Traveling to Costa Rica

Over nineteen thousand square miles of tropical splendor defines the jewel of Central America that is Costa Rica. Sandwiched between Nicuragua and Panama, the terrain offers a mix of jungle adventures and world-class views along shores that face Caribbean and Pacific waters. Of the countless places to see and things to do in Costa Rica, we’ll highlight five of the best not-to-be-missed attractions.

San Jose

Use the lively old city of San Jose as a springboard to the many activities in Costa Rica. The culturally rich capital city is located on a plateau surrounded by valleys and mountainous terrain. Take an hour or two to walk the halls of The Gold Museum and The Jade Museum to see extraordinary examples of Pre-Columbian artifacts, fascinating works of art made from jade, and an unrivaled collection of gold relics.costa rica

Playa Montezuma

Down to the south, to warm breezes fresh off of the Pacific Ocean, Playa Montezuma Beach is outlined by tall, rugged cliffs and rocky headlands. Enjoy the waterfalls here, relaxing on the soft white sand. The waters can get rough though, so pick up your towel and shuffle on down to Playa Cocalito for some secluded swimming. This crescent-shaped beach is ideal for sun bathing and viewing “El Chorro,” a twenty meter high waterfall.

Adventures on the Reventazón River

Switch up to some action after yesterdays lazing on the beach. A day of rafting awaits. The Revaentazon River offers challenges for experienced rafters, but knowledgeable bilingual guides are on hand to take first-timers through the whitewater adventure. Arrive at the operations center at Rios Tropicales, tempering the adrenaline rush, preparing for the ride of your life with a full Costa Rican breakfast, before starting on a breathtaking 60 miles of potential whitewater rafting past jungles full of vibrant life.

A Visit to Arenal Volcano

On a clear day visitors can see the lava flowing from fiery Arenal. When the light is falling there’s the opportunity to see amazing light shows and thrill to rumbles passing underfoot as the volcano makes its presence known. Located 56 miles north-west of the capital city, San Jose, this active volcano offers hot springs to soak in while watching the geological fireworks and a swim-up bar courtesy of Tabac√≥n Grand Spa Thermal Resort.

Puerto Viejo

A coastal town located close to Limon, Puerto Viejo is heavily influenced by Caribbean flavor, by a cultural attitude that emphasizes fun and relaxation. Walk the golden beaches after dark, listening to distant music filtering out of Johnny’s Place, a popular after-hours destination for dancing, or take the family for a tour of the scrumptious chocolate factory, sampling cacao creations. End the day with a chile covered meal at El Refugio or Chile Roja.

Relocating in another country with a family

If you and your family are preparing to relocate to another country, you already know that you have an almost mind-boggling number of preparations to make before the Big Move. These include a lot of paperwork and logistical preparations that sometimes seem like they require a miracle to work out right. To make the best of it, begin planning early.

Legal documents

The first thing you need are passports for all family members that are current and in hand, not in a box somewhere. If someone in the family, or everyone, needs their first passport, start early! You can always get a passport expedited, but it will cost you more. By comparison, passport renewals are simple, as long as you have your most recent book handy for mailing. Visit the US Department of State website for all the information you need: travel.state.gov/passport

If you are employed by a business in your new home country, you will already be coordinating with them in regards to visas, work permits, and other documentation. Be sure to keep well abreast of the status of these documents to make sure everything is in order when you arrive. This is especially true for EU (European Union) countries.

If you are otherwise employed and/or web-commuting, you may need to handle visas for your family without regular assistance such as employers provide. In this case, you must familiarize yourself with how your country handles these matters. If you currently live near a consulate, going there in person is highly advisable. You can find your nearest consulate here, again via the Department State: http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/fco/

Moving

How you conduct your move depends on a number of factors: how long will you stay, how much stuff do you have, and where will you live? Moving an entire household to another country can be expensive and in many cases, such as with temporary moves, impractical. Likewise, placing belongings in storage, if you never intend to return, is not a good solution. After you know what you will be taking, you can hire an international moving company, preferably one with packing services, to take care of the actual move.

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Photography by Groume

Naturally, you should already have planned where you will live abroad and secured, in writing, the house, apartment, or other living situation. These days, this can be done online; however, it is highly recommended that you visit any long-term dwelling prior to the actual move, if possible.

Education

Homeschooling is not an option many places outside the US; therefore, you must find somewhere for your children to enroll in school. If your new country speaks a different language, you should begin familiarizing your children and yourself with it as soon as possible.

Many cities with large expatriate populations have English-speaking schools; however, this is generally only an option in urban areas. Your best option in this case is to locate one of the 4,179 English-speaking international schools around the world. Also, if you are employed by the US government abroad, the Office of Overseas Schools can help you.

These issues are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of moving to another country, each of which has different legal requirements, to say the least. Once the process comes to a close, you should be pleased with the results and be able to enjoy life abroad with your family.

One of our client recently decided to move in the Bahamas with its family to start a company, called Abaco Boat Rentals, that rent boat on a long term basis. So far he is very happy with their move and the kids are adapting nicely.