Pet Relocation

Pet relocation is a topic that never gets old.  There is so much to it that the normal pet owners never think about. What is the best airport to send my pets out of? What is the best airlines?  Is it safe to send my pet as cargo?  I’ve heard so many bad things about pet travel, is it safe for Fluffy?

World Pet Travel and their associates have been handling the pet relocation of our clients for almost 10 years now and we know the best options available for anyone trying to arrange pet travel on their own.

We STRONGLY discourage anyone trying to handle an international move on their own.  The laws that surround international pet relocation can be very complex and complicated to someone that is not aware of the all of the details involved.

If you do something wrong, or don’t have the right paperwork and documents when you enter another country, your pet will either be sent back to the country of origin or worse euthenized.  This is why you don’t want to take chances with those that you love.

We are coming upon the busy season now so it gets a little hectic around here but we will get back to you with the details of your pet move as soon as possible if you contact us for help.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Check out Costa Rica

Try it out for awhile before moving to Costa Rica.  So many people contact me ready to move the house the kids and the dogs/cats to Costa Rica without ever visiting the country.  I believe that this is not a good idea for anyone and strongly discourage this as does anyone that has lived here for awhile.

It costs a lot of money to move to Costa Rica, even if you are planning just to come with a suitcase and leave everything else behind for now.  It is far less expensive to come on an extended vacation leaving all of your personal belongings behind until you have had an opportunity to see the country and what it has to offer.

Costa Rica is not for everyone and the majority of people that move down end up moving back to their home country within 2 years or less.  Many don’t make it 6 months before running back home because they can’t deal with the culture, the way of life or the expense of living in what they thought was a cheap place to live.

It is NOT cheap to live in Costa Rica!!!  It costs as much or more to live in Costa Rica than it does to live in the states if you want to maintain the manner in which you were living in the states or your home country.  Housing is expensive, groceries are expensive and if you have children in school, school is beyond expensive in most cases.

Don’t believe everything that you read, this blog included.  Check out Costa Rica for yourself before making the big jump.  You won’t be sorry for taking the time to get to know your way around before moving the kids and Spot.

It can be just as daunting coming alone.  If you think, “it’s just me, what have I got to lose?” The answer to that question is a lot.  You have a lot to lose.  The money that you put into a car, house, residency expenses, deposits etc.  All of this for a place you may decide you can’t live in after 2 months.

Please don’t get me wrong…Costa Rica is a wonderful place to live for SOME PEOPLE.  It is not for everyone.  While my children and I love it like home, my husband has never quite adjusted and prefers the states to the third world ways.  It is not for everyone.  Take your time and CHECK OUT COSTA RICA before making the jump.


Book on Costa Rica

Well…I’m working on it. Actually it is finished. We are now in the process of editing and correcting my mistakes and typo’s. Unfortunately I cannot edit my own work so I am having to rely on the kindness of others to do this for me.

Lots of information in this book. Some of the topics covered are different types of residency in depth, bringing pets in or out of Costa Rica, jobs in Costa Rica, differences in schools, housing options, hiring help, employment laws and so much more.

It’s not too late to add more. It seems like every week I come across another topic that I would like to cover. This is the reason that it has taken so long to finish and I use that word loosely. I might come up with something else tomorrow or get a question that I feel needs to be discussed and it will be added.

Help me out here. Comment on this blog or send me an email to with your questions about Costa Rica and I will try to add on if the subject has not already been addressed.

Sometimes I get so familiar with the answers that I forget the questions.


Cars in Costa Rica

The cost of cars are rising as is anything else in Costa Rica.  Gas and diesel are now about equal where diesel was 150 colones less per liter, now they are running neck in neck to keep up.  This doesn’t help when you are looking at a car to buy.

When we were looking at cars, we always looked for diesel because the fuel was so much less and the mileage seems to be a little better for a diesel car.  Some might disagree but that is our experience.

Renting a car can be a harrowing experience.  You will settle on one price when you get the car, then when you get ready to turn it in there are all of these added charges.  Many of the big name companies do this on a regular basis.  The solution to this is to go with a smaller company.  One where you can meet the owner.  There are a couple of these in Escazu but they are not any cheaper than the big companies.  Renting a car for a month (small car) can run anywhere from $600 -$1000.

