A: Costa Rica's laws and Constitution protect
private ownership of land. Foreigners enjoy the same rights as citizens,
with reasonable exceptions. There are almost no restrictions to foreign
ownership of private land (land with registered title already created and
registered in individual or corporate names). A major restriction is that
land given or sold to Costa Rican citizens as part of a government land
distribution program is not initially transferable to foreigners, although
such land may be freely traded and acquired by foreigners after the
original owner has held it for a certain period of time. Neither
citizenship nor residence, or even presence in the country, is required
for land ownership.
land 200 meters inland from the mean high tide line is government owned.
Port areas, some old Spanish land grants, and titles prior to 1973 are the
principal exceptions. The first 50 meters inland are considered public and
inalienable, and the next 150 meters are obtainable for private use under
lease to citizens, foreigners with five-years┤ residence, or nominative
share corporations with at least 50 percent of the original stock held by
Costa Rican citizens.