Emigrate to Costa Rica

⇒ Costa Rica Culture

⇒ Climate

⇒ Language

⇒ Costa Rica School System

⇒ Health care system

⇒ Vaccinations and medical certificates

⇒ Tax system

⇒ Economy

⇒ Prices by index

⇒ Real estate

⇒ Company foundation

⇒ Visa

⇒ Safety

Costa Rica Culture

The culture of Costa Rica is diverse and is shaped by different influences. Here are some of the features that distinguish the culture of the country:

  1. Pura Vida: “Pura Vida” is a characteristic philosophy of life in Costa Rica. It literally means “pure life” and is often used as a greeting or answer to the question “How are you?”. It expresses the joy of life, happiness and serenity of Costa Ricans.
  2. Friendliness and hospitality: Costa Ricans are known for their friendliness and hospitality. They are proud to share their country and culture with visitors.
  3. Conservation and environmental awareness: Costa Rica is known worldwide for its efforts in environmental protection. The country is committed to protecting the environment and rich biodiversity and is home to numerous national parks and nature reserves.
  4. Ticos and Ticas: The inhabitants of Costa Rica are affectionately called “Ticos” (male) and “Ticas” (female). Ticos are proud of their nationality and their culture.
  5. Religion: The majority of Costa Ricans are Roman Catholic, and religion plays an important role in many people’s lives.
  6. Festivals and Traditions: Costa Rica celebrates many traditional festivals and events, including Independence Day celebrations on September 15 and religious festivals such as Holy Week processions.
  7. Music and dance: Music and dance are of great importance in Costa Rican culture. Salsa, merengue and cumbia are popular music genres, and there are many traditional dances performed at festivals and celebrations.
  8. Coffee culture: Costa Rica is known for its high-quality coffee, and coffee culture plays an important role in the daily lives of many Costa Ricans.
  9. Family and Community: Costa Rican culture emphasizes the importance of family and community. Family ties are strong and there is a close bond within the community.
Auswandern nach Costa Rica - ein Leben in Freiheit


The climate in Costa Rica is diverse and is influenced by the country’s geographical location and topography. There are generally two main seasons: the dry season (from December to April) and the rainy season (from May to November). Here are some characteristics of the climate in Costa Rica:

  1. Dry season: During the dry season, which lasts from December to April, the weather in Costa Rica is usually sunny and dry.n. Temperatures are warm to hot in most regions, and there is less rainfall. The dry season is a popular travel time for tourists, as conditions are ideal for outdoor activities.
  2. Rainy season: The rainy season, also known as the “green season”, lasts from May to November. During this time there is more frequent precipitation, especially in the afternoon and evening hours. The rainy season varies by region, with some areas receiving more rain than others. Although the rainy season is considered a less favorable time to travel, it also offers many advantages, such as green landscapes, fewer tourists and lower prices.
  3. Microclimate: Due to the different altitudes and topography, there are different microclimate zones in Costa Rica. In the mountain regions it can be cooler, while on the coasts the temperatures are often warmer. The Caribbean coast tends to be wetter than the Pacific coast.
  4. Hurricane season: Costa Rica is close to the Caribbean, but it is rarely directly affected by hurricanes. The probability of a hurricane hitting land is relatively low. However, heavy rains and storms can occur during the hurricane season (June to November).


In Costa Rica, Spanish and English are the two official languages. The majority of the population speaks Spanish as a mother tongue, and it is used in all official matters and in everyday life.

English is widely spoken in Costa Rica, especially in tourist areas and in business circles. Many Costa Ricans also speak English as a second language, and English is taught as a foreign language in schools.

Besides Spanish and English, there are also some indigenous languages spoken by certain indigenous populations, such as Bribri, Cabécar, Ngäbere and others. However, these languages are less common and are spoken mainly in rural areas.

Costa Rica School System

For emigrating to Costa Rica with your family, the school system obviously plays a big role:

The school system in Costa Rica is free of charge and compulsory for children between 6 and 15 years old.. It is divided into three main levels: primary education (Educación Primaria), secondary education (Educación Secundaria) and higher education (Educación Superior)..

  1. Elementary school (Educación Primaria): Elementary education lasts six years and begins at age 6. There are two cycles: the first cycle lasts three years (1st to 3rd grade) and the second cycle also lasts three years (4th to 6th grade). The primary goal of elementary education is to provide students with basic skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and science.
  2. Secondary education (Educación Secundaria): Secondary education also lasts six years and is divided into two cycles: the first cycle lasts three years (7th to 9th grade) and the second cycle also lasts three years (10th to 12th grade). At this stage, students receive a broader education, including social sciences, natural sciences, languages and arts. At the end of secondary education, students take the National Final Examination (Bachillerato), which determines their admission to higher education.
  3. Higher Education (Educación Superior): Higher education in Costa Rica is diverse and includes public and private universities, technical colleges and technical institutes.. Most universities offer a wide range of degree programs in various disciplines. Access to higher education depends on the results of the national final examination that students take at the end of secondary education.

