Costa Rica is in the heart of the American continent, a small country of only 51,060 square kilometers (19,714 square miles) known globally for its efforts to protect nature and promote peace; it is also known as one of the happiest countries in the world.
Costa Rica’s geographic position gives it access to both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, which means it has beautiful beaches and incredible biodiversity, numerous microclimates make it the home of many different species of plants and animals; the country has made big efforts in safeguarding this natural wealth, to a point that over 25% of its territory are National Parks or Biological Reserves.
Amazing beaches that offer great conditions for those that wish to surf or those that just want to relax listening to the sound of the waves crashing onto shore; active and inactive volcanoes; waterfalls; caves and canyons; beautiful rivers including the unique Rio Celeste, famous for its light-blue color; hot springs; a natural rock and sand formation in the shape of a whale tail precisely in the place where humpback whales are spotted several months of the year as they migrate; the amazing phenomenon of bioluminescence; one of five blue zones in the world; Corcovado National Park which has been voted among the best 10 in the world by National Geographic Magazine thanks to its 13 habitat types; the list of the natural wonders of Costa Rica is long, but these are not the only things that make this country special.
The country of “Pura Vida” secures its spot every year in the annual listing of the happiest countries in the world, the World Happiness Report 2018 named it the happiest country in Latin America, excellent weather, access to a good health system, and of course, soccer, are part of what makes this a happy country. Costa Rica has no army, military forces were abolished in 1949, it’s a democratic country with political and financial stability, the state dedicates a large percentage of its funds to education making it free and mandatory, the country’s literacy rate is of 96% and the government continues its efforts to offer better quality of education; after all, human talent has attracted the investment of many multinational companies.
The number of tourists to Costa Rica grow every year, tourism is in fact the main engine driving the country’s economy, the United States continues to be the biggest market for the Central American nation contributing with almost 1.2 million travelers in 2017.
There are many reasons to visit Costa Rica: adventure, wellness, romance, sport activities, Eco-tourism, business, etc. Investing in real estate and tourism in this country makes sense, specially at a time where technology and access to information have become an ally for the tourism industry. There are, of course, as with any other investment, things that must be taken into consideration before jumping the gun. Some things to consider when buying or renting a hotel in Costa Rica: As it was mentioned before, people come to Costa Rica for a number of different reasons, you have “high rollers” the wealthy tourists that choose to stay in luxury hotels and can afford and want to pay for all the comforts and VIP treatments; there are also the backpackers who are looking for a small hostel or bed and breakfast that is affordable and convenient; the eco-travelers who prefer a secluded boutique hotel surrounded by raw nature that is comfortable but not necessarily luxurious; the business traveler that requires a hotel centrally located and that offers all the facilities; families that travel with young children and prefer all-inclusive resorts; adults looking for peace and romance; those that want a cultural experience and share with the community; the list goes on and on, the point is, there is a demand, and therefore there needs to be supply.
The first thing you need to do if you want to invest in a hotel in Costa Rica is really getting to know the different options you have and narrow down the market you want to target. In order to do this, it is necessary that you do your research. Whether you have decided in a small bed and breakfast in the mountains of Heredia; an eco-lodge in Punta Uva, Limon; or a beautiful resort in La Fortuna, Arenal; you must learn everything you can about the area and, of course, the number of tourists visiting the area and what their preferences are. Try to fill in the gap.
Once you are clear on what you want and which area of the country you want to invest in the next important step is getting a real estate agent and a lawyer.
Many foreigners make the mistake of wanting to do the deals o their own to save a few bucks, but 99% of the time this ends up being a big error. When you are in a country you are not familiar with, if you don’t know the culture or even the language well enough, you can end up (and will end up) having a big share of bad experiences. Choose a realtor that speaks your language, someone that has experience in the rental and selling of hotels in the country and has lived in Costa Rica long enough to know the challenges that come with buying and renting properties for tourism. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and expect them to adhere to your requests as much as possible, your budget and your preferences. Granted, it will be hard to get Exactly what you are looking for, but a good real estate agent will know the market well enough to give you the alternatives that best fulfill your requirements and give you all the pros and cons of a property and location.
A good lawyer is also important, if you know someone in the country that you trust to give you a recommendation, go this route, otherwise, choose a law firm that has a name to reputation to protect, that’s the safest option. Make sure they go over every single detail regarding the legal stands of the property you are looking to buy or rent. You may consider this tedious, but it is absolutely necessary to put in the time to go over this information with your lawyer so there are no surprises in the future. Taxes. Always consider taxes. Your lawyer and realtor can help you get some of the information on the payments you’ll need to make, at least property taxes and corporate taxes, but also get information on the income tax payments related to the type of business you will be running.
Having all this information will help you make an educated decision, put together your business plan an ensure it is realistic and within your budget.
The Costa Rican Tourism Board can offer a lot of useful information and assistance for new hotels, from free trainings to certifications and options to participate in tourism fairs to help you promote your business. Take advantage of all these resources that are made available to you usually for free or for a small amount.
Costa Rica has many charming communities and a big number of attractions that tourists enjoy.
Contact Costaricarealestates.com and we will help you find the perfect investment for you and make the process of becoming a hotel owner in Costa Rica smooth and problem-free.
Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas
1.83 Acres (79,718 Sq Feet Lot)