Electricity: ICE (pronounced: “E-say”) is the government owned/operated electric and phone company in the Nosara area. The ICE office is located in Arenales neighborhood about 150 meters west of Super Vida market. While short power outages and power surges are frequent, service is generally reliable. It makes sense to have candles/flashlights in your home… just-in-case. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED you use surge protectors for any valuable appliance (TV, refrigerator, computers, etc). Electricity is fairly expensive in Costa Rica overall, especially if your home uses 220 volt appliances regularly (dryer, pool pump, etc). We save money by switching to LED lights, hang drying laundry, not using AC and recently upgraded our pool pump. You can expect your energy bill to be as little as $100/month and I’ve seen it has high as $800/month (guess which one blasted the AC day and night…). For residences, there are two different tariffs whether you are over/under 3000 KWH.
For the latest rates: http://costarica.com/business/electricity-rates/
The below chart lists costs in Costa Rica Colones.
Charges on consumption under 3,000 kWh
|First 200 kWh||67 CRC/kWh|
|From 201 to 300 kWh||124 CRC/kWh|
|Each KWh over 300KWh||139 CRC/kWh|
Charges on consumption over 3,000 kWh
|First 3,000 kWh or less||106 CRC/kWh|
|Charge per additional kWh||64 CRC|
|Charge per KW||9,793 CRC|
|Charge for first 8 KW||???|
Cell Phones: There is good cell phone coverage for both 3G and 4G all over the Nosara area. The two main providers are ICE and Movistar. Your options include getting a pre-paid card for your phone. The card can be renewed as your minutes run out by purchasing a card with more minutes in convenient stores. Or, you can go the more traditional route and get a monthly plan. If you are not a citizen/legal resident you can get a monthly plan by using a Costa Rica Corporation (S.A.). You will need to bring with you your passport and the ‘Personaria Juridica’ of the corporation which can be obtained from your attorney or any public bank for about $6. You can get the latest phones with those plans or simply the chip to put into a phone you already own.
Internet: The most common Internet providers in Nosara are ICE and CableTica. They have traditionally provided ADSL or DSL (8MB to 20MB); however, Nosara now has Fiber Optic run through most of town and you can now get 100MB+ in many locations! For those who live within ‘line-of-site’ to certain towers, there companies like Wimax providing high speed internet as well with up to 100MB. The future is here!!!
Television: The two primary TV providers in Nosara are SkyTV (www.skycostarica.net) which comes via satellite and Cable Tica (www.cabletica.com) which is cable TV. Both have a ton of channels I wouldn’t watch. Sky TV tends to have more programming in English and you can get things like: NFL, MLB and NBA packages. Many Nosara residents will also watch TV over the Internet on devices like USTVNOW and AppleTV.