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Visitors Guide to Costa Rica

Visitors Guide to Costa Rica

After recently visiting the gorgeous country of Costa Rica, I asked my Douglas Elliman Pasadena colleague, Tim Durkovic, if he would share some of his favorite recommendations with you all! While building a second home in Costa Rica (don’t worry, he’s not moving there any time soon!), Tim has also been working alongside a local hotel as they develop on-site residences.

Q: What is the best time of year to visit Costa Rica?

A: It all depends on if you like RAIN! There are two main seasons in Costa Rica: Rainy and Dry.

Rainy season is from June through early December (they call it Winter there). Dry season is mid-December through June. The rain is usually heaviest from late September through mid-November.

Personally, I prefer to visit when the weather is transitioning from dry to rainy, as it is beautiful during the day with rain rolling in for a couple hours in the afternoon. It is also a bit cooler during that period, which usually occurs in April/May. Additionally, this time of year is not high tourist season, so it is a little less congested than other parts of the year.

Q: Where do you recommend staying in Costa Rica?

A: That is a loaded question. It really depends on what you are looking for. There are some great hotels in the North Western Zone of Guanacaste (they refer to it as the Beverly Hills of Costa Rica) – a Four Seasons, a Ritz is being built.

But I personally love the Southern Pacific Zone near the Osa Peninsula as I love smaller, boutique hotels. Right now, I am working with an adults-only hotel, Kura, to launch one of their first “residences at”. The hotel is really, really special,, featuring only 8 rooms, and no one under 21 allowed.

Kura is part of the Cayuga Hotel Group, a small collection of award-winning, sustainable luxury hotels in Costa Rica, Panama & Nicaragua.

Q: What do you love to do there?

A: The beaches are awesome, ziplining is thrilling, discovering the flora and fauna of the country is amazing. The country is super easy to get around, and it has both Pacific and Caribbean coasts…. which are totally different. There are also volcanos to see!

Q: What are the best beaches?

A: Again, that all depends on what you love! I don’t like crowded beaches – so the town of Uvita, has a fantastic beach which is in a national park – so no hotels, or restaurants on it – just sand, and calm waters and amazing sunsets. It is also called Bay of the Whale as there is a natural sand bar that, in low tide, looks like a giant whales tale! Truly stunning.

Q: What are the best experiences in Costa Rica?

A: One of my favorite parts of Costa Rica is interacting with the locals – they are a super friendly and down to earth people – warm and helpful. It’s never too late to freshen up on your Spanish!

Q: You own real estate there. Would you recommend buying and, if so, what are your tips?

A: Currently, I’m building a vacation home in Costa Rica near the hotel I am helping.

Real estate in Costa Rica is like the wild-wild west – there is no licensing, anyone can be a realtor, and there is no disclosure when you sell. So you really, really need to make sure you are working with someone you trust.

In Costa Rica, there is no exclusive listing representation, so finding the perfect place can be a bit challenging and a lot of the time it’s done just by word of mouth. In my case, I purchased land during the pandemic that wasn’t even for sale, just by calling the owner! I negotiated it myself via WhatsApp in 10 minutes and then the lawyers took over!

Q: Favorite spots to eat?


San Jose (the Capital City)
La Esquina de Buenos Aires
Restaurante Bacchus

Southern Pacific Zone
Soda EL PASO on the highway
Falafel Uvita
Al Chile que Si

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