Expats get it; making the decision to move abroad takes guts and knowledge, but making the jump to move to Costa Rica, even more so. The country has so much to offer that it can be overwhelming. Thankfully, we’ve done the hard work for you and looked for the top destinations for Black travelers to enjoy when making the move. Now all you have to do is figure out which one is best for you.

Santa Teresa

Surfers, boutique buyers, and sunset lovers will adore Santa Teresa. Located on the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Santa Teresa is an incredible option for Black expats looking to enjoy delicately put together cocktails under the reckless drama of Costa Rican sunsets.

The vibe: A hugely popular spot, Santa Teresa and its neighboring jungle has a reputation for drawing people in and keeping them there. There is also everything you would expect to live a comfortable and familiar lifestyle, as well as plenty of post-surf dining spots, which keep this small town alive come sunset onwards.

The traveler: Palm trees and a passion for the outdoors, in the fanciest way possible. This is your kind of vibe and living in Santa Teresa you have your pick of yoga studios, organic health stores, jungle, coast, and some of the prettiest ocean-side cocktails on offer.

San José


The capital city of Costa Rica, San José is known for being rough around the edges but even still, it captures Black expats with its culture, tradition, and fast living. Expats looking to move to Costa Rica have much to look forward to in San José, within the city and on the outskirts.

The vibe: This crowded city is bursting with energy, people, and more people. San José is mostly known for being a stop-over destination until arriving to the outer parts of the country. For this reason, expats living in San José find life to be full of new faces and international opportunities. Expect markets, city vibes, and some impressive shopping days out.

The traveler: Travelers looking for a dynamic city, well-connected and highly regarded within Central America, will appreciate San José.

Puerto Viejo

Possibly one of the most famous of all the destinations in Costa Rica for Black travelers, Puerto Viejo is located on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast in Límon.

The vibe: Puerto Viejo, or Costa Rica’s most Jamaican town, is hard not to love if you’re into slow living and Caribbean culture. Black travelers are often drawn to Puerto Viejo for the promise of some of the best jerk chicken in Costa Rica, as well as the most laid-back island vibe. There are also many opportunities to support Black-owned businesses in Puerto Viejo.

The traveler: You’ll love Puerto Viejo if you’re looking for a place to connect with the diaspora, learn about the Bribri people of the region, and enjoy some Caribbean favorites (hello ackee, hello jerk) all while soaking in the suns rays and getting around by bicycle.


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Located on the Pacific coast, Tamarindo is where Costa Rica’s ‘pura vida’ lifestyle really comes to life. Once a secret surf spot, and now one of country’s most loved destinations, many nature lovers flock to Tamarindo to set up their new life.

The vibe: Heavy on the coastal town vibe. If you’re looking for tranquility paired with modern-day amenities and the constant flow of ocean breeze, you’ll find all that you need in Tamarindo.

The traveler: Tamarindo offers something for everyone. This busy little beach town has a huge appeal for travelers looking to connect with nature while living in a space where everyone knows your name. Also, did we mention that it is possible to enjoy luxury living for an affordable price in Tamarindo? Couldn’t ask for anything more.


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Credit: Nat Fernandez

A party town if ever there was one, except abundant in wildlife, waterfalls, and opportunities to enjoy some of the country’s most impressive sunset views. The dark sand beaches and deep blue waters of Jacó makes it an ideal place to surf and chill in this patch of goodness on the Pacific coast.

The vibe: Being less than an hour away from the capital, San José, it is easy to see why Black travelers choose Jacó. With a mixture of rocky sand beaches, surrounding hills, and even a path through the rainforest in Pura Vida park leading to Bijagual Waterfall, Jacó is one of those towns that offers it all.

The traveler: If you’re into wild nightlife, precious beach views, and drinking fresh cocos for a living, then Jacó could be the spot for you. There are also ecological wonders, such as Manuel Antonio National Park and Carara National Park, which will keep nature lovers coming back to delve deeper into Costa Rica’s endless nature views. Black travelers in need of a life lived in the heart of nature and a night spent partying will surely love Jacó.