Cost of Living at Lake Arenal – From Doug & Irene Ward

“Scott: My name is Doug Ward and we are situated between two 100 acre dairy farms on the northwest end of Lake Arenal, five minutes from Tilaran which we think is the nicest little town in Costa Rica.

Our property is on a mountain above the lake. We have one of the best views on Lake Arenal.

I have a toucan rescue operation so you can get close up and personal with them and we also rent out high end cabins in a botanical garden environment in the Lake Arenal area. I’m a retired landscaper-fish farmer so my home here is an ongoing project as I find more and more rare plants and the scenery here is hallucinogenic!

The climate here is a microclimate of cool mountain cloud forest so the place is loaded with orchids, flowering trees, howler monkeys and birds… Especially toucans, Amazon parrots and oropendolas. Temperatures during the day are a breezy 73-77 degrees and at night you’ll definitely want a blanket and maybe a flannel shirt to wear outside.

Our Cost of Living at Lake Arenal:

Here’s what we came up with for our cost of living in Costa Rica.

We have a huge house with all the gadgets and two cabins and a rancho and many animals to care for so what I will describe here are the costs for me, wifey and the basics.

  • Electricity $60
  • Phone $20
  • Internet around $35
  • Satellite Premium $60
  • Average weekly grocery trip $80 (I’m including fruit which a portion of it is for my toucans) Toss in some wine and a fillet mignon or two and call it US$400 a month. I eat high quality and varied foods and we do have huge gardens but these numbers would still be accurate for the average person.
  • Health insurance from INS (the best ‘international policy they have) $165
  • Auto insurance $65
  • Homeowners (for one million coverage plus add ons) $95
  • My boss (the housekeeper) $240
  • My other boss (the jardinero (gardener)) $240
  • Gasoline is about $300 per month but I do travel all over the place hunting for rare plants
  • Liquor $00 (I make my own, wink-wink) I grew up in Virginia!

Firing up the calculator here… Let’s call it $1,700 a month which is about 25% of what it cost us for an equivalent lifestyle in Miami just three years ago.

But I shouldn’t say equivalent because the lifestyle here is.. Ummm! Pura Vida!”

Our thanks to Doug and Irene Ward at The Oasis of the Toucans. To rent one of Doug’s lovely cabins in this glorious location, please visit his website or telephone him at (506) 2695-3154

Cost of Living at Lake Arenal – From Doug & Irene Ward.

Article/Property ID Number 1809

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