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  • Writer's pictureKristy Morrison

Best Costa Rica Investment Locations For Airbnb On The Pacific Side!

There is no doubt a high interest in owning a rental or vacation property in Costa Rica right now. At the time of writing this the Canadian market has been in a fierce competition for the last two years and now the Ontario government is posing a 1% vacancy tax on properties to curb investors from buying and holding homes but not having them fully occupied. Lots of Canadians are looking to diversify their portfolio by not having all their eggs in one basket so to speak. Not to mention owning a piece of Paradise sounds simply divine so as a licensed Real estate agent in Canada with ties to Costa Rica I've been fleeting a ton of calls with inquiries into WHERE to buy in Costa Rica. This is the data that I've acquired and shared with all of those interested.

First up which side is better Pacific vs. Caribbean side. Well of course everyone will have their own opinions but the Pacific side is more developed and tends to be popular with tourists. I believe this is because the pacific side has more national parks, the surf is better, there is less rain and it definitely has the best beach restaurants and bars. So I'll cover each popular location on the pacific side north to down to the Punteranus peninsula from a RENTAL / INCOME GENERATING perspective.

Playa Coco

Playas del Coco is one of the oldest beach communities in Guanacaste Province. Coco is located a short 25 min drive from the Liberia Airport full of amenities like restaurants, shops, excursions, casinos, golf, and so much more.

1289 active rentals -34% of them are 2 bed units, 26% are 3 bed.

50% occupancy rate and average rate is $161/n

95% of them offer AC, internet, parking, 60% offer a pool & washer / dryer.

Overall Opinion: Personally I love Coco Beach. It has a tico (local) charm that some of the other busier towns has lost. Plenty of amenities and good deals still are to be found here. I know of a (finished) project coming up in this area where 2 bed 2 bath condos are available for $280,000 and even in house financing may be available. So I rate this area as EXCELLENT from an investment perspective.

Playa Potrero

Potrero is close to Playa Flamingo, Tamarindo & Coco beach located in-between those each. 48 min drive from the airport. In liberia.

Has 508 Active Rentals. Majority rent entire house.

2 bed is majority with 3 bed close 2nd.

95% of them offer AC, internet, parking,

60% offer a pool & washer / dryer.

Overall Opinion: Love the area for living a peaceful life, not the hottest area for consistent rentals however you may be able to find a good priced property. Just be sure you are good at marketing your rental as it's not generally a "go-to" destination tourists have on their list. Properties for sale are few and far between so be patient. Rating: Good Potential


Has 1556 Active Rentals, majority rent the entire house.

60% occupancy rate & average rate $218 / night. Majority are 2 bed units.

60% of them offer a pool.

95% offer AC, Internet & parking.

75% offer washer / dryer.

Overall Opinion: Many tourists love Tamarindo as it's relatively close to the airport and a fun surfing town. However it reminds me of a cement city as it has grown so fast that it has lost is little tico charm. It is also very expensive and often has "tourist pricing" however if you feel like you need to be in the HUB of activity and a wide variety of bars to hop in the evening you may prefer a town like this. From a rental perspective it has a high renal potential yet the competition is also fierce so be sure you have something unique or full of quality or you'll end up competing on price which is the race to the bottom. Right now there is nothing for sale in Tamarindo under $400k let alone in close proximity to the ocean.


It’s known as a yoga center, and for Pacific beaches like Playa Guiones, with its long surf break. Playa Pelada has a reef just offshore and a tidal blowhole. SIBU Sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates animals like coatimundi and white-faced monkeys.

589 Active Rentals

75% Occupancy Rate - Average Rate $248/n

28% are 1 bed

27% are 2 bed

16% are 3 bed

Overall Opinion: Good potential is here from a rental perspective due to the Yoga and abundance of nature. The guests that visit this town are here to connect with nature, connect with self and mother Gaia. The issue lies is the lack of inventory available in this area it's not continually developed so finding a property to buy will be on the higher price point but the rental potential is quite good.


Is known for its palm-lined main beach, Playa Sámara. West along the bay at Cangrejal, a reef attracts stingrays and tropical fish. In Sámara Bay, Chora Island's wildlife reserve has pink sand and shelters marine birds. North, Playa Buena Vista is a sea turtle nesting site.

364 Active Rentals

71% Occupancy Rate -Average Rate $123/n 39% are 1 bed 29% are 2 bed 21% are 3 bed

Overall Opinion: Much like Nosara it has good potential yet their is not much for sale. The low competition allows for opportunity to command attention yourself, however due to its proximity from the airport, amenities, regular things to do etc the average nightly rate is low. There is also very low inventory so finding a home will be difficult and it will be pricey

Santa Teresa

The eclectic mix of surfers, fishermen, yogis, lifetime backpackers, and locals creates a sense of global community in one of Costa Rica's most scenic settings. The biggest upside to this town is it's a surfing MECCA. You'll see plenty of surfers and expert surfers riding the waves often. The biggest downside to this town is it grew faster than the infrastructure so it often smells like a full septic system.

1339 Active Rentals

82% Occupancy Rate -Average Rate $180/n

38% are 1 bed 25% are 2 bed 17% are 3 bed

Overall Opinion: I do enjoy visiting this town occasionally, they have a ton of delicious restaurants inspired by world flavours. The shops are also very stylish yet pricy and you can often see celebrities visiting or staying in the area. From a rental perspective the occupancy rate is high and the price tends to be low. The difficult part for this area is finding a property priced low enough to allow for the low rental rates to be worth it. Many luxury properties are in this are owned by celebrities, CEO's and high profile executives so the purchase price of many homes in the area tend to be $600,000 to multi-millions.

As you can see each area had it's pros and cons and really depends on what YOU want for an investment property. How busy you want to be which means how much do you want to cover your costs of your rental property.



Kristy & Eric

Dog Paws & Sandy Hair Be sure to check out our Villa Rentals.

Thinking of Buying / Selling in Canada or Costa Rica? Feel free to reach out as a licensed professional I have trusted contacts to connect you with if I can't do it myself!


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