With the New Year comes a new set of resolutions, plans for the year ahead…and the publication of International Living’s latest Annual Global Retirement Index. And this year the top honor goes to Costa Rica.
My wife, Suzan Haskins, and I were married in Costa Rica 14 years ago and have been back for business and pleasure almost every year since. We also lived in Panama in 2006 and, like Costa Rica, have returned nearly every year for International Living events, editorial trips, and vacations. So it is inevitable that...
In the most populated parts of Costa Rica, especially the inland Central Valley region, the roads are paved and reasonably well-maintained. It’s easy to get around from place to place.
Just 10 minutes’ drive south from the popular tourist destination and expat hotspot of Playas del Coco, is an escape. Playa Ocotal is one of the prettiest beaches on Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast. It’s a little out-of-the-way but definitely worth the journey to get there.
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.
The fishing village of Cahuita on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is popular with backpackers and eco-tourists thanks to a national park that protects a large swath of jungle and beach. There’s also a charming “downtown” area of brightly-painted buildings containing restaurants specializing in Caribbean cuisine, boutiques, and budget hotels.
After researching Costa Rica in the pages of International Living and seeing the country featured in real estate TV shows, Victoria, 67, and Larry Torley, 65, were ready to check it out for themselves. And it didn't take long for them to find a new home. "On that trip we checked out Jaco," says Victoria, referring to a popular Central Pacific coast resort town. "But the beach areas are too hot and humid. So we drove up here to Arenal on a Saturday morning. By 5 p.m. we had made an offer on a house."
With 763 miles of coastline on the Pacific and Caribbean, Costa Rica is blessed with its share of beautiful beaches…not to mention pristine waters. And inland lakes and rivers provide more outstanding scenery. But these waterways are more than just pretty to look at. They’re the playgrounds of watersports enthusiasts of many different disciplines. Below Read more...: Fun for All Ages: The Top Five Watersports in Costa Rica
There are many reasons people move to Costa Rica: low cost of living, high-quality health care; the warm weather year-round; the friendly people; the established expat communities...the list goes on. But in my case there were certain factors that attracted me to Costa Rica many years ago as a tourist and convinced me to eventually make the move down. The first is the...
In the heart of Costa Rica's Central Valley is Grecia, a charming town of about 16,000. Like the rest of the Central Valley, Grecia has an ideal spring-like climate and enjoys quick access to the capital of Costa Rica, San José. There you can find the best medical care and shopping in the country, as well as the main international airport.