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About PacificLots  
Status: Preparing to Move Abroad 
Gender: Male
Currently Lives: Key West, United States
Citizen Of: United States
My Website: http://http://www.PacificLots.com
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Provider of Expat-Related Services & Products
Some Forum Posts: Costa Rica: airport transportation.:
try www.costaricaairportshuttle.com or www.easyridecr.com

Global Expat Forum: Not-yet-retired wanna be expat - Where?:
Check out Costa Rica... We went there 20 years ago and my wife and I now run property tours. Steve Linder Pacific Lots of Costa Rica www.pacificlots.com

Costa Rica: Cost of living:
Michael, Ecuador and Nicaragua are inexpensive but you get what you pay for. Belize, although a former British colony, speaks more Spanish than English and there are few areas where Gringos colonize, most being the expensive parts of Belize (Ambergris Caye). Belize diminishes its appeal to nearly every North American that goes to check it out, there's significant crime and its a small country with not much to offer. Costa Rica is in its mature life cycle stage for expats. There's lots of us there and lots of services, restaurants, activities, etc, English is widely spoken, healthcare is good, etc. Most of the expenses in Costa Rica are the same no matter where you are in the country but the central valley is more compressed as to the number of people, services available, cultural offerings, etc but with density comes crime, traffic and the tensions that come when lots of people are put in a smaller area. The southern region is more spread out, so the logistics of getting around cost a bit more but things like taxes, insurance, healthcare costs, etc are the same as anywhere in the country. The "neighborhood" is more upscale than other parts of the country and therefore in greater demand, when demand increases, so does price. It's still a developing part of the country and there's lots of opportunity still for entreprenuers and such. Housing costs are higher since stringing infrastructure between homes further apart costs more than when close together but things like food costs are lower (other than imported items) but fish, chicken, produce, etc is cheap and available everywhere. If you are looking for a social life as a widowed crooner, some prefer the central valley where working girls are plentiful but some prefer the expat enclaves like the southern zone where single older north American women feel comfortable enough to live on their own, since many of the communities are larger, gated and protective of their members. We run tours to the southern Pacific region to visit the oldest and largest expat development in Costa Rica, not for everyone but surely one of the "Easy buttons" of Costa Rica for wanna be expats who don't want to go it alone. See our site at www.PacificLots.com for more information. Again the area is not for everyone, nice climate, more rain but late in the day, contrary to many opinions, the southern zone temperatures are often lower than the central valley but more humid at times. If you look at sites like Weather Underground you can compare temps in Uvita (southern zone) to San Jose and will see what I mean.

Costa Rica: Desperately Seeking to workout near Ojochal:
There is a gym in Uvita that takes walk ins. It is near the qounset hut style building that houses the farmers market on Saturday

Costa Rica: Yet another U.S. Couple considering CR for retirement!:
We have a newer, nice and inexpensive golf course in the area around Ojochal, actually located in SanBuenaventura, quite nice.

Costa Rica: Credit card type which provides additional rental car insurance:
I suggest the Chase Explorer Card. It's a card designed for the traveler in mind and has no foreign transaction fees and a great rental card protection program. I realize you prefer debit cards but traveling with a debit card is much more risky than with a credit card. You risk all your money on a debit card whereas credit cards limit your personal liability. Steve Linder Pacific Lots of Costa Rica www.PacificLots.com The largest residential International community in Costa Rica. Located in the beautiful southern Pacific region.

