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Getting Started in Costa?

landlubberlandlubber Posts: 316 Deckhand
I have decided if I don't pursue my dream of living in Costa Rica now, it may slip away from me and I will hate myself forever. With that being said I am wondering if you guys have tips for starting a life there. I know some of the basics like a foreigner can't be hired if there's a tico available who can do the job. Living on a tourist visa means I have to leave for 3 days every 90 days. I can learn more about those basics by googling. When it comes to finding jobs I have been unsuccessful. I have looked at Craigslist Costa Rica and the Tico Times website but nothing more. I know a good amount of Spanish so Spanish classifieds would be just fine. I would like to do some form of ecotourism like guided hikes, fishing, ziplining and what not. In reality I want to pay basic bills and things while getting to wander the jungles and beaches on my spare time. I have a Bachelors in Biology; that is my passion. Teaching is something I really enjoy also. I already have classroom experience.

Aside from job searching I hope forum members can provide fishing info too. I want to live on the Pacific side for the roosterfish. I wouldn't have a boat so it would be purely land-based as my name suggests. Probably get a kayak after settling in. Where are good places to do such fishing? I have been to Jaco and my instinct is to go there for the booming tourist industry. What equipment would you bring? I have a Stradic and Saros 4000, Penn Conquer 7000, Shimano Speedmaster and a 4/0 wide. Are my bases covered for
Inshore pursuits? What lures are good for the fish in these waters like roosters, Cubera snapper, snook and tarpon? The 4/0 wide is for sharks and Cuberas. Are there such things as good bait & tackle stores there?


  • GT FishGT Fish Posts: 9,448 Officer
    Many of my friends have tried it..They all come back..just go there on vacations.The place is NOT what it used to be.There are to many Americans there now and the cost of living is not like the old days.. I started going in 91 and have been 12 times..I don't plan to go back..Nicuragua is the new Costa Rica..
  • landlubberlandlubber Posts: 316 Deckhand
    I have noticed that places for rent are pretty standard prices like Florida's. When I went in 2008 gas was $5/gallon but food and drink were really cheap. Not every American is retired there so jobs must be supporting them somehow. I have to try for at least a year. Westernization I am ok with. There's tropical jungle that stretches right up to tropical beaches. The people are generally good, not just nice, and there is no army. They have a small carbon footprint and people protect the natural beauty instead of relishing over concrete and metal. Yea someone is going to know all the exceptions to my statements but that's not what I'm looking for.
  • Wilson GuidesWilson Guides Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    Go for it Landlubber!
    I’ve never been there so I don’t have any advice other than; if this is a dream and you have the means to chase it…go! I wouldn’t change my life now (wife & kids), but there are a few things I wish I would have done before settling down…Costa Rica is one of them.

    Good luck, tight lines and keep us posted if you go.
    Captain Bill Wilson
  • GregHGregH Posts: 249 Deckhand
    GT Fish wrote: »
    The place is NOT what it used to be.There are to many Americans there now and the cost of living is not like the old days.. I started going in 91 and have been 12 times..I don't plan to go back..Nicuragua is the new Costa Rica..

    I agree - have been there at least 15 times since 1992. But to answer your questions, you aren't going to find many job opportunities through conventional methods. Have to just meet people there and spread the word. So if you have enough money to just charge it and can live without a job for a while, then go for it. Just think it is hard to get a job lined up before going there. I think Jaco is your best choice to start and your equipment is going to work. Used some X raps and other baits down there with some success.

    Did not see any bait and tackle stores there but the last time I was there was two years ago. Traveled from Jaco to Santa Teresa/Mal Pais. Good luck, wish I was able to do this. But as GT suggested, do spend some time looking at Nicaragua as well.
  • landlubberlandlubber Posts: 316 Deckhand
    Nicaragua doesn't have the birds, culture or politics (which we won't discuss further) that makes CR ideal. Haven't been there but I know Nicaraguans and have talked to them and my friends know I'm looking for something a little different. Panama is a consideration and I have a contact there. And I don't have a bunch of money for this to be a long vacation. I'm broke now and I'll be broke there. But there is where I want to be. I already grew up where everyone vacations (south FL) and I'm going to the same kind of place. I'm aware. I shall learn from my elders and find the answer instead of being haunted by the question.

