“I traded all that in for the Pura Vida Lifestyle”

I traded all that in for the Pura Vida Lifestyle”. How many times have each of us read that statement? With me I traded one paradise for another. Having lived in Muskoka, Canada and selling Real Estate there, I came to Costa Rica for some new adventures. Traveling through most of Costa Rica, those adventures started on week one.

Where do I go?

The beaches of the Pacific Ocean are still my favorite

Born into a trucking family, driving was in my blood, and touring around Costa Rica remains one of my hobbies. Where do I go? That is probably an area that I differ from most people. For me submersing in a variety of Costa Rican cultures, has been both interesting and rewarding. Having taken some time to operate a business in San Jose, to doing what I knew I would do (Real Estate) from my first week in Costa Rica, it has been the people and places that give me the best memories.

You will not find that in a travel brochure.

Spending days and nights in Ticos homes is always a treat. There is always a pot of rice and some beans ready for family and friends. I remember the night I was asked to stand up and take a bow 3 times, just for spending the day in the sugar cane town of Pitahaya. Watching the Oxcart parade in San Jose, buying dynamite, then spending the day digging gold in Las Juntas. Spending the afternoon with a group of Ticos at their friend’s waterfall near Turrialba. The night I stayed at a coffee plantation. What a great family they were. Volunteering to teach English in Coco. Then of course, there’s fishing, walking the beach, monkeys, mud baths, catching a world class ocean view, or everything in between. I could fill this magazine. Oh, and that first week? Traveling through the mountains south of Cartago, I stopped for a coffee. A young couple had just leased the restaurant. A coffee to go turned into an hour of communicating without knowing each other’s language. One of the best hours of my life. A Tico young couple determined to make their new venture a success. WOW! Reminded me of me. You will not find that in a travel brochure.

Costa Rica Ferry

Who Am I?

Theo Veenstra, born in Brampton Ontario, Canada to Dutch immigrants. My first vacation in Costa Rica was February 2008. During one adventure driving a car from Canada to Costa Rica in 2012, I decided to also become an immigrant making Costa Rica home. 2014 was the time to live here full time, later becoming a Costa Rican / Canadian dual citizen.

Real Estate?

Happy Client on her first full day in Costa Rica

How do I look at Real Estate? What is the goal? Strictly investment and business, then the returns need to make sense of course. That said, I was lucky enough to start selling Real Estate in cottage country of Muskoka. That included both full time retires and seasonal families. Having also worked with an older demographic, one thing stood out more than everything else. “LIFE”. Whether buying or selling people wanted help with a piece of their life. I have never forgotten how important that is, And I base myself around helping people accomplish just that.

How? Why?

How? It is quite simple. Everything starts with being in the best environment available. I picked Playas del Coco and the Papagayo area, then joined the best group of realtors I could find. That is the Tres Amigos group. Why? Nothing is more important than surrounding each deal with great professionals. Together they have incredible knowledge, great contacts, operate an exceptional data base. And are most willing to share their knowledge. Along with this area being 20 minutes from Liberia International Airport including its direct flights, accessible medical care, options for schools, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment lets me hand my friends and clients a gift basket in a foreign country. Check the testimonials on my website, www.letsbuycostarica.com and it will hit you. Tres Amigos Realty Group and Papagayo are the right place for me.

What is most important??

People come to paradise for many reasons. Sun, surf, ecosystems, beaches, fishing, birds, adventure, escape from the cold, or to relax. There are a 1000 equally good reasons. Each one valid. A couple things are true, each of us shares something in common, and it can be hard to explain our experiences in Costa Rica to others. For me, what is most important is probably also what keeps me here. I learn so much about this culture and in turn about myself, like riding a bike for the first time. Lastly that stuff they call snow. It looks good from here. Feel free to contact me anytime and start living the Pura Vida Lifestyle.

Theo

Let Costa Rica get your spirits up, Instead of Covid bringing you down

Let Costa Rica get your spirits up.

Let Costa Rica get your spirits up instead of covid bringing you down. Yes, the election is over, and the cold weather is in across a couple hemispheres. Yet here we are enjoying what Costa Rica has to offer.  Ask anyone their top reasons for coming to Costa Rica and the first 3 or 4 things they tell you will be familiar. Warm weather, Lots of Beaches, Friendly people, Great ecosystems, Surfing, and that list goes on. That and the restrictions in North America should be enough to get you on a connecting flight to our great area for at least 90 days.

I am including a link further down to my web page with dozens of Covid test facilities to accommodate you on your return trip whenever that may be.

