Costa Rica’s New VAT Tax & Travel: What You Need (and Want) to Know

Tamarindo ocean view

The price of paradise? What you need to know about the IVA, or VAT tax.

Traveling to Costa Rica soon? You may have already heard about something called the IVA (pronounced ee-vah). If you have, you almost certainly have questions. Maybe a few concerns, even. What is Costa Rica’s new IVA tax and how will it affect your trip?

First, let’s start with the super basics: IVA is short for el Impuesto sobre el Valor Agregado, or value-added tax. If you live in or have traveled through Europe, you’re already familiar with this type of tax: in English, we often refer to it as a VAT tax, a goods and services tax, or a national sales tax. But, it’s new to Costa Rica: the IVA tax just went into effect on July 1, 2019.

Essentially, Costa Rica’s IVA adds a 13% tax to all goods and service that don’t already pay a 13% sales tax (aka the IVI – el impuesto de ventas incluido, or the included sales tax).

To put that into layman’s terms, things like your vacation rental or restaurant meal have long included a 13% IVI sales tax and will not incur an additional 13% IVA tax. But, travel goods and services – well, they are affected. Here’s how it works.

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Costa Rica Travel with Kids: The Best Family Experiences

Family trip to Costa Rica

Costa Rica travel with kids? You’re going to need these [awe-inspiring, kid-thrilling] family tours.

Today, Costa Rica celebrates Mother’s Day. It’s one of the Big Holidays here in Costa Rica – a paid day off work, universally celebrated, and much beloved – and so we thought we’d celebrate in the best way we know how: by sharing our favorite family tours, travels and family experiences, to enhance your own Costa Rica travel with kids.

Because, we’re realists. We know that traveling with kids isn’t the same as traveling solo or with adults. There are special considerations and accommodations to be made. Because, even the littlest of kids have big personalities.

We want to keep them happy. Nay, thrilled! We want all travelers, both big and small, to have the time of their lives. To finish every tour entertained. To say, “this was the best trip EVER!” Because it was.

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Tamarindo Restaurants Guide, 2019 Version

Pangas Tamarindo by night-min

Pangas is forever one of our top choices in Tamarindo restaurants, not just for the food but for the beachfront ambiance.

Tamarindo is a veritable foodie haven: Dozens, if not hundreds of worth-your-time restaurants and joints, beachfront spreads and tiny holes-in-the-wall. If you don’t know where to go, it can all be a little overwhelming: everything just smells so good! Seafood and melting cheese, brick ovens and wood-fired grills… But, we’re getting distracted. (It’s easy to do, around all this excellent food.) And so, it’s for just this reason that we’ve updated our Tamarindo restaurants guide for 2019: to help you draft your list of must-eats and must-views.

Note that this latest interation of our restaurant guide doesn’t overwrite or cancel out any of our previous suggestions; they’re still delicious and highly recommended. We just wanted to give you a few more options. A little more room to experiment with your taste buds and hone your Tamarindo palate. A few more inspirations to try new things and taste new tastes. Or, to revisit old favorites. Because, you’ll want to. You really will. Tamarindo’s restaurants have a certain temptation.

So, as we say in Costa Rica, ¡provecho! Enjoy!

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Property of the Month: Casa Bonita Beach

Casa Bonita Beach Hacienda Pinilla vacation rental waterslide-min

A brilliant sunset, a shimmering pool and, oh yessss!, your own private waterslide – the many delights of Casa Bonita Beach

Set within the pristine and luxurious surrounds of Hacienda Pinilla, Casa Bonita Beach represents the apex of indoor and outdoor living: spacious, light-filled interiors replete with natural stone, high ceilings, and oversized windows that open onto the lavish outdoors, including a gourmet alfresco kitchen, shady terrace, and a shimmering pool and waterslide.

Welcome to the perfect balance: Light and shade. Elegance and entertainment. Space and privacy. Welcome to that just-right blend of everything you’ve ever wanted in your vacation home.

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