To buy a car is really your best bet if you plan on living in Paradise.  But you must be very careful who you buy from and have a mechanic look at the car for sure.  Second hand cars in Costa Rica often have problems that can only be detected by a good mechanic.  People drive the life out of them and with the roads being as bad as they are, they really take a beating.

Low miles and newer car are really the way to go if you don’t go new.  Each car that we have bought has been used and we have had some good cars with only minor repairs needed.  The good thing about repairs is that if the car has easy to find parts like a Hundai or a Nissan, labor is very cheap.

Another point mentioned above…get a car that is popular to Costa Rica and you will be able to find parts.  Many of the cars that Expats bring into Costa Rica, the parts are not readily available and must be ordered from the US, costing mucho dinero.

Hundai’s are very popular and less expensive to work on than say an older model Jeep or Dodge.

Mitsubishi and Nissan are too other cars that are easier to work on and find parts.

Transferring title to the new car is subject for another post and will be up later.


Casino’s in Costa Rica

The Arias (President of Costa Rica) has done a lot of good things for the country in my way of thinking, however not all things are seen as good.

The latest thing to come down from his administration, I do not see as good for the country OR good for tourism.

Arias administration took steps on Thursday to discourage the casino business in Costa Rica.

The first decree is that these new restrictions do not apply to hotels that are rated 3 stars or above.  So means that these new laws are only to affect the lower end hotels.  Not real sure why he would target the less expensive hotels and let the higher end, more financially stable  go clear on that one.

The second decree is that a special health permit for casinos will cost $5,000 a year.  That is a LOT of money for a Costa Rican or Costa Rican business if it is run by Costa Rican’s.

The third decree is the government forbids “free” alcoholic drinks in casino’s.  What is a casino if you can’t get free drinks.  Again, what are they thinking???

The fourth decree is that the casino hours are to be 6pm to 2am.  This is going to be a slam for those casino that count on the traffic during the day.

The last proposed decree is the clincher….it suggests that the casino owners and will others will have to donate for psychological help for addicted gamblers.

There are other things mentioned in this proposal like:

put the operation of slot machines under the consumer protection laws and payback of 85% by the casino to players

requires the casino owners to be the same as the owner of the hotel.

brands casinos as places that can encourage prostitution, drug addition and insecurity.

And there is so much more but I can’t cover it all here.  If you have questions about the above proposed decree or how it will affect your life in Costa Rica, email us.


Book on Costa Rica

Wow, it has been a long time since I have written anything on the blog. It is because I have been so busy writing my book that will soon be available to all my readers. This book is a condensed version of everything you need to know if you are considering moving or investing in Costa Rica. From residency options to moving and working in Costa Rica. More information that you can find in one place anywhere on the internet.

This is the information that I give to my clients when they are considering moving or investing in Costa Rica and it has helped many make the right choices for their family. It is a detailed book that won’t leave any question as to what type of residency you can qualify for or what type of corporation you need to set up and why.

I hope that Ramiro and I will be able to have this book available soon on the website. Until then, continue to call and write with your questions about Costa Rica.

This book also tells you all you need to know about bringing pets into the country and about the schools that are available so that you can make the right choice for your children.

Keep an eye out, check back, and hopefully within a couple of weeks, the book “What you should know before you invest in or Move to Costa Rica” will be available soon.


Deposit Needed

World Pet Travel/Guardian Angels CR and many other pet transporters have encountered problems recently with people contacting us and asking for help with their international moves for their pets.

Just this week Frank and Susana Wheeler from London England, new to Costa Rica, refused to pay for the services that they requested that I have been working on for months in preparation of their pets and their relocation arrangements for housing which they requested me to find them temporary and permanent housing. Since these cats originated in Spain then went onto London and were on their way to Costa Rica there was quite a bit of time and effort put into this move.

Prior to the Wheelers, John and Mary Harding of Phoenix Arizona needed help getting their 13 cats to Costa Rica. After making all of the necessary arrangements with the airlines and customs, the Hardings decided that they did not want to pay WPT for their time or expenses. They would pay for the airline expense but that was it. This has happened 3 times this week and we have been out hundreds of dollars in international phone calls and other expenses involved and will not be reimbursed by these dishonest and cheating people.

For years we have done this at no charge to our client and have never had a problem with our clients following through on their obligation or proceeding with their moves.

