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A valid passport and entry stamp (Visa) are all that are required. Visas for up to 90 days are issued at the time of entry and the holder must leave the country within the time frame proscribed by the Visa. A simple departure and re-entry will be cause for issuance of a new Visa.

Note: Some persons residing permanently in Costa Rica regularly leave and return to the country every 90 days to obtain a new Visa. These are known as “perpetual tourists” and the practice is frowned upon by the Costa Rican government. At the time of re-entry, multiple Visas can be cause for denial of re-entry or can result in being assigned a new Visa expiration of less than 90 days. It is highly recommended that those persons who desire to make Costa Rica their home apply for legal residency as soon as possible.

ARCR has English speaking associate attorneys who can assist MEMBERS in completing all the steps needed for obtaining residency.


Yes - Under Costa Rica law, a valid driver license from a person’s home country can be used to legally operate a vehicle in Costa Rica during the period their entry Visa is valid. Renewal of driver license validity can ONLY be achieved by leaving the country, re-entering, and receiving a new Visa.

Yes - All the major rental car companies (Hertz, Budget, Dollar, etc.) have a presence in Costa Rica, plus there are other, smaller companies which can also provide rental vehicles. Most have four-wheel drive vehicles available.

Tourists can drive in Costa Rica using a valid foreign driver license for the period of their visa. Vehicle renters will need to present a valid passport when they rent a vehicle. (Review FAQ #3 for more information about driving in Costa Rica.) Tourists should also carry their passport with them at all times. (A copy of your passport along with a copy of the Visa page will generally suffice for most day-to-day transaction.)

Different rental companies have differing age restrictions applying to renting and driving their vehicles. Rental rates can be very expensive and vary widely among different companies, so shop around. Some rental agencies may have disadvantageous rules regarding damages and some have exorbitant add-on charges not obvious at a glance, so be sure to read the fine print on the contract and beware of hidden clauses before signing.

Costa Rica is a semi-tropical country which is always warm, and the beach areas are usually hot. Therefore, light clothing such as shorts and T-shirts that wick away moisture and dry quickly are appropriate. If you plan a visit to the cooler mountain areas, long pants and a light jacket may be in order. Bring some comfortable walking shoes for trips into the jungle areas. During the rainy season (April – October) a jacket that repels light rain may be helpful.

Costa Rica does not have a strict dress code and casual is best for pretty much the entire country. At the beach, your wardrobe will consist mostly of shorts, tank tops, and flip flops. The cultural norms of wearing long pants and closed toe shoes in the cities are being eroded, but still respected by many Ticos.



Ave. 14 and Calle (street) 42
San José, Costa Rica


Email: info@arcr.cr


P.O. Box 1191-1007
Centro Colón, San José,
Costa Rica