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Arenal or Grecia? Or other

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Maureenpm00
1/19/2020 21:24 EST

Hi. Maureen from North Carolina. I coming to CR first tim beg of March. I'm staying near children's eternal forest. Flying into sjo. I would like to also visit another town while I'm there for 2 or 3 nights. Scoping out potential retirement towns. I like quiet. I'm more country and Mountain than beach type. I like quiet country areas. 2 names that I read about are grecia and arenal. I would need lower price rent as my social security will not be huge. Prefer to not have rain every day all day for months. Can you recommend any towns I should check out?

ILuvCR
1/20/2020 07:51 EST

Wow, very exciting!

I had to Google "Children's Eternal Rain Forest" but it sounds cool, near Monteverde one the more special and difficult to access places in Costa Rica.

I'm not sure that "Arenal" is a town but rather an area with Volcan Arenal, Lago Arenal and of course the very popular but touristy La Fortuna. