Bringing pets to Costa Rica 2015

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    How about some up to date information on bringing pets over? I have two small dogs and 5 cats, Lovebirds. Any info?
    Also, we really want a house rental, not a condo, on or very near the beach on the Southern side for a month so we can see if this is the place for us. We are NOT rich Americans and need to have a low rent. We’re very excited about making CR our home and can’t wait to try all your wonderful fruit! Maybe we could handle some business for the owners while we stay? Money is an issue. Thanks for any help!:D:lol:


    You need to read the articles on these two sites to get a better understanding of Costa Rica that I have listed below. This country is not inexpensive and if you want the beach area, you will pay more than in the mountain areas. Bringing your animals here is not cheap either and about your birds, it could be very difficult. Actually I know a about bringing one 45 lb dog which cost me nearly $1,100 USD including a bride of $300 USD to get her in the country. It sounds like you don’t have funds to get residency, called a Cedula for Residente Pensionado, so you will have to leave the country every 90-days either by bus for Nicaragua or Panama to renew.

    Carefully check these links,


    Don’t, I repeat don’t, and I repeat don’t…come here with out doing both George’s tour and ARCR monthly seminar.

    Why? Is this nothing like living in a beach area of the USA. This is a third world country with a bit better economy then it’s neighbors. This country does no function like the USA in any shape or matter.

    They, meaning Costa Rica, i.e. Ticos, don’t care about you opinions wherever you like that or , pure and simple!

    It sounds to me that if you hate this place after a year or so, you have no resources to flee back to the USA. If you think I am wrong about this let me tell you that many citizens of the USA end up doing that.

    If you don’t carefully read all of Scott Oliver’s books, take George’s tour, go to the ARCR seminar as a preliminary for moving here, you with your stated financial difficulties are flirting with disaster.

    It has taken me two years to learn by three moves I might add, to get my life where I can live on my Social Security here easily. I did all three of the above George, ARCR and I read Scott’s books three or more times. I am single so I had plenty of time in the remainder of my time in Portland, Oregon to study and learn about moving overseas and I still have difficulties here!

    Also and most importantly and this is something most Americans ignore, you need to read about the psychologically of being an “expat” from your own country, the USA. Why? For every year you are gone from your hometown i and you return to is like being gone five years. You can find some interesting articles done by Brits on this subject because so many British move to Spain for a time and then return home for health or other issues and don’t adapt very well back into British way-of-life.

    Finally, moving a beach area I will predict your air conditioning will cost more than in the USA. Electrical rates are high here, in some cases even higher than the USA!

    Build yourself a support system for moving here and that doesn’t mean everything on read on blogs. A lot of people lie on blogs, and unfortunately I have met so many Americans here that take enjoyment on both the Internet and in person who enjoy telling “porkies’ as the Brits say.

    I love in Grecia in the mountains and if you come for a preliminary visit I would be interested to meetup with you after George’s tour and the ARCR seminar to take you around the town I live in to explain why consumer goods and food items here can cost you so much.


    What do you consider a low rent?

    Bringing the amount of pets you have would requiring using a broker, which won’t be cheap and bringing birds, offers separate problems.

    Applying as a [url=]Pensionado[/url] may suit you, depending if you are retired and have a ‘guaranteed for life’ pension, and expect the application to cost approx $5000 and for it to take approx one (1) year.

    Utilities are not usually included in long term rentals and you may have a problem obtaining one with so many pets, especially if you required a fenced yard.

    While a tourist or even a Temporary resident, you are not legally permitted to perform ‘physical’ work. You must be a Permanent resident to do so, which will take approx. 5 years from your initial application. You can work on-line…if you have a decent internet connection which can be a problem for some beach areas.

    Visit first, leaving all the pets at home…


    Additionally, regarding the pets, unless they are all “indoor” pets brings them at your own peril. There was an extensive thread on here awhile back about all the threats and dangers to domestic pets, such as attacks from snakes..scorpions and many other critters, not to mention the many threats to pets caused by toxic plants etc. You might want to look into that further. As well as, “in general”, Costa Rica is [b]NOT[/b] an “inexpensive” place to live.


    Thanks. I’ve been reading everywhere for about 4+ months, longer for Mexico.

    I’ve been on International Living the whole time and they have a completely different view than the one here. We have a retirement income of only $3,600 plus an Internet business, which goes no where in California.

    I’ve also read how Tico’s and other can take advantage of you if they think you are rich Americans, so I wanted to be sure no one mistakes us for them!

    The costs I’ve read about are not expensive, except on this site. The houses are selling for much less than they are through this site, same with rentals.

    By renting for a year, we were told, we can see where we’ll want to buy and live by the end of that year.

