After a wonderful experience hostel hopping in Costa Rica, I have decided to open a surf hostel of my own and change my way of life (I currently work in a large corporation). My destination of choice would definitely by Central America, ideally Costa Rica or Panama, due to it's beautiful nature, good surf and rising tourism. The plan is to start from scratch and make my idea come alive, rather than buying some existing business. I would buy or lease to buy a piece of land near a good surf beach (purchase value around $50,000) and build my hostel on that.
Of course, there is a million things to organize and possibly a couple years of planning and learning Spanish ahead. What I think will be the biggest challenge for me though is the legislative factor.
1. Will I need a Rentista Visa which I understand is for "small investors", or an Inversionista Visa which is for "large investors"?
2. What licences/documentation/etc. will I need to purchase or lease a piece of land?
3. How difficult will it be for me to get all the legislative approvals/licences etc. to build on a piece of land which I purchase/lease?
4. How strict is Costa Rica (or is it possible to say Central America in general) on licences to serve alcohol, to serve food, hygiene facilities, etc. etc.?
I would very much appreciate any advice I can get. It is all a big question mark at the moment, and besides learning Spanish and planning to work in a hostel this summer I don't know where to start.
I have seen how helpful everyone has been on these forumns and I sincerely cannot wait to be a part of that type of community :) Many thanks to anyone happy to share their wisdon and experience!