    Thus far teaching looks like the most available occupation but certainly doesn't make you rich. That's fine. If anyone knows of CR job boards please post a link.
  • td.td. Posts: 4,695 Captain
    Jump on the 'careers' sites for some of the major hotel chains. There might be a resort hiring down there that you can get lined up ahead of time.

    I would take enough cash to buy airfare home and stash it away somewhere so you know you always have an exit if bad goes to worse.
  • landlubberlandlubber Posts: 316 Deckhand
    Anybody know good spots to fish inshore or nice towns on the beach with businesses?
  • KinembeKinembe Posts: 29 Deckhand
    i'm looking for a babysitter..
  • IncommunicadoIncommunicado Posts: 35 Deckhand
    Still? you were looking for a babysitter a year ago when I was down there.
  • midnightridermidnightrider Posts: 57 Deckhand
    Try occupy wall street.....should be able to find like minded individuals/info
  • pupraiserpupraiser Posts: 10,261 AG
    You might want to ping the guy who started this thread: http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?17724-Received-my-Rentista-permit-for-Cost-Rica&highlight=costa+rica

    Also, here is a site for more info: http://www.livingabroadincostarica.com/index.html

    As a "tourist" you'd have to leave the country every 90 days and stay gone for 3 days. Costa Rica seems to be pretty concerned about jobs...meaning they want Americans to come visit but not take a job from a CR citizen.
  • sirfersirfer Sarasota, FLPosts: 125 Deckhand
    You might try and get in touch with some of the surf camps down there as well. I went to the Vista Guapa surf camp in Jaco, and as part of the package they give you a day or two off from surfing where you go on ecotourism tours to some of the nearby parks to check out the flora and fauna, with a guide of course. If you're well versed in all of the plants/animals you might encounter in Costa Rica, it's worth looking into.

    I've also got a friend who moved down there because he didn't want to get stuck working a 9-5 at home in Florida, so he started his own charter business. He's been there for a few years and you may not be looking to get into the same business, but I'm sure he knows a lot of people in the area and might be able to point you in the right direction as far as someone to talk to who might be hiring. His contact info is on his website if you want to check it out. His name is Jason Coffrin. http://www.fishmrtrigger.com/contact.htm
  • landlubberlandlubber Posts: 316 Deckhand
    I'm going to try and contact these people you guys have mentioned. Thanks.
    What can be caught from the surf on the Pacific coast? I assume snook. If it's rocky by the shore does that mean my chances are better for roosterfish and snappers?
  • TriplecleanTripleclean Posts: 6,570 Admiral
    What is the property tax like down there on a $300,000 spread for a gringo?
  • DOCKSIDEDOCKSIDE Posts: 1,899 Captain
    We stay at Crocodile Bay Lodge in Puerto Jimenez. They are out of Calif and may have some info....
    somewhere south of disorder and on earth... mostly .
    IBEW LU 433
  • crackerDcrackerD Posts: 124 Deckhand
    What is the property tax like down there on a $300,000 spread for a gringo?

    Property tax for a 300K place would be about $750. It's 1/4 of a percent of the original purchase price. BUT, they now have a lovely luxury tax for homes over a certain amount, which works about to be about the same. So all together you'd be looking at $1500 ish for your 300K place.

    Electric is also slanted against anyone that has more than the average tico. The more you use, the more the price per unit. My 2200 sf place has seen electric bills as high as $600 a month while keeping it at 75.

    Fun place to visit/vacation but don't think I could live there. Things take a long time...just things. Internet down at your house? Call ICE, and wait, and wait, and wait.
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