Beachside Living on Costa Rica’s Gold Coast

For Rebecca and Keith Clower, and their two young children ages three and five, their house by the beach isn’t just an address…it’s a lifestyle.

They recently built a home in a development on the Bahia de Los Piratas, or Pirate’s Bay, on Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast, also known as the Gold Coast. They live on a hill, with an ocean-view, and you can see clear to Playa Flamingo and Playa Conchal, two nearby expat enclaves. The beach is mere minutes away on foot.

“We chose Guanacaste [the name of the province] because of the proximity to the beach, the warm water, and the weather,” says Becky, who, thanks to a Costa Rican mother, was familiar with a lot of the country. “You don’t get as much rainfall as other areas of Costa Rica. And the weather is very predictable. From December to April there is no rain, and the rest of the year it mostly rains in the afternoon. You can do things outdoors year-round.”

And the family, who’ve lived in Costa Rica for seven years and work in real estate and property management, takes full advantage by spending a lot of time on the sand and in the water. They surf several times a week. On the weekends they head to a nearby protected cove for stand up paddle-boarding, which features an extra-long and wide surfboard that you propel with a long paddle.

“I prefer surfing, but stand up paddle boarding is fun, too. It’s more relaxed and good for people of all ages,” says Becky.

They’re big on scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing, too. As a big sport fishing destination, their stretch of coast is ideal. “Being able to catch dinner is very cool. And you don’t need to be in an expensive, fancy boat,” says Becky. “I’ve caught more fish inshore on a panga [small open boat used by local fishermen]…mahi, bonito, several kinds of snapper.”

Living so close to the beach means they can indulge in these activities whenever they want.

“It’s magical. It’s not something I take for granted that I can do so many things within walking distance of my house. And it doesn’t cost any money,” explains Becky. “Living at the beach gives you that lifestyle.”

“Where else in the world can you do all these things with this backdrop…and the people are great. It gives you the feeling that life is good. That’s where they get Pura Vida I guess.”

And the couple is passing on the love of the beach and being in the water to their kids. “They love to swim. Both learned by two and a half,” says Becky.

Of course, it’s not always about being active; sometimes they just relax. “We’ll go down to Pirate’s Beach for sunset. There’s a small hotel and restaurant. Lots of kids— they play in the tide pools,” says Becky.

All in all the Clowers feel it’s living in Costa Rica that made it possible to spend that time with family and doing all the activities they want to do. Even though they lived in Tampa, Florida before moving down, they were inland—and working a lot.

“I’m so used to it now. But I appreciate it more every time I visit the United States,” says Becky. “I spent so many years running around, stressed out in the rat race. Here I can do things with my kids. Life is a lot more low-key.”

And Becky maintains that anyone can live the life of their dreams, too. “People don’t realize they can do the same thing we’ve done. Sure it takes some planning. But you just have to pull the trigger,” says Becky.

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