Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast is known for its dramatic coastline of tree-covered mountains dropping suddenly to the ocean, empty beaches, and lush rainforest full of wildlife like toucans, howler monkeys, sloths, and dozens of other species.
There’s a steady breeze blowing. The sand is black—it’s volcanic—flecked with small crystals that twinkle in the sunlight. The sand is quite hot too in the heat of the day…best to wear flip-flops.
Food is cheap—and very tasty. Rents are affordable even for those on super-low budgets—$200 to $400 gets you a nice place in a great neighborhood. The climate is comfortable…the people friendly…there are modern services…and the vibrant mix of music, festivals, indigenous culture, and colonial history is evident everywhere you turn. It should be an option for anyone considering a retirement in Latin America.
In recent years, Costa Rica has become a top destination for folks with a portable income. If your job can be done from a laptop—and these days, most jobs can—you can enjoy an enviable lifestyle in Costa Rica, thanks to the low cost of living and reliable high-speed internet.
The southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, known as the Southern Zone, is a place of raw, natural beauty. Tall, tree-covered mountains and hills come right up to the shore. The beaches are uncrowded to the extreme—often you could be the only person around.
Whether you’re looking for a bustling beach resort town with plenty of restaurants, chic boutiques, and nightlife…or you’d rather string up your hammock between two palms and fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves and not see another person all afternoon…you can get it in Costa Rica.
What makes for a good retirement destination? For those on a budget (and those who aren’t) a place with a lower cost of living is key. But it’s not only about the money. You want to be comfortable and feel safe. Modern services like high-speed internet, top-notch medical care, and good value real estate are also important. And if you’re from a northern climate, the benefit of warm weather year-round (no more coats, no more snow tires) might be the biggest motivator.
I’m looking over the deep blue Pacific. Fisherman with nets wade out into the shallows, flinging them periodically to catch bait fish. There’s not a cloud in the sky, and the water, with the sun high in the sky around lunchtime, glitters with light. Here on the northern Pacific coast, it’s the sunniest part of the country.
For David Scott Bowers, 55, a little farm on the side of a mountain with a river running behind it, complete with a swimming hole for refreshing dips is home. A small village is nearby and a larger town a little farther down the road. There’s a nature preserve within walking distance. With the elevation at just over 2,900 feet, the climate is temperate and you can enjoy the outdoors year-round despite the tropical latitude.
I was hurtling down a mountain, on a narrow two-lane road, surrounded by jungle…while avoiding the deadly scratches of a terrified animal. How did I get here? Let’s go back to the beginning. I had traveled to Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast to check out the expat communities there.