Geographically, most of the land next to the 200 first yards from the beach is titled land.Why most ? Indian reserves and national parks are mostly inside the title zone, and you really don’t want to buy them! A piece of land should have a title, called escritura. But because of the cost, a lot of owners only have a survey, called plano.
A title process doesn’t take that long , when in the hand of the right lawyer.
In the southern zone of Costa Rica, you can build up to a 3 storey house on a piece of titled land or located in the title zone.
The title of the land is registered in the public records called el Registro Nacional. That is where your lawyer will check your land for any liens, easements and restrictions. Title land is the equivalent of the fee simple in the USA.
The first 200 yards from the beach are maritime zone or zona maritima. Inside this 200 yards, the first 50 yards are owned by the government, no building allowed. In our area, it is the municipality of Golfito that defines the use of the next 150 yards.
The use of the land may vary from a recreational park to a hotel zone, restaurant, camping, protection or parking, or residential. So do your homework.
In the Pavones area, only few concessions have yet been issued, however the rest of them are being processed. When you purchase a concession land, you are buying the right to use the land for 20 years ( renewable).You are not buying the land. Foreigners can only “buy” Concession land through a corporation, never in their own name. Concession land are very appealing because they do offer one of a kind life style. I do enjoy waking up and seeing the ocean, grabing my board and going for a surf or a stand up paddle boarding session, walking my dog to the beach, or writing this post 50 meters from the beach: it is quite priceless.