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Some Questions

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TheDudeIsHere
5/6/2019 08:58 EST

I plan to visit CR in August my first trip. Going to spend 2 to 3 days in San Jose, Jaco, and Hermosa Beach. Any recommendations on things to do in these places? Great places to eat? Any live Blues?

If you retire to CR do they give you any kind of break on bringing household goods in?

Last, I see people saying they live on $1500 to $2000 a month but my SS alone would be more then that not including a great pension and savings. So could I live pretty comfortable there?

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1952cajun
5/6/2019 13:14 EST

Jaco has plenty of night life. Especially women of ill repute. Hot on the coastal area. Costa Rica is beautiful wherever you go. You will have plenty to retire happily on your income, just be wise on spending. Pick the right company. I live in Atenas and really like it here .

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lindyluvsCR
5/6/2019 18:39 EST

Jaco does not have good reputation - unless overly wild night life is your thing, and more crime etc., not a good choice.

Cajun lives in Atenas which many like. I live near in Grecia, a little cooler. Better retirement places.

Beach areas, others can comment on.

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TheDudeIsHere
5/6/2019 19:33 EST

No Crazy nightlife is not my thing, of course to just visit is one thing vs living there. Where is Atenas and Grecia on CR? North or South? and would you say most ex-pats live North or South?

Cheers,

Don

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1952cajun
5/6/2019 23:06 EST

I am from Oregon. I moved to Costa Rica 5 months ago and I am totally happy here . The beaches on the Pacific coast are beautiful but hot. Jaco is very commercialized. Not typical Rico life. The Central Valley is where most Gringos live. Much better weather. Come and explore. You life will be changed for the better.

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1952cajun
5/6/2019 23:06 EST

I am from Oregon. I moved to Costa Rica 5 months ago and I am totally happy here . The beaches on the Pacific coast are beautiful but hot. Jaco is very commercialized. Not typical Rico life. The Central Valley is where most Gringos live. Much better weather. Come and explore. You life will be changed for the better.

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GBP
5/7/2019 09:38 EST

Let me have an email and I will send my book "The Caribbean of Costa Rica Live and Invest on the Last Frontier". I have lived in San Jose and the traffic has become so hideous the quality of life is severely degraded! I mean when you don't know on a daily basis if that half hour cross town trip may take 2.5 hours how much fun is that?? Then again I am NOT a city boy on any level. I will take waterfalls and toucans and monkeys to cars any day! I also just filmed a new webinar that has some cool drone footage and have 1 lot of 1.25 acres remaining right on a stream where you can build a small 2 bedroom home for a TOTAL of approx $80k!! I know of no where else in the country where you can build and live in a gated community for that!

Gill Phelan
https://www.facebook.com/GrandviewestatesCR/

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TheDudeIsHere
5/7/2019 11:49 EST

send it here...dsfriedman57@yahoo.com

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Lisapuravida
5/7/2019 16:26 EST

My experience is different from previous postings, I have lived in Costa Rica full time since 2001 and moved to Playa Hermosa in 2009 (from Manuel Antonio). I had heard the Jaco negativity in the past and would have agreed with all those posting here (probably less favorable) but admittedly I was very wrong. (Don't tell my husband! I have convinced him I'm right all the time!) Seriously since moving here in , I was surprised at the community that Jaco offers. The community has changed dramatically after #27 toll road was completed which facilitated access to Jaco from the Central Valley. Many more family oriented activities and lots of investment and ownership in homes and restaurants by native Costa Ricans. Many great restaurants from gourmet to typical CR cuisine. Lots of arts type of activities (including the Jaco Art and Culture fest), Artify Jaco (truly amazing huge murals throughout town) which has a walking tour. Art classes, family surf day and live music in the park. Miro Mountain is a great hike near South Beach Jaco where you can see tons of wildlife. The hike follows a ridge line up to 1,200 ft elevation with amazing views of the coast. You asked about blues music, I can't give you a definite but look at The Green Room or Puddlefish (in Jaco Walk). The Green Room has nightly live music and Jaco Walk has great restaurants with a small boulevard, often live music on Friday or Saturday. Hermosa has beachside restaurants with Vista Hermosa offering live music at times as does The Backyard and Bowies. Truly I was amazed how much these communities offer (vs. my perception of what I though they would be). In Jaco, we have a great pescaderia/carniceria/panaderia (fish/meat/bread) shops all locally owned. Great dining with upscale cuisine if you desire but we frequent many traditional CR restaurants that still serve bocas and amazing prices. There are nightclubs in Jaco but just don't go there and don't live by them if you prefer not. It is not a spring break gone wild town in any sense. This is my experience, hope it helps!

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TheDudeIsHere
5/7/2019 17:40 EST

Lisa,

Wow what a great answer. This is the kind of things I am looking for and you sound sensible I am coming for a visit first and I may have to make quite a few visits before I decide anything. I may even live part time in CR and part time in the States, I don't know yet. I don't know what your ages are but I am going to be 62 this year and I will be done working at 65. Do you drive there? If so do you need anything other than an international drivers license? Do you know if there is any break on import taxes on goods you bring into CR as a retiree? Any Advice, much appreciated.

Cheers,

Don

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sanjuan
5/7/2019 22:12 EST

In regard to driving you are, legal on current license but only for 90 days so you will hear a lot about border hops to Nica or PA, Being checked out of CR and into another country, even for just a few hours renews your privilege. Some have been perpetual tourist visa folks for years but there are reports of cracking down on this practice,

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gfarmer9760
5/8/2019 07:35 EST

Dear Gill,

Thank you for your post of 5/7. Would you please send me a copy of your book to: cefarm@aol.com?

