Experiences involving alcohol in Costa Rica
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
I plan to include alcohol during my experience, is there anything I should be thinking about?
Yes. If you plan to include alcohol during your experience, we encourage you to please keep your safety, and that of your guests, front of mind.
Safe experiences do not involve providing alcohol to a Guest:
- Who is under 18;
- Who will be driving or operating any type of vehicle;
- Who looks or acts inebriated;
- Who has informed you that they are ill or has a drinking problem; or
- Until after any portion of an Experience involving physical activity (like yoga, swimming, hiking, biking) or activities that involve operating machinery is complete.
In addition, if you are hosting an experience with alcohol in a public venue or outdoor space, make sure alcohol is permitted to be consumed in that venue and consider whether a permit is required.
Do I need a license if I serve alcohol to my guests at my home, at a private venue or outdoors?
To sell alcohol to your guests, you need a license under Costa Rica´s Law and each Municipality´s regulation. Note that, for a variety of reasons, licenses are not generally available for alcohol sold at a private residence. Selling alcohol includes situations where:
- You sell alcohol to your Guest (by, for example, charging Guests for a glass of wine you serve yourself).
- Your Experience Price includes a charge for any alcohol you serve yourself.
Serving Complimentary Alcohol:
Costa Rica´s regulation allows alcohol to be served at private, invitation-only events if you are not selling alcohol to your Guests. This means you may not need a license to serve alcohol to your Guests at a party that meets all of these requirements:
- You don’t charge the alcohol you serve (this means your Experience price cannot include the cost of any alcohol you serve to your guests) and/or you invite your Guests to bring their own alcohol; and
- If your Listing notes that alcohol will be served by you as part of your Experience, you clearly mention that this alcohol will be provided “at no charge;” and
- Your party is pre-booked by Guests and you don’t let in people who are not invited or pre-booked.
Generally speaking, this is a tricky area and we encourage you to check with your local Municipality and speak to a lawyer to make sure you are correctly interpreting these provisions and are following your local laws.
Permit related issues: it is not feasible for you to obtain a permanent alcohol permit as it cannot be tied within a residential area, and permits might be limited to a number, in accordance with your area´s population.
What if my experience takes place at a bar?
You would be unlikely to run afoul of regulations if you take your guests to your favorite local bars or restaurants that are licensed under Costa Rica´s regulation, since bars and restaurants should all have a liquor license. If your Experience takes place at a bar, please verify that your Guests are over 18 years old and that the restaurant or bar your Experience will be taking place in has the proper documentation.
What if my Experience is BYO, and I want to allow guests to bring their own alcohol?
If your experience is in your private home or other private location and it is not open to the general public, then hosting a BYO experience does not appear to require an alcohol permit under Costa Rica´s regulation. You must make sure all Guests within the Experience are over 18 years old.
I brew my own beer or produce my own wine. What do I need to keep in mind?
You must have permits in order to brew your own beer or produce your own wine. Without it, you cannot sell nor serve home brew or wine (or other alcohol) to your Guests.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).