But there are some even better reasons to get to Costa Rica 

It seems we have people from all over the world here soaking up the sun on those very beaches. Spending days together with friends new and old having adventures near and far. But there are some even better reasons to get to Costa Rica. Some of the ways Costa Rica get your spirits up.

Over the years that I traveled here and now living here for 7 years, bits and pieces make up memories and experiences that shape each day. With the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, its easy to find families in need and great people going out of their way every day to help. From food drives to personal phone calls, great volunteers and friends are here in paradise being all they can be. It is awesome to see and you can be sure seeing that dedication is forming new memories daily. With that said they need your help. I know I have asked before. And trust me, I will ask again, until this pandemic is over. Please give I will attach more information and links below.

But this newsletter is dedicated to a good friend and his family back in Canada.

You will not find it in a travel brochure.  

But there are other memories that come in such different ways. A few years ago, I was visiting family and friends in Canada. We were invited to the home of a personal friend for BBQ and some great conversation. I had met my friend years earlier through work and later met his wife. During dinner she shared memories of a time she spent in Costa Rica as a young woman on an exchange program. She enjoyed it so much, that she stayed a few months longer after the exchange ended. She talked about Costa Rica and the host family with vigor and a sparkle in her eyes. The Spanish she had learned quickly came back, and the evening turned out to be an incredibly special treat. Sadly, she became terribly ill and was taken from us before she was able to return. I am so glad she shared that memory. You will not find it in a travel brochure. I guess that is one to those special moments, that cannot be reduced to words.

Costa Rica has been named as the number one.

Again, Costa Rica has been named as the number one place to retire. Like we didn’t know. Here is a link to a great article on just that topic. Let Costa Rica get your spirits up

Costa Rica is named as the Best Accessible Destination 2021

So how do we get here? And what about returning? Many people decided to stay though the pandemic. Landed residents or not, Costa Rica has been very gracious in extending everyone’s travel visa. Letting those lucky enough to be in paradise stay a little longer. Even though Costa Rica does not require testing for entry, For those of you wanting to travel back and forth, your now required to have a test prior to boarding a plane to many countries. I am attaching a link to page listing all of the testing facilities to accommodate you here in Costa Rica including our local Clinic here in Playas del Coco.

Click this link for;  Costa Rica Covid Testing Facilities 

Here is some information to donate to the local food drives as the great volunteers work thru the Covid pandemic; 

  1. NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL. You can PAYPAL or ZELLE to michael@tanktopsflipflops.com
  2. “Patas y Manos” (Paws and Hands)   https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s xclick&hosted_button_id=Z8DDX5FBJWNWW&source=url

Some of the Great Properties Available

Click on the property for the listing and click below for the video

Pacifico Lot 13 Spec Home  $895,000. Playas del Coco

Mar Vista Private Estate $1,395,000, Playa Hermosa

Casa de Atardecer, $695,000.  Playa Hermosa

Ladera del Mar Ranchitos Ridge Lot 4, $219,000.  Playas Del Coco

Condominium Jade Beach B17, $92,000  Playas del Coco

Condominium Flamenco Rosa C3, $141,000.  Playas del Coco

Pacifico Lifestyle 509, $144,000.  Playas Del Coco

Prados del Rio 18, $134,900.  Comunidad 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Theo Veenstra here in Costa Rica

Hi everyone, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Costa Rica.

I hope this finds you in good spirits at Christmas time. It has been a very trying year for all of us. Let’s pray 2021 shows some light. Even though the Covid-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm, we’ve witnesses riots, political strive, hunger, fighting in so many countries just to name a few things. There seems to be much positive happening also.

In speaking with so many of my friends and clients it seems we share many things in common. We have all learned a lot about ourselves, a lot about our friends and neighbors. Aren’t we lucky to be the people we each are? I have never witnessed so much patience, understanding, goodwill and most of all giving. We all do it. We know it exists every day. But to see these things so out in the open is incredible.

In 2021 there is still much to be done.

Where we are here in Central America, daily strive is close to home. Tourism is at approximately 20% of what it was this time last year, causing much pain and hunger. North of Costa Rica, Daniel Ortega has just passed another law aimed at keeping his opponents out of Nicaragua’s 2021 election. And the hurricane season took a huge toll throughout our neighbors to the north.

What does all this have to do with Christmas, Costa Rica, our daily live.

That answer is rather easy, and I have touched on it many times in the past. Get yourself here to Costa Rica!!! Why?? You’ll feel younger, alive, rejuvenated, with a renewed passion for live. And how is that important? Because God can’t use unmotivated people.

So lets get 2021 rolling.

– Stop for 5 minutes and take stock of the good things in your life

– Call someone you know that needs to hear a friendly voice

– Contact an old friend

– Do something important with part of what you have, like supporting a food drive here in Costa Rica with your family or friends

– If you’re having a hard time, call me from anywhere toll free and let’s start turning that ship around together. 1-877-205-5507.  I am also available on Whatsapp at +1-506-8360-1006

– Plan your next visit to Costa Rica and bring a friend

Most of all, remember you’re not alone, and I hope to here from each of you. We will be here waiting for you in Costa Rica. Pura Vida

Locked inside this Christmas?  

Spend awhile remembering some of the great Christmas decorations and nativity scenes you’ve seen over the years. I’ll get you started with 4 that readily pop into mind

  • Looking over Lake Superior in the winter at 3 or 4 am  on a frozen winter’s night. From Hwy 17 west around Montreal River in northern Ontario, Canada. No need for extra Christmas lights there. The stars do a perfect job.
  • Outside of Filadelfia Costa Rica. They set up a beautiful Christmas display at the planation
  • Peoria Illinois, USA. The light capital. Amazing Christmas displays there.
  • And on the little houses that dot the country roads through the farmland here in Guanacaste. The homes and lights may be meager. And there certainly isn’t extra money for gifts. But the Christmas spirit hasn’t faded.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Theo

Costa Rica Updated. Entry Requirements, Real Estate, & Helping the Needy. Nov 21, 2020

Costa Rica Updated, Travel, Real Estate, & Helping the Needy as of November 21, 2020 is a 3 part news letter that includes some great news. Hi everyone, I hope you are all well and will have the time to digest this newsletter over the next couple days. Please share with you family and friends. As you know growing this base is a big part of my business. As such I appreciate each new connection made in the hopes of helping them realize the dream of spending time in paradise.

The 3 parts are to this Costa Rica Updated newsletter are: Helping the needy, Updated entry requirements, and a Real Estate update for 2020.

Helping the needy here in and around the Papagayo beaches. Costa Rica Updated

Michael Simons helping the needy

As you know the Covid pandemic took a huge hit on the tourism industry and back in February-March put our beaches out of business. The ripple effect has been huge, and its people like our own Michael Simons, broker/owner of Tres Amigos Realty Group, that have stepped up to win the day. That said they can’t do it alone. They really do need your help via donations either personally, together with family or at work. To that end some great people have come together to raffle holiday packages here in Costa Rica. Here is just one such offer.

Here is your chance to win a trip for 4 to COSTA RICA and you can help FEED PEOPLE at the same time. For just $100 you get a raffle ticket. There are only 100. All the money goes to buy food for the amazing people of Costa Rica who have been struggling for 8 months with the tourism shut down. Even though we are open for business only a small percentage of people will get their jobs back, so we will need to continue to do this for a while. PLEASE open your wallets and your hearts and donate. The winner gets 4 airline tickets to Costa Rica and a week’s stay in a luxurious PACIFICO 3 bedroom condo. You can ZELLE or PAYPAL to michael@tanktopsflipflops.com and MAKE SURE to put CARDELLA CHALLENGE #5 in the description to get you into this draw.

It takes approximately $1000 USD to feed 60 families. 100% of your donation goes to feeding affected families. Many of these people just don’t have other options. Officially, unemployment is running around 23% and we know it’s much higher at the beaches. In return for food, people have been collecting garbage, cleaning entire villages and roadways as exchange for your donations. They are good and humble people with their backs to the wall at this time, Please remember them in your prayers and hearts. No gift is to small or to large.

Real Estate 2020, Costa Rica Updated

We have all heard a common saying when it comes to Real Estate. Location, Location, Location. Over this past year, this has shown itself to be true once again. Sales in the area are happening as the pandemic, elections, and protest riots, are making many people rethink their current lifestyle. In researching Costa Rica, most people will also discover the government here, as in all other countries, is under financial pressure, with a fiscal outlook adding up to 3 or 4 difficult years ahead. As always different areas will feel those effects more than others. Thats where “Location” comes in and where the “Good News” starts.  Because this area was designated as a special tourist area by Costa Rica many years ago, we have received many upgrades in infrastructure, including electrical lines, water, fibre optics, and roads. There’s a few more things to do. There always is. After all, Costa Rica is an emerging country. That said, this area is in great shape. Liberia is growing fast, feeding into our base and we remain the best spot in Costa Rica to live. As a result sales in our part of the country are ok. We had some fire sales due to the pandemic, but we’ve sold most of that inventory and more then ever sellers have decided to take their properties off the market, and stay in Costa Rica.              Here is a peak at some 2020 sales in our immediate area. Costa Rica Updated.

