Moving to Costa Rica from the USA

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Moving to Costa Rica from the USA

If you are looking for international movers to Costa Rica, we are the ones. SDC International Shipping offers end-to-end solutions from shipping household goods to vehicles.  

We are experts in the international logistics industry and can guide you through any stage of the moving process. We have ten years of experience and hundreds of successful moves around the world. 

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Moving a Happy Customer to their new home in Costa Rica (below)

Where Can We Deliver in Costa Rica? 

The number one popular destination for expats in Costa Rica, of course, is the capital San Jose. This city boasts abundant social and cultural life; you can find anything there, from entertainment to the best health care providers. Many expats live in Santa Ana or Escazu

Central Valley cities are also densely packed with expat communities. These are Atenas, Grecia, Cartago, and San Ramon

SDC International Shipping, International Movers to Costa Rica, can deliver goods to any of these destinations, including the remote Hermosa.

Which Ports Do We Ship To?

Most cargos come through Puerto Limon, founded in 1854, which still processes most commercial and household cargos. The second biggest airport is the Port of Caldera. We usually arrange to transport households and vehicles between the USA and Costa Rica to either of these ports.  

What Can We Move to Costa Rica?

We can move any permitted items to Costa Rica. However, to avoid issues with Customs, we advise not putting in a container unless you need them. From our side, we’ll provide information about what you can take and what you should leave behind.  

Household Belongings

Household belongings are personal items that you use in a home. So the amount of these will depend on the size of your house or apartment. When it comes to overseas shipping, logistic specialists classify shipments as 1-bedroom apartments, 2-bedroom apartments, etc. 

Here are our suggestions for the  household shipment:

  • Clothes and shoes.
  • Kitchenware. 
  • Bedroom set or mattresses.
  • Living room set. 
  • Large rugs, carpets, and household/holiday décor.
  • Bathroom sets such as bathroom rugs, additional towels, and shower caddies.
  • Books.
  • CDs, DVDs, and board games.
  • Furniture.
  • Tools
  • Anything you will need to live on for the next 1-2 years.

Indeed, you can send all these items and still reconsider taking some of them. Here are tips right from our clients who shipped to Costa Rica. 

From our clients’ experiences 

  • Don’t bring wood furniture. It’s better to buy local furniture, which is more durable.
  • Don’t bring beds. Affordable beds of different styles and frames are available in Costa Rica.
  • Some tools are subject to hefty import fees, and it may be better to leave them behind. 
  • TVs, computers, and other electronics are expensive in Costa Rica. 
  • Take kitchen gadgets like good knives, air fryers, blenders, and others. 
  • You won’t find good quality bed linens, comforters, linens, etc.; bring them with you. 
  • Bring surfboards, bikes, golf clubs, kayaks, fishing equipment, sports equipment. 
  • Don’t bring a car unless you are ready to pay high import taxes and duties. 

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Overseas Vehicle Shipping

Are you planning to bring a vehicle, boat, or motorbike with you? We offer reliable services to get your car to or from Costa Rica. 

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Which Transport Method Do We Use?


Container shipping is the most widespread way to send your household items. You can send them in a solo or shared container. The container sizes are usually 20 feet and 40 feet long, 10 feet in width. For example, if you choose a 40ft container, you can fit a vehicle in it along with your items. Or, if you are sending a car, you can select a separate container.  

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RORO shipping is only applied to vehicles and cars. It is cheap and convenient. With this transportation mode, we should be able to drive your vehicle on the RORO vessel and drive off the vehicle after it arrives at the destination port. 

Trust our experts to ship any vehicle or car. We partner with RORO carriers that operate their services from all USA and Costa Rica ports.


Do you need to ship a yacht? If yes, a lift-on/lift-off (LOLO) transport method is the best. It’s also cost-efficient. Unlike RORO, where vehicles are driven on and off the vessel, your car will be lifted by a crane and loaded on the ship with LOLO shipping. However, LOLO transportation is slower than container or RORO shipping. Therefore, if you have plenty of time ahead, you can opt for this method.  

How We Move Your Shipment

  • Airfreight
  • Sea freight

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Cost of Shipping to or from Costa Rica 

There are a few variables that will affect the shipment cost. For example, if you live hundreds of miles from major ports, such as Long Beach, San Francisco, New York, or Miami, you also have to consider the cost of transporting from your home to the port, which won’t be cheap. 

Other factors are container size, the volume of your shipments, the overall distance. For example, SDC International Movers to Costa Rica quotes for a 40ft container from Seattle to Caldera is $2,500 and from Florida to Limon – $3,000. 

The cost of shipping by air can be doubled and even tripled. For example, what costs $1000 to ship by the ocean, may cost as much as $3,000 if you send it by air. 

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Why SDC International Shipping?

  • We moved over 3,000 families
  • We have 10 years of experience 
  • We have over 90% of happy clients
  • We operate worldwide

Our Happy Customers

“I am delighted with the whole process. Customer service, the crew that came to pack and load our things – did a very good job. I will keep them on my list of best international movers and would recommend them to others.” 

“We used SDC service while moving our things to Costa Rica. Our personal manager was great, and the team that arrived on site was super adorable. When the time comes to return to the USA, I will hire this company again.”

Moving to Costa Rica from the USA

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