The first question that arises in this topic is whether can a foreigner own a property in Costa Rica and the answer is yes. In this nation there is no impediment for this. In our country we have different ways of buying a property.

Costa Rica is known for its tourist attractions, many foreigners in their visits to the country fall in love with the green landscapes that distinguish the area, as well as its beaches, vegetation and fauna. This has motivated many tourists to invest in one or more properties for vacation, housing or even retirement.

There are only two exceptions for a foreigner not to be able to own a property and that is when it is:

1. Agricultural Property

An agricultural property donated to a poor farmer by the Rural Development Institute (INDER) which  may only be sold after the farmer has maintained it for 15 years or more.

2. Maritime Zone

It is a 200-meter strip that starts at mean high tide and is divided into a public zone, which is the 50-meter protected strip closest to the coast, and the remaining 150 meters that may be subject to concession rights.

It should be noted that concessions normally have higher taxes, as well as stricter zoning restrictions and regulations, which can make it difficult to develop them.

Foreigners who have resided for more than five years in the country can only own up to 49% of a concession. They can do so by purchasing the shares of a company that holds the concession or occupancy rights.

To buy a property in Costa Rica you do not need many documents. You only need a valid passport and a valid entry stamp to the country, which means that you have a legal status in the territory.

The payments of the properties can be made from the accounts of the buyer’s country of origin. The only thing that must be complied with are the tax laws of both countries; Costa Rica and the country of the account with which the payment is to be made.

Recommendations for Immigrants

Recommendations for Emigrants




foreigner own property

It should be investigated if the property has any encumbrances such as mortgages or usufructuary rights.

puede un extranjero ser dueño de propiedades en Costa Rica

Copies of the cadastral plan as well as the sales contract must be verified by an attorney.

puede un extranjero ser dueño de propiedades en Costa Rica

The actual transfer of ownership is legally sealed by the signing of the sales contract.




puede un extranjero ser dueño de propiedades en Costa Rica

If the sale process is going to extend over a longer period of time, a sales contract may be requested.


Contracts may be entered into as an individual or together with other persons in the name of a corporation.

puede un extranjero ser dueño de propiedades en Costa Rica

The sales contract must be drawn up by an authorized notary, who must be chosen jointly by the parties.

It is sometimes very useful to hire a lawyer and a real estate advisor who speaks the language of the future buyer or to hire a translator, in order to be clear about each phase of the contract.