I am looking to "snowbird" in Costa Rica during the months of January - March. Is this viable? What should I be looking at as far as areas? Is there a website a should be consulting for accommodations, besides Airbnb?

Finally, we have a 60 lb dog. Can a dog be taken to Costa Rica?

Any help you could give would be much appreciated.

Gene Farmer
Arlington, VA

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shermanwc
5/8/2019 07:59 EST

An international driver's license is not required and actually is not a legal license - it is simply a translation of your USA license into another language. You would need both licenses to drive in some countries - but CR accepts USA licenses. As noted by others, you must leave CR every 90 days to renew your driver's license and you cannot obtain a CR license until 3 months after you have residency.

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ILuvCR
5/8/2019 08:56 EST

Hi Gene, very exciting!

For all things "dogs" in Costa Rica check out our little dog lovers group, "Expat Dog Lovers in Costa Rica "Paw-a-Vida"

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1075248355895046/

Click on "Files" and type keywords in to the [Search this group] box both on left side of page.

Paw-a-Vida!

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Drneuro100
5/8/2019 12:44 EST

You will be able to live VERY well, buy a beautiful home/condo at a fraction of the cost (of at least anything along the beach in CA, perhaps not for other areas of the country), and have a great international airport to travel the world from (e.g. San Jose). San Rafael, Escazu just west of San Jose is a must for you to see with great restaurants, music and fun casinos. One thing we learned early in our visits is that the beaches, although beautiful, are very hot and humid, not like CA, whereas the Central Valley has perfect temps similar to San Diego.

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PombinhaCoco7
5/9/2019 11:10 EST

I just want to inform those who don't know Costa Rica that there is another beach with the same name: Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste (close to Playas del Coco and to the |Liberia International airport).

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sanjuan
5/9/2019 11:37 EST

Playa Hermosa also in Osa, near Uvita--though I don't see where the question came up.

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Drneuro100
5/9/2019 12:07 EST

To get the CR license 3 months after what kind of residency? The Temporary one (after 6-9 months) or permanent one after a couple of years? We are had our temporary application accepted for processing in October and are waiting on the actual Temporary Residency to kick in. Driving on US Driver's License but did not know you had to do a border run after the application had been accepted.

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sanjuan
5/9/2019 20:03 EST

If you have expediente you do not have to leave as on tourist visa; however it is required to do so to re-charge your driving privileges on US/CN driving permit...so essentially if you want to drive legally you have to do it.

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PombinhaCoco7
5/10/2019 06:29 EST

Drneuro100
The beach areas must be hot and humid but every complex has one swimming pool or more.
Believe me, it helps a lot.

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PombinhaCoco7
5/10/2019 06:34 EST

Sanjuan
Lisapuravida mentioned that she had moved from Manuel Antonio to Playa Hermosa.
That's why I decided to let people know that there are more than one beach with the same name.
You said you didn't see where the question came from.
There was no question but I chose to give this information.

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PombinhaCoco7
5/10/2019 06:53 EST

shermanwc
I just got my Costa Rica Driver's License.
Since my Canadian Driver's License was still valid, I went to a Certified Translator appointed by Corsevi in Liberia and she translated it to Spanish. I also needed a medical check up, my passport and my Cedula and my Canadian Driver's License.
It cost 5.000 Colones
However there is such a thing as an International Driver's License.
I don't know if every country considers it a legal document but my son in law has one.
He got it in Canada from CAA, a company that provides road assistance. It has his photo and it says International Driver's License.
You must have a valid driver's license in order to obtain the international one.
Not sure if they would accept it here.

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beach1girl
5/10/2019 07:04 EST

Having a Costarican driver's license is a good investment because when the policia de transito stop you and see your license, they are less likely to find something wrong in order to get a bribe knowing (assuming) that you are a resident.

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Kohl
5/10/2019 09:12 EST

You must continue to exit the country, while continuing to drive, until your application for Temporary residency application has been completed and you have your cedula 'in hand.' Please note that unless you do this, your insurance will be not be valid. After you have received your cedula and the 'time' has expired on your passport, you must apply for a CR drivers license.

The International drivers license is not worth getting. No value in it, as it will do you no good after three months unless you have renewed your passport.

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sanjuan
5/10/2019 09:42 EST

thanks, should read ALL, I guess

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shermanwc
5/10/2019 09:45 EST

Some companies sell what they call an International Driver's License, but it is still effectively just a translation of your primary driver's license and is not valid unless accompanied by your primary driver's license. Some countries do require an International Driver's Permit in addition to the primary license, to facilitate interpretation by local police - but CR does not require that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Driving_Permit

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shermanwc
5/10/2019 09:55 EST

It should be noted that, if your USA driver's license expires and you drive in the USA using your CR driver's license, you should check with the state requirements where you plan to drive. They may require you to carry and International Driver's Permit (IDP) based on your CR driver's license. I have driven in Colorado with a CR license and they did not require an IDP, but I have read that some states do.

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PombinhaCoco7
5/10/2019 13:12 EST

beach1girl
Yes, I agree with you.

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PombinhaCoco7
5/10/2019 13:19 EST

Kohl
I understand what you mean when you say:
"After you have received your cedula and the 'time' has expired on your passport, you must apply for a CR drivers license".
I just hope that people will understand that you are not talking about the date that their passport expires but you are referring to 90 days after their last entry in the country.
Like I said we have a close group here in Coco on Facebook and when I mentioned the documents that were needed to renew the driver's license, several people replied that if I have a Cedula I wouldn't need to take my passport.
Yes, the passport is needed in order for them to check when was our last entry in the country because we can't apply for a driver's license in the first 90 days. Actually they checked it but it had been in May 2017.

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