to live in Costa Rica, take some time to consider all the wonderful benefits of living in Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions about making the move to Costa Rica.

 

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