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We have traveled quite a bit but this was one of our best vacations ever. The house was amazing and it was just like how it was described in the website. The kitchen had all the amenities that we needed. We all loved the infinity pool and of course that amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. Seeing Whale's Tail from the house provoked our need to go see it in person. It took us a time or two to find it but when we did it was worth the time. We saw toucan's everyday flying around the area of the house and even a couple very up close by the pool. We did not see any howler monkeys but we did hear them. We had a varying range of ages and interests in our group of seven but we all found many things that we wanted to do and accomplished them. I would strongly suggest the waterfall tour, it was amazing but the water was freezing but definelty worth it. I am recovering from back surgery and did not want to risk the horse ride but they offered a pick up ride instead. That worked out great for all of us, it had padded benches in the bed so it was comfortable. This tour comes with breakfast and lunch, both of the meals were really good. For the price it was a real deal. Of course some of our group did the zip line through the rain forest and they all came back with many stories. Everyone enjoyed that but they did say if you are afraid of heights it may not be for you. We loved all the mom & pop restaurants along the road sides, we never had a bad meal. We did go into Dominical one evening and had tapas at Confusione Tapas Restaurant, it was wonderful. We all agreed when we return to this amazing area and property we need to plan a two week vacation, one week was not enough. Neil was great with arranging all the tours we wanted and helping us navigate the area. He even helped to arrange a wedding for us at the house. We have the most wonderful pictures from the wedding. The ceremony was held under the tiki hut and our bouquets were made by a local woman from flowers and greenery on the property. This definelty will not be a trip any one of us will ever forget. Thanks so much to Jerry, Theresa and Neil for a perfect vacation.

Chris F

Property: Casa Las Terrazas

Date of Stay: Feb 18 2012

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Chris F

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Have you ever overstayed your welcome?

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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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