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Digital Nomad in Costa Rica: A Complete Guide (2024)

INTERESTED IN BECOMING A DIGITAL NOMAD IN COSTA RICA?

As someone who’s spent considerable time living as a digital nomad in Costa Rica, I can confidently tell you that the lush landscapes, azure beaches, and warm-hearted locals provide a truly unparalleled experience. With fantastic weather, and a supportive community of digital nomads, the Pura Vida (pure life) is real here!


Why Move to Costa Rica as a Digital Nomad?

Waterfall - Digital Nomad in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, with its stunning natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle, has become a hotspot for digital nomads. Being a digital nomad in Costa Rica means you can take your work breaks on a surfboard, enjoy delicious local cuisine, and live among incredible biodiversity.

With a warm climate and friendly locals, the country boasts strong internet connectivity even in its more remote, natural settings, making it ideal for remote work.

Additionally, its Central Time Zone aligns conveniently with North American work hours. The relaxed ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle, commitment to sustainability, and vibrant local culture further enrich the experience of being a digital nomad in Costa Rica.

Click Here to visit WayAway to find the cheapest flights to Costa Rica.


Is There a Visa for Digital Nomads in Costa Rica?

Yes, there is now a visa available for digital nomads who wish to live a nomadic lifestyle in Costa Rica.

What Is The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

Recognizing the growing trend of remote work, Costa Rica has introduced a Digital Nomad Visa. This visa is designed for remote workers, business owners, and freelancers who want to stay longer than a tourist visa. The goal is to make life easier for us, the digital nomads of the world.

How Long Is The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Valid?

The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa is valid for a year and can be extended for an additional year. This extended validity gives digital nomads in Costa Rica plenty of time to soak up the country’s rich culture and vibrant lifestyle.

Requirements For The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

To qualify for this visa, you must have:

  • Proof of stable monthly income: it is important to fulfill the financial obligations. For an individual, the financial criteria entail a monthly sum of 3,000 USD. However, if you are applying with your family, it is necessary to demonstrate a monthly income of 4,000 USD.
  • Valid Passport: Ensure your passport is valid and in proper condition when applying for a visa. Additionally, it is necessary to include a copy of the photograph and bio data page of your passport.
  • Proof of health insurance: Your health insurance must provide coverage for yourself and your family members throughout your entire stay in Costa Rica. EKTA has the best available health insurance at the cheapest price for travelers. Click Here to get a 37% Discount now.

How To Apply?

You can apply online by clicking here to go to the official website, paying a $100 fee.

You might be interested in: 21 Best Traveling Jobs with No Experience


Where Should I Stay as a Digital Nomad in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has several towns and cities that are welcoming to digital nomads. Here are some of my top recommendations:

Stay in San José as a Digital Nomad

San Jose - Digital Nomad in Costa Rica

San José, the capital city, offers a lively mix of culture, history, and modern amenities.

Why live in San José?
For a digital nomad in Costa Rica, San José provides the best of both worlds. It has modern conveniences, bustling nightlife, and numerous coworking spaces, all set against the backdrop of Costa Rican culture and history.

Things to do in San José?
Explore the city’s historic architecture, visit the local markets for a unique shopping experience, or enjoy the Costa Rican cuisine at a local ‘soda.’ The Mercado Central is an excellent place to taste local delicacies and purchase unique souvenirs. The nightlife in San José is also worth exploring, with an abundance of bars, clubs, and live music venues.

Check out the cheapest accommodation in San José here

Stay in Santa Teresa as a Digital Nomad

Teresa - Digital Nomad in Costa Rica

Located on the Nicoya Peninsula’s western edge, Santa Teresa is a scenic and less touristy town in Costa Rica popular with surfers and digital nomads.

Why live in Santa Teresa?
With its unspoiled beaches and relaxed vibe, Santa Teresa offers an idyllic setting for work and relaxation. The town’s warm and welcoming atmosphere makes it a great place to find that work-life balance. Several cafes and restaurants provide strong Wi-Fi connections that cater to the digital nomad community in Costa Rica.

Things to do in Santa Teresa?
Hit the waves for a surf session, relax with a yoga class, or explore the local food scene, renowned for its fresh seafood and international cuisine. Nature lovers can also explore nearby Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve.

Check out the cheapest accommodation in Santa Teresa here

Stay in Tamarindo as a Digital Nomad

Tamarindo - Digital Nomad in Costa Rica

Tamarindo is a bustling beach town on the Pacific Coast, offering a blend of local and expat cultures.

Why live in Tamarindo?
Tamarindo is an enticing destination for digital nomads in Costa Rica due to its strong internet connectivity, active nightlife, and variety of accommodation options. The town is particularly known for its stunning sunset views, creating an inspiring atmosphere for work and creativity.

Things to do in Tamarindo?
Tamarindo’s beaches offer great surfing opportunities. The Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge is an excellent spot for kayaking and wildlife spotting. You can also enjoy the lively nightlife scene or take a sunset cruise.

Check out the cheapest accommodation in Tamarindo here

Stay in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca as a Digital Nomad

Puerto Viejo - Digital Nomad in Costa Rica

This coastal town on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica offers a unique blend of Latin, Afro-Caribbean, and Bribri indigenous cultures.

