How is Costa Rica for digital nomads?

I’m making my way up to Costa Rica from Colombia right now and plan to spend a 2-3 week period working remote when I arrive to Costa Rica. I’m currently looking at AirB&B for a beach apartment w/ wi-fi in a few popular beach destinations, but the cost is looking pretty high (think $800+ for 2 weeks). I speak Spanish and was thinking that maybe I could haggle something less pricey when I arrive, but don’t want to risk it.

The question I have is where and how can I set myself up for the best stay. Where should I search for places to rent? Should I try to rent an apartment with good wi-fi or just stay in a hostel on the cheap and go to coffee shops? And lastly, what are some of the best places to DN (I saw a bit about Quepos and Santa Teresa in another post)?

Your question is based on personal preference. I wouldn’t last 5 minutes in a hostel so I would just rent at a B&B a couple nights until I found a good deal on an apartment. That’s exactly what I did when I went to Costa Rica.

I was in Grecia, but would not recommend it to DMs.

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I’m thinking that I might stay in Santa Teresa because it looks like a great destination and some other DN’s said they were there in another post. I’m starting to find that searching the “Vacation Rentals” on TripAdvisor gives me some great options. Many of them have equivalent weekly pricing and look even nicer than some of the AirBnb places that I was looking at. They all have WiFi, so I hope it’s halfway decent.

@seansean11 You won’t be dissapointed from Santa Teresa, check out this FB group to find better listings then airbnb
If you don’t find anything ahead of time I recommend you to come here and stay in an hostel/hotel until you find something (2 days), now its the rainy season (although is not raining lol) and you will find lots of places

I spent a month (Feb) working from Puerto Viejo this year and it was perfect. WiFi never kakked out on me once. I paid $700 US for a month for a place with a kitchen, pool and everything, and that was in high season (February). However when I got there many people told me that you can get much better deals live on-site by talking to locals etc. than what you can find on any website. Depending on when you’ll be there you will have more or less bargaining power. I’m trying to make deals for next Feb in Nicaragua and nobody will budge on the prices because it’s high season.

Some parts of CR have pretty slow and spotty internet, such as Santa Teresa. Make sure your workflow can accommodate that sort of thing. :slight_smile:

Hello! I know this is a bit late, but I moved away from santa teresa earlier this year due to the spotty internet. I recommend the places in CR that have CR Wifi , like Grecia, Tamarindo (if you want to chill by the beach), or San Jose suburbs. You can check out their coverage map at CR If you do hang in Santa Teresa, I recommend getting some cellular data for your smartphone/iPad and using that as a backup for when the internet does go down, and it will go down.

Hope you’re having a good time if you’re there!

@Beth_Brass I hope the Internet doesn’t poop out on me too much in Santa Teresa. My first thought was to stay in Puerto Viejo because it’s closer to the border (we’re traveling up from Panama), but I thought that I might not get great Internet there (according to @caradaway it wasn’t bad). I’m a developer, and although the majority of my Internet use will be for communication and Git commits, I definitely value some high-speed Internet. I’m staying at a fairly pricey hotel (in hopes that the internet may be higher quality as well), since I’ll only be working from Santa Teresa for 2 weeks. I’ll report back on how it goes.

@seansean11 I if you have a 4g phone I recommend you to buy a Kolby sim card prepaid and just load it with money and you’ll have 4g up to 10mb download speed , you can get good internet like that…the speed in Santa Teresa is 3mb-5mb download in normal places like hotels or cafes

@hodaraadam great, thanks for the tip. We are stopping in San Jose on the way to Santa Teresa, so I’ll pick one up there. My cheap Home internet in denver, co only gets about 7mb, so that sounds pretty darn fast for cell tower Internet.

Ok, so I’ve been here for over a week now and have stayed at 2 different places (both really nice). The hotel internet is not that bad and has rarely dropped out. We haven’t had any power outages either (fingers crossed). The main issue with the internet is that the wi-fi has a hard time making it through concrete and most of the construction here is done with concrete block. So, we haven’t been able to get decent internet inside our rooms, but sitting on my porch or hanging out in the common areas I tend to get around 2mb download speeds.

Just in case others are interested in getting a Kolbi sim card as a backup source of internet… you can’t set up weekly/monthly prepaid internet plans from Santa Teresa, you need to go to a nearby city. I went through the whole process of buying a Kolbi sim card and cutting it with scissors so that it fit into my iPhone 5s and then found out that I can only use the internet like a running tab, which is much more expensive then buying a prepaid weekly or monthly internet plan. But then again, I haven’t really needed any backup internet so far.

I spent 3 weeks in Santa Teresa working, the speed was very good but it was spotty when raining! That’s also when the power outages were occuring. So, hope for good weather! :slight_smile: