A move to Costa Rica is one that will take some time and effort to ensure everything goes smoothly. Once the move is complete however, you are going to be able to start enjoying living the life you may have long dreamed of and will know firsthand what it feels like to live in a perpetual vacation one day after another. Of course, many expats living in Costa Rica work and many own their own company or local business, but nothing beats working in paradise where you can feel like you’re on vacation even when you put in 8 hours or more while earning a living every day.

Whether you crave spending days on end in the sand and surf at the coast, or you like exploring the jungle or tackling a long hike to see a volcano, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy in your spare time in this tropical paradise. There are some great places to shop and dine and numerous night spots where you can meet up with your friends or make new friends with the neighbors you are sure to bond with once you move and start living your new life in Costa Rica.

Let the Professionals Help with Your Move

Unless you plan on packing a bag, hopping on a plane and living out of your suitcase or buying everything new, you are going to have some things you will need to ship over when you move to Costa Rica. If you plan to move personal property, you are going to need to have help from a professional international mover.

While many rental homes will come with some of the basic furnishings like a bed, dresser and sofa, you may find that you still need some of the smaller household appliances like your coffee maker, blender or other kitchen gadgets. Shipping necessary items in may cost less than buying them new in Costa Rica.

If you plan to purchase a home, you will want to not only have an experienced Costa Rican realtor, but for your paperwork it is a good idea to hire a good real estate lawyer to check your paperwork, ensure that the home is not titled to another name and to make sure everything goes smoothly during the purchase. A lawyer can also assist with your residency visa and other necessary documentation you will need to stay in Costa Rica long term.

Another consideration is your vehicle and determining whether to bring it to Costa Rica or not. Buying a car locally can be expensive and while shipping costs won’t be excessive ($1000 to around $3000 USD – source: a1autotransport.com), the import tax rates can be high. Tax rates range from 52% to nearly 80% for importing motor vehicles. The older the car, the higher the tax rate required. There are local buses in Costa Rica, which can take you to many local areas, especially in large urban areas, but if you plan to travel off the beaten path to out of the way rural towns frequently, you may want to drive yourself unless you don’t mind paying for a taxi or hitching a ride with a friend every time you want to travel.

While Costa Rica is a haven for tourists, it is also a great place for expats who want to live and work in an area with great amenities, an abundance of natural beauty and plenty of areas where new business can be set up and earning a living is possible while surrounded by the jungle or while living right on the beach. There is nothing better than walking outside in the morning, cup of coffee in hand and realizing that life, even when working, can feel like such an amazing vacation.