OK. I have written articles about our life here in San Ignacio de Acosta and Costa Rica in general but, I have never tried to describe this area from a ‘why would you want to live here‘ perspective.
I spend at least one week per month visiting other areas of this beautiful country showing guests how it is to live in each of them and therefore feel qualified to compare the many aspects of the quality of life issues potential residents should be concerned with.
San Ignacio de Acosta is directly on the South side of the highest mountain on the South side of San Jose. The beautiful, new road to get here winds up from the South/East corner of San Jose through Desamparados, Aserri, Tarbaca, and then down through Jorco to San Ignacio.
The total distance is 29 Km it takes about 40 minutes by car from the center of San Jose. The buses run takes about 1+ hours, leaves every hour and costs 240 Colones (or about US$0.59 cents at today’s rate). We are at 3,400 feet altitude, about the same as the upper side of San Jose.
We have formed a ‘neighborhood committee’ to work together to improve our ‘Barrio’. We meet monthly to collect money to improve our common areas; road, street lights, security, etc.
A ‘Barrio’ in Costa Rica is similar to a subdivision in the US. We have named ours ‘Barrio Guanacaste de Acosta’. We are on a ‘caliche’ road that forms a loop and then returns to the paved road to town. There are currently 24 family houses on this road.
The bus ride to our local town is on this about 5 minutes, cost 100 Colones (.25 cents US), it takes 12 minutes to walk to town and a cab will come to our front door in about 5 minutes and charges 350 Colones (.86 cents US) to town. You can drive the back roads to the Pacific ocean beaches in about 2+ hours.
One of the most important aspects of choosing a place to live is the weather. I have been tracking the temperature and find that is never below 62F and never above 75F in our unairconditioned house. It is between 65F and 70F about 18 hours per day, 12 months per year.
The sun comes up over the mountains almost every day to a beautiful clear, blue sky then some time in the PM, during the rainy months, it will cloud over and a gentle tropical rain will occur. We have a small yard and just about anything we plant grows fast and well. This area is a little greener than the Central Valley and much greener than Guanacaste during the dry season.
We do not have screens on the windows and occasionally at night we will have one lone mosquito buzzing around until I swat him. There are never any mosquitoes during the day. There are usually less than two flies enter the kitchen during the day.
All of the town merchants know us and treat us like favorite relatives. The Postmistress is always glad to get our mail from our PO Box even though we do not bring the key. She is not supposed to do this, but this is a small town. All of the 8 employees of the Banco Nacional know us and welcome us whenever we enter. The normal line is less than four customers waiting for the tellers.
US Social Security makes a Direct Deposit to our bank account here in CR on the 3rd of every month and the fee is $6.00 US.
I use my Banco Nacional debit card to get cash from the ATM’s throughout the country. I left the card in the ATM in the Fortuna Branch of the Banco Nacional. I reported it here in San Ignacio and had it back here in 3 days.
The local Market has fresh vegetables everyday, there are four wood fired bakeries in town, several meat markets, 3 good Tico typical style restaurants (3 good lunches, fresh fruit drinks, & ice cream for desert cost $6.17 including tip), 2 good hardware/paint stores and a ‘Mega Super’ grocery store.
We have a holistic medical centre here where we can get a full one hour body massage for the equivalent of US$10 and a real men’s haircut by a male hair stylist including straight edge razor trim and shampoo costs only US$2.50.
Many of our neighbors have adopted us and invite us to their family get togethers and help us with getting any thing we need. They bring food and ‘cures’ when we are sick.
Several of our neighbors are ‘Fuerzo Publica’ officers. They do not remember when the last violent crime occurred. There is no jail here. If there ever is a jailable crime, they have to take the varmint to San Jose.
The price for lots and houses here is not cheap. There seems to be plenty of demand from Ticos who value this area because of the amenities and proximity to San Jose. Small lots are going from $16/m2 to $38/m2.
Phone service is very good and I typically get 46.6K per second on my dial-up modem. It took 3 months to get a second line and about the same to get an additional electric meter for the Mirador I built on top of the house.
We are quite certain we will die in this beautiful Canton; we do not believe there is a better, safer, place for us on this globe.
Costa Rica… What a country!!!
Written by our friend George Lundquist, who is the founder of Costa Rica Retire on Social Security. If you are thinking of retiring in Costa Rica, you might want to consider the tour that George offers, his goal is to share his experiences here with you to save you time and money!
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