Living in Costa Rica. Top ten reasons why I love living in Manuel Antonio with free video.

Finally, WeLoveCostaRica.com’s trusted editor and friend Scott Oliver allows us the opportunity to live out our frustrated dreams of writing for the David Letterman show…

I have gone so far as to break out the old Top Ten T-shirts from my high school days, which by the way are a whole lot smaller than I remember them being, and am inspired to share with the readers of the forum the Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Living in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Living in Manuel Antonio Video.


The list of reasons why I love living is a LOT longer than 10 items, but we will try to keep this culled down to a reasonable length and focus on the serious points which make this area so special.

  1. The Natural Beauty of Manuel Antonio…

    Let’s face it! We all came here, visit, stayed or dream of staying due to the iconic beauty and natural setting which has defined Costa Rica on the international stage.

    Perhaps no image is more iconic on a national scale that Cathedral Point, within Manuel Antonio National Park, and the rainforest lined mountains reaching to the blue bays, white sand beaches and islands dotting our coastline here in Manuel Antonio.

    The image of our park here is even on the drivers licenses for Costa Rica and the combination of lush jungle, beautiful beaches, wildlife and a protected park are truly the calling card for Costa Rica and its reputation on a global scale.

  2. Real Costa Rican History.

    While this is certainly one of the most magical places in terms of its natural beauty, it is also incredibly rewarding to live in a place that has a unique history and story to go along with the stunning natural setting.

    Quepos and Manuel Antonio were put on the map long before tourism became a part of the community and the history of the Quepoa Indian tribes, first international explorers to arrive to the area and then the subsequent arrival of the United Fruit Company with the enormous banana and subsequent African Palm Plantations is the stuff legends are made of.

    The term Banana Republic is an authentic reflection of some of the realities, impact and history which these massive companies had on the local populace, both good and bad and being able to hear my grandfather (on my wife’s side who was living here three generations ago) was truly an awe inspiring experience.

    The pride that the local residents have and long history are amazing and truly unique for coastal areas here in Costa Rica.

  3. The Local People.

    Hand in hand with the history is the reality that Manuel Antonio is one of the few, very highly visited touristic areas, which also has a sizeable local population. For some, this might be a turn off, but it is one of the MAIN reasons I chose to live here.

    I love having an international population and some of the modern amenities, lifestyle, options and tourism dollars and opportunities which I will touch on as other reasons I love living here, but so many other areas only offer those without any real local populace.

    My wife was born here, so were my in laws, my kids are being raised here and we have the opportunity to be both tourists and locals. Fine dining one night, ceviche and chifrijo the next.

    Walk the streets of the area on ANY given day and there are more locals than tourists and I LOVE this.

    For the buyers who prefer the mega resorts, this is likely not a positive, but for someone looking for an authentic experience, without having to live like Davey Crocket, this is the best.

    It is important to note that living and investing in Costa Rica without building relationships with the local population is leaving a HUGE HOLE in why the experience is so magical.

    We can learn a lot from this culture and its people about happiness and how to live life.. Doing that in a place with no real local population or those who are only there after commuting to work is almost impossible.

  4. Improving Infrastructure

    It is highly unlikely this would have been mentioned in an article 17 years ago when I first moved here, but it is a very real part of the attraction today.

    A 2.5 hour drive to San jose, a local hospital, readily available high-speed internet from three different sources, hard phone lines, a regional airport with up to 10 daily flights from two national airlines, a world class marina which is now back in full construction and completion mode, 5 banks, professional services, garbage pickup, recycling pick up, etc. etc.

    A LOT of what you take for granted in the USA and Canada are NOT always readily accessible in the coastal regions but the Manuel Antonio area has it all.

  5. Great, Fresh and Healthy Local Food!

    I could write on a book on just this one topic, but lets just say you will not STARVE here.

    Anything from authentic local ribs and ceviche in rural dives to white glove service with champagne and caviar and EVERYTHING in between.

    We eat good, and with the exception of the wine and caviar mentioned above, we also tend to EAT LOCAL.

    Fish from the ocean, chicken and cattle from local farms, veggies from the farmers markets and local producers.

  6. An Interesting, International Population.

    Having a real local, native population is a huge draw. Having said that, I recognize that MOST of my clients and investors do not speak fluent Spanish and while they appreciate the opportunity to build those local bonds, they are not quite ready to give up on relationships with other North American or Europeans as well.

    Most coastal towns give you one or the other. Live with the expats or, live with the locals. Here in Manuel Antonio, WE DO BOTH.

    We have a vibrant year round population of citizens from the USA, Canada, Italy, France, Holland, Germany and Switzerland to name a few. They bring with them international savvy, cuisine, culture and diversified views.

  7. Good Educational Opportunities.

    While not all of the readers of this forum have kids.. or even like kids, for me, father of two amazing girls, living in a community where I could provide an excellent education to my girls was of paramount importance.

    I think that this is also a very important aspect even for investors without kids school age as a well developed private and public education system is the real test of a society and its success is oftentimes inextricably linked to the development, stability, security and sophistication of the destination as a whole.

    Certainly a more long term vision and impact, but the investments of our clients typically are about long term dreams, not quick plays so important to note.

  8. Tourism Hotspots.

    Manuel Antonio is the smallest national park in Costa Rica and nearly the most visited in total numbers and certainly the MOST visited by international tourism.

    Poas Volcano and its park have more visitors, but that’s largely due to the number of national, local and school trips visiting. This has an important effect on the stability of property values, resale, rental potential, growth of services, security, and the integrity of your investment.

    We are FAR FROM an overdeveloped Cancun like destination but certain revel in the positives which a thriving tourism economy provides for me as an expat living and the economic opportunities it is providing for a generation of local residents and entrepreneurs.

  9. Real Estate Supply & Demand

    I love living, working and investing in an area where real estate values and markets are easy to understand and are not subject to the kind of abstract speculation which many other areas rely on.

    While not an island by definition, the real estate market in this area works with an island like mentality as this area is surrounded to the North by a large agricultural plain, to the east by one and to the south by one as well.

    The few thousand acres of land here with the topographic diversity and forest that runs down to the Pacific ocean takes about a day to cover in its totality.

    Certainly a lifetime of things to do here, but many of my clients are amazed that I can drive them down every road between breakfast and lunch. REAL ESTATE IS ALWAYS ABOUT SUPPLY AND DEMAND and in my opinion, there is no other real estate market in Costa Rica which is more dynamic than Manuel Antonio.

  10. Location! Location! Location!

    In Manuel Antonio, you are far enough south to get the raw tropical beauty and rainforests. You are far enough north to not suffer from the most intense rains that the country can experience. You are only 2.5 hours drive time to San Jose or 25 minutes flight time, 3 hours to Panama, 2 hours to Osa, 1.5 hours to San Isidro and 45 minutes to Jaco.

    You can wake up at the beach, sleep next to a fireplace in the mountains, drive to and from San Jose in a day. We are CENTRALLY located which allows us as residents to enjoy rural, urban, tropical, mountain, raw, developed, etc. destinations all within minutes or at the most a few hours.

Living in Costa Rica. Top ten reasons why I love living in Manuel Antonio with free video.

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