The classic vision of Costa Rica that you find on postcards and tourism board posters is of the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. The white sand beaches…blue ocean…and the wildlife-filled rain forest as a backdrop.
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.
If you were to listen to the mainstream news, visiting Mexico doesn’t sound like a great idea. Previously it has had a bad reputation for crime—frequent headlines of narco-violence and multiple U.S. State Department travel warnings.
If you’re ever in the Arenal region of Costa Rica there is one activity you have to make time for: a dip in one of the natural hot springs. Known locally as “aguas termales,” the 90 to 110 degree Fahrenheit waters are naturally heated by volcanic activity. In fact, most of the hot springs have a great view of the Arenal volcano from the pools.
There are several categories of residency for those seeking to live and/or retire in Costa Rica. Although it can be quite bureaucratic, the process to obtain your cedula (the Costa Rican “green card”) is actually pretty straightforward. Most expats who retire to Costa Rica and live here full time choose pensionado status.
Before you leave, work with the shipping company to make sure your car meets emissions standards. The test is done in the U.S. You should also consider whether your car will make a good match for Costa Rica. Although auto shops are common and labor inexpensive, the most common parts available are for Asian vehicles and every mechanic can fix them. It can be more difficult to repair an American or European vehicle.
When moving to Costa Rica, many expats wonder whether they should bring their car from home or buy something when they get down there. Well… it depends. As covered in this article, “Bringing a Car to Costa Rica,” importing a car from the U.S., while relatively easy, can be quite expensive. In fact, you could pay close to the value of the car in import duties and fees.
Although only the size of West Virginia, Costa Rica offers you a lot of choice when it comes to places to live in terms of landscape, climate, amenities, and lifestyle. Quiet countryside with your own little homestead carved out of the jungle. A bustling beach town with a party every night....
When moving to Costa Rica, many newly-arrived expats decide to forgo having their own car. In retirement on a limited budget they want to eliminate the added expense of maintenance and fuel for a vehicle. Cars can be expensive to purchase in country and import from North America too, so that's another reason to go car-less.
Barbara Poole's 14-room boutique B&B is the only one in San Miguel de Allende that can boast of having been a bordello until it closed in the mid-1960s. These days, it hosts a much different clientele, but it still prides itself on hospitality...