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How is Costa Rica for digital nomads?


in Costa Rica by @seansean11 | 5yr  | 11 comments

Iโ€™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. Iโ€™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 donโ€™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)?

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@kangasjuha | 5yr

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

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@seansean11 | 5yr

Ok, so Iโ€™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 havenโ€™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 havenโ€™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 internetโ€ฆ you canโ€™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 havenโ€™t really needed any backup internet so far.

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@seansean11 | 5yr

@Beth_Brass I hope the Internet doesnโ€™t poop out on me too much in Santa Teresa. My first thought was to stay in Puerto Viejo because itโ€™s closer to the border (weโ€™re traveling up from Panama), but I thought that I might not get great Internet there (according to @caradaway it wasnโ€™t bad). Iโ€™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. Iโ€™m staying at a fairly pricey hotel (in hopes that the internet may be higher quality as well), since Iโ€™ll only be working from Santa Teresa for 2 weeks. Iโ€™ll report back on how it goes.

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@surfcoderepeat | 5yr

@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 youโ€™ll have 4g up to 10mb download speed , you can get good internet like thatโ€ฆthe speed in Santa Teresa is 3mb-5mb download in normal places like hotels or cafes

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@seansean11 | 5yr

@hodaraadam great, thanks for the tip. We are stopping in San Jose on the way to Santa Teresa, so Iโ€™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.

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@beth_brass | 5yr

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 Wifi.com. 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 youโ€™re having a good time if youโ€™re there!

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@azurio | 5yr

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:

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@selfdeprecate | 5yr

Your question is based on personal preference. I wouldnโ€™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. Thatโ€™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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@seansean11 | 5yr

Iโ€™m thinking that I might stay in Santa Teresa because it looks like a great destination and some other DNโ€™s said they were there in another post. Iโ€™m starting to find that searching the โ€œVacation Rentalsโ€ 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 itโ€™s halfway decent.

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@surfcoderepeat | 5yr

@seansean11 You wonโ€™t be dissapointed from Santa Teresa, check out this FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/179322738804307/ to find better listings then airbnb
If you donโ€™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

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@caravogl | 5yr

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 youโ€™ll be there you will have more or less bargaining power. Iโ€™m trying to make deals for next Feb in Nicaragua and nobody will budge on the prices because itโ€™s high season.

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Read and participate in 14,067 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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Are there any digital nomads in the Islands e.g Bermuda, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis?


in Antigua, Guatemala by @momo11 | 1mo 1 month ago | 0 comments

Does anyone ever travel to any Islands like Bermuda, Barbados, Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis?

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Tax advisor for permanent nomads?


by @eljaques | 1mo 1 month ago | 1 comment

I'm in need of a tax advisor who understands "our" typical situation. I'm all good on being legal on taxes at this point, but as I'm doing more investing and there's more compliance and KYC and such, it's getting more complicated to deal with this topic. Not living in my country of citizenship, company in another country, resident in yet another country, banking in a different country ... you know how it is, a pile of red flags.

Would be great to find a good tax advisor to sort things in a way that makes my situation as "explainable" and easily dealt with as possible. Any leads?

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How to get into the digital nomad lifestyle?


in Switzerland by @filiptk | 2mo 1 month ago | 1 comment

Hi, I've got a question to anyone who had experience with the digital nomad lifestyle. I'm 24, I'm in my last year of university doing computer science, got 3 years of experience mostly doing web development.

I never liked the idea of staying in one place, getting a job and growing roots - hence the will to take the opportunity and travel the world. My main question is โ€“ how do I go about it? Are there any useful resources I could look into?

How do I go about insurance and such once I decide to move. I currently live in Switzerland and do freelance work for one company. It's not a lot, since my studies don't allow me to pick up a full time job, but it allows me to cover simple expenses.

I'd be happy to get some insight into how things work and also happy to network with anyone interested.

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What is the best online insurance for digital nomads ?


by @berberos | 4mo 3 months ago | 4 comments

Hi guys ! hope you are doing well.

I would love to get your feedback regarding the best insurance for digital nomads. i'm traveling around Asia since 1 year and for next 4 or 5 years. Would love to buy an insurance to cover especially :

- health

- laptop, phone ...

- Flights

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Can Americans with EU Passports Travel to EU during COVID-19?


in France by @fqlx | 5mo 4 months ago | 1 comment

I'm a dual citizen of America and France with my resident based in the America. Can I travel to the EU using my French passport?

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Any Ph.D students dissertating while a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 8mo 7 months ago | 5 comments

Anyone know of any groups or resources for Ph.D. students working on dissertation while living as a digital nomad? I know there are several virtual writing groups around, but wondered if there were any specifically for digital nomads, particularly those who are dissertating.

Thanks!

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Does international health insurance for digital nomads exist?

 

by @al_steffen | 8mo 8 months ago | 59 comments

Hey Nomads!

