Costa Rica

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 year-round, neighborly atmosphere, no-hassle residence programs, excellent healthcare, a stable democracy, and safety and security. It doesn’t hurt that many retired couples report living well on $2,000 a month—that includes all their costs.

For these reasons, as well as the welcoming locals who are warm and friendly to new foreign neighbors, Costa Rica has been an expat haven for more than 30 years.

That’s another bonus: you don’t have to be a pioneer in Costa Rica. There are well-established expat communities throughout the country. Things are “set up” so to speak, when it comes to shipping your household goods, using the healthcare system, buying property, and more. And by following this well-trodden path, your transition to your new life is much easier.

It’s small, about the size of West Virginia. But the variety of landscapes, climates, and lifestyles in Costa Rica is amazing. You have the rainforests, wild beaches, and charming seaside villages of the southern Pacific coast, also known as the Southern Zone.

 

A Landscape and Lifestyle for Every Taste

 

There are the bustling market towns surrounded by sugar cane fields and coffee plantations of the Central Valley. Around the pristine 33-square-mile Lake Arenal, expats have taken up residence on the verdant hills rising from the shore, with vast lake views from their homes. On the Caribbean coast, life is laidback and moves to the rhythm of reggae. And that’s just a small taste of all Costa Rica has to offer as far as places to live.

With all these different climates and landscapes, it’s no wonder that this Central American jewel is also one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet. With just 0.03% of the earth’s surface within its borders, the country has an estimated 5% of the world’s species. In Costa Rica, this natural world surrounds you, putting the country on the forefront of eco-tourism and eco-living. Sloths, capuchin monkeys, toucans, and scarlet macaws will be your new neighbors.

And no matter which location you choose, you can benefit from bargain real estate, whether you buy or rent. Three-bedroom homes in the Central Valley start at $109,000 to buy and $300 a month to rent. And two-bedroom condos a five-minute walk to the beach on the central Pacific coast in a booming resort town are $500 a month, the same units selling for under $70,000. Deals like this can be found throughout the country.

Another big bonus is the high-quality, low-cost healthcare. There are two systems: private, for which you can pay cash or use insurance, and the government-run public system which you join when become a legal resident. Overall, expats in Costa Rica pay a fraction of what they did back home for medical care.

All these advantages make Costa Rica a premier destination for those looking for a secure, fun, and active retirement surrounded by new friends in a beautiful setting.

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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

Archives

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Real Costa Rican Life, According to Expats Who Live There

When expats talk to us about why they moved to Costa Rica, they’re sure to mention that they were drawn in by the beauty of the country. With both a Pacific and a Caribbean coast, dramatic volcanos, rain forests and cloud forest, and the largest variety of wildlife in the world (like toucans, howler monkeys, sloths and turtles), it’s easy to see why.

With temperatures in the high-70s almost year-round, Lake Arenal is perfect for hiking, horseback-riding, bird-watching, swimming, fishing and boating.

Lake Arenal: Two Great Buys

Yesterday I told you about one of my proudest discoveries: a mirror-flat lake whose dark green-tree-lined shore rises steeply to the cone of a towering volcano.

SuccessfullyReinvent

Successfully Reinvent Yourself Overseas

Life moves at a much slower pace now. It’s very different from how things were three or four years ago. Today I wake up to a beautiful blue ocean view from my home on the Mexican island of Cozumel.

GrowYourBusiness

Grow Your Business as a Citizen of the World

Years ago I decided that before I ever settled down I wanted to live in five new cities around the world. But when I originally imagined this “jet-setter” lifestyle I believed I would need to sell a company or save hundreds of thousands of dollars to make it a reality.

Why I Have Never Lived in Costa Rica

In the 12 years that we’ve lived outside the U.S., my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I have called seven locations in four different countries home. Thanks to our work writing and reporting for International Living, we’ve become what we call “serial relocators.”

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The Most Popular Town in Costa Rica

San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, can be, like any other big city, crowded, noisy, and full of traffic. But just 20 minutes away, and I’ve escaped. I’m at a small hotel and spa set on a former coffee farm in the hills above in the small village of Santa Barbara de Heredia. At 4,000 feet the temperature is perfect, in the mid-70s. The sky is blue, the surrounding vegetation a lush green.

