Dogs Around the World
Costa Rica

Do dogs have it made in this tropical Central American country?
dog friendly costa rica manuel jaco beach
Lab mix watching the waves on Herradura Beach in Jaco, CR.

While down in Costa Rica, I couldn’t help but notice the prominent culture focus on dogs. To say Costa Rica is dog-friendly would certainly be an understatement. Of course dogs are allowed on patios, in stores and hotels (the normal stuff in the states), but also grocery stores, restaurants and pretty much anywhere humans can go. It’s rare not to see a local with a dog by their side.

Costa Rica Dog Friendly Montezuma
Dog and owner picking out fresh fruit at the small grocery store in Montezuma, CR

Not only are dogs companions in this spanish-speaking tropical paradise, they are also integral part of the family. Almost every home has a dog for security purposes and as a family protector.

dog friendly costa rica
Resident dog at local hotel reception in Montezuma, CR

It’s somewhat hard to tell the strays from owned pets. Most have a collar or bandana to signify ownership, but it’s not very common to see pets on leashes. They run around the towns and beaches on their own, even if they do belong to a family.

Dogs Around the World Costa Rica
Little guy sun bathing with mended broken leg.

I was caught off guard to see dogs in the most unexpected places. The photo below, located in Montezuma Falls, took us about an hour hike from town center through forests, canopy bridges and trails to get to the infamous waterfalls. Upon our tired and sweaty arrival, we were greeted by this guy drinking from the spring and watching the tourists swim in the waterfall pool.


Drinking and relaxing at Montezuma Waterfalls in Costa Rica.

While the weather is almost always hot and humid, these Costa Rican dogs certainly know how to cool off. Seems like dogs have a pretty good life down here in this tropical paradise.

Dogs Around the World Costa Rica
Dogs Around the World Costa Rica: Yellow Lab cools down from the hot sun in the Pacific Ocean.

Next week we’re visiting Territorio De Zaguates (which translates to Land of the Strays), a unique no-kill shelter in Costa Rica that has over nine-hundred adoptable dogs. Stay tuned for pictures!

About Jeannie North

Hi! I’m Jeannie North, co-founder of and I’m an Omaha native and live in Dundee Omaha with my two doodles, Rue and Ripley and my husband. We love the outdoors, traveling and trying new food!

1 comment

  1. Kim

    That poor dog 2nd from the bottom looks very bony! Poor dog! Pretty good life indeed!

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