What is the best way to explore and see Costa Rica? - International Living

What is the best way to see Costa Rica? We don't know the different areas. The Arenal / Fortuna area looks like what we are looking for - but there may be similar areas. Is there a touring agency/real estate company? We are ready to retire and move.

Jason Holland - Roving Latin America Correspondent

Hi Gary,

Your first step is research, research, research. Read as much about Costa Rica as you can so you can learn about the different regions, which are very different as far as climate, lifestyle, and landscape. For example, the Arenal area has a temperate climate and is quite rural. The Central Pacific coast beaches are hot and humid, with bustling resort towns and sleepy fishing villages. A great place to start your research is here: https://internationalliving.com/countries/costa-rica/.

Once you have figured out some places that meet your criteria, you can start planning a scouting trip to see those places in person. It's best to stay as long as you can in a spot to determine if you could really live there. Don't stay in a resort. To really get a feel for the community try to rent a home or condo in town for a month or two - that way you get to know what it's like to live there, not just visit.

There are real estate companies and retirement tours throughout the country. You might try one of those but I would also recommend renting a car and getting out and about on your own. Or at the very least take bus or shuttle between different areas you are interested in. The tours tend to give a very broad picture and you get more detail when traveling by yourselves.

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