Chapter 4 Life in Costa Rica posted by on May 11, 2012
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Maybe you’ve read tons of guidebooks, participated in internet discussion lists, etc., about Costa Rica – but what is life really like here anyway?


We have chosen a few articles below to give you this important information.  It seems like people either love this place or hate it, and there just doesn’t seem to be a way to know until you actually try it out for yourself.


Enjoy the articles below, and remember, when you do decide to try it out, it is my suggestion that you rent for about a year so you can give it a try before you buy.


Lots of people don’t take that advice, and those who want to sell you a house usually won’t tell this to you, but there, I got it out, so you can either take it or leave it.  Personally, I hope you take it to heart!


Also note that we will be adding material to this page as often as we can.








Why Move to Costa Rica?


by Paul Altobelli


Living in Costa Rica is the ultimate expression of personal freedom. This oasis of unsurpassed beauty, eco-diversity, and “the perfect wave” is nestled peacefully between the warm waters of the Caribbean and the Pacific. Each year, surfers, retirees and adventurers are attracted to its shores to experience an unmatched quality of life, low cost of living and “Garden of Eden” features.


Costa Rica’s current real estate boom is driven by investors and developers from around the world who view favorable tax laws, land affordability, and the country’s democratic stability as key drivers for a sound investment.


Excellent, affordable health care by U.S.-trained, English-speaking physicians using state-of-the-art medical equipment. Many people come to Costa Rica from around the world for affordable cosmetic surgery.


An American population of approximately 50,000. There are more Americans living in Costa Rica than Costa Ricans living in American. They have no desire to leave thispeaceful, beautiful country.


Great weather year-round, with an average temperature of 89 degree F on the Pacific seacoast.


Home to 5% of the Earth’s known species in a country the size of West Virginia.


Tropical rainforests, seven active and 60 dormant volcanoes, mountain forests, 9,000 species of plants including 1,400 species of orchids, exotic animals and abundant national parks.


Clean, drinkable water throughout the country.


A population of warm, wonderful people who truly love and emulate Americans. Many speak English.


Solid infrastructure, with electricity installed throughout the country… even in the smallest towns. The best telecommunications in Central America with cell phone service, 120 radio stations, a dozen TV stations and internet accessibility in almost every town and village.


Travel writer Christopher P. Baker says Costa Rica has a proud history as Central America’s most stable democracy (elections are so trouble-free that crowd control at polling stations is handled in part by school children). He describes how Ticos (as the friendly Costa Ricans are known) pride themselves as having more teachers than policemen. There is no army in this neutral country.


So with the soaring cost of South Florida and Southern California real estate, Costa Rica is an excellent alternate for those seeking a vacation home or retirement home with many of the same amenities as the USA at a fraction of the cost. This is why Costa Rica is becoming the logical extension of South Florida and Southern California for those still seeking tranquility, peace, and harmony at an affordable investment.



About the Author


Paul Altobelli is an internet marketing specialist experienced in strategic planning, lead generation, website development, search engine optimization, internet sales and marketing program development. He also loves to cook. For more of Paul’s italian recipes visit or email Paul directly at






Retiring Overseas – A Better & Familiar Lifestyle Close To Home


by Sacha Tarkovsky


More people than ever are retiring overseas, as they cannot maintain the same lifestyle at home as medical costs soar, inflation depletes their savings and state support declines.


For most people they want a quality lifestyle at a cheaper cost, but they don’t want a culture shock. They still want to be close to home with all the comforts and there is one country that offers this:


Costa Rica


Record numbers of Americans are moving here, as it’s an affordable quality lifestyle and the culture shock is minimal for the following reasons:




Costa Rica is one of the richest countries in Central America and infrastructure such as roads, airports internet access, property, shops and entertainment are all of a high quality.


Large Community of retirees


Retiring overseas to Costa Rica has been the choice destination of Americans for the last decade and the large community that has built up here, has brought with it a culture to make new arrivals feel that they have the comforts of home around them.


Another important point to keep in mind is Costa Rica is just a 3 hour direct flight from the southern US states, so it really is no different to moving states in the US.