The education system in Costa Rica is considered one of the best in Latin America, and the country places a high value on education and academic excellence. Teachers are generally well trained, and students have access to a quality education that provides them with a solid foundation for their professional and personal development.

Healthcare system

The health care system in Costa Rica is one of the best in Latin America and provides comprehensive health care for all residents and immigrants of the country. The health care system in Costa Rica is divided into two main parts: the public health care system (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, CCSS) and the private health care system.

  1. Public Health System (CCSS): The public health system is the main health system in Costa Rica and is operated by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). CCSS is a semi-autonomous state institution responsible for providing health services and social security benefits. The public health care system is financed by contributions from employees, employers and the government.

CCSS operates health centers, hospitals and clinics across the country and provides a variety of health services, including medical care, dental care, preventive health care and emergency care. The public health system is accessible to all residents and immigrants and provides quality, affordable health care.

2. private health care system: in addition to the public health care system, there is also a private health care system in Costa Rica.. The private healthcare system consists of private hospitals, clinics and medical practices operated by private companies. The private health care system is generally more expensive than the public health care system, but often offers additional amenities and shorter waiting times for medical treatment.

Costa Rica has a high life expectancy and good health indicators compared to other countries in Latin America. The government places great emphasis on health promotion and prevention, and medical care in the country is generally good.

It is important to note that a national identification number (Cédula de Identidad) is required to access the health care system in Costa Rica. Immigrants should take care of their residencia (residence permit) immediately in order to have access to health care. However, in emergency cases, medical care will be provided even without the presentation of a residencia.

Die farbenprächige Tierwelt des Auswanderungslande Costa Rica

Vaccinations and medical certificates

Some vaccinations are recommended for emigrating to Costa Rica as a German, but no medical certificates are required. Costa Rica does not usually require immigrants to have specific vaccinations or medical certificates to enter the country. However, it is advisable to have certain vaccinations before traveling to Costa Rica to protect yourself from some diseases that may occur in the region.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) generally recommend the following vaccinations for travel to Costa Rica:

  1. Standard Immunizations: Check your immunization record and make sure your standard immunizations are up to date, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) and polio.
  2. Hepatitis A and B: These vaccinations are recommended because hepatitis can occur in Costa Rica..
  3. Typhoid fever: Vaccination against typhoid fever is recommended for travelers to rural areas or those who may consume contaminated food or water.
  4. Yellow fever: The yellow fever vaccination is required if you are entering from a country with yellow fever risk. However, Germany is not among the countries with yellow fever risk.

Tax system

The tax system in Costa Rica is based on the principle of territorial taxation, which means that income earned in Costa Rica is taxed there. The tax system in Costa Rica is progressive, which means that tax rates are graduated depending on income. The tax authority in Costa Rica is called “Dirección General de Tributación” (General Directorate of Taxes)..

The main types of taxes in Costa Rica are:

  1. Income tax: Income tax applies to both individuals and companies. Individuals are subject to graduated tax rates depending on their annual income. Tax rates for companies vary depending on the type of activity and the company.
  2. Value Added Tax (Impuesto General sobre las Ventas – IGV): The value added tax is an indirect tax levied on the sale of goods and services. The current rate is usually 13%.
  3. Capital gains tax: Capital gains generated from interest income, dividends or gains from the sale of assets are subject to a special capital gains tax.
  4. Real estate tax: real estate owners must pay an annual tax on the value of their properties.
  5. Customs Duties: Importing goods into Costa Rica is subject to customs duties, which vary depending on the type and value of the imported goods.

Tax tricks

There are legal ways to save taxes in Costa Rica, similar to most countries.

Some of the legal ways to optimize taxes in Costa Rica could be to:

  1. Use of Tax Deductions and Reductions: As in most countries, Costa Rica has various tax deductions and reductions that can be claimed for certain expenses or investments. It is important to thoroughly understand the tax rules and take advantage of all eligible deductions.
  2. Use of tax-exempt investments: In some cases, certain investments could be exempt from income tax in Costa Rica. For example, investments in certain development zones or in the tourism sector could offer tax advantages.
  3. Business structuring: It could be advantageous for companies to structure their business to save taxes. This could include choosing a particular form of business or taking advantage of tax incentives for certain industries or activities.
  4. Tax planning: Careful tax planning can help optimize the tax burden and avoid potential tax traps.
  5. Territorial taxation: income from abroad is not taxed in Costa Rica.


Costa Rica has a diverse and stable economy that has developed well over the years. The country’s economy is based mainly on services, agriculture, tourism and technology.

  1. Service sector: The service sector is the largest economic sector in Costa Rica and contributes a significant share to the gross domestic product (GDP). These include financial services, retail, real estate, tourism, education and healthcare.
  2. Agriculture: Agriculture is an important industry in Costa Rica and includes the cultivation of coffee, bananas, pineapples, sugar cane, rice, vegetables and flowers. Costa Rica is one of the largest coffee exporters in the world.
  3. Tourism: The tourism sector plays a crucial role in Costa Rica’s economy and is an important foreign exchange earner. The country is known for its natural beauty, diverse ecosystems, beaches and adventure tourism.
  4. Technology and exports: Costa Rica has become an important destination for technology and IT companies. It has a strong export industry that includes electronic components, medical devices and textiles.
  5. Free Trade Zones: Costa Rica has also established free trade zones to attract foreign investment and promote exports. In these zones, companies can enjoy certain tax and customs benefits.

In recent years, the government of Costa Rica has made efforts to promote economic diversification and innovation and to advance the country’s sustainable development. Costa Rica is known for its commitment to environmental protection and renewable energies.

Wenn Sie viel Freiheit suchen dann ist Costa Rica das richtige Auswanderungsland

Prices by index

Since prices can change constantly even in a stable economy like Costa Rica’s, we refer here to the website Cost of Living. This constantly updates its values and thus keeps you up to date.

Real Estate

As an immigrant in Costa Rica you can buy or rent real estate. Costa Rica has no special restrictions for foreigners when buying real estate. Both residents and non-residents can purchase and own real estate in the country.

If you prefer to rent, there are also rental properties available in Costa Rica. Rental prices vary depending on location, property type and equipment.

We will be happy to help you find a house or apartment. Click here for our real estate listings.

Company foundation

As an immigrant in Costa Rica you can establish a businessn. Costa Rica encourages foreigners to open businesses and invest in the country. There are no specific restrictions for foreigners who want to start a business.

Company forms

As an immigrant in Costa Rica, there are several forms of business available to you to start a business. The most common types of companies are:

  1. Sociedad Anónima (SA): A joint stock company in which the capital is divided into shares.. This form of business is well suited for larger companies or if you intend to raise capital from various investorsn.
  2. Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (SRL): A limited liability company in which the liability of the shareholders is limited to their contributions.. This is a frequently chosen form of enterprise for small and medium-sized enterprises.
  3. Sole proprietorship (Persona Física): You can also start a business as a single person. This form is simple and straightforward, but you also bear the personal risk for the business activities.
  4. Sociedad en Nombre Colectivo (SNC): A company with joint and several liability, in which all shareholders are personally and jointly liable for the company’s debts..

Sociedad en Comandita Simple (SCS): A limited partnership in which there are general partners (fully liable partners) and limited partners (limited liability partners)..


There are several visa options available to you for emigrating to Costa Rica. Here are some of the most common visa categories:

  1. Rentista Visa: This visa is intended for retirees who can prove a regular income from their pension or a fixed source of money (e.g. annuities, pension payments). It allows you to stay longer in Costa Rica.
  2. Rentista Inversionista Visa: Similar to the Rentista Visa, but you must also make an investment of a certain minimum amount in Costa Rica to be eligible for this visa..
  3. Rentista Renter Visa: A visa type for retirees who do not have their own pension, but finance their living through rental income or other passive sources of income..
  4. Pensionado Visa: This visa is intended for retirees who receive a pension or annuity from an official foreign government or international organization.
  5. Residencia Temporaria: A temporary residence visa issued for various purposes such as work, study or family reasons..
  6. Residencia Permanente: This visa allows you to stay permanently in Costa Rica and can be applied for after a few years of residence with a temporary visa..
  7. Residencia por Vínculo Familiar: A visa for spouses or family members of Costa Rican citizens or residents..
  8. Visado de Estudiante: A student visa for international students who wish to study in Costa Rica..
  9. Visado de Trabajo: A work visa for foreigners who wish to work in Costa Rica..
Security in the country

Costa Rica is generally considered a relatively safe country in the Central America region. It has a low crime rate compared to some of its neighboring countries, especially in tourist areas and larger cities. The government has made significant efforts in recent years to improve security and law enforcement.

However, there are also some security concerns in some areas of the country, especially in remote border regions with other countries. Pickpocketing and theft can occur in busy tourist areas, as is the case in many destinations.

It is always advisable to inform yourself about the latest safety information and, if necessary, to consult the travel advice and safety recommendations. We recommend here the safety advice of the German Foreign Office: Safety advice Costa Rica.

Compare listings