Costa Rica Fast Facts

Costa Rica Tamarindo Costa Rica

Population: 4,695,942

Capital City: San Jose

Climate: Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands

Time Zone: GMT-6

Language: Spanish (official), English

Country Code: 506

Coastline: 1,290km

Costa Rica’s Last Boom Towns Could Make You Rich

Costa Rica is a beautiful country, with long stretches of deserted and undeveloped beaches…dense jungles teeming with exotic wildlife…towering volcanoes, lush green valleys, and hundreds of crystal-clear lakes and rivers…

Not only that, but the country offers a great climate year-round, neighborly atmosphere, no-hassle residence programs, excellent healthcare, a stable democracy, and safety and security. It doesn’t hurt that many retired couples report living well on $2,000 a month—that includes all their costs.

For these reasons, as well as the welcoming locals who are warm and friendly to new foreign neighbors, Costa Rica has been an expat haven for more than 30 years.

That’s another bonus: you don’t have to be a pioneer in Costa Rica. There are well-established expat communities throughout the country. Things are “set up” so to speak, when it comes to shipping your household goods, using the healthcare system, buying property, and more. And by following this well-trodden path, your transition to your new life is much easier.

It’s small, about the size of West Virginia. But the variety of landscapes, climates, and lifestyles in Costa Rica is amazing. You have the rainforests, wild beaches, and charming seaside villages of the southern Pacific coast, also known as the Southern Zone.

A Landscape and Lifestyle for Every Taste

There are the bustling market towns surrounded by sugar cane fields and coffee plantations of the Central Valley. Around the pristine 33-square-mile Lake Arenal, expats have taken up residence on the verdant hills rising from the shore, with vast lake views from their homes. On the Caribbean coast, life is laidback and moves to the rhythm of reggae. And that’s just a small taste of all Costa Rica has to offer as far as places to live.

With all these different climates and landscapes, it’s no wonder that this Central American jewel is also one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet. With just 0.03% of the earth’s surface within its borders, the country has an estimated 5% of the world’s species. In Costa Rica, this natural world surrounds you, putting the country on the forefront of eco-tourism and eco-living. Sloths, capuchin monkeys, toucans, and scarlet macaws will be your new neighbors.

central-valley
Central Valley, Costa Rica

And no matter which location you choose, you can benefit from bargain real estate, whether you buy or rent. Three-bedroom homes in the Central Valley start at $109,000 to buy and $300 a month to rent. And two-bedroom condos a five-minute walk to the beach on the central Pacific coast in a booming resort town are $500 a month, the same units selling for under $70,000. Deals like this can be found throughout the country.

Another big bonus is the high-quality, low-cost healthcare. There are two systems: private, for which you can pay cash or use insurance, and the government-run public system which you join when you become a legal resident. Overall, expats in Costa Rica pay a fraction of what they did back home for healthcare.

All these advantages make Costa Rica a premier destination for those looking for a secure, fun, and active retirement surrounded by new friends in a beautiful setting.

Find Out More From Our Costa Rica Editor

From the Archives of Costa Rica

We Still Can’t Believe How Much Better Life in Costa Rica is

We Still Can’t Believe How Much Better Life in Costa Rica is

“I can’t believe it!” That’s what every one of our friends say when they see where my partner Michael and I live. Instead of the urban sprawl that had engulfed our lives in Dallas, we now live in something that seems more like Shangri-La than the real world.

Buy in These Little-Known Costa Rica Beach Paradises From $148,000

Buy in These Little-Known Costa Rica Beach Paradises From $148,000

IL Postcards
By |
July 21, 2016

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.

The American Dream Was Killing Us…So We Moved to Costa Rica

The American Dream Was Killing Us…So We Moved to Costa Rica

Daily Postcard
By |
July 13, 2016

My lifestyle has changed significantly since moving to Central America three years ago. One reason my wife Jen and I moved here was because the American Dream was killing us. We both had successful careers and no children; this meant we had a lot of disposable income. We had the large house (occupied only by two people and a dog), two cars, and all the possessions we could want. We had all the things that define “making it” in the U.S.

The Perfect Place For an Afternoon of Food, Drink, and Sunshine on the Beach

The Perfect Place For an Afternoon of Food, Drink, and Sunshine on the Beach

Lifestyle
By |
July 9, 2016

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.

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