In the real estate sector, understanding the Maritime Zone is crucial for agents and clients. It involves complex legal aspects, such as civil liability and insurance. The Maritime-Terrestrial Zone is inalienable, belonging to the central or municipal government, with the ICT overseeing the concessions.

What is the Maritime Zone in Costa Rica?

The maritime-terrestrial zone of Costa Rica is a strip of land along the country’s coasts, regulated by Law No. 6043. It extends 200 meters from the high tide line. This zone is divided into a public area (the first 50 meters) and a restricted area (the next 150 meters).

The law aims to protect coastal resources, guarantee public access, and allow controlled concessions for sustainable development. It includes land reclaimed from the sea and the banks of rivers up to the point where they are navigable or affected by tides.

Public area (First 50 meters)

  • Public use: This area is inalienable and publicly accessible, without allowing private property or permanent buildings.

  • Prohibitions: Building is not allowed except for public infrastructure that does not interfere with access and enjoyment of the beach.

Restricted area (Next 150 meters)

  • Concessions: Concessions for private use must comply with strict regulations and receive approval from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and local municipalities.

  • Conditions of use: Activities must be compatible with environmental conservation and may not restrict public access.

Environmental protection

  • Ecosystem Conservation: Mangroves, wetlands and other critical ecosystems must be preserved.

  • Sustainability: Concessions and developments must ensure sustainable use of natural resources.

What is the importance of the regulatory plan?

The regulatory plan establishes the guidelines for development in the ZMT and is created by the municipality. Understanding and interpreting this plan is critical to ensuring compliance with local regulations. If you want to make a different use than the one established in an area, you can request a “conditional use” subject to the approval of the municipality.

It is essential to take into account the specific restrictions and requirements for each type of use. Real estate agents should be familiar with this process and provide expert guidance to their clients to ensure legal and successful development.

Understanding market players, the differences between public and restricted areas, as well as the process of selling concessions is key to investing wisely.

Furthermore, the precise interpretation of the regulatory plan is essential to ensure legal and sustainable development. Properly informing customers about these aspects can improve transparency and confidence in the process of buying and selling properties.

With strong knowledge and expert guidance, we can facilitate secure and sustainable transactions, adding value to our customers and the environment.