YES. The water here IS safe to drink! Exceptions may be in VERY remote or rural areas, but unless you are way out in the boonies, you’re OK. Most of the water in Puriscal is supplied by the AyA and there are a few community water associations called ‘Asadas.’
If you rent a car here, remember there are FEW or NO street signs here. There are also no street addresses. The BIG highways are marked, but as soon as you leave them, you’re toast. Consider getting a GPS. Pricey but maybe makes you feel better.
No, they do NOT. Hotels and nearly all restaurants take credit cards of course, and many will accept dollars, but there are MANY places especially outside the Central Valley where nothing is accepted except the colón. This includes some fine restaurants. And here is a hint… some of the best stuff you can buy at great prices is in the more remote areas… and they will happily accept colones, but will never take credit cards or dollars. The good news is that CR is full of ATM’s where you can use your bank card to get some colones at the proper exchange rate. Also many places will not accept travelers checks as they can take merchants up to two months to receive the funds. Best to have colones in Puriscal or use your CC.
Costa Rica is a country built on the PROCESS. The US, Canada, and many other countries are built on the concept of PERFORMANCE.
What do I mean? I mean in Costa Rica, the view is that it WILL get done, sometime. It will seldom, if ever, be on your schedule. In many other countries, we have grown to expect that things get done quickly and efficiently. In Costa Rica, it is rare that anything is done quickly OR efficiently These differences are drastic. If you are A-Type person, Costa Rica can make you crazy unless you make some drastic adjustments in how you view life. This adjustment is only one of many you will need to make if you wish to live here and enjoy it. These cultural things have a way of sneaking up on you if you are not prepared, and you can find yourself nervous, depressed, and unable to cope.
From San Jose take Ruta 27 West past Escazu and Santa Ana to the toll booth for Ciudad Colon/Puriscal and pay 160 colones. Now you will be on Ruta 239 going through Ciudad Colon. Exiting Ciudad Colon the road continues to Puriscal. About 1 hour.
Except for the maritime zone, foreigners enjoy the same property rights as Costa Ricans. Most land in Costa Rica is titled. Good lawyers will quickly check to ensure it has good, clear title.
The Central Registry for land in Costa Rica is computerized and similar to most places in North America. Top law firms and the Casa Canada Group have computers connected directly to the Central Registry and can search the title of land instantly from their office. Registry of mortgages and liens are much the same as in North America. Title insurance to guarantee the title of properties can be arranged with Stewart title at a special price through the Association of Residents of Costa Rica. When purchasing property in Costa Rica, proper registration of the property, and not the deed itself, is of the utmost importance. Simply because an individual may have a seemingly “legal” title to a property in his/her name, does not necessarily mean that he/she is the legal owner. Like anywhere else in the world, there are scam artists who attempt (sometimes successfully) to sell the same property numerous times. It is therefore necessary to conduct a thorough investigation of a prospective piece of property.
Perpetual Tourist: US and Canadian citizens and given a 90 day visa. You will need to leave for 1 day and come back into Costa Rica. This is important if you are driving because after being here for 90 days, your foreign license will not be valid. Unless you work online, you will need permanent residency in order to work legally.
Costa Rica offers many alternatives for legal residency. Here are the most common and those that affect the majority of people moving here:
• a pensionado is defined as a person receiving a lifetime pension such as social security, state retirement benefits, military pension. or someone who has purchased or owns a lifetime annuity guaranteeing an income (for life) of no less than $1,000 US per month. While this residency is most common for older folks, there is no age limit. We have many retired military retiring here who are in their forties and are qualified pensionados.
• a rentista is a foreigner with a guaranteed income stream (rare) or who makes a deposit to a Costa Rica bank) in the amount of $60,000 (more common).
This deposit is the rentista’s money and is paid out to him at the rate of $2,500 per month for 24 months. This residency is for two years after which it must be renewed (another 60,000) or you must leave the country. This new residency allows people to learn if they really enjoy living here.
• an investor, who has at least $200,000 or more invested in Costa Rica
Puriscal is up in the beautiful inland mountain range, located some 45 km ( 30 miles) west-south-west of San Jose. Here, you can have the best of many worlds: a comfortable spring-like climate all year round, close to the Pacific Ocean beaches, and an interesting drive through the country to get to the Escazu / San Jose city area. (Note: when looking for Puriscal on a map of Costa Rica, be aware that depending on the map it may be listed as Puriscal, Santiago, or Santiago de Puriscal.) Many residents commute to San Jose for jobs, preferring to raise their families in the peaceful mountains with cooler temperatures, friendly neighbors, clean air and incredible views. Elevations in this area range from 800 to 1200 meters (2600 to 3900 ft), which is why we have a spring-like climate, away from the torrid heat and humidity of the coastal low lands, and away from the pollution of San Jose and the Central Valley.
First of all, be sure to buy fresh vegetables, fruits, etc. on Fridays and Saturdays at the local Feria (farmers market). The private CIMA hospital is about 45 mins. away in Escazu. There are many local clinics in Puriscal and a new hospital just 5 mins. from town. The local doctors, dentists and therapists are very good and there are several local pharmacies. If you become a legal resident, you must join the national health system know as the CAJA.
As these rules can change, I strongly urge you to contact a moving advisor or a relocation specialist no less than two months before your move! They should always have the most current information. Often relocation firms outside Costa Rica are not current on laws and enforcement. Costa Rica specialists and moving advisors are usually a better bet. Cats and dogs are not quarantined. You walk right through customes and immigration with the proper paperwork. You will need a certificate from your vet, and this form MUST comply with the US Dept of Agriculture format. Your vet should know all about this. If he/she doesn’t know, get another vet because THIS is critical stuff. Wrong form… no pets or long quarantine. Period!
This paperwork may also need to be validated by the CR embassy in the US nearest you. Currently it does NOT, but at any time and without notice, this can change. Check for the current rules. Shots (except rabies!) must be current within 30 days of transporting the animals. One day over? No pets. Rabies shots must be over 30 days but less than one year.
Your vet will know the immunizations required for shipping pets internationally. If he/she doesn’t, get another vet. This sounds cold and it IS. Your vet MUST know this stuff.
Airlines and Travel
Be VERY careful of airline blackout periods. These are NOT the same blackout periods for people around the holidays! These are SPECIAL blackout periods where animals will not be accepted by the airlines at ALL – with or without papers. Many airline employees do not know these dates. They are REAL and they are cast in stone. Ask until you find someone who knows these dates. Plan your departure to avoid these dates.
Suggestion! Travel ONLY from the USA or any country when your local (or closest) Costa Rican embassy is open. NO night travel! Airlines are often NOT current on the rules of importation of animals, especially those that work the counters at airports. They CAN and WILL deny boarding for the DUMBEST of reasons, and often they are completely WRONG.