Condos $0 – $500,000; 50+ units not including 6 the owners who decided to keep their condos

Homes/Villas $0 – $800,000; 27+ Homes & Villas sold,  4 owners decided to stay

Villas $800,000 plus; 7+ Villas. Plus 3 Villa owners decided to keep their properties

Lots; Oceanview and non-oceanview 18+ Mainly oceanview

These are sold or currently under contract. Most of the local market is sold by our own Tres Amigos Realty Group, and many properties this year were sold using videos, or live walk through media prior to the new owners arrival.

Here is a small selection of current listings. Please see my website for the expanded assortment of available properties.

 

Play this video here Pacifico C 107

Oceanview Villa, Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, CR

4 Bedroom 4.5 Bath, Pacifico, Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

Oceanview Condo with Private beach club

Custom built on large lot, Intown Playas del Coco

 Entry Requirements & Links, Costa Rica Updated,

Costa Rica Passport Entry Stamp/Visa

Tourism is starting to return, abate at a slower pace. That said property sales are alive and well, as many people have decided to make Costa Rica home, either full or part time.

Travelers from pretty much every country can enter Costa Rica with minimal requirements. As far as we know that will not change. But always be cautious when booking flights etc., as flight coverages vary depending on your country of origin and government travel advisories. For now here are simplified requirements for entering Costa Rica.

As a Tourist;

Costa Rica requires you to fill out a health pass prior to coming. The pass is available online and is submitted online. A link to the pass “here”

Costa Rica also requires Covid-19 travel insurance. The minimum requirement included in that insurance is $50,000 USD medical, and $2,000 USD housing. There are exemptions for the housing component, provided you supply proof of a rental contract or ownership of a home.

Remember the insurance coverage must match the number of days you will be in the country, and, you must provide written proof of same. (preferably in Spanish)

No Covid test is required

As a Resident.

Fill out the health pass online prior to coming and submit online A link to the pass “here”

You must provide proof that your Caja payments are up to date. If you are not up to date, Costa Rica provides a remedy for that situation. Please follow the link below for more information

You must have a valid Resident/Dimex card. If it is expired, you will enter as a tourist.

No Covid test is required

As a Citizen

Fill out the health Pass online and submit online. Link “Here”

No Covid test is required

Carrying insurance in Costa Rica. A few thoughts.

We tend to search in our home countries for insurance either for travel, life or special insurance such as needed for Covid-19 coverage. In listening to some  doctors and Phil Eitman of All Insurance Costa Rica, I have gained some insight into the idea, “Not all insurance coverage is equal”. To get to the point, not all private hospitals will accept just any insurer for emergency or scheduled procedures. The simple reason is that in the past they would have to fight for payment from the insurance company. As such they may require payment by credit card for services. Then provide you with the paperwork necessary to be reimbursed. That may be suitable for you in an emergency. Of course many people are covered through a policy from home or work to one degree or another. If you plan on living here full time or for extended periods, some advise and a level of coverage from Phil and the team at All Insurance CR is worthwhile. They have been doing this for years and can answer questions correctly instead of someone’s opinion online, including my own. You can contact All Insurance Costa Rica. “here”

For Covid-19 insurance, Here are 3 Costa Rican links

INS,   Sagicor  & All Insurance Costa Rica

Full Costa Rica travel information is available from The Costa Rican Tourism Board. They will answer any questions you may have. Contact them here

Thanks for taking the time to read this newsletter ” Costa Rica Updated, November 21, 2020 and contact me anytime. The best compliment I can receive is a referral to your friends. 

Costa Rica Entry Requirement Update & Video as of October 10, 2020

Here are the current entry requirements for tourists, residents and citizens traveling or returning to Costa Rica as of October 10th, 2020  including links, countries and relevant information.   

Personal video from Theo Veenstra on traveling to Costa Rica, Lets Buy Costa Rica.com

*All North Americans are free to enter Costa Rica as of November 1st, 

At this time, No COVID-19 cases correspond to international tourists. The country first opened its borders for international flights on August 1.

The following Countries are authorized to enter Costa Rica;

  • This is the list currently in effect: (Oct 10, 2020)
  •  UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wyoming California and Ohio.
      • As of Oct. 15: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Residents of Florida, Georgia and Texas
      • As of Nov 01: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:  All U.S. citizens and residents
      • CANADA: All citizens and residents
      • MEXICO: All citizens and residents
      • THE EUROPEAN UNION SCHENGEN ZONE: All citizens and residents
      • UNITED KINGDOM: All citizens and residents
      • CENTRAL AMERICA AND PANAMA: All citizens and residents. As of Oct. 15. Except Nicaragua
      • SOUTH AMERICA: Citizens and residents of Uruguay
      • THE CARIBBEAN: Citizens and residents of Jamaica
      • ASIA: Citizens and residents of Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China
      • OCEANIA: Citizens and residents of Australia and New Zealand

Requirements for tourists entering Costa Rica

Visitors from the U.S. must reside in one of the authorized states, and must have a driver’s license or State ID corroborating their state of residency.

Tourists from these states — or from an authorized country, such as Canada — can fly through a non-authorized country en route to Costa Rica. The maximum layover time is 18 hours, provided the traveler does not leave the airport.

Tourists wishing to enter Costa Rica via a flight must comply with these requirements:

  • Complete the online “Health Pass” epidemiological form: https://salud.go.cr.
  • Show proof of a negative RT-PCR test for the coronavirus. The sample for the test must have been taken no more than 72 hours before departure.
  • Obtain travel insurance. This can be either a pre-approved Costa Rican policy from INS or Sagicor, or an international policy that covers COVID-19 medical expenses of at least $50,000 and $2,000 for lodging.
  • Many other suitable travel insurance coverages exist, including Blue Cross. Private insurance brokers both here in Costa Rica and your ome country are offering alternative policies. Attached is a link to a broker here in Costa Rica.   https://allinsurancecr.com/covid-travel/

Tourists coming from anywhere but the United States must have remained in an authorized country for at least 14 days before travel.

U.S. residents must show a driver’s license or State ID indicating they live in the authorized state. This requirement is for anyone traveling prior to Nov 1st, 2020

Click here for a detailed breakdown of requirements and authorized states/countries, as written by the Costa Rica Tourism Board.

Requirements for citizens and residents

Citizens and residents can legally return to Costa Rica via a flight from anywhere.

Here are the entry requirements for citizens of Costa Rica

Here are the entry requirements for residents (permanent, temporary, special categories or estancias):

  • Complete the Health Pass.
  • Present a valid DIMEX card.
  • Have proof of current payment into the Caja OR have travel insurance that covers COVID-19 with a minimum coverage of 22 days. Residents without current Caja payments will be obligated to catch up on payments within those 22 days. Citizens and residents are issued a 14-day quarantine upon their arrival in Costa Rica. However, they are exempted from the isolation order if they come from an approved country/U.S. state and obtained a negative RT-PCR coronavirus test prior to travel.
  • https://ticotimes.net/ has daily information on traveling to Costa Rica

Here is a link to updated information from the Costa Rican Tourism Board    Click Here

What are the acceptable Covid-19 tests for entry into Costa Rica?

At this time Costa Rica is only accepting the results of one type of test. That test is the RT-PCR test (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing). The results must be within 72 hours of boarding the airplane.   I will up date this information if further test types become acceptable. Please forward any current testing information, locations etc that offer the RT-PCR test and I will update the links. Lets make traveling great again.

Links to USA testing

https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/find-my-testing-place?fbclid=IwAR3J64Gg8JAtNo1PWB0kCcBpWehKN4Nq4Cm0xY763fpB5oTxES3319VjK8Y

https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/community-based-testing-sites/index.html

Links to Canadian Testing centres

I found a couple links in Canada. There seems to be a lot of information depending on the province. Here are a couple links. Check online for your province

Ontario           https://www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca/index.php/resources-list-of-ontario-covid-19-assessment-centres-their-individual-criteria/

Shopper Drug Mart is offering Covid testing at some stores. Go online to find a location near you.

Quebec                        Google or other Quebec. There are many options for information and testing depending on your area

Alberta                           https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/page16944.aspx

BC      https://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing

Testing in Europe Varies, with some testing available at the airports

Below are links to some great properties currently available. (Hover over the name and right click)

www.letsbuycostarica.com

Theo Veenstra,  Tres Amigos Realty Group  thveenstra@gmail.com, +506-8360-1006, 1-877-205-5507

Costa Rica Entry Requirements and Links as of September 25, 2020

The following entry information is courtesy  the Tico Times athttps://ticotimes.net/

Here are the current entry requirements for travel to Costa Rica as of September 25th, 2020 followed by links, countries and relevant information. Changes include;  Ohio, Mexico and Jamaica have been added to the list of approved countries. Air Canada and some United States airlines are offering Covid-19 travel insurance. Costa Rica has extended the tourist visa. Tourists Arriving on or before Oct 31, 2020 can stay until March 2nd.

Here is the complete list of authorized U.S. states:

  • As of Sept 25th,  Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, or Virginia (and Washington, D.C.), Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan and Rhode Island.
  • As of October 1: California & Ohio

According to Gustavo Segura, Costa Rica’s Tourism Minister, the country evaluates a state’s new coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last two weeks as the primary deciding factor into whether to allow its residents.

