Shipping a Vehicle to Costa Rica

Shipping a Vehicle to Costa Rica

Submitted by Jason Mueller, who has lived in Costa Rica for three years and specializes in facilitating the process of shipping vehicles to Costa Rica.

If you have dreamed of living in a beautiful villa in paradise island, then Costa Rica is the place for you. Costa Rica has some of the world’s best surfing waves ,the most beautiful shoreline and a wide array of things to do in-and-around the coast. 

Why Make the Move to Costa Rica?

A popular location for tourists as well as expats looking to find a new tropical home is the town of San Buenaventura, also known as San Buenas, located in the Southern Pacific area (Osa) of Costa Rica. This town is about a mile offshore, but those who like keeping their toes in the hot sand will have easy access to reach the beach in no time at all. You’ll find great views of the mountains and oceans (there are real estate options for both) and plenty of things to do while in town.

Mountain views in villas san buenas
Amazing mountain views from Casa Lapas in Las Villas San Buenas.

For the golf lovers, the San Buenas Golf Resort opens their greens to those that want to have a great round of golf, followed by a cold drink. Golf in Costa Rica is a great way to soak up the sun and spend a day relaxing with friends. 

If you want to take in a bit of nature throughout Costa Rica, the parks and recreational trails offer a glimpse into the fascinating wild life in the area that includes monkeys, birds and many other wildlife species and best of all, the comfortable, warm temperatures welcome everyone to come enjoy everything that Costa Rica life offers.

The beach seems to be what many people come to Costa Rica for. The coast has much to offer, especially for those who like to surf, swim, kayak or otherwise spend time lounging in the sand and enjoying the ocean. Costa Rica is well-known around the world as the best place in the Pacific for surfing, and even if you have never surfed in your life, you can still enjoy watching others as they whip around on the waves. Better yet, in Costa Rica you will be able to find a great surf instructor and find out what it feels like to ride the waves on your own. Enjoy Playa Ventanas, Playa Pinuela or Playa Dominical, where the best surfing can be found.

If you’re planning on making a permanent move to Costa Rica, you’ll find many lavish villas, condos and even small houses where you can spend years to come living in paradise. Whether you want to rent or even buy a home to live in or find a plot of land and have a home built, you will find many options to choose from.

Is Moving to Costa Rica Hard?

Moving to Costa Rica does not have to be difficult, but you may find that gaining permanent residency can take quite a bit of time. If you are a retiree or a person who has a steady income stream monthly, and can prove you have steady income, you may be eligible to get a pension visa, also called a Pensionado Residency. Many people in the country on a tourist visa leave every 90 days and return the same day to be able to stay another 90 days.

Many rental homes are furnished, so before you start packing your home in the U.S. to have everything shipped, you may want to determine where you will live and see what you will need. Many household items may cost more in Costa Rica than what you would pay in the U.S., so take the necessary time to see what you may need to spend to purchase new items as opposed to what you will spend shipping things over. Customs taxes on household goods can range between 10% and 13% of the value of the property. To ship household goods, you need to hire a reputable international moving company.

Shipping a Vehicle to Costa Rica

Shipping a vehicle to Costa Rica can be affordable with rates that generally run between $1000 USD and $3000 USD. You will need some important paperwork including your passport and a

Shipping vehicle costa rica gravel road
Many roads in Costa Rica are gravel, therefore, four-wheel traction vehicles (4×4) is recommended

driver’s license as well as the vehicle registration and title. You will also need to provide customs with the bill of lading and an emissions test certificate. Taxes on vehicle imports can be high and typically range from around 52% up to nearly 80%. The newer the car, the lower the tax requirement for import. A reliable international auto shipping company like A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. will be able to assist with moving your vehicle to Costa Rica. Visit this page for more information on the shipping process as well as how much it will cost.

Whether you plan to be the perpetual tourist and wander from one area to another renting a vacation home for a while before moving on, or you want to plant your roots by purchasing a lot to build a home or by purchasing a beautiful home, condo or villa, you will quickly find there are many great things about Costa Rica that you will fall in love with quickly. With many options for living, your dreams of moving to Costa Rica can come true and soon you will see just how great life can be when you’re living the Pura Vida lifestyle that you can only find in Costa Rica.  


Costa Rica, Expat, retirement, Shipping Vehicles

See What Our Guests Are Saying!


Cindy Maddox (review from Revyoos)
5star rating
April 1, 2023
Here's what you wrote to John: It was absolutely amazing. It was our 35 th wedding anniversary. Sooooo special. One of the best vacations we’ve ever had. Girls want to move to CR. Casa de Guacamaya Roja is absolutely beautiful. Perfect in e...

Excelente ubicacion, se puede ir caminando al Parque Nacional al…

Jose Pablo (review from Airbnb)
5star rating
April 8, 2021
Excelente ubicacion, se puede ir caminando al Parque Nacional al sector de playa chaman, de las mejores playas de la zona. Muy seguro para ir con su mascota. La cocina muy completa con todos sus utensilios y todo funciona correctamente. La piscina...

Spotless place; private and peaceful!! Great experience!!Response:Thanks Mario! It was…

Mario (review from Airbnb)
5star rating
January 1, 2020
Spotless place; private and peaceful!! Great experience!!Response:Thanks Mario! It was a pleasure hosting you. We hope to see you again in the future!

A home away from home!

Danielle T.
5star rating
November 23, 2013
The house is easy to get to and the caretakers are always available to help you out. The house is in a small community with down to earth, friendly neighbors. It is close to all kinds of activities such as zip lines, horseback riding, birdwatchi...

¡Gemma escondida es asombrosa!

Samantha K. (review from Vrbo)
5star rating
September 18, 2017
Gemma Escondida is for anyone looking for adventure and complete relaxation. The house is a short and serene drive up the mountain and through a security gate. As we arrived at the Casa, I was blown away by how beautiful and spacious the house loo...

Amazing views and villa

ElisaMarie R. (review from Vrbo)
5star rating
January 28, 2021
Amazing villa: beautiful and clean, kitchen stocked for someone who wants to cook, just as shown in pictures Location: best views in area, road to villa from main road is typical of Costa Rica but a little rough

Forest Paradise

Thomas R., San Diego, California (review from Vrbo)
5star rating
January 3, 2022
The property is surrounded by forest and has a beautiful view of the ocean. We awoke each morning to the sound of howler monkeys, and each evening the songs of toucans, Montezuma oropendolas, and other birds filled the air. Tom and Christine of Ja...

Tidy, comfy, and convenient

Heather Strickland (review from Revyoos)
5star rating
February 19, 2023
If you are looking to get away by yourself on the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica, these folks have done the heavy lifting for you! Casa Big Sky was easy to check in and check out, fully outfitted for home cooking, and close to several grocery ...

Beautiful house

Liliana (review from Vrbo)
5star rating
January 4, 2021
Fantastic place, amazing view, very clean, quiet, pool is perfect. Staff was very nice and friendly. Highly recommended.

Close to the beach and to stores

5star rating
April 14, 2022
Great place to stay in Dominical. Good location close to the beach and stores.

hermoso lugar, silencioso, lleno de naturaleza, vista a las mintañas,…

Lizbeth (review from Airbnb)
5star rating
April 9, 2023
hermoso lugar, silencioso, lleno de naturaleza, vista a las mintañas, ideal para descansar. y en menos de 15 minutos estas en la playa.La casa tiene Todo lo necesario para poder hospedarte por varios dias, es comoda y segura.

Beautiful house

Liliana (review from Vrbo)
5star rating
June 4, 2021
Fantastic place, amazing view, very clean, quiet, pool is perfect. Staff was very nice and friendly. Highly recommended.

See What Our Guests Are Saying!


Regina L. (review from Vrbo)
5star rating
January 30, 2023
Schönes großes Ferienhaus mit schöner Einrichtung und großer gut ausgestatteter Küche. Zu dem Geschirrspüler hätte ich mir noch ein paar bereit gestellte Tabs gewünscht. Die Türen zu den Zimmern und zum Bad lassen sich schlecht oder gar nicht schl...


katiana c., Costa Rica (review from Vrbo)
5star rating
January 24, 2023
It was a super experience, we had lots of fun.

Place is absolutely amazing! It was comfortable and very well…

Barbie (review from Airbnb)
5star rating
December 12, 2021
Place is absolutely amazing! It was comfortable and very well tended too.We loved this property and spent a lot of time there. Management company is great they respond rapidly to any and all concerns.

Great Location for access to beach

Barry G., Canada (review from Vrbo)
4star rating
January 4, 2022
House and property exactly as described. Worked great for us and the location. Only problem we had was lack of hot water in mornings..We arrived late but Jeremy gave us the info required.

Un lugar increíble!!!

ElisaM (review from Vrbo)
5star rating
January 28, 2023
Casa de Lisa es el lugar perfecto para relajarse y descansar; una casa con todas las comodidades y un ambiente tranquilo. La piscina privada y la parrilla complementan perfectamente la estancia para quienes amamos el BBQ. Sin duda un lugar para v...

What a wonderful house. Great location. Very secure.. All the…

Kara (review from Airbnb)
5star rating
April 16, 2021
What a wonderful house. Great location. Very secure.. All the amenities. Quick responses and clear communication. We were pleasantly surprised and wish we had booked this house for our entire trip. Thanks again. We will be back!!

Incredible Place!

5star rating
December 1, 2017
The house in San Buenaventura is an incredible place. We couldn't have asked for a more relaxing and beautiful place to stay in Costa Rica. It has all of the modern amenities you could ask for and then more.

Casa cómoda

Elizabeth Calvo
4star rating
April 9, 2023
Casa cómoda con su piscina, tenía sus toallas para el uso de la piscina. Bien ubicada a los 150 metros de la playa. Lo único, porque uno no está acostumbrado es que no tiene cochera, a los carros no les pasó nada los días que estuvimos en la casa.

Our stay here was fantastic and unforgettable!

Megan J. (review from Vrbo)
5star rating
January 4, 2017
Our stay at this house was magical. The view was unbeatable and so relaxing. We loved the privacy being up on the mountain, but also enjoyed being very close two towns where we could grab dinner or participate in activities, such as whale watching...

Perfect house in jungle, Highly Recommend!

Jeremy B. (review from Vrbo)
5star rating
April 24, 2023
Best parts of the house:Jungle adventure driving to and from the property. The full wall of windows and porch gives spectacular views of the trees. Morning wake up calls from the howler monkeys. Lack of bugs in the home :) very cleanIsolation, far...

Agréable séjour en pleine jungle.

Julien (review from Airbnb)
4star rating
November 24, 2022
Agréable séjour en pleine jungle.

Amazing holiday!

Kimberly Cunningham (review from Revyoos)
5star rating
June 12, 2023
Casa Luna de Plata is a stunning home perched high up on the hillside. The pictures, while gorgeous, really don’t come close to what it’s like to stay here. The ultimate luxury and my favorite is lounging by the infinity pool watching the mated ma...

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