Costa Rica’s Best Beach Towns Within Two Hours of San José

Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast has a long history as a beach destination. Costa Ricans from the Central Valley (the mountainous interior region surrounding the capital, San José, where most of the population lives), have been coming to the area for vacation and beach getaways for decades. And North American and European visitors have been right there with them for many years, too. They’re drawn by several factors, many of which also attract expats to the area for long-term living…

Finding an Instant Community of Friends in Costa Rica

Within a month of arriving in Costa Rica to live, my wife and I had discovered that we could enjoy one of our favorite Sunday traditions: brunch. Just down the road from our home in Grecia was Atenas, and the famous (at least among local expats) Kay's Gringo Postres. There were heaping helpings of French toast, bacon, biscuits and gravy (I've never seen them anywhere else in Costa Rica)...and never-ending coffee...for $10 each. As we enjoyed these traditional American favorites, we met a dozen or so local expats, mostly retirees but also families and young couples. The more experienced were eager to pass on advice about renting a home or buying a car and to share contact information for great contactors and service providers like mechanics and plumbers. You know, the really important stuff you need to know when you move to a new place. Personal recommendations go a long way.

North Pacific Coast, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast, also known as the Gold Coast, has been an expat haven for decades thanks to a dry and warm climate, beautiful beaches, and a laid-back lifestyle. In towns like Playa Flamingo, Playas del Coco, and Tamarindo, you have walkable seaside villages, expat enclaves where foreign residents of all nationalities have started new lives and, in some cases, businesses.

Climate in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s reputation as a tropical paradise precedes it and with sun, sea and surf, it’s a notoriety well deserved. This country boasts a range of different climates so that there really is something for everyone. With its long coasts of Caribbean and Pacific beaches as well as mountainous highlands, thick rain forests, and abundant valleys there are many different climates to choose from.