    If we didn’t love living in CR, we would just go back to moving to Mexico or somewhere else. Folks are much more positive on the other 3 websites I’ve been reading on.

    We just want a calm, easy, spiritual life with all the wonderful fruit that CR has to offer.

    We also follow Ka Sundance and admire his life in Costa Rica and all his suggestions, but we don’t want to move around like they do. We do want to live very near the beach, but in the mountain areas and we want to grow organic food. We don’t need a fancy house, we don’t want air conditioners, just water.

    We don’t expect it to be a walk in the park, or to have welcoming arms from everyone. We know it won’t be like the US, that’s why we want to move!

    It’s sad that you’re all so disillusioned with CR! We just wanted to get a fell from another site where the houses are listed for so much more, to see where you were coming from and maybe get some helpful hints and ideas.

    We never expected so much doom and gloom! Discouragement!


    [quote=”CRdreamers”]We never expected so much doom and gloom![/quote]

    Hmm! I don’t see “so much doom and gloom” at all so it’s interesting how people view things differently.

    After 16 years, I still love living in Costa Rica.

    If you have an income of $3,600 per month you will live very, very comfortably in Costa Rica. The most expensive areas are obviously the ‘hot’, in demand beach areas but if you do plan on renting here for a year, travel around to different areas and I’m sure you’ll find the perfect spot.

    Scott – Founder of


    Please don’t confuse plain and simple advice from folks that have experience in CR with doom and gloom. It’s not cheap to live in CR unless you really go native. Your current income will provide you with a comfortable lifestyle. Had you said you were coming to CR with the minimum required for residency it would be another story. Even Ka has had his ups and downs and has had to adjust.

    Take in all the information and advice from as many sources as possible and balance the good with the bad. The danger to pets is real so be warned.

    An open mind and spirit of adventure will go a long way in making your CR experience an enjoyable and successful one!


    You may also be interested in reading this article, regarding [url=]International Living[/url] and their ‘Exaggerated sales pitch’ regarding living expenses in Costa Rica.

    And I agree, from the info you initially posted, you made it sound like you would have a hard time obtaining residency which requires at least $1000 a month…

    With a $3,600 monthly income plus an internet business you could definitely be considered a ‘rich American’.


    With regards to moving with your pets, your first step would be to find an airline that transports
    animals. I know that American, Delta and possibly United do.There will be requirements. Next, go to the US Department of Agriculture website ( to get the most recent information about traveling with pets in general and to Costa Rica in particular. They will also have info about traveling to CR with animals other that dogs and cats. The US Embassy in San Jose website also has information, but I was told by the vet at the USDA that their info was more up to date. It is a process we just went through a few months ago with our dog. Now we are completing it in reverse!
    If you are interested in living near the beach, you may consider the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Most people here, including expats get by without a/c, which appears to be a big expense on the Pacific side.
    And oh yeah, almost forgot! You do need to teach your dogs to respond to the command “Leave it”, because yes there are nasty things they can get into!


    Bringing birds into the country is very difficult. One friend had to quarantine the bird for a full year first!


    I just recently went through the process for bringing a bird and a dog down to CR.

    The dog is not difficult, but some of the airline information someone gave you is already outdated. After March 1st, Delta will only take your dog as cargo and that means a broker has to be involved.

    For now, United is your best option; they operate their own PetSmart program, so no broker is involved. Info is all on their website. The dog has to be on the same plane you are flying.

    Now, about the birds. That is soooo much more difficult that I am actually leaving my parrot behind. First you have to apply for a CITES permit to export the birds. That takes about 3-4 months to obtain.

    Then they have to be seen by a vet here, two separate blood tests, one place I called wanted $750 for each test. Then, my bird is 33 years old and I have absolutely no proof of ownership after all this time.

    Her band is so faded so she would have to be microchipped. Then, you will need someone on the Costa Rica side who will help you get through the customs with the bird.

    If you arrive and any of your paperwork is not in order, your birds will be euthanized immediately. Before you bring the bird in, they have to inspect your home (it has to have screens on the door and every window).

    In addition, even if you do get the birds in, you can NEVER leave the country with them. So the dog is easy, but seriously rethink the birds.


    PetSmart with United seems like a good option, but it likely won’t work for large dogs given United’s maximum kennel size per the series 500 dimensions.


    Also, I learned that if you fly into San Jose with the dog, you must use a broker. However, if you fly into Liberia, you do NOT need a broker. I just came down with my dog into Liberia. I had emailed the “pet” handler at that airport (no vet was there). The baggage handlers brought her crate into the baggage claim area. Our paperwork was examined, he never even looked at the dog, stamped it, and said we could call him if we ever needed anything else. We went right through.

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