In Costa Rica, the area where the sea meets the land is known as the maritime land zone, ZMT, and it’s controlled by laws that define this boundary calculated inland from the average high tide. The maritime land zone is considered national territory owned by the State of Costa Rica, meaning it can’t be sold or owned privately over time. However, it is possible to lease some of this land under a Costa Rica concession agreement,  and in very rare cases there are private titled beachfront properties that do not fall under the maritime land zone law. The main law that governs this maritime zone is called “Ley de la Zona Marítima Terrestre” or Law 6043.

Maritime Zone Costa Rica

The maritime land zone in Costa Rica is divided into two distinct areas which together comprise 200 meters inland as measured from high-tide.  Yes, it can be a moving target, but not to worry, there are established parameters for this.

The two areas that comprise the 200m maritime land zone in Costa Rica are:

The Public Zone (50m): The first area out of the water is called the Public Zone (Zona Pública). This area extends 50 meters inland calculated from the average high-tide point where water meets land.

The Restricted Zone (150m): The second part of the Maritime Zone is an area measured 150 meters inland from the end of the public zone. It’s called the restricted zone (Zona Restringida).

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