Costa Rica Country Profile

Passport Ranking
Passport Score
Visa-free Countries
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North and South America
Capital City
San José

Largest City
San José
Costa Rican colón

5.2 million

Life Expectancy
79.6 years
GDP (nominal)
$68.5 billion

Cost of Living
English Proficiency
Inexpensive (3/7)
Very comfortable (1/5)
Average (4/7)
Clean (2/5)
Moderate (3/5)

Taxation Type: Territorial

Sovereign Research's take:

Costa Rica can tick a lot of Plan B boxes for many people. 

If you’ve always dreamt of starting a wellness business – think yoga, eco-hotels, organic produce or handmade products – then look no further – Costa Rica has become a true Mecca for all things healthy and natural

Most importantly, the country is a fantastic retirement destination. The weather, for one thing, is amazing.  

In Costa Rica, you can pick and choose your climate. Whether you’d enjoy hot and humid Caribbean weather, the milder beach climes of the Pacific Ocean, or the cool coffee-growing highlands of the Central Valley, you’ll be able to find a place that just feels right.

Crime is largely not an issue (which is always a big deal in Latin America), and the local people are very friendly towards foreigners.

It’s also a very short flight from the US and Canada, making a trip back home to see the grandkids a rather easy undertaking. 

And due to the number of expats there, English is widely spoken in certain areas.

If you are sold on Costa Rica, obtaining a residency there is straightforward. Some families still practice “visa runs”, traveling every 90 days or so, although we certainly wouldn’t recommend doing that.

Costa Rica is still fairly priced, although not as dirt-cheap and untapped as it was about three decades ago. 

Today, there seem to be fewer locals than Americans and Europeans present in the country snorkeling, birdwatching, and ziplining. (Ziplining was actually invented in Costa Rica.)

In many ways, Costa Rica is very similar to its neighbor, Panama… and it also boasts a territorial tax system (meaning no worldwide taxation for residents).

But it is less friendly in terms of business and investment opportunities. Getting things done can also be quite difficult in Costa Rica, plus there are noticeably more regulations there. 

But for the right kind of person, the country can make a lot of sense..

Service Providers available in Costa Rica in Sovereign Research's Rolodex:

  • Immigration (residency, citizenship)
  • Full relocation services (real estate search, bank account opening, driver's licence, etc.)
  • Tax advice (attorneys and/or accountants)
  • Corporate services (company formation, etc.)
Obtain access by signing up for Sovereign Confidential

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