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Costa Rica opens waters to foreign superyacht charters

13 April 2021• Written by Olivia Michel

Offering 800 miles of pristine coastline and lush rainforests teeming with exotic flora and fauna, Costa Rica is a Central American paradise. With the recent passing of charter legislations, the country now has the opportunity to become a yachting haven.

A marina in Costa Rica's Puntarenas Province
Image credit: Unsplash

For the first time, foreign-flagged luxury charter vessels measuring 24 metres and above will be able to charter legally within Costa Rica and remain in the country for an entire year. The change in legislation follows the recent sitting of the Costa Rica Legislative Assembly that voted 47-0 in favour of reforming existing Marina law to allow easier accessibility for foreign charter yachts into Costa Rican waters.

Upon signing the new law on April 5, 2021, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada explained: “This legal reform introduces new characteristics for marina concessionaires and for foreign vessels that dock in their spaces, thereby facilitating and strengthening the dynamics of nautical tourism in Costa Rica.”

Costa Rica is renowned for its diverse wildlife
Image credit: Unsplash

The landmark ruling comes after significant contribution from superyacht charter broker Fraser, which worked alongside The Costa Rica Marina Association to lobby for the changes in superyacht regulations.

The Fraser advisory team, which includes senior charter brokers Diane Fraser and Debra Blackburn and yacht services manager Peter Selivanoff, will now work with Government legislators to codify the regulations and procedures. It is expected that the changes will be finalised and put into operation by September 2021.

Fraser CEO Raphael Sauleau
Image credit: Fraser Yachts

"Costa Rica has long been on the wish list of so many of our charter clients in search of the exceptional […] Costa Rica has so much to offer, we cannot wait to be able to facilitate clients from around the world having the chance to explore it with a yacht as their base,”commented Fraser CEO Raphael Sauleau.

Charter superyachts will now have access to 800 miles of Costa Rica's pristine coastline
Image credit: Pexels

Costa Rica is already well prepared to welcome superyachts; world-class marina facilities have been built in the regions of Papagayo, Herradura, Quepos and Golfito, with more set to open over the next year.

Over the past few months, the country’s pristine waters have played host to a number of sizeable superyachts, including expeditions yachts 87.57 metre Arctic P and 91.4 metre Voyager as well as one of the world’s most expensive charter yachts, the 95 metre Madsummer.

Madsummer was spotted cruising around Costa Rica in April 2021
Image credit: Jeff Brown/Breed Media

Thanks to the new changes in legislation, the country will now be more open than ever to superyachts hoping to explore the unique bidoversity and stunning landscapes of Costa Rica.