Should you decide to relocate to Costa Rica, please be advised not to take too many of your household effects with you! Quite high transportation costs, import duties (yes, they are applied also on used household goods) and an often underestimated organizational effort could lead to an unpleasant experience right at the beginning of your new life in Costa Rica. Therefore an advise: travel with “light” baggage, you'll get here everything you need!
Should you wish to take along your pets, in general this shouldn't be a problem. Dogs and cats need an authorized health certificate that documents your pet does not suffer from any illness or parasite. Of course you also need an international vaccination card that also shows (amongst others) the valid immunization against rabies. Is your pet going to travel by air freight, you need to present an import permit at the “Salud Publica Veterinaria” in San José. But please make sure you act according to the latest regulations, because they can change any moment.
Do not forget to inform the airline about your transportation of an animal and provide an appropriate cage (with special bins for food an water) that is consistent with the regulations of the according airline. Small dogs (below 5 kilos) can normally be carried on board in your carry on luggage.
Please also think about the fact, that some airlines do not transport any animals during a specific seasons of the year. Make sure you know exactly in what time you travel and what kind of problems or regulations you could face. If you did not book a direct flight, please take also into account that not all hotels are keen on welcoming your „little darling“. Make sure just shortly before you fly that your airline transports the animal should bad weather conditions be fore casted. In case of heavy turbulences the airline could refuse transporting domestic animals.
Tip: Some airlines refuse the transportation of so called fighter breeds (Dobermann, Rottweiler, Pit Bull). For exotic animals you'll need a special permit from the Ministerio de Ambiente Natural de Costa Rica (MINAE).