The main reason people are retiring overseas though is to get a better quality of life at an affordable cost.


Costa Rica is popular and will continue to be so, due to the following reasons:




Beachfront property at up to 70% less than in the US and a country where you can live on $2,000 a month comfortably, means that those social security checks simply go much further.


Quality of life


Low crime, friendly locals and people who have time for each other (just like they did years ago), in one of the most beautiful countries on earth, add up to a stunning lifestyle.


When you’re in your “golden years” you want to enjoy them!


Costa Rica allows you to do just that, in one of the most beautiful countries on earth.


Pristine beaches, volcanoes, rainforest and an abundance of wildlife, make this a country of diversity and beauty.


You can relax and enjoy a wide variety of leisure including:


World class fishing, treks in the rainforest, sailing or maybe just a round of golf – The list is endless and you will never be bored.


Baby boomers will continue to retire overseas and Costa Rica will remain a destination that attracts more and more people.


Retirees get an affordable lifestyle and a quality of life that is simply not available in the US and Costa Rica is just 3 hours from the US.


If retiring overseas has not been something you have considered before because you don’t want to be in a totally different culture, Costa Rica offers you the best of both worlds:


An affordable slice of paradise and all the comforts of home.


If you have never considered retiring overseas, then consider Costa Rica and you may be glad you did.



FREE Retiring overseas guide


For a guide to retiring overseas featuring living and investing in Costa Rica – Find out all the advantages at




Living in Costa Rica


by Frank Collins



Things to know if you want to live in Costa Rica


Costa Rica, officially known as the Republic of Costa Rica, was the first country in Central America to constitutionally abolish its military. This country has been blessed with the greatest bulk of species in the world. Costa Rica has been blessed with a tropical climate, thus having beautiful beaches and rainforest that attract the attention of a lot of people seeking for a place to retire.


Some people consider Costa Rica as a perfect place to relax and spend the rest of their life. However, you need to be aware that life in Costa Rica may not be easy. It has been said that Costa Rica is the most expensive country in Central America despite the fact that it is the second smallest country in that region.


Costa Rica has a stable economy but you need to be aware that the salary is somewhat low. A couple could live reasonably and economically OK with a budget of $1000 a month. This means that they should rent a small house, ride buses, not going on trips or indulging in any forms of pleasure and luxury. Other commodities are cheap like local foods. However, be prepared to spend a lot if you are looking for imported goods because these items are usually expensive. You will be able to practice your budgeting skills during shopping because you will learn how to determine the things that you need to buy and those that can wait.


Buying a car is considered a luxury in Costa Rica. Car parts are usually expensive and could be hard to find. The good thing is that labor costs for local mechanics are cheaper compared to the United States. Some people may think of importing a car but this is not a good move. There are a lot of fees that you need to pay to get it through.


Even if the cost of some merchandise in Costa Rica is expensive, the thought of living in a community with a group of friendly people could encourage you that Costa Rica is not a bad country to be in. Hiring a gardener or maid will cost you a minimal price because labor is usually paid at a cheaper price in Costa Rica.


Some people upon learning of the bad reviews of living in Costa Rica gets discouraged and tend to look at the other neighboring countries that they heard offer a lower cost of living. The information about lower cost of living in adjacent countries may be true but do not expect a quality of living similar to what you will get from Costa Rica.


Basically, it depends on you how you would like to live in Costa Rica. It is simply logical to expect something to cost more, as you demand more luxurious and extravagant items or lifestyle. But if you keep things simple and live within your means, you will realize that Costa Rica is a good place to be. It is just a matter of how you spend your money and how much to see all the benefits your memorable stay in Costa Rica.



About the Author


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Take the mystery and guesswork out of your relocation plans, your travel plans, your business plans, or whatever it is you plan to do here in Costa Rica.  We will be happy to consult with you so that you can get what you want done with a minimum of hassles, expense, or problems.  We know the ropes after being here for 16 years.  Contact me today for our assistance by writing to our Customer Service by submitting the contact form.


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