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A Fuller Retirement in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone

Anna Fishel, 63, was living and working in Colorado in early 2012, and retirement was still years away…or so she thought. “There was a change in management at my job that made it absolutely miserable for me to go to work. I had bought my house in Costa Rica with plans to move in a few years.”

Is It Crazy to Love Costa Rica?

Is It Crazy to Love Costa Rica?

When we arrived at the airport two days ago, a sign posted above the escalator leading to the customs area read “Welcome to Costa Rica: the Happiest Place on Earth.”

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Breaking Free for a Life on the Beach

Two years ago I never would have imagined that I would be sharing the intimate details of my bikini-clad life on a deserted Caribbean beach.

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2013 Fast-Track Costa Rica Package

2013 Fast-Track Costa Rica Package
San Jose, Costa Rica

Listen in and discover everything you need to know about Costa Rica to determine if it’s your ideal retirement or relocation destination…

Come away with all the knowledge and contacts necessary to make your move with confidence.

In Pictures: A Slice of Life in Costa Rica

People go to work, pay bills, and all the rest. In that respect Costa Rica is much like every other country in the world. But throughout Costa Rica daily life takes on a different flavor, and the Pura Vida attitude is evident every day and everywhere.

Fun Facts about Costa Rica

Fun Facts about Costa Rica

Costa Rica has been an expat haven for retirees and others for decades because of its low cost of living, high quality – and cheap – medical care, warm weather climate, bargain real estate, and no-hassle residency.

Earn Abroad with All-American Food

Sometimes the most successful ideas for setting up a business overseas are right under your nose. Sometimes they are so simple, you overlook them.The very easiest thing you could produce may well have a hungry market just waiting to snap up your output. And you could be well on your way to profits with the most basic product of all—American-style food.

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Beach Town Life in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Moving from New York City to a small town in the U.S. is quite a culture shock on its own. But Rick Macsherry, 60, and Christina Spilsbury, 58, did one better. In 1989, they moved to a small fishing village on Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast.

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How to Fund a Part-Time Life in Costa Rica

Over the years, Barry and Claudia Leon lived happily all over the States. They both had full and varied careers in psychology, college teaching, business, and biology.

Three Undiscovered National Parks in Costa Rica

Three Undiscovered National Parks in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is famous worldwide for its flora and fauna. Thanks to a wide variety of climates, from steamy rain forest to moist cloud forest to dry plains to wetlands and more, it is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet.

Going Gourmet In Nicaragua…And More

Going Gourmet in Nicaragua…And More

Gourmet dining may not spring to mind when you think of Nicaragua. But top-class restaurants serving international cuisine as well as the best of Nicaraguan food are growing in number.

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How Gail Saved $21,000 on Dental Work in Costa Rica

In two trips over the course of a year, Gail went to San Jose, Costa Rica, for her dental work, spending two weeks each time. Her total cost for everything, including flights, accommodation and her dental work: $14,000—well under half what she’d been quoted in the U.S. for her dental treatment alone. And the quality was first-rate.

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We Took a Leap of Faith to Costa Rica

My family and I came to Costa Rica for many of the same reasons you might. We were looking for some relief from our fast-paced and stressful lives in the U.S., as well as the high cost of living—it never seemed like there was any money left over at the end of the month. With my wife pregnant and us uninsured, we were looking for low-cost health care as well.

Get Unplugged With Abba…And More

Get Unplugged with Abba…and More

Have you ever pictured yourself onstage, belting out “Dancing Queen” with the members of ABBA? Visit the Swedish capital, Stockholm, this summer and you can. The Swedish band finally has a museum devoted to its decades-long contribution to the music industry. It’s an interactive exhibition, and if you hear a red telephone ringing on your visit, you should answer it.

Clean Costa Rica

IL’s Calendar of Events: Explore Green, Clean Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one country that may truly have it all: A year-round tropical climate, modern cities, Caribbean beaches, Pacific coastline, rainforests, lush valleys, and majestic mountains. With its slower pace of living, warm, welcoming climate, healthy, fresh foods and reputation as one of the “greenest, cleanest” countries in the world…

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Better Than Southern California

Pauline Beauchamp wasn’t unhappy with her life in Southern California. She held a good job as a district manager in a lighting and home décor company for 28 years.

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