White sand beaches with bright green palms, ringed by turquoise waters… Glittering swirls of volcanic sand, slender white sea birds soaring above, and dramatic coastlines… Tiny islands that look like little pearls against a backdrop of deepest sapphire blue…
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.
Nancy, 63, has nothing but good things to say about Boquete, the popular expat retreat in the highlands of Panama’s Chiriqui Province that she now calls home. She and her husband Don, 61, moved here from the Kansas City area in 2010 with their two sons.
Often, when I’m on the road scouting out real estate, I find myself in the evening sitting and reflecting on what I’ve seen and the opportunities I’ve found. These quiet moments are rare on a scouting trip.
I have to shield my eyes from the bright sun to really take in how stunning it is. On the shore of the white-sand beach, the Pacific Ocean laps at my feet. This beach is part of a national park—development is forbidden by the Costa Rican government.
This is just like in the States, I thought. And it was. The chair was the same uncomfortable leather lounger, set up at an uncomfortable angle. The smell of the office was the same sterile, stale air.
The small town of Grecia is where my wife and I chose to land three years ago, after leaving our careers in Dallas for early retirement in Central America. Our lifestyle in the U.S. offered little time to be healthy.
The fact of the matter is; when it comes to choosing a retirement destination, the possibilities are endless. Two major factors will generally come into play—first, what it is that’s most important to you, and second, what are your needs when it comes to things like budget, healthcare, and international travel.
San Juan del Sur is one of the most vibrant beach towns you’ll ever see. In addition to the beautiful bay that the city sits on, there are 21 other bays in the San Juan vicinity that will delight you as much, or more.
For 11 years, my husband Mark and I traveled to all the places we thought we might move to, researched so much that we felt overwhelmed, and read every forum, Facebook page, and blog we could find.