Why live in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca?
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is perfect for digital nomads who crave a slower pace of life. The town’s vibrant culture, warm, welcoming community, and stunning natural surroundings make it a fantastic place to work remotely.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca?
Explore the local beaches, go snorkeling in the vibrant coral reefs, or take a bicycle ride through the town. Visit the nearby Jaguar Rescue Center or the Cahuita National Park to appreciate the region’s rich biodiversity.

Check out the cheapest accommodation in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca here

Stay in Manuel Antonio as a Digital Nomad

Digital Nomad in Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio, known for its stunning national park, is a slice of paradise perfect for digital nomads in Costa Rica who love to mix work with nature. This beach town is nestled on the Central Pacific coast and is full of life and color.

Why live in Manuel Antonio?
Despite being a small town, Manuel Antonio offers a variety of modern amenities, such as restaurants serving international cuisine, lively bars, and even a few co-working spaces. The expat community here is growing, providing opportunities to network with other digital nomads.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio?
Manuel Antonio National Park is a must-visit, offering picturesque beaches, hiking trails, and a rich array of wildlife. You might find monkeys, sloths, and iguanas during your visit!

Aside from the park, you can enjoy beachside activities such as surfing, paddleboarding, or simply soaking up the sun on the pristine beaches. For those seeking adventure, you can try zip-lining, white-water rafting, or horseback riding.

Check out the cheapest accommodation in Manuel Antonio Here


What is the Cost of Living in Costa Rica?

It’s safe to say that living as a digital nomad in Costa Rica can be more affordable than in many other popular western nomad hubs. Below is a rough breakdown of the key monthly expenses you might face:

  • Rent: Depending on location and type of housing, monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from $800 to $1300, whereas in suburban areas, you might pay between $700 and $1100.
  • Utilities: Basic utilities like electricity, water, heating, cooling, and garbage service for a single-bedroom apartment can cost around $50 – $100 per month.
  • Internet: High-speed internet of about 60 Mbps or more typically costs around $50 – $70 per month.
  • Groceries: On average, a person can spend $250 – $400 per month on groceries. This can fluctuate depending on dietary preferences and whether you choose to shop at local markets or larger grocery stores.
  • Eating Out: An inexpensive meal at a restaurant may cost around $7 – $10, while a three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant might be around $30 – $50.
  • Transportation: Public transportation is relatively cheap, with monthly passes typically costing around $30 – $50. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also available.
  • Fitness: Gym memberships range from $30 – $60 per month, while yoga classes can cost around $10 – $15 per session.
  • Leisure Activities: Costa Rica is rich in natural beauty, so much of your leisure time might be spent exploring beaches, forests, and parks for free. However, for activities like guided tours, surfing lessons, or admission to national parks, prices can vary greatly but average around $10 – $50 per activity.
  • Coworking Spaces: Depending on the city and amenities, a desk at a coworking space can cost around $100 – $300 per month.

Remember, these are average costs and actual expenses may vary based on individual lifestyle and preferences. Overall, a digital nomad in Costa Rica might expect to spend around $1,500 – $2,500 per month, encompassing all the factors listed above. Have a look at a detailed breakdown of my budget as an experienced digital nomad.


Is Costa Rica Safe?

Is Costa rica Safe?

Costa Rica is considered one of the safer countries in Central America for digital nomads, thanks to its stable political climate and focus on education and healthcare over military spending.

However, like anywhere, petty crimes such as pickpocketing or theft can occur, especially in tourist areas. As a digital nomad in Costa Rica, it’s advised to remain cautious, secure your belongings, and avoid isolated areas at night.

Natural hazards like earthquakes and volcanic activity can occur, and driving can be challenging due to hilly terrain and occasional poor road conditions.

Overall, Costa Ricans are known for their friendliness and willingness to help, which contributes to the country’s relative safety for foreigners.

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Internet In Costa Rica: Best Options & Prices

Reliable internet access is a must for every digital nomad, and Costa Rica offers various options to stay connected. Here are the available options:

Buy an International Travel SIM Card

Before arriving in Costa Rica, you can buy an international travel SIM card. This is a convenient option as you can start using the internet immediately upon arrival.

Various companies offer these services, But I have found the one with the cheapest prices and best connection is Airalo. The costs can range from $9 – $31 for the eSIM.

Click Here to get an Airalo eSIM at the best price.

Buy a Local Costa Rica SIM card

Purchasing a local SIM card upon arrival can be a cost-effective way to access the internet. The main providers in Costa Rica are Kolbi, Claro, and Movistar.

Kolbi has the most extensive coverage, particularly in rural areas. A local SIM card can cost as little as $2, with data plans starting from around $10 for 2GB.

Buy a Pocket WiFi Modem in Costa Rica

A Pocket WiFi Modem, or MiFi, can be a handy gadget for digital nomads in Costa Rica. It’s a portable device that provides a personal hotspot and can connect multiple devices.

This could be a lifesaver when traveling to areas with limited connectivity or when working outdoors. Costs for these devices start at around $80, with data plans typically starting from around $20 for 5GB.

AT&T Wi-Fi Turbo Hotspot 2 is highly regarded as one of the best pocket WiFi modems at a great price. Click Here to get it at the best price.

Stay in Accommodation with Wifi

Most accommodations, from hotels and hostels to Airbnbs and guesthouses, offer Wi-Fi as part of their service. This is often included in the price of the room. However, it’s essential to check the quality of the connection, particularly if you plan to be joining video calls or need to download large files.

You will often find the best accommodation deals in Booking.com. Click Here for the best current prices.

Co-living and co-working spaces in Costa Rica specifically cater to digital nomads, offering high-speed internet and work-friendly spaces. Selina is among the most popular ones.

In conclusion, as a digital nomad in Costa Rica, it’s relatively easy and affordable to stay connected. A mix of the above options will likely serve you best, giving you the flexibility and reliability you need to work effectively while enjoying all that Costa Rica has to offer.

You might be interested in a list of the best laptops for remote work while you’re in Costa Rica.


How to Find a Place to Live as a Digital Nomad in Costa Rica?

Sloth in Costa Rica

Finding the perfect place to call home for a while is an essential part of settling into life as a digital nomad in Costa Rica. Fortunately, there are various options available to suit different preferences, budgets, and lengths of stay. Here are the best options to explore:

Airbnb

Airbnb can be a fantastic resource for finding short-term or long-term rentals in Costa Rica. The platform is easy to use, and the rating and review system provides valuable insights into the quality of the accommodation and the reliability of the host.

Prices can vary greatly depending on location, type of property, and season. You can often negotiate a discount for longer stays.

Booking.com

Booking.com often has great deals if you search for a whole month. Click Here to see some of the best current monthly accommodation deals in Costa Rica.

Find Local Rentals

Local real estate agencies can be a useful point of contact for finding a rental property. They can provide insights into different neighborhoods, expected costs, and local rental laws. Online property portals like Encuentra24 and OLX also list properties for rent across Costa Rica. Take note, depending on where you live, it might be worthwhile having a good-quality mosquito net with you! Research before you go!

Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups such as “Expatriates in Costa Rica”, “Costa Rica Rentals”, or city-specific groups can be valuable resources for finding housing. Members often post listings for rental properties, and you can also post about what you’re looking for.

Hostels

For shorter stays or if you’re on a tight budget, hostels can be a good option. They’re also a great way to meet other travelers. Some hostels offer private rooms, while others have dorm-style accommodation.

If you’re working online be sure to check the internet quality before you book and check out our Ultimate Digital Nomad Packing List.

Other Platforms to Find Accommodation in Costa Rica

Websites like Booking.com and Expedia offer a range of accommodation options, from hotels and resorts to guesthouses and bed-and-breakfasts.

For longer-term stays, websites like Nomad Rental or Anyplace cater specifically to digital nomads and offer monthly rentals of furnished apartments.

When choosing a place to live as a digital nomad in Costa Rica, consider factors like proximity to amenities, internet speed, safety, and cost. And always read reviews and potentially speak to others who have stayed in the accommodation before making a decision.


FAQs: Digital Nomad in Costa Rica

Is Costa Rica a good place for digital nomads?

Absolutely! Costa Rica offers a high quality of life with its stunning natural beauty, friendly locals, and excellent food. The Internet connectivity in most cities and towns is reliable, and there are numerous coworking spaces available. The cost of living is also reasonable compared to many other digital nomad destinations.

What are the best things to do in Costa Rica?

Visitors can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of its rainforests and national parks, home to an incredible variety of wildlife. Adventure enthusiasts will also find plenty to enjoy, from surfing on the pristine beaches to zip-lining through the canopy of the cloud forests. Check out this short Costa Rica 10 day itinerary for more details.

Costa Rica Health Insurance for Nomads?

While Costa Rica has a robust public healthcare system, as a digital nomad, it’s advised to get international health insurance that covers you in any country. Ensure your coverage includes medical evacuation.

In my experience, EKTA Travel Insurance has always stood above the competition with the best prices and flexible, comprehensive health insurance plans designed for digital nomads. Click Here to get a 37% discount on your insurance.

What is the Weather like in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica enjoys a tropical climate, with temperatures averaging between 70°F (21°C) and 81°F (27°C) year-round.

There are two main seasons: the dry season (December – April), which is popular with tourists, and the wet or “green” season (May – November), characterized by afternoon showers. The coastal areas tend to be warmer than the central highlands.


Conclusion: Digital Nomad in Costa Rica

Being a digital nomad in Costa Rica offers an enriching mix of natural beauty, warm culture, and a thriving expat community. Whether you prefer city life or tranquil beaches, you’ll find a place to call home. The practicalities like internet connectivity, safety, and cost of living are also manageable.

While challenges may arise, the benefits of this tropical paradise are well worth it. Stay prepared, flexible, and open to new experiences. Your Costa Rican digital nomad adventure awaits!


If you’re looking for other countries in Latin America to travel to as a Digital Nomad, check out Mexico – Remote Work From Mexico: A Complete 2024 Guide

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