Iโ€™m looking for an international health insurance (no travel insurance) for my nomadic life. It should cover the basic services and at least be accepted in the EU (itโ€™s ok if itโ€™s not accepted in the US as Iโ€™m aware they rarely are). Nice to have: enter into a contract online. Anyone got a good experience or a recommendation?

Thanks in advance!

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I dream of being a digital nomad? How do I do it?


by @programmingmark | 9mo 9 months ago | 2 comments

Hello digital nomad!

I dream of being an independent digital nomad. But it feels very elusive & unattainable with my success rate. In full disclosure, whilst I have dreamed about making money online since high school; I have not earned a single cent making money online. $0, nada, zilch!! On the contrary, I have spent a lot of time & money on books, podcasts. Even though I have spent a lot of time reading/listening to others, I do not have anything to show for it!

I have made attempts in the past to start an online business, but these fizzle out quite quickly when I do not see traction especially when the goal I have set myself is too high.

Instead of reaching for the ultimate nomadic lifestyle goal, I want to start much smaller. Really small! I am simply looking to make $50 profit per month from a new online business. Thatโ€™s it.

I need some advice from you please!

  • Is $50 profit too low? How long did it take you to earn $50 profit per month?

  • What is a good way of achieving this goal?

Thanks
Mark
aka the $0 online business entrepreneur

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How do digital nomads pay tax?


by @rodriigovieira | 10mo 10 months ago | 19 comments

Hello everyone! Iโ€™m new here and probably this is a very newbie question, but it doesnโ€™t leave my head.

How do you, nomads, pay your taxes? I mean, if youโ€™re constantly traveling, how are you going to pay taxes for a certain country if you are going to stay there a short period of time?
Or do you return to your โ€œoriginal countryโ€ and then pay them?

By the way, this forum has very nice cool formatting features! :smile:

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Central America - Where and what's next?


by @as11 | 10mo 10 months ago | 11 comments

Currently in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and heading to Santa Teressa, Costa Rica next week.
Then Aruba in the Caribbean Sea for Christmas and New Year.

However I feel I want to head back to Central America to bring living costs down, rather than staying in the Caribbean Sea among the expensive Islands.

This means I have around 2 - 2,5 month of unplanned travelling.
Any digital nomads who have ideas about where to head in that timeframe?

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Best place for Digital Nomad in Latin America?


by @rose_davis | 1yr 1 year ago | 7 comments

Hi!

I am planning to move to Latin America for 3-4 months (Oct-January). Iโ€™ve narrowed down 6 different places that I want to visit before committing to settling down, but Iโ€™d love to get some community input.

Here are the cities Iโ€™m considering:

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Medellin, Columbia
  • Cartagena, Columbia
  • Antigua, Guatemala
  • San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala

The most important things Iโ€™m looking for:

  • Fast/easily accessible internet
  • Easy to meet other nomads/make friends in general
  • Safe for women
  • Some sort of spiritual community (Iโ€™m also a yoga teacher)
  • Easily walkable city

Anyone have any experience with these places and can give some insight? Iโ€™m also completely open to other recommendations.

Thanks!
Rose

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How do we solve housing for digital nomads?

 

by @levelsio | 1yr 1 year ago | 61 comments

Thereโ€™s been a lot of discussion on this recently.

Nomads usually stay in hostels, hotels and short-term apartments. But itโ€™s all not very optimal.

Iโ€™ve heard people suggest getting funding and building a network of houses you can stay at for a subscription price (e.g. Bruno Haid is working on that).

I donโ€™t want do physical stuff, so Iโ€™m thinking of building a platform around making housing better for nomads.

What are the housing problems nomads face? And how can we solve them with products/services?

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How is Sicily for digital nomads?


by @gaelm | 1yr 1 year ago | 15 comments

Hi all, I was looking for a cool spot in Southern Europe for winter and Iโ€™m considering Sicilyโ€ฆ Have you ever been there? If yes, how was your experience? If not, why?
thanks!

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How is Bari, Italy for digital nomads?


in Bari, Italy by @mitch_dina | 1yr 1 year ago | 7 comments

Greetings!
Does anyone have experience in Bari, Italy please? We are thinking of going from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Bari by boat in mid-March. Has anyone taken a boat across? Is it nice or can it be choppy? (We are trying to avoid planes, to reduce our carbon footprint, so adding more surface travel.) Also, any info you might be able to offer about Bari and the surrounds? Next step will likely be trains up Italy as the Spring progresses.

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How is Mauritius for digital nomads?


in Mauritius by @wakkos | 1yr 1 year ago | 14 comments

Hello all,

Iโ€™m planning on spending a couple of month in Mauritius Island and even when Iโ€™ve been there for a week, never rented or worked there.

Does anyone here has tips or experience to share about Mauritius?

Cheers!

