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Neil, the property manager, was exceedingly helpful and friendly upon our arrival and offered many suggestions of local restaurants and places to visit while on our vacation. He was very thorough in providing a tour of the house as we arrived and made sure we would be able to contact him if with any problems or questions during our stay.
In addition, he was always very prompt in replying to my e-mails and questions during the preliminary rental process and made our home rental plans efficient and worry-free.
I would not hesitate to use Neil as our contact person for any future visits to the Dominical and Southern Pacific region of Costa Rica.

Lynn F
San Luis Obispo, California

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Have you ever overstayed your welcome?


Of course you have. We all have – once or twice.

When it comes to Costa Rican immigration, tourist visa rules are slowly being ironed out for those who overstay their allotted number of days in the country.

In general, when a tourist or perpetual tourist – these are people who live in the country but are not residents or citizens – enter Costa Rica they are given a 90-day visa. As a visitor on vacation, the 90-day stamp has little significance since your trip is likely to last a couple of weeks. But for a perpetual tourist, stamping in and out of Costa Rica every three months is a way of life, and a confusing one at that.

A typical perpetual tourist will check out of Costa Rica and back in at border crossings in Panama or Nicaragua. So, essentially, you’re not only dealing with Costa Rican laws, but laws for either of those countries as well. Getting a firm grasp on these ever-changing exit and re-entry regulations is often an exercise in futility. The truth is, sometimes it’s best to walk up to the passport window and act completely oblivious, cross your fingers and hope. Having a meltdown might work, too, but that’s like throwing a Hail Mary pass at the end of a football game. It reeks of desperation, so always try to stay levelheaded.

As of September 2014, however, Costa Rican authorities have simplified the check-out/check-in process for visitors who’ve gone over on their visa limit, which is a nice way of saying “people who are in the country illegally.”

The new Costa Rican exit law requires visitors to pay a fine of $100 for every month they’ve allowed their visa stamp to expire. Furthermore, a visitor can be expelled from the country for three months for every month their visa expiration date has lapsed. For example, if your 90-day visa expired in January and you try to stamp out of Costa Rica in April, you’d be subject to a $300 fine and could possibly – and this is by no means a sure thing – be expelled from the country for nine months total.

Obviously, the simple solution is to take care of your visa stamp before it expires. Not only will you be respecting Costa Rican law, but you’ll have much more peace of mind knowing that your driver’s license and overall visitor status are legal (keep in mind that when your visa expires, your license is no longer valid).

When you visit a border crossing in Panama or Nicaragua, there are a few things you need to bring. The first is your passport, obviously. The second is a bank statement showing you have access to at least $500 in cash (or you could just show them the money). The third is either a bus or plane ticket that proves you’ll be leaving Costa Rica before your 90 days is up.

The ticket thing can be a bit tricky. At the Paso Canoas border crossing in Panama, authorities often request a bus or plane ticket that says you’re leaving Panama, too, even if you’re only there for a few hours. In these cases, you can simply purchase a bus ticket from Panama to Costa Rica for $20 and be done with it. Keep in mind that you’ll still need to show Costa Rican immigration proof that you’re leaving their country as well.

Again, for short-stay visitors, none of this should ever be an issue. Costa Rica will welcome you with open arms at the airport and pat you on the back with a nice “pura vida” when you leave. And in between, you and your loved ones will have an exceptional experience staying at one of our Dominical rental homes. That we can guarantee!

For those who plan on staying in this magnificent country for a long time, however, the new rules take away some of the gray area and lift a few lingering clouds that surround the entire immigration process. It’s certainly a step in the right direction.

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3 bedrooms

Jan 4 - Apr 30 2017 (PN $325) ($2,275 Weekly) (Minimum stay 5 nights)   May 1 - Jun 30 2017 (...


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