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Costa Rica

Costa Rica, named one of the happiest countries in the world, has a stable democracy, a well-educated population and no army.

Though it does help that the country also has 12 hours of sunshine a day.

Revered for its eco-tourism, Costa Rica hosts Manuel Antonio National Park and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, both shining examples of sustainability and a sanctuary to many crucial plant and animal species. Meanwhile, Arenal Volcano National Park has a maze of hiking trails, 13 hanging bridges, rafting, canyoning and mountain biking.

If you’re more into the more cultural stuff, check out the music, dance, theatre, Creole swing dance and Calypso Limon.

Sodas (small, locally owned cafés) or the local markets are the places to go to find fresh and authentic cuisine. Gallo pinto (rice and beans), olla de carne (beef and vegetable stew), chorreadas (corn pancakes), peach palm soup and shaved ice are popular dishes.

Co-working spaces are dotted around San Jose, Tamarindo and Puerto Viejo, among other cities. Ookla figures show fixed broadband speeds at 73.04, placing it at 62nd in the world.

The quality of life does come at a price – compared to the rest of Central America, at least.

  • Three course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant – 30,000 CRC (£43.54)
  • 1 litre of milk – 931.34 CRC (£1.35)
  • 500g fresh loaf white bread – 1,213.23 CRC (£1.75)
  • One way ticket public transport – 500 CRC (72p)
  • Basics for 85m squared flat – 40,525.63 CRC (£59)
  • Rent for one-bed flat in city centre – 315,136.71 CRC (£457.65)


The digital nomad visa


Visa name: Digital nomads

Fees: $100 (£81) application fee and a $90 (£73) request for legal stay fee.

Length of stay: Up to a year

Can I extend my stay? Yes, for up to a further year

Salary required: $3,000 (£2,444) per month or $5,000 (£4,073) per month if with family from a guaranteed source for two years.

Background checks: Criminal record check.


– all documents much have an official translation in Spanish.

  • Valid passport
  • Bank statement
  • Medical insurance covering up to $50,000 (£40,735) (all documents must have a Spanish translation)

How to apply: Through the Tramite iYa! platform: https://tramiteya.go.cr/dgme/

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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