Where to go in Costa Rica

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    I am thinking about retiring in Costa Rica, I made one 10 day trip but was not prepared to get around and see much. I would like to buy a house, of course want to be near the water, I am a single 61 woman so I don’t want to be too isolated. Is there any particualr place where american retirees have favored. How would you sugest I go about looking around,where should I start. I am planning a trip there but learned from the first time I need a plan…HELP


    I would travel some more there, Before moving, Try the wet season first a couple of times,and different elevation’s


    Yes, I am planning a trip this summer and trying to figure out where and how to see the country. Your voice of experience seemed to say the wet season would be an eye opener…I think the beach would be the place for me, I saw mountains when I was there and it seemed very rural, I am concerned about being too isolated since I will be alone. Thanks for your response Jackie


    The central valley is beautiful and has near perfect weather year round. It has a large expat community and access to the best medical facilities in the country. If you really desire a beach location check out playa de coco and playa flamingo in guanacaste also seems full of expats as well as great year round weather. You should be able to arrange something through this website with a real estate broker that knows these areas. The wet season does not have a real big impact in these areas.


    thanks for the info but what is an expat, maybe I am one…


    a foreigner living in a country other than his own.


    Yes, Jackie, you need a plan.
    Beaches are lovely and I visit at least once a month.
    How do you want to spend your ‘everydays’, do you enjoy, birding? gardening? meetings with other like minded people? eg service clubs? orchid societies? womens’ clubs?
    Do you want ‘in house’ internet? direct TV?
    Do you want a condominium or an independent house? how big a garden? what would you like to plant?
    Do you want to keep a cat? a dog? a bird?
    Will you have a car or depend on public transportation and taxies?
    I asked myself these questions more than 5 years ago and looked at locations from the Central Valley to Guanacaste and the Osa along the Pacific coast. I tried living a month at the time in several places before deciding that a village in the west of the central valley within ‘easy’ driving or bus distance from San Jose with its theatres, shopping and expatriot activities and the Central Pacific with the beaches and plenty of hotels, was the place for me.
    I agree that both Flamingo and Coco were close to ideal but too hot and dry for full time living, however, I always bring guests from the cold north to Flamingo Beach, if they visit Feb. to April.
    In my little village, I am an active volunteer in the local school and find that the residents eagerly help me with both my Spanish and my needs for manual labour.
    This is a lovely country with a gentle and caring culture. I hope you find what you want and need, and enjoy it as much as I do.


    thank you Anne, that is a great response Iwill answer every question, it sounds like you have found the perfect place. I think near enough to San Jose is a good idea, I do want a house, have dogs, want kind of lush, I like working in the yard, do want internet and direct tv I do plan to make a couple of trips, I think I am about 3 yrs from making the final move so I plan to make as many trips as possible and spend time looking around. what is the name of your village. thanks Jackie


    First, I would strongly recommend you spend four days and about $1,100 for George Lundquist’s excellent tour of the Central Valley for folks who are thinking of a move here. George is a fountain of information and will give you a structured look at the options and choices. See http://www.costaricaretireonss.com/tours.htm

    Next, I would consider three important factors. They are:

    CLIMATE. Generally, the higher you go the cooler the climate. If you look at the data for the coasts, you’ll find consistently hot and humid weather year ’round. At 4,200 feet above sea level in the Central Valley, our overnight low has been 53 degrees F; daytime high – about 84. We have neither heat nor air conditioning, and rarely turn on the ceiling fans. Our windows are open 24/7.

    COMMUNITY: If you are a social animal, you will probably feel better about your choice if you live in an area where at least some Americans and Canadians live. The Costa Rican people we have met have been universally warm, welcoming, friendly, helpful, and tolerant of our lack of Spanish, but it’s comforting to be able to have a conversation with someone you can really communicate with, and that’ll probably be English-speakers.

    AMENITIES: Unless you’re doing a genuine “return-to-the-earth” thing, you’re going to miss some of the things that aren’t commonly available in every soda and pulperia in Costa Rica. So consider how you’re going to get to the larger food markets, malls, a variety of restaurants, etc to find the things you’re used to having. We met a woman in Escazu who was visiting from for a week. She was getting her Jaguar repaired (by the only dealer in C.R.) and buying things for her house under construction that are not available locally. Think about what you can do without.

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