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The Ultimate Guide to Buying Land in Costa Rica: Steps, Tips, and Legal Considerations

Discover the secrets to successfully buying land in Costa Rica with our comprehensive guide. From understanding the property market to navigating legal aspects and closing the deal, we've got you covered. Embark on your journey to owning a piece of paradise today!

Ed Zaydelman
Ed Zaydelman
3 min read

Table of Contents


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on buying land in Costa Rica. We understand that purchasing property in a foreign country can be intimidating, but we are here to help you navigate the process with ease. Our goal is to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information to ensure a successful investment. In this guide, we'll cover everything from understanding the local property market to legal considerations and closing the deal.

Understanding the Costa Rican Property Market

Costa Rica is an attractive destination for property investors, thanks to its stable economy, friendly locals, and stunning natural beauty. The country's property market has seen consistent growth over the years, making it an excellent choice for both short-term and long-term investments.

In recent years, Costa Rica has witnessed a surge in demand for properties, particularly in the coastal regions. This demand is driven by foreign investors seeking a tropical paradise for retirement or vacation homes. Some popular areas include:

  • Guanacaste
  • Puntarenas
  • Limón

Property Types

In Costa Rica, you'll find a wide variety of land types available for purchase, such as:

  • Residential lots
  • Agricultural land
  • Commercial land
  • Conservation areas

It's essential to consider your investment goals before selecting the right property type for your needs.

Choosing the Perfect Location

When it comes to buying land in Costa Rica, location is key. Consider factors such as accessibility, infrastructure, and proximity to amenities. Some popular locations include:

  1. San José: The bustling capital offers a mix of urban and suburban lifestyles, with access to excellent healthcare, education, and entertainment facilities.
  2. Guanacaste: Known for its stunning beaches and national parks, Guanacaste attracts tourists and expats alike, making it an ideal location for vacation rentals and eco-tourism ventures.
  3. Puntarenas: This coastal province boasts beautiful beaches and a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
  4. Limón: With its rich Afro-Caribbean culture, lush rainforests, and pristine beaches, Limón is an ideal destination for eco-tourism and cultural experiences.

Navigating the legal system in Costa Rica can be challenging, but with the right guidance, you can ensure a smooth and successful transaction. Here are some key aspects to consider:

Property Rights

Foreigners have the same property rights as locals in Costa Rica. However, there are some restrictions on land ownership within the maritime zone, which extends 200 meters from the high tide line. In this area, foreigners can only lease land through a concession agreement with the local municipality.

Title Search and Due Diligence

Before purchasing land, it's crucial to perform a thorough title search and due diligence process. This involves verifying the property's ownership, checking for liens, and ensuring the land has no legal disputes. A competent real estate attorney can help you navigate this process with confidence.

Purchase Agreement and Escrow

Once you've found the perfect property and completed due diligence, it's time to draft a purchase agreement. This legally binding document outlines the terms and conditions of the transaction. We recommend using an escrow service to hold the funds until the deal is finalized, protecting both buyer and seller.

Finding and Evaluating Properties

To find the perfect land in Costa Rica, you can use a combination of online resources, local real estate agents, and personal referrals. A well-connected local real estate agent can provide invaluable assistance in locating and evaluating potential properties.

Property Valuation

Determining the true value of a property is essential to making an informed decision. This involves analyzing factors such as market trends, location, and comparable sales. An experienced real estate professional can help you make an accurate valuation, ensuring you get the best possible deal.

Negotiating and Closing the Deal

Once you've identified the perfect property and determined its value, it's time to enter negotiations. Work closely with your real estate agent to craft a competitive offer that takes into account current market conditions and the property's unique features. Be prepared to be flexible and open to counteroffers.

When both parties have agreed on terms, your attorney will prepare the necessary documents, including the property transfer deed. At closing, funds are released from escrow, and the property title is transferred to the buyer. Congratulations, you're now the proud owner of land in Costa Rica!

Post-Purchase Considerations

After purchasing your land, it's essential to consider factors such as property management, maintenance, and development plans. You may want to explore options for building a home, starting a business, or creating a conservation area. Consult with local professionals to ensure your plans align with Costa Rican regulations and environmental guidelines.


Purchasing land in Costa Rica can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By following our comprehensive guide and working with trusted professionals, you can navigate the process with confidence and secure your dream property. Costa Rica awaits you, and we're here to help make your investment a successful and enjoyable one. Welcome to paradise!

Costa RicaBuying LandProperty InvestmentReal EstateLegal ConsiderationsProperty MarketLocationDue Diligence

Ed Zaydelman

I am a real estate & land development advisor, & creator of the 90-Day Live the Possibility Land Accelerator™