Costa Rica


Costa Rica’s Last Boom Towns Could Make You Rich


Costa Rica is a beautiful country, with long stretches of deserted and undeveloped beaches…dense jungles teeming with exotic wildlife…towering volcanoes, lush green valleys, and hundreds of crystal-clear lakes and rivers…

Not only that, but the country offers a great climate, neighborly atmosphere, a low cost of living, excellent health care, and a stable democracy.


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Fast Facts About Costa Rica

Costa Rica
  • Population: 4,695,942
  • Capital City: San Jose
  • Climate: Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
  • Time Zone: GMT-6
  • Language: Spanish (official), English
  • Country Code: 506
  • Coastline: 1,290km



8 True Stories About a Better Life in Costa Rica

What’s drawing IL readers to Costa Rica? Take your pick—long stretches of deserted and undeveloped beaches (Caribbean and Pacific)…dense jungles teeming with exotic wildlife…towering volcanoes, lush green valleys, and hundreds of crystal-clear lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls… mesmerizing sunrises, sunsets, and star-filled evening skies…an affordable, happy, healthy way of life…

In Costa Rica, My Allergies Have Disappeared...

“In Costa Rica, My Allergies Have Disappeared…”

Life in Costa Rica feels like a dream—but one I don’t have to wake up from. The climate here is awesome. Sunrise and sunset are at the same time every day, allowing my internal clock to get into a natural, uninterrupted rhythm. The sun rises at 5.00 a.m., warms the land and fills me with happiness for 10 months out of the year. A cool breeze flows through the Central Valley, where I live, never allowing the temperature to get too high.


The Perks of Owning a Business by the Beach in Costa Rica

When Brian and Stephanie Gough went on vacation in Tamarindo, a stunning stretch of palm-fringed shoreline on Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast, their lives changed forever. They had such an incredible time that they couldn’t bear the thought of going back to their old lives. So they bought a local restaurant. “We fell in love with Tamarindo,” says Brian.

An Expat's Insight on Living and Working in Costa Rica.

IL Radio Episode 36: An Expat’s Insight on Living and Working in Costa Rica

It’s a long way from Deadwood, South Dakota, to Atenas, Costa Rica, but Tom and Kay Costello made the move nine years ago and have never looked back. In fact, the little bakery and restaurant they started in Atenas is now the nerve center of the expat community there… sooner or later you’ll meet everybody there is to meet at Kay’s Gringo Postres.

Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Like “Buenos Dias” in the rest of Latin America, “Pura Vida” can be used as both greeting or farewell or simply as a happy exclamation. Depending who you ask, it means “good…or pure life,” “plenty of life,” “full of life,” “this is living,” or even “awesome!” or “cool!”


Could They Have Found the True Mayberry?

Every expat who moves from the United States to Costa Rica has to make some adjustments. Things are slower, more relaxed. The lifestyle is about time with family and friends, not work and material possessions. You won’t find big box stores on every corner…

Endless Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in Costa Rica.

Endless Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in Costa Rica

Wingtips, suit and tie sitting in Southern California rush hour traffic…or flip-flops and shorts by the beach on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. It wasn’t a tough choice for Jeff Ruzicka. Today, the 43-year-old runs Marlin del Rey Sailing Tours in Tamarindo and Playas Del Coco on Costa Rica’s Gold Coast. He’s also a co-owner of the business, with his uncle, a long-time expat.


Where to Find a Cool Mountain Climate in Costa Rica

We’re near the top now when a cloud rushes in, and we’re immersed. Zero visibility. Better slow down and pull over. And that puts us in prime position a few seconds later when the cloud has passed to see the entire valley laid out before us. It’s been just a 45-minute drive from the city below but we’re worlds away. I’m in Costa Rica’s Central Valley.