As of late, many professional pet transporters including World Pet Travel/Guardian Angels CR have had a problem with people not following through on their move after we and other agents have gone through all the motions setting up the move.

Setting up an international move requires a lot of time, phone calls and contacts with agents and veterinarians in the destination country as well as the departure country. Often times we spend a minimum of 2-3 days pulling everything together for the move with the help of the airlines, other agents and brokers in the country of destination.

After we have made all of the necessary arrangements for this move, including setting up airline reservations and customs arrival requirements, many people have backed out of their obligation to make the move with our company and others. This seems to be a problem across the board with professional pet transporters that work together to insure the safest and most stress-free trip for your pet. If you read our blog, you know that we have been doing this successfully with 100’s of happy clients and 4 legged friends.

Because of this, we will be requiring a deposit from this point forward (February 1, 2008) to work up international moving arrangements for each pet.

World Pet Travel/Guardian Angels CR now requests a deposit of $50.00 per pet to move forward with making the necessary arrangements for your international move.

We are very sorry that it has come to this but at this point, we see no other way to be reimbursed for our expenses when someone backs out of their move at the last minute.

This fee will be credited to your move if you complete your move with us. If you back out at the last minute, your deposit will not be refunded.

Please note pet transportation when handled by a professional pet transporter is tax deductible.


Costa Rica Pet Transportation

I am very upset with the information that I have found on Costa Rica websites regarding importing pets to Costa Rica. This information is not only incorrect it will cause your pets to be put into quarantine or put down upon entry into the country.

One very well known website states that the laws importing birds changed in January 2008 and you are now allowed to bring your birds into Costa Rica but you can never take them out. This is completely and totally wrong according to the MAG (Ministry of Agriculture) in Costa Rica who oversees the importation and exportation of birds.

The laws have not changed since the embargo was put into place in late 2006. The only way to bring your bird into the country is to complete a ridiculous set of tests but the kicker is that you MUST have the flight tendon cut which will prevent your bird from ever being able to fly again. These rules have not changed as of last week. My last conversation with the MAG (the government office that controls the import and export of animals), people that do not meet these requirements will be taken away from the owner and put into quarantine and the owner will never be able to see them again.

None of these sites mention that you must have a CITES permit (CITES stands for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and more information can be found at . CITES is an international treaty drawn up in 1973 to protect wildlife against over-exploitation, and to prevent international trade from threatening species with extinction.) which is required by both the US government which takes 90 days to acquire (minimum) or the CITES that is required by the CR government. You must also get an export permit from the USDA in addition to the health certificate mentioned before you are permitted to leave the US with a bird on the endangered species list which covers just about all birds but cockatiels’ and parakeets.

This is a very hard lesson for someone that has had their birds for 20+ years and I hate like everything that the people that are running these websites are putting up bad information. They are obviously not looking out for the best interest of the animals but trying to please their readers by telling them what they want to hear.

Another website states in several places on their forum that all you need is a health certificate from your local veterinarian within 3 weeks of your arrival in Costa Rica. This is NOT true!!! You must have a health certificate from a USDA accredited vet then the USDA/APHIS form must be signed and sealed by the state USDA veterinarian. This document is only good for 10 days. If you happen to “slip” by customs with the wrong paperwork you are very lucky but unfortunately all of the MINAE quarantine facilities are overrun with animals that didn’t “slip” by. This same website advises their clients to contact the airlines to get the proper information on shipping your pet. The reservation agents with the airlines do not have knowledge of what is required by each country or Consulate to ship a pet to ANY country. If you talk to 5 different agents, you are guaranteed 5 different answers and NONE of them will be correct. The LAST person that you want to go to for information on shipping your pet is the airlines. Contact the closest USDA office to where you live and they can give you the requirements for shipping your pets to any country if you choose not to use a professional pet transporter.

There are professional pet transporters for a reason. I have offices in the US and Costa Rica and get emails weekly from the different airlines with constant changes and updates on the requirements of the airlines. I am also registered with the USDA as an Intermediate Handler and the TSA as a known shipper as well as a member of IPATA which is an International Association of Pet Transporters. These are very difficult licenses to obtain and you do not get these licenses if you don’t know what you are doing.

