my wife and I will be arriving in Costa Rica in early Sept. with our son and his wife. we will be renting an SUV, because we like the ability to stop and go as we please. My wife and I have been to Costa Rica one other time, but are still quite unfamiliar with the country. I would appreciate any suggestions as to where to go and what to see in the two weeks we will be there. in the end, we are looking for a place to retire in a year or so. Ecuador is at the top of the list right now. Thank you so much for any help any of you can give us.
tour and l0ok - you'd be better off in Ecuador - costa rica is beyond expensive - governnment is bankrupt - financially doomed to failure - don't take my word fo it - due your due diligence!! - lived there for 15 years - returned to states in Oct. 2017.............
Float your cursor to and click on the name "ppbritton" above his super negative comment and read all of his other super negative comments about this peaceful, beautiful little country that some of us love dearly.
Wanna-be, couldn't hack it, glass half empty I'm not sure but it gets old.
Slow day in the life for ppbritton?
Obviously Costa Rica is not for everyone.
It favors the bold, self reliant, positive, flexible, patient individual with a great sense of humor.
beaver, we all know what opinions are like and we all have one.
My Pura Vida "scam", that's rich!
I do "have some respect" just not the nattering nabobs!
Oh yea I remember, you're the person who couldn't figure out banking in a foreign country and now the country sucks because of your limited capacity.
BTW: "Pura Vida!” is one of the first things you'll hear on a trip to Costa Rica. Whether used as a hello, a good bye, or an exclamation of appreciation, this phrase expresses the peaceful, happy vibes the Costa Ricans feel as the result of their beautiful surroundings and liberty. Enjoy the natural wonders of this small, but diverse, country all year long and discover the breathtaking results of the Costa Ricans' preservation of their sacred land." unknown author
I am a pensionado here for over 4-1/2 yrs and love it here. First time age 19 and never stopped.
I have a friend who moved to Ecuador and she does love it because she fell in love with a tour guide there. Someone said part of the country is warm, but nearly all her pictures show her in heavy jacket. I like warm. Not for me. Also high altitude can cause difficulty breathing. She had pics of people in hotel needing oxygen.
And those who have moved back to US, need to go on the US forum to promote it. I have said before, need wisdom wherever you live. Just had two mass shootings in US. Why don't you mention that?
"Ecuador" means "equator", as the country is at the equator - and it is on the coast, so it has warm beaches. The capital, Quito, is at a high elevation and as such, is much cooler. So it has a choice of temperatures (as does Costa Rica).
Ecuador is noted to be considerably lower in living costs vs Costa Rica. But if you travel back to North America much, the travel costs will be much higher.
To get back to the original question: How's your Spanish? The more fluent you are, the broader your range of opportunities. I especially enjoyed the mountain villages in the Tarrazu coffee region south of the Central Valley. The smaller towns such as San Pablo allowed me to dip into local life and feel very welcome. Larger towns like San Marcos are busier commercial hubs. Chatting with people in the sodas or in the park, hanging with the taxi drivers around city square shooting the s**t. Beautiful scenery, no other gringos, welcoming locals. I found the country so small that I was able to cover a lot of territory in a short time. Beaches are usually only an hour or less away, Drive defensively, don't pass on mountain roads and stay alert,
Thank you all for the helpful ideas and advice. We will be going from San Jose on Thurs. of this week to Grecia for a few days, after that, still up in the air. I like the idea of La Paz Waterfalls and Lake Arenal. We also thought about driving down to Uvita, who knows. I do have one more question as our departure date is in two days. as far as currency goes. do we need CR currency? a lot or a small amount? I know when we were in Ecuador, we used US dollars of course, it made things very simple, just not sure about CR. again, thank you for your help!!
You shouldn't carry to much of either currency, just enough for minor purchases straight away. Change it a town or withdraw colones at an ATM.
Do not change currency at the airport, as you will get the short end of the stick. If you would rather use dollars, they are accepted most places.
Weather around Arenal is presently quite wet according to my friends who live there....but it is often quite wet and windy there. Avoid traveling at night on the roads around there...or anywhere else... as it tends to get foggy in the mountains. Make sure to take a light jacket, just in case.
Hi Blkbemr1 I see a broad variation in your choices. It would seem elevation is a matter you're undecided about. I am as well. I've recently taken a couple of trips coming back to Mexico and Costa Rica and seeing Colombia and Brazil for the first time.For whatever it's worth I have a few insights.
I also love the Costa Ballena (Uvita) area as well, but it is quite hot and humid. If you're from the East U.S. for example, that weather may be agreeable to you. I've been trying it out for size. Since I live near the Pacific Coast, being near the ocean has always been important to me. Costa Rica has the unique position of being a half days ride to the either coast from the upper highland valley. I went down to the Costa Ballena area for a second time in the last 3 months and found it easier to adjust, but I concluded that was mostly because there was more rain and it was cooler.You're approaching the thick of rainy season and some can find the rain overwhelming.
