Costa Rica is a beautiful, ecologically diverse country. It’s been voted the happiest place on earth and has more than its fair share of breathtaking beaches, rainforests and volcanoes. Yet it’s not just Costa Rica’s natural beauty that makes it such a desirable destination for digital nomads and remote workers; there are also many other reasons why Costa Rica is one of the best countries to work remotely from.
Whether you are looking to escape your home office for a week, or looking for a long term destination, the variety of what Costa Rica has to offer, mixed with a convenient time zone, coworking hotels and plentiful direct US flights makes Costa Rica one of the best destinations for working remotely.
Here are 6 reasons why Costa Rica is one of the best destinations for digital nomads and remote workers:
1) Digital Nomad Visa
In July 2021, legislators approved a bill to give special benefits to foreign workers who come to Costa Rica to provide services to clients/employers outside of Costa Rica.
This is the initiative known as the “Digital Nomad Visa”, to benefit foreigners who come to the country to do work remotely, for clients outside of the country. As a tourist, US nationals cannot stay more than 90 days in Costa Rica. But this Digital Nomad Visa will allow digital nomads to stay for up to 1 year, with the option of extending their stay.
Another major benefit is that Costa Rica is providing safe harbour for employers and employees working under this visa from CR income taxes.
Read more about the Digital Nomad Visa in Costa Rica
2) Time Zone
Whilst working remote has become the new norm, the biggest restriction for those looking for a change of scenery is time zones. Whilst Hawaii or Asia might be attractive remote working destinations, a lot of people looking to work remotely need to be in US time zones. Conveniently situated between EST and PST, Costa Rica observes Central Standard Time all year (There are no Daylight Saving Time clock changes) so it suits workers from all US time zones.
3) Big expat and Digital Nomad / Remote Work community
Costa Rica has always had a large expat community and the pandemic proved no different. The country’s long history of being a leader in socially responsible and sustainable travel coupled with the boundless nature and outdoor offerings make it a very appealing destination for remote workers who want to experience the “Pura Vida” lifestyle.
So if you are worried about making new friends every week as new tourists come in and out of the many beach towns, fear not. You will be among a large and vibrant digital nomad, remote working, and expat community.
4) Costa Rica is a very safe country
Many travellers ask “Is Costa Rica safe?” before visiting. And the quick and simple answer to that question is, “Yes – Costa Rica is a very safe country”. Here is why:
Costa Rica is governed by a democracy and is a peaceful neutral county. All military was abolished in 1948, and the locals are very proud of their commitment to peace. It is reported to be the safest of all the countries in Central America.
With tourism being a leading source of income for Costa Rica they have spent millions of dollars to develop infrastructure that is attractive to foreign tourists. Costa Rica long ago recognized the value in repeat visitors so locals want to keep tourists safe and happy so they come back again and again.
5) US Direct Flights
With direct service to 15+ North American destinations and with the country’s airports being the 2nd and 6th busiest in all of Central America – Costa Rica is very easy to travel to.
Whether you’re wanting to pop down for a long weekend, get away or stay for the long term – flights are also very affordable, with round trip fares from cities like San Francisco or Miami costing around $300-400.
Furthermore, airlines are increasing their service to the country, with American Airlines, United, Frontier, JetBlue and Sprint all planning to expand their service to Costa Rica.
6) Country Infrastructure
Costa Rica’s economy (and popularity with tourists and expats) have thrived thanks to investment in infrastructure.
Tap water is drinkable in most areas of the country, fiber optic internet is widely available and electrical outages are low (although many hotels choose not to invest in good internet and backup connections/generators, so be sure to ask about that when booking). There are also three very reliable and cost effective cell phone carriers providing LTE in all but the most remote locations.
Additionally, Costa Rica generates 98% of its electricity from renewable sources (primarily hydroelectric), so you can re-charge your laptop, camera, and other electronic goodies guilt-free.
Furthermore, the healthcare system in Costa Rica is so good, it’s becoming a leading medical tourism destination. So rest assured, if you need healthcare when you are in Costa Rica, you will be in good hands!
Try before you commit
Want to experience the pura vida lifestyle for a week at one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica whilst staying at a hotel that is built for remote work? Come stay at ONDA – Playa Grande. We provide working desks in our private rooms, dedicated coworking space and guaranteed high speed internet with 99.9% uptime. Opening in 2022.
Header photo by: Brooke Cagle