If because of the expense involved, you do not want to hire a company like mine, please contact the USDA closest to where you live to get the correct information for shipping your pet in or out of Costa Rica. If you are going to a European Country, you would do better off to hire a pet transporter because there is a lot of hoops to jump through to get an animal from a third world country into any European Country and you need someone well versed and well connected to secure a safe transportation for your pet.


Horse Transportation

Horse Transportation Worldwide

World Pet Travel Horse Transportation Division is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality transport service for your horses at competitive prices.

At World Pet Travel, we pride ourselves on providing you with trouble free transport for your horses from door to door.

Fly Horses on Demand

Most importantly, transport is arranged to suit your own personal requirements. We fly horses on demand. Subject to numbers and preparation requirements, we go when you want to go. And any inquiry you make with us is treated in the strictest confidence.

Veterinary Surgeons

World Pet Travel has close connections with qualified veterinary surgeons and road transport companies. However, you can elect to use your own preferred veterinarian and road transport company. World Pet Travel listens to your requirements and makes every possible effort to meet your needs.

Experienced Grooms

All shipments are accompanied by an Experienced Groom that is both licensed and well equipped to deal with any situation that may arise. All horses receive a high quality head collar and lead rope.

World Pet Travel can send your horses accompanied by a groom to almost any destination in the world from Costa Rica or the United States.

International Destinations

Some international destinations include:

• Costa Rica, Central and South America
• Sydney, Melbourne
• Singapore, Kuala Lumpur
• Tokyo, Sapporo
• Seoul
• Shanghai
• Israel
• Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London
• Bombay, Delhi
• Saudi Arabia

For a large numbers of horses, World Pet Travel can arrange to charter an aircraft for your exclusive use.

Horse Travel Within the Continental United States
Can Also be Provided by Air or Ground Transport.


Worldwide Pet Travel

Worldwide Pet Travel provides transportation services for pets moving both international and domestic.  We have offices in Costa Rica and in the Central United States and can move your pets from either location to anywhere worldwide. Focusing on your pet’s safety and comfort, our pet transportation specialists help you with every detail.

Relocating pets requires careful planning and gentle handling. Our animal relocation specialists have been helping pets reach their new homes since 1998. Emphasizing safety and comfort, we navigate the regulations, manage the paperwork and handle your pet with gentle hands and a soft voice.

Why use Worldwide Pet Travel?

Convenience is not the only reason to use a professional pet shipper. Knowing that every detail is being properly addressed is even a higher priority. Seeking the expertise of a professional can assure you piece of mind.

Inexperienced shippers will face complicated regulations. Did you know that regulations are set by the United States Department of Agriculture AND that individual airlines can set their own regulations for domestic travel? Do you realize international travel will have additional regulations set by consulates, customs and quarantine agencies? Are you aware that each of these policy setting agencies are free to change any policy they deem necessary and change it as often as they choose with no notice to the consumer?

None of these policy-setting agencies are required to govern the other. That means that not even the airline is required to share with you all of the set requirements needed to assure a smooth relocation of your pet.

Pets attempted to be shipped without ALL of the required regulations set by each of these individual agencies are subject to being:

1)Denied flying on their scheduled flight
2)Refused entry at the destination airport, and returned to their original origin
3)Not released from the airport after arrival
4)Put into unnecessary quarantine stations

Shipments with these types of complications are always upsetting for the pets’ family. These shipments can then become difficult or impossible to fix and are almost always very costly.

Worldwide Pet Travel goes to great lengths to make sure that your pets travel is stress free. We work with companies in corporate relocations for the family pets.

We are in constant communication with all policy making agencies; we work with them on daily basis. We confirm current airline regulations with every flight booked and know the best routing and aircraft available for pet travel. Our crate labeling system insures that your pet gets to the correct destination. We track the travel and confirm your pets’ safe arrival. In the unlikely event of an unforeseen circumstance we will know what to do and notify you immediately.

World Pet Travel works hand in hand with the pets’ owner to address each pets individual needs. We communicate with the pets owners at length so that there will be no unexpected surprises along the way.

We are pet care professionals first and foremost. Pet Travel is not just an additional service we provide it is THE ONLY service we provide and we do it well.

World Pet Travel formally named Guardian Angels CR has been satisfying our two legged and four legged customers since 1998 with both international and domestic moves.

* Registered, U.S. Department of Agriculture. All procedures meet or exceed USDA Animal Welfare Act specifications.
* Charter member, Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association International (IPATA).