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…

Here, in their own words, is what expats in Costa Rica say about their new home:

“When I lived in Hawaii, I was always near the ocean…but could never afford a ‘stone’s throw’ away. Then I moved to Costa Rica—where I can live close enough to the beach that I could walk out my door and be in the ocean in under three minutes.”
Marika Ripke

“It feels just like the United States—50 years ago!”
Kay Costello

“Life in Costa Rica feels like a dream—but one I don’t have to wake up from. The climate here is awesome. I don’t have to worry about insulating or paying outrageous energy bills. Back in the States, I suffered with allergies. Here, they have almost entirely disappeared.”
Erin Morris

“The Nicoya Peninsula is one of the largest Blue-Zone areas in the world (regions where people commonly live extremely long, active lives). Many of the locals live into their 90s and 100s. Their strong sense of community, mineral-rich waters, organic foods, and daily physical work (inherent in the lifestyle) all contribute to the longevity. We were there, though, to hang out on the beach, snorkel in the clear waters, and watch the surfers catch the waves.”
Nancy French

“We chose Atenas because it has some of the best weather in the world, and we love being outdoors. It’s a pretty liberating feeling knowing you can live a retired kind of lifestyle—in the tropics—at ages 41 and 45…and afford to live your dream.”
Denice Key

“When I moved to Costa Rica, I experienced the calm prospect of a better life and greater opportunity for prosperity. I worked for 15 years as a marine biologist from Martha’s Vineyard to Florida and in 2000 relocated to Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. For me, this is the most desirable part of Costa Rica. There’s a nice mix of low lands and higher land, so you have a choice of climate and views.”
David Chanley

“We’re close enough to the town of Playas del Coco to take a 10-minute bike ride for necessities, but far enough away to enjoy our privacy. The best feature of the house we rent is the view of the Pacific and the amazing sunsets we enjoy nightly. Since moving to Costa Rica, our blood pressures are lower and our tans are better.”
Michael Cavanagh

“We didn’t make the move to Heredia, Costa Rica, permanent until 2009. After living in Las Vegas, Nevada, for almost 40 years, it wasn’t easy to leave. But we knew if we waited much longer we would never do it. We wanted our dollars to stretch, and we wanted affordable medical care. We pay approximately $100 per month for electric, water, cable, Internet, a neighborhood guard and maid service. We make new friends all the time.”
Sharon Harris

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