Costa Rica: Uvita:
Uvita is a great area. there's lots to do there, close to Domincal for live music events, an easy drive to San Isidro for big city things and close to Panama when you want to shop duty free. There's a large expat community in the area between Uvita and Ojochal, great beaches, a weekly farmer's market and some of the best restaurants in the country are in the area. The weather is nice, not too hot like Guanacaste and plenty of water so no water issues. The crime is low in the southern zone thanks to the passport control checkpoint at the Baru River bridge in Dominical that keeps riff raff from heading south of that bridge. With Manuel Antonio less than an hour away, we have access to the most visited national park in the country for an activity and lots of tours, activities, attractions and adventures. The town of Sierpe is the gateway to the Osa, only about 30 minutes away, there's an annual river fest in Palmar, a great rodeo on Perez Zeledon, the festival of the diablo at the Baruca Indian area and great festivals in Dominical like the surf fest, beer fest and Envision Fest that has become one of the best events in Costa Rica hosted right in Uvita. The Ballena Maritime national Park is in Uvita and there's great fishing offshore as well as in the Terraba River. There's a new hospital in Cortez about 25 minutes away and plenty of services available right in town too. Ojochal has a great international community with nearly every continent represented in restaurants alone. The geography in the area is stunning with the largest mountain backdrops closest to the coast in the entire country. Zoning laws have been strictly upheld in the area with limits on height so NO high rise buildings and less deforestation than elsewhere in the country. The new coastal highway to the north is a breeze and drive time to San Jose is an easy 3 hours from Uvita on great roads. Steve Linder Pacific Lots of Costa Rica www.PacificLots.com

Costa Rica: Water issues:
Location makes a big difference. Guanacaste is dry like Arizona for much of the year as is Atenas since it sits on top of the hill. Many areas have abundant water including most of the area around Arenal, the southern Pacific region and the eastern slope by Guapiles. The Valley of the Saints going toward San Isidro also has lots of water. The area around Paraiso and Orosi has plenty of water as does Alajuela, not far from Atenas. Alejuala has ample water because it is not at the top of the hill and sits in a valley of sorts that gets enough rain, even in the dry season., hence there are lots of nursery's for plants around the La Garita area. As a developer, we realize that if you are on top of the hill or in an area where water is scarce, it has to be brought in from elsewhere. Think of the cloud forests and rain forests of Costa Rica and think abundant water. If you notice where most of the Hydro plants are, you will also find plenty of water. Beautiful white sand beaches often means very little water since there is a lack of organic matter breaking down from trees and other flora.

Costa Rica: CR vs. Ecuador and Belize:
Blueeind, that's exactly what Happyfrond was getting, a good discussion on the good and bad of Costa Rica, Ecuador and Belize, not a "history lesson by someone with an interest in getting people to Costa Rica" as you suggest. I assume you are referring to the comment by Augusto. He's an attorney who helps expats gain residency in Costa Rica, a big part of the question in the original question by the poster. the comments all helped with the question, unlike your comment that was of no value.... I clicked on your profile to see that you've never been to Ecuador (from one of your posts) Why not let people who have information on the subject answer the poster? I have been to Belize a number of times and yes the crime rate is much higher than, there's a fairly small population, although the official language is English, Spanish, Creole and a number of other dialects are spoken there, making communication a bit more difficult than might appear. The majority of expats are on Ambergris Caye and San Ignacio with Ambergris Caye being an island and somewhat of a challenge to get back and forth to the airport (ferrry or commuter plane) and prone to hurricanes and very low elevation. Belize is easy to get residency however... Ecuador is also easy on residency but pretty third world with the two most popular places also being high elevation (Quito and Cuenca). Flights are expensive to Ecuador and the healthcare is not the best. Costa Rica is surely more expensive, residency is easy as long as you have proven income from abroad and are not a felon but does require a bit of beauracratic wrangling. There are plenty of assets to assist with residency however including ACRC and a bunch of attorneys who specialize in that service. Healthcare is excellent but crime is on the increase yet still low by comparison. Inflation continues to be an issue as the economy is growing quite rapidly. You should plan to go check out any place you plan to consider staying at, not a vacation.... Both Ecuador and Costa Rica offer lots of variety, Ecuador's north west cost, Salinas, Manta, Esmeralda, etc is the hip new place and Costa Rica has lots of options other than the central valley or the northern fringe of Guanacaste (Coco, Flamingo, Tamarindo area).

Costa Rica: Safety issues in Nicoya Peninsula:
what kind of gringo is carrying $23,000 in a backpack? Not so sure about this story?

 
Date Joined: 5/9/2008
Total Posts: 162
Posts/Day: 0.06
 


 

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