Costa Rica: No Spanish – No Problem

Bless her heart, but my wife’s friend “Linda” (name changed to protect the embarrassed) has a knack for often saying the “wrong” thing when speaking Spanish. And during her recent visit to our home in Costa Rica she outdid herself. At breakfast she tried to tell the waiter she needed more coffee because she was tired (Estoy cansada) but repeated Estoy casada (“I’m married”) several times…

Chopin, Matchmaking, and Indian Gods

Chopin, Matchmaking, and Indian Gods

The renowned Malaysia International Gourmet Festival in Kuala Lumpur runs the whole month of October. Expect a “Theatre of Cuisines” and a “Gourmet Village.” The wonderfully-named Madajazzcar, Madagascar’s leading jazz festival, takes place from October 3 to 15 with performances around the island.

Oct12News & Notes From Around The World

News & Notes from Around the World

For over 400 years, the temple city of Angkor Wat in northern Cambodia served as the capital of the vast and powerful Khmer Empire. From the 9th century, successive kings tried to outdo each other with ever grander designs, and you’ll find their legacy spread across 150 square miles. Ornate carvings, decorated palaces and symbolic temples are everywhere, much of it covered in jungle. At times it feels as if you’ve walked onto the set of Indiana Jones.

Explore All that Costa Rica Has to Offer

Explore All that Costa Rica Has to Offer

Columbus called Costa Rica “the Rich Coast”—and it still is, with Caribbean beaches and Pacific shoreline that’ll take your breath away. But this nation has much more to offer, too: a year-round tropical climate, modern cities, rain forests, lush valleys and majestic mountains.

Video of a Natural Paradise in Costa Rica

Video of a Natural Paradise in Costa Rica

“Stop. Shhh. Listen,” the guide whispers. He brings binoculars up to his eyes in a fluid motion. A sharp intake of breath. “Aaahhh… yes! See that long branch there, with the one brown leaf at the end? Look directly below.”


Costa Rica: A Tropical Paradise You Can Call Home

They come to enjoy fresh fruits and veggies that go straight from the farm to market to your kitchen—for a half to a third of what you’d pay in the U.S. And then there’s the climate—one of the best in the world. It’s cool in the mountains year-round. It warms up along the coast but there are sea breezes to cool things off and shady trees by the beach to enjoy a cold beer under.


How to Earn an Income From Fishing

“Fish don’t live in ugly places” is Captain Ron Saunders’ motto. And that’s certainly true of his home of seven years, Lake Arenal, in the highlands three hours west of Costa Rica’s capital, San José. The 50-year-old former custom cabinet-maker from Las Vegas is living his dream here. A lifelong fisherman, he turned his passion into a business—charter fishing…

The Truth About Teaching English in Costa Rica

The Truth About Teaching English in Costa Rica

Most people go to a tropical paradise to go on vacation. I chose to live in one. Sure it’s not without its challenges, but living in Costa Rica has taught me how to overcome them with grace and without getting bogged down in stress. This is one of the major reasons I choose to live in Costa Rica—Ticos (as Costa Ricans call themselves) possess the secret to true relaxation.

Our Blood Pressure is Lower and Our Tans are Better

“Our Blood Pressure is Lower and Our Tans are Better…”

Katie knew she needed a change, and I was comfortable picking up and exploring the world. The question was where to begin. We started right at home with a seven-month RV tour of the U.S. before traveling in Europe. Finally, with winter looming, we visited tropical Costa Rica. After looking around we settled in Ocotal, a small residential community on the south end of the Gulf of Papagayo.


High-End Furniture for Much Less in Costa Rica

Moving into a “furnished” rental is always a bit of a risk. You never know if you’re going to get cheap particle board pieces or whatever cast offs your landlord could scrounge up. But when we moved to our new home in Costa Rica, we were totally shocked. Everything from the bed frames to the dining table was solid, high-quality tropical hardwood.

Beer and Surfing in Costa Rica

Beer and Surfing in Costa Rica

“I first came to Costa Rica in 2001. Right after college, some friends and I—and my Dad—drove down in an old school bus and opened a surf camp on the northern Pacific coast,” says Joe. The camp has slowly grown into a pretty large operation, and that meant Joe was ready for a new challenge. The key to making it happen began when he struck up a friendship with fellow expat J.P. Cazedessus…


How to Retire at 41

“We did a lot of research on which country was the best fit for us. We narrowed it down to Costa Rica, Belize, Uruguay, and Ecuador. All seemed to have something we were looking for. In the end, Costa Rica won out, at least for now, because it’s a fairly easy flight back to the U.S., the cost of living is still reasonable, and the locals—called Ticos—are very accepting.”


Living in Atenas, Costa Rica

Turns out one of the best places to find small-town America… is in Costa Rica. I’m talking about Atenas, a village of 5,000 in the Central Valley region in the interior of the country. Expats that have made their home here—mostly retirees—say the warm and friendly locals and a very welcoming expat community remind them of where they grew up.

Why You Should Consider a Move to Costa Rica

Why You Should Consider a Move to Costa Rica

Costa Rica makes sense today because—beyond the conveniences—it offers you broad choice in locale and lifestyle. It’s safe. The healthcare is top tier. Yet you still find excellent values—a week’s worth of fresh produce for less than $30…rent on a home with a mountain view, $500…a couple’s health insurance, $600 a year. If you’re ready to dip your toe overseas, Costa Rica remains one of the easiest, most rewarding places to do it. As proof, we bring you stories of expats there…

Travel to Costa Rica for Low-Cost Dental Care

Travel to Costa Rica for Low-Cost Dental Care

My recent trip to Costa Rica was an amazing experience. And to think it only happened because I needed expensive dental work, and that traveling to Costa Rica for it actually paid for most of my vacation. Let me explain… In recent years, dental costs have risen faster than inflation. And since only 55% of U.S. residents have dental insurance, that means half of us are paying cash out-of-pocket…


Pudding, Oysters, and Moroccan Salsa

Parades, dancing, and the election of a Sara Ñusta (Queen of Maize) mark the Fiesta del Yamor in Imbabura, Ecuador, the first week of September. Join in and offer thanks to the sun god for a bountiful harvest. Street traders take over the French city of Lille for the Grande Braderie on September 1 and 2.

Sept2012News and Notes from Around the World

News and Notes from Around the World

Tradition is important in Costa Rica. Along with the modern infrastructure, convenience to big-city shopping and top-quality medical care at a fraction of U.S. prices, you can truly appreciate a simpler—better-quality—life.

You won’t see many of the brightly-decorated ox carts, known as carretas, transporting crops to market these days, but the markets are still going strong…bustling ferias where you’ll pick up delicious fresh produce for much less than the cost back home.

Less Stress, More Adventure Living Well in Costa Rica

Less Stress, More Adventure: Living Well in Costa Rica

Their vacations in tropical places left Denice and Robert Key wishing for more out of life and thinking, “What if…?” The couple had traveled throughout the Caribbean and Mexico when they were younger, and they could never quite escape the itch to retire early and move to a warm, exotic destination—something completely different from their Colorado home.

Easy Living in Costa Rica’s Convenient Central Valley Towns

Easy Living in Costa Rica’s Convenient Central Valley Towns

When we moved to Costa Rica’s Central Valley, one of the things my five-year-old son said he would miss most about the States was going out for Saturday breakfast. In particular, the whipped-cream and strawberry-smothered Belgian waffles he always ordered. (Okay, I like them, too.) But our weekly tradition lives on. Just 50 minutes on a modern highway from our home in Grecia is The Waffle Place, in the San-José suburb of Escazú.

Fishing, Cigars, and Tranquil Lake Life

Fishing, Cigars, and Tranquil Lake Life

“Fish don’t live in ugly places” is Captain Ron Saunders’ motto. And that’s certainly true of his home of seven years, Lake Arenal, in the highlands three hours west of Costa Rica’s capital, San José. The 50-year-old former custom cabinet-maker from Las Vegas is living his dream here. A lifelong fisherman, he turned his passion into a business—charter fishing—that allows him to do what he loves each and every day.

Micro Brewing in Costa Rica

Micro Brewing in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is well known for its beautiful beaches, lush, wildlife-filled jungles, and ideal climate, not to mention low cost of living, bargain real estate, and low-cost medical care. “There was only one problem with Costa Rica,” says California native Joe Walsh. “No pale ale.”

Unlock the "Cut-Price" Caribbean

Unlock the “Cut-Price” Caribbean

Placencia in southern Belize boasts 16 miles of natural soft sand beach, a lagoon fringed with mangroves, and access to the Belize Barrier Reef and hundreds of tiny islands. Twenty dive sites…little marinas…a technicolor reef that’s a giant private aquarium…This place is a water-lover’s dream.

Sternen Stempel rot SOLD OUT

FLASH ALERT: Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast (SOLD OUT)

One member of our little group has the opportunity to lock down a 1.47-acre lot for only $42,000 in the best-in-class project on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. The lot listed for $78,000. Now the owner is in a bind back home. He needs to sell fast. The developer has agreed to help facilitate him. That’s why I’m sending you this Flash Alert today.


Learning to Surf in Costa Rica

I’m in Tamarindo, Costa Rica learning how to surf. I’ve hired a local, Ricardo, who we met on the beach a few days ago. Two hours on the water—just $20. It’s a great deal compared to the many surf schools in town. My five-year-old son is on the water, too. And he’s already an expert, riding wave after wave all the way to the shore. I’m wiping out more than anything…but having a great time.

Revealed: How to Buy Costa Rica for $556 a Month

Revealed: How to Buy Costa Rica for $556 a Month

There’s a special place on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast where bright, thick, green jungle canopy rolls down to a stretch of sandy beaches and rocky points. It’s truly stunning. While prices in places you’ll see in glossy magazines soared…prices here stayed low. It was difficult to get to. But a new smoothly paved coastal highway has changed that. And it’s nicer here.


Retiree Discounts in Costa Rica

Bob Lux sold his business at 62 and retired. But he soon found that Social Security and the small pension he drew from a job in his younger days wasn’t cutting it in the U.S. His wife Stacy went back to work full-time, he was working three days a week, and they could barely make ends meet. “I found I could move down to Costa Rica with my Social Security and pension and live very comfortably…


Retirement Rescue: An Insider Real Estate Deal for Life-Changing Profits

Real Estate Trend Alert is dedicated to giving you the best investment opportunities in the world before most people are even aware of them…and below you will find information on just one of the many opportunities you’ll hear about from me as a RETA member. In this report I’ll tell you all about this great deal in Costa Rica.


An Insider, Off-Market Real Estate Deal in Costa Rica

This week, 14 of your fellow members gathered at the Pacific Lots project in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone. They had two price lists: one for all the inventory at the project; the other, a list of special pricing for our little group on 14 handpicked lots.

A Costa Rican Secret

A Costa Rican Secret

The morning’s fresh ceviche is sharp and fragrant with coriander. Fifty minutes up the highway we passed a North American style service station. My contact convinced me to resist my strong coffee urges and hold off for fast food Costa Rica style. So, I ended up sitting under a palm tree, sand between my toes, eating $1.50 ceviche from a local vendor. There’s not much action on the beach.

Flowers, Wife-Carrying, and Asian Fishing

Flowers, Wife-Carrying, and Asian Fishing

Any weekend from August 4 to September 16, head to the Parc Floral near the Château de Vincennes in Paris for the Festival Classique au Vert (Classical Festival on the Green). This year, performers will set the words of famous poets and authors to classical music. Bring a picnic and blanket: It’s a gorgeous park.

Volcanoes, Tropical Beaches... and a Trip to the Dentist?

Volcanoes, Tropical Beaches… and a Trip to the Dentist?

It was the most spectacular view I have ever seen. One entire wall of the room opened onto a direct view of the Arenal volcano, framed by the lushest vegetation imaginable. I gasped in delight when I saw the hot tub on the terrace, and I’d never seen anything like my shower: a rock wall with plants in the crevices and water pouring out from a basin at the top. And this was just my hotel room!

Find Your Dream Retirement

Find Your Dream Retirement

If money were no object, what would your dream retirement look like? This fall, we’ll show you where you can easily make that dream your reality…for $800 or less a month. Your own cottage on a quiet beach…an apartment in a city vibrant with concerts and cafés…a mountain villa where the air is crisp…

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