No COVID-19 cases correspond to international tourists, Segura said. The country first opened its borders for international flights on August 1.

The following Countries are also authorized to enter Costa Rica;

  • THE EUROPEAN UNION, SCHENGEN ZONE, AND THE UNITED KINGDOM: for flights from the European Union, the Schengen Zone, and the United Kingdom; for citizens and residents of the European Union, the Schengen Zone, and the United Kingdom.
  • CANADA: for flights from Canada; for citizens and residents of Canada and for citizens and residents of the European Union, the Schengen Zone, and the United Kingdom in transit.
  • SOUTH AMERICA: for flights from Uruguay; for citizens and residents of Uruguay.
  • ASIA: for flights from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China; for citizens and residents of Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China.
  • OCEANIA: for flights from Australia and New Zealand; for citizens and residents of Australia and New Zealand.
  • Caribbean: Jamaica
  • Mexico: All States

Requirements for tourists entering Costa Rica

Visitors from the U.S. must reside in one of the authorized states, and must have a driver’s license or State ID corroborating their state of residency.

Tourists from these states — or from an authorized country, such as Canada — can fly through a non-authorized state (e.g. Florida, Texas) en route to Costa Rica. The maximum layover time is 18 hours, and the traveler cannot leave the airport.

Tourists wishing to enter Costa Rica via a flight must comply with these requirements:

  • Complete the online “Health Pass” epidemiological form: https://salud.go.cr.
  • Show proof of a negative RT-PCR test for the coronavirus. The sample for the test must have been taken no more than 72 hours before departure.
  • Obtain travel insurance. This can be either a pre-approved Costa Rican policy from INS or Sagicor, or an international policy that covers COVID-19 medical expenses of at least $50,000 and $2,000 for lodging.
  • Many other suitable travel insurance coverages exist, including Blue Cross. Private insurance brokers both here in Costa Rica and your ome country are offering alternative policies. Attached is a link to a broker here in Costa Rica.   https://allinsurancecr.com/covid-travel/

Tourists coming from anywhere but the United States must have remained in an authorized country for at least 14 days before travel.

U.S. residents must show a driver’s license or State ID indicating they live in the authorized state.

Click here for a detailed breakdown of requirements and authorized states/countries, as written by the Costa Rica Tourism Board.

Requirements for citizens and residents

Citizens and residents can legally return to Costa Rica via a flight from anywhere.

Here are the entry requirements for citizens:

Here are the entry requirements for residents (permanent, temporary, special categories or estancias):

  • Complete the Health Pass.
  • Present a valid DIMEX card.
  • Have proof of current payment into the Caja OR have travel insurance that covers COVID-19 with a minimum coverage of 22 days. There has been some discrepancies related to Caja coverage being up to date. Please double check that information before boarding a flight.

Citizens and residents are issued a 14-day quarantine upon their arrival in Costa Rica. However, they are exempted from the isolation order if they come from an approved country/U.S. state and obtained a negative RT-PCR coronavirus test prior to travel.

Here is a link to updated information from the Costa Rican Tourism Board    Click Here

Link to USA testing

https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/find-my-testing-place?fbclid=IwAR3J64Gg8JAtNo1PWB0kCcBpWehKN4Nq4Cm0xY763fpB5oTxES3319VjK8Y

Links to Canadian Testing centres

I found a couple links in Canada. There seems to be a lot of information depending on the province. Here are a couple links. Check online for your province

Ontario           https://www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca/index.php/resources-list-of-ontario-covid-19-assessment-centres-their-individual-criteria/

Shopper Drug Mart is offering Covid testing at some stores. Go online to find a location near you.

Quebec                        Google or other Quebec. There are many options for information and testing depending on your area

Alberta                           https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/page16944.aspx

BC      https://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing

Testing in Europe Varies, with some testing available at the airports

www.letsbuycostarica.com

Theo Veenstra,  Tres Amigos Realty Group  thveenstra@gmail.com, +506-8360-1006, 1-877-205-5507

Updated entry requirements and links for Costa Rica Set 17, 2020

The following entry information is courtesy  the Tico Times at; https://ticotimes.net/

Here are the current entry requirements for travel to Costa Rica as of September 17th, 2020 followed by links and relevant information.

Here is the complete list of authorized U.S. states:

  • As of September 1: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, or Virginia (and Washington, D.C.)
  • As of September 15: Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan and Rhode Island.
  • As of October 1: California.

According to Gustavo Segura, Costa Rica’s Tourism Minister, the country evaluates a state’s new coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last two weeks as the primary deciding factor into whether to allow its residents.

No COVID-19 cases correspond to international tourists, Segura said. The country first opened its borders for international flights on August 1.

The following Countries are also authorized to enter Costa Rica;

  • THE EUROPEAN UNION, SCHENGEN ZONE, AND THE UNITED KINGDOM: for flights from the European Union, the Schengen Zone, and the United Kingdom; for citizens and residents of the European Union, the Schengen Zone, and the United Kingdom.
  • CANADA: for flights from Canada; for citizens and residents of Canada and for citizens and residents of the European Union, the Schengen Zone, and the United Kingdom in transit.
  • SOUTH AMERICA: for flights from Uruguay; for citizens and residents of Uruguay.
  • ASIA: for flights from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China; for citizens and residents of Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China.
  • OCEANIA: for flights from Australia and New Zealand; for citizens and residents of Australia and New Zealand.

 

Requirements for tourists entering Costa Rica

Visitors from the U.S. must reside in one of the authorized states, and must have a driver’s license or State ID corroborating their state of residency.

Tourists from these states — or from an authorized country, such as Canada — can fly through a non-authorized state (e.g. Florida, Texas) en route to Costa Rica. The maximum layover time is 18 hours, and the traveler cannot leave the airport.

Tourists wishing to enter Costa Rica via a flight must comply with these requirements:

  • Complete the online “Health Pass” epidemiological form: https://salud.go.cr.
  • Show proof of a negative RT-PCR test for the coronavirus. The sample for the test must have been taken no more than 72 hours before departure.
  • Obtain travel insurance. This can be either a pre-approved Costa Rican policy from INS or Sagicor, or an international policy that covers COVID-19 medical expenses of at least $50,000 and $2,000 for lodging.

Tourists coming from anywhere but the United States must have remained in an authorized country for at least 14 days before travel.

U.S. residents must show a driver’s license or State ID indicating they live in the authorized state.

Click here for a detailed breakdown of requirements and authorized states/countries, as written by the Costa Rica Tourism Board.

Requirements for citizens and residents

Citizens and residents can legally return to Costa Rica via a flight from anywhere.

Here are the entry requirements for citizens:

Here are the entry requirements for residents (permanent, temporary, special categories or estancias):

  • Complete the Health Pass.
  • Present a valid DIMEX card.
  • Have proof of current payment into the Caja OR have travel insurance that covers COVID-19 with a minimum coverage of 22 days. There has been some discrepancies related to Caja coverage being up to date. Please double check that information before boarding a flight.

Citizens and residents are issued a 14-day quarantine upon their arrival in Costa Rica. However, they are exempted from the isolation order if they come from an approved country/U.S. state and obtained a negative RT-PCR coronavirus test prior to travel.

Here is a link to updated information from the Costa Rican Tourism Board    Click Here

 

Link to USA testing

https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/find-my-testing-place?fbclid=IwAR3J64Gg8JAtNo1PWB0kCcBpWehKN4Nq4Cm0xY763fpB5oTxES3319VjK8Y

Links to Canadian Testing centres

I found a couple links in Canada. There seems to be a lot of information depending on the province. Here are a couple links. Check online for your province

Ontario           https://www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca/index.php/resources-list-of-ontario-covid-19-assessment-centres-their-individual-criteria/

Quebec                        Google or other Quebec. There are many options for information and testing depending on your area

Alberta                           https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/page16944.aspx

BC      https://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing

Testing in Europe Varies, with some testing available at the airports

Theo Veenstra, Letsbuycostarica.com, Tres Amigos Realty Group                    thveenstra@gmail.com, +506-8360-1006, 1-877-205-5507

Costa Rica Independence 2020

 

September 15th, Independence day in Costa Rica.

That’s right Independence Day. Wind nor rain, nor sun, nor pandemic can change the fact, Costa Rica remains a sovereign country. September 15 in 1821 marks the day Costa Rica, along with the rest of Central America broke away from Spain becoming part of the First Mexican Empire. At that time Costa Rica and Nicaragua already operated as on autonomous region. After a short civil war mainly attributed to the Battle of Ochomogo (next to Cartago) in 1823, the Republicans had defeated the Imperialists to proceed with Costa Rica’s further independence from The First Mexican Empire. All was in vain as word arrived shortly after, that the First Mexican Empire ceased to exist, leaving Costa Rica in union as part of the Federal Republic of Central America. In 1825 Juan Mora Fernández was elected the first Costa Rican head of state. Four towns in Central Valley, Heredia, Cartago, Alajuela and San Jose argued over the Capital until 1837 when San Jose was officially declared. Having operated as an independent state for many years, Costa Rica formally withdrew from Guatemala City’s central government and the Federal Republic of Central America.