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Are there any digital nomad fitness retreats?


by @ryanjames | 1yr 1 year ago | 1 comment

Hey all:

Does anyone here have any experience attending a full time fitness bootcamp or a fitness resort while working? I know there is one in Cambodia for digital nomads (Fitness Retreat Resort Kep Gym), unfortunately the time difference vs my work schedule would make my life suck if I tried to go there. Iโ€™m looking for a place between US and Europe timezones that lets you live with them, kicks your butt with fitness, but would also have good WiFi/accommodate working eight hours a day. Iโ€™m also open to other tangential ideas for something close-ish to get that same experience.

Thanks for any help!

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Where to travel to in South America in the summer?


by @sergiosa_la | 1yr 1 year ago | 2 comments

I have a month between Playa del Carmen and Medellin, and Iโ€™m deciding which city to be. Itโ€™s on november so itโ€™s summer in this region, what do you guys choose?

ps. just in case, Mexico is not south american

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Here is the itinerary of our trip to Costa Rica; what would you recommend?


in Costa Rica by @nomad4 | 1yr 1 year ago | 2 comments

Hi everybody,

for those who read us in the past, we made some changes to our plan for this winter.
We decided for several reasons to postpone our trip to SEA, and decided to leave for a month in Costa Rica instead. Weโ€™ll still be travelling with our 2 kids and will need to work a little as well.

This is our itinerary for the month. 39

For those whoโ€™ve been there, how long do you think we should stay at each place?
We were planning roughly:

  • 1 week in Tamarindo/Nosara
  • 2-3 nights in Monteverde
  • 2-3 night closer to the Arenal volcano
  • 2-3 night in Quepos
  • Uvita for undetermined period of time

Do you think thereโ€™s a place (among the ones we cited or else) we should consider to stay a little longer?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Magali and Guillaume

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Best American phone carrier for nomads


by @tylertringas | 1yr 1 year ago | 12 comments

Iโ€™m surprised this isnโ€™t anywhere on the forum yet. But just a pro tip for Americans about to start a nomad adventure. T-mobile offers unlimited SMS & data in 120 countries for FREE with any of their (already pretty cheap) plans. Itโ€™s ideal if you plan to be back in the US for any part of the year, but I honestly would consider it even if youโ€™re going to be entirely out of the country.

You get bumped down to much slower 3G speeds, but itโ€™s free and works as soon as you land. Can be super helpful before youโ€™ve sorted yourself out with a local SIM. I usually keep my T-mobile SIM in my iPhone all the time and then buy a local SIM and drop it in my pocket wifi for both laptop and iPhone when needed. I keep my local US number and just use it (itโ€™s like $0.05/min in most places) for important clients calls so they donโ€™t have to bother with Skype.

Iโ€™m not affiliated at all, just a happy customer. Anybody found a better deal worth mentioning?

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Best place to set up a company selling digital services?


by @pras_k | 1yr 1 year ago | 10 comments

Whatโ€™s the best place?
For residency Iโ€™m looking at Portugal and they have the NHR (non habitual resident) program which would exempt dividends from foreign income.
So all Iโ€™m really looking for is the best place to actually start the company.
Biggest factors are of course low taxes and ease of setting up the company plus a business bank account that enables me to receive payments through Stripe.

What I found so far:
Hong Kong
Corporate tax rate of 16.5% (8.25% for the first HK$2 million)
โŠ•/โŠ– offshore income from outside HK is exempt from taxation but itโ€™s not clear whether this can be done in the first year and prorated or if itโ€™s only through filing the offshore exemption claim. This might take two years and requires not income from HK at all. More info on that would be great
โŠ– seems very difficult to get a business bank account
โŠ– necessary services and fees are roughly around โ‚ฌ2000 / year
โŠ– accounting requirements seem to be very strict
โŠ• Doesnโ€™t require local partner
โŠ• Agencies available that seem to handle most of the work

Singapore
Corporate tax rate of 17% (0% on the first S$100k, 8.5% up to S$300k)
โŠ– requires a local director. What are the implications of this?

Malta
Corporate tax rate of 35%
There is the โ€œfull imputation systemโ€ but I donโ€™t really understand it.
"In most cases, the tax refund to the shareholder is 6/7 of the tax paid by the company on profits distributed as dividends. The tax refund rate may be different in the following cases: " This would result in an effective corporate tax of around 5%.
โŠ– European customers would have to pay VAT and Iโ€™d have to deal with that

Cyprus
Corporate tax rate of 12.5% and there seem to be ways to lower this
โŠ– European customers would have to pay VAT and Iโ€™d have to deal with that
โŠ– requires staying in Cyprus for 2 months / year

I find it surprising how much research this requires and how much โ€œit dependsโ€ information is out there when Iโ€™d assume that there are probably thousands of digital nomads who probably have very similar requirements.

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