Day-Glo purple, tuscan yellow, lipstick red, and electric hues I don’t have names for—these are the colors that hug the roads of the Orosi Valley. They are housed in the stories-tall bougainvillea, pendent heliconias, and multi-shaped bromeliads that cover the region, owing to the year-round perfect climate.
But it’s not just the flowers that thrive here, the expats who have made their new lives in the region will tell you that they have blossomed and grown as well. And although indigenous peoples have known the wonders of the area for centuries, it remains unknown to most North Americans who have turned their eyes to Costa Rica, even though it’s only an hour or so to the international airport in San José.
Properties here are more than just houses. Don’t be surprised when you find you have a stream bordering your property. And vistas of verdant mountainsides covered in coffee bushes and flowering trees are all but guaranteed.
Since the region hasn’t come to mainstream attention, you’ll need to do a lot of boots-on-the-ground work yourself (usually by asking locals) because realtors are practically non-existent. However, your efforts will reap you lower prices than in the more popular Central Valley region. Most modern homes will be a Costa Rican/North American fusion. They’ll typically have a modern design, but rooms will be on the smaller side. However, expansive terrazas (patios) are common due to the mid-70s F daytime temperatures.
Paraiso (which translates as Paradise) is a town of about 20,000 and the hub of the Orosi Valley. I just saw a new three-bedroom house for rent there. With high ceilings and a terraza that overlooks a small garden. It’s also close to schools and bus stops. The rent is $350 a month.
If you’re interested in a condo, there’s a 1,300-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with a carport for rent. There is also 24-hour security, gardening services, and a rancho event center, all for just $540 a month.
For the minimalists amongst you, there is a one-bedroom, one-bathroom second floor apartment with beautiful views of the towering giant, Volcano Irazú, for a rock-bottom price of $265 a month. And that includes water and internet.
If you’re looking for something a bit more luxurious, $650 a month can grab a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house with high-end finishings, tall ceilings, arches, and indoor gardens and fountains. Don’t forget the outdoor fireplace, additional gardens, and covered parking for four cars.
Those who choose to live in the Orosi Valley are treated to an abundance of adventure on the doorstep. Hiking, hot springs, the Tapantí National Reserve, rock climbing, white water rafting, and zip-lines are all within the valley. It’s also only a couple of hours to either coast.
Another pleasant surprise is the high density of great restaurants in an otherwise rural setting—all serving fresh, well-crafted meals. The province boasts rich volcanic soils that are the fertile medium for myriad fruits and vegetables that are grown for the entire country.
The expat population is scattered across the valley, not in a single area or neighborhood, which means you’ll have complete integration with the local culture and plenty of opportunity to practice your Spanish.
Visitors—from the States or even from other parts of Costa Rica—are always amazed at how everyone in town knows me and stops to wave or say “Pura Vida!” Slower-paced, country life with easy access to the big cities is what you’ll find here. It’s where you live large in small-town Costa Rica.