Some interesting highlights about Costa Rica as a Sovereign State.

Costa Rica built its initial wealth on coffee exports starting 200 years ago. This ushered in the Coffee Baron Era. That is another story. (I personally spent much time in a building witch once housed a Coffee Baron family. It is interesting to witness the difference in construction which housed these rich families).

Prior to coffee, Cocoa, tobacco, and sugar were the primary exports with bananas arriving approximately 100 years later.

I believe the biggest portion of inhabitants in the central plateau around the time of independence were of Spanish origin with other Europeans. Later this was followed by USA Americans, Some Chinese and Jamaicans on the Atlantic coast.

The ox cart was the main mode of commercial transportation, with a few ox carts remaining in use today. This is a recent photo about 20 miles from where I am sitting. Still in use to move sand and gravel around some back lanes.

 

(Filadelfia de Guanacaste)

During Costa Rica’s history, there have been different leaders including military dictator presidents. But the most significant event since independence was the military being abolished. As a personal note. No one can predict the future. But as we look to some of our neighboring countries, we are seeing the military being used against its citizens. The foresight to prevent that from becoming a possibility here in Costa Rica is noted.

In 1849 the province of Chiriquí joined Panama. This was a sore spot for Costa Rica. In that area, french competed as the primary language and is still used as a second language today.

1825 was the year Guanacaste decided to join, and was annexed by Costa Rica. This event sometime gets confused with Independence Day. At the time of joining Guanacaste was known as Nicoya. But that is a whole different story

Independence day is regularly celebrated with every variety of Dance and parade. Ticos can dance like the wind and do get dressed up for the occasion.

More facts;

It does not snow in Costa Rica and we are below Hurricane Alley. We get tropical storms. But the last hurricane to hit Costa Rica soil was over 150 years ago. Costa Rica is home to the only place in the world you can see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans from one spot. Costa Rica has set aside 25% of it’s land as protected zones. That’s no small feat. We house an estimated 5% of the worlds bio-diversity.

Life Costa Rica style, or as we say Pura Vida

Theo Veenstra and LetsBuyCostaRica.com to be apart of Costa Rica and Paradise. Don’t miss another Independence day here in Costa Rica

Big Real Estate Announcement from Theo Veenstra, Lets Buy Costa Rica.com

A “BIG REAL ESTATE ANNOUNCEMENT “ here at our beaches. Our offices are now part of Tres Amigos Realty. All three offices have been renamed and over the next couple of months the RE/MAX name will disappear from our signage etc. Ocean Village and Prestige Ocean will also roll into Tres Amigos Realty.

Hi everyone, I hope that you are all healthy and happy. Here at the beach we have some changes.

The news is our offices are no longer affiliated with the RE/MAX brand. I will get right to the point. RE/MAX was great over the many years I flew their flag.  We decided on working together under our own brand. As such we have this big announcement and will be selling as Tres Amigos Realty.

I spent much time deciding what was best real estate option. I kept arriving at the same conclusion and that is a simple question I have always used as a guide. “What is best for my Clients?” I decided the Tres Amigos Realty option far outweighed everything else for many different reasons.

Firstly, is our broker Michael Simons. Michael is a full-on type of guy. He is extremely passionate about what he does at work, at play, and with charity. He never sits around on his hands doing nothing.

Secondly, our team is the same way. It is why we sell 75% plus of all real estate in the area. And I want my clients involved with that team. They get up every day and make opportunities happen. And that is important to me and to you as Sellers and Buyers.

Thirdly, we were at the stage in this area and given how we generate our clients, that being with a large brand, had it’s limits. Don’t misunderstand, RE/MAX is a good brand. But we had discussed using our own brand for a while. As you all know the beaches in Costa Rica, are unique both geographically and culturally.  Our entire group decided to use our resources in a more focused manner. As such we feel we will have the ability to move our online presence for this area to the top. To that I say a big “YES”.

On a personal note.

At first the decision to remain a RE/MAX affiliate or stay with the current team seemed a daunting task. As I mentioned earlier, the decision boiled down to “What is best for my clients?”  I don’t remember the day I was taught that rule. Maybe my dad or mom never specifically said to me. Like many things, it’s just something we were brought up to know. With so many things swirling around in the world, I feel good about staying with those basics as a foundation for how I work, and I hope you do also.

I will be in touch with each of you individually of course and will also have an updated report on entry into Costa Rica.

Thanks Theo Veenstra, Tres Amigos Realty & Let’s Buy Costa Rica.com