If you like the moderate temperatures and the natural beauty of the C.R. highlands, I have now found an area every bit as beautiful and 1000 times more of it in Colombia. But then the question is how much do you need? Many people retire in C.R. and live their entire lives in a 5 mile radius for health or whatever reasons. That's the way a lot of people are. I haven't been to Colombian beaches. But there 1000's of square miles of scenery as good if not better than C.R. You can find an elevation of 4500 feet, where the low temperature for the year is 60, 5500 ft. where it's 55, 6500 ft. where it's 50. And all of it's beautiful, but the mountains and valley's are higher and lower. I saw both countries in August, and there was barely a drop of rain and much sunnier and less humid in Colombia and there was continual rain and humidity in Costa Rica, though not a crippling rain.
Re; Costa Rica, There is a lot of almost over patronizing of the "ticos", though I don't mean to imply anybody here. Sometimes it really sounds like expats depict them like they're such charming little people, that it sounds rather condescending. The Ticos are great people , but so are the Colombians, Mexicans and Brazilians. They're all very accommodating, and eager to help if asked. I tend to get along well wherever I go. But the truth is Norte Amercicanos have been coming to C.R. for 50 years and like with the Mexicans, the relations are a bit jaded, though every person is different. Of all the countries I've just mentioned the Brazilians are the most friendly and welcoming of N.Americans because they have the least exposure and would like more. I think I've concluded that although there are long of Brazilian coast just as beautiful as C.R. Brazil is a bit far for a long term residence.
I would say, it's true C.R. is the most expensive of the countries I've mentioned. I've heard I Luv C.R. say it's because it has the highest standard of living. That could be. But having seen the standard of living in these 4 countries, I'm not entirely sure it's true. I've been going to C.R. off and on for over 40 years , it's always been the most expensive, always had a gringo influence, more recently, the highest gas prices in all Central America but I think a lot of the reason is the government has always sort of shot itself in the foot. It's always been mismanaged. But a lot of that cost in food can be mitigated by going to farmer's markets, purchasing fresh produce and cooking for yourself and if you're eating out, try eating at "tipica" restaurants that are often frequented by Ticos. It's cheaper and you are warmly welcomed by the natives as you are in all Latin American countries.
Since you're among those who would rent a car, I've rented in all the 4 countries mentioned and with good coverage Mexico and Brazil are are very cheap, about 20-21 dollars a day. For some reason, Colombia is about 33 , but even with a 10% discount I get through Adobe in C.R. it's over 40 a day. If the cost of retirement is not at all a consideration, I wouldn't worry about it.
With Ecuador near the top of your list, have you been there yet? I personally haven't been to Ecuador but if cost is a primary consideration, I've heard Ecuador is cheaper than any of those countries I've considered. And it is beautiful, But what people say is that it is largely Indian based culture with much fewer people who speak English. Whereas there are a lot of people who desire to learn English in the countries I've mentioned, including C.R. I've heard it's also harder to find good consumer goods at a reasonable price. I also notice that many of the major population clusters are above 7500 feet. The mountains of Ecuador are steep, and I don't see many big cities in what I would think are the more temperate zones weather wise, which for me in that latitude is between 5000-7500 feet. But that's just my opinion. I'd like to visit Ecuador.
I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. I hope I haven't confused matters further. Enjoy your exploratory trip of Costa Rica!
We took the Christopher Howard tour 3 years ago and now live full time in Costa Rica! We are not "toure" people but the information was in depth and helped us make a fully informed decision to move here knowing hospitals, legal situation, and so so much more. My husband and I HIGHLY recommend Chris's tour which includes meeting doctors, visiting local medical facilities, immigration contacts (ARCR) and seeing a huge slice of local areas and having a great time doing it! If you are serious about moving here it's a great way to mitigate risk and understand all the costs involved and budget.
Get a driver for some of your sight seeing adventures. You don't just look at a map here & get from point A to B. And you'll muss out on all the unknowns in between. Guides are so full of information, history of the country & add so much to your journey. Invest a little with a seasoned professional before you venture out on your own. You"ll gain a much richer experience initially.
An expat in Mal Pais, Costa Rica provides a detailed culture shock report that offers a great example of someone who has learned to roll with the punches that come with expat life in a somewhat remote location. Covers everything from mosquitoes, to finding products from the local grocer, to getting your laptop repaired. And don't for get about the fruit bats and monkey poop!
An expat in Mal Pais, Costa Rica provides a detailed culture shock report that offers a great example of someone who has learned to roll with the punches that come with expat life in a somewhat remote...
Applying for residency in Costa Rica can be a daunting process. Which type of residency is right for me? Do I need an attorney? Do I have to leave the country every 90 days? What is a cedula? This article answers these and many other questions.
Applying for residency in Costa Rica can be a daunting process. Which type of residency is right for me? Do I need an attorney? Do I have to leave the country every 90 days? What is a cedula? This...
Costa Rica is has both public and private healthcare systems. When you become a resident, you must enroll in the public healthcare system (CAJA). Many expats use the public system for routine healthcare and have private expat health insurance for specialists, surgeries and emergencies.
Costa Rica is has both public and private healthcare systems. When you become a resident, you must enroll in the public healthcare system (CAJA). Many expats use the public system for routine health...