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An Expat Talks about Moving to City of Guapiles, County of Pococi, Province of Limon, Costa Rica

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

City of Guapiles, County of Pococi, Province of Limon

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

More Sage, More Cayanne Pepper, and valid phone cards (ICE which is the phone company is a monopoly here)

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

Stay away from Santa Ana and Escazu which are both referred to as "little Americas" and their prices are comperable to Bethesda, MD or San Francisco, CA. Besides the rest of the country is even more beautiful!

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

I live in a small home with a Costa Rican friend who was raised in Southern California, and If I told you the price there would be a million people moving here tomorrow. Let it suffice to say that a three bedroon home on a 1,000 square meter lot can be had for $250.00, and in some places for less.

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

1. I have lived in the following areas near San Jose; Zapote, Desamparados, Moravia, and Alajuela. I have also lived in the town of Grecia which is 45 km outside of the capital of San Jose.

2. I now live on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica in the city of Guapiles, County of Pococi, Province of Limon, Costa Rica

3. Major dirrerence, and asset is the people in this area. Although there are only limited foreigners living here, is that the people of this area are truly helpful and friendly. Not because they have to be but because they genuinely like to help others.

4. Even more noticable is that in spite of there being limited employment in the area, they are always willing to greet guests with courtesy and good manners, and a warm greeting and common courtesy.

5. Since there is an abundance of reasonable residential rentals and properties for sale, and a minimal population of foreigners, prices for both as well as the cost of living here are very reasonable.

6. Property taxation is almost non-existant or to say the least extremely reasonable. I have met a friend who has twenty acres or a little over 9 hectares of land with a bar, and cabins that pays about 1,700 colinies or about $5.00 USD per month in property taxes, that is reasonable.

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Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

Are you kidding, a small apartment in Portland, Oregon was more than $500.00 per month. This is where I lived before moving to Costa Rica. An average unfurnished rental can be had easily for between two to three hundred American dollars per month.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Feb 14, 2011 11:18

Because Guapiles is "undiscovered" the area tends to be poorer and doesn't get the government support for needed improvements. As explained, this isn't the Central Valley, so be prepared.

dameion53victor
Aug 7, 2011 16:40

Hellow:), I was very pleased with the answers you gave to the questions you were asked. They were all helpfull. I noticed the notation the "undiscovered" area you are in tends to be a poorer area, and doesn't get much support for needed improvements. Does this cause much problem with issues such as electricity, water, sewage, etc.? Also what is the access for traveling to an area that might have doctor's or a hospital? Please do not think I am trying to run down the area in thought. Your description to me sounded fantastic for a person like I who wants to retire there and is on social security and V.A. benifits. Everything I have heard (especially in you answers in this report) about Costa Rica have beed inviting. One question I have is are you any where the caribian seashore? Also how far would you be from the sea? I apologize; I am like a kid with a lot of questions and i have said enough already. Please E-mail me and tell me the answers to my wuestions. The area sounds great.:) My E-mail address is: dameion53@gmail.com My nave is Victor Thank you very much - Victor

guest
Jan 14, 2012 11:50

We owned, yes past tense, a house in Puerto Viejo ,Costa Rica. About an hour south of Guapiles, on the Caribbean coast. I wish we had moved to Guapiles instead. Puerto Viejo is very dangerous. The drug gangs from Limon area and also now in Puerto Viejo are causing major problems. We witnessed a gang shooting of almost 40 innocent people along the river that flows into the town or Puerto Viejo. Not once was this mentioned in any paper or place in Costa Rica. The Caribbean side of Costa Rica is very special. Most of the people are wonderful and the food is excellent. The plants and animals are incredible and very diverse. We moved there thinking that this place was a little paradise. While that is obviously a state of mind, that dream quickly became a nightmare. The infrastructure is almost non-existant. I.E. the police will not help you nor do they care. We were robbed daily, harassed nightly and pretty much fled for our lives. RENT before you decide to move there. Check out all of Costa Rica and read other gringo and local forums. The information you will learn is priceless. Costa Rica is a wonderful country but it is not as safe as people say.

guest
Jan 30, 2012 00:41

I agree completely! I have a nice Finca in Alegria, not far from Guapiles and I just love the area. The people are very friendly and the prices of land and homes here is very different than the Pacific coast and the San Jose area. Probably because the " Greedy American Developers" haven't discovered the area yet. I live on the Caribbean slope of Turrialba; the views are breathtaking and the weather is mild all year 'round. Love it!!!!

guest
Mar 27, 2012 05:55

I live in Matina Limon which is 30 min West of the coast. It is more humid in our area than many other places I have visited in CR. We live in a small community that has no more than a convienent store. We must drive approximately 12 km in order to get rice, beans, etc. We have a community that looks out for us. We do report to them when we are leaving for a night so that they keep watch on our farm. Tico's say that petty theft is common, for them and us. We haven't had any problems yet though. We stay on the farm most days and tend our garden. We go to our community meetings and use the same clinic as everyone else. I believe our immersion may be helping us to relate and be related to. All we need to do is take a walk through the village on a Sunday afternoon and we come back with enough fruit and vegetables for a week!

guest
Jun 26, 2012 18:48

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Moving to Costa Rica has become more popular among expats. Making this choice requires a lot of research to ensure the expat experience you hope for will be realized. Expats that live there stress that it should start with a trip there before any major decisions are made.

Moving to Costa Rica has become more popular among expats. Making this choice requires a lot of research to ensure the expat experience you hope for will be realized. Expats that live there stress t...

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If you're moving to Costa Rica, you'll want to understand the cost of living in Costa Rica. Lifestyle, location and health insurance are part of the formula. Expats talk about real estate prices, rents, international school tuition, travel expenses and the fun stuff - travel, dining out and more.

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Expats in Costa Rica talk about the best places for families to live in Costa Rica. From the cool climate of the Central Valley to the beautiful beach towns in Gaunacaste and Costa Ballena, proximity to international and bilingual schools, safety and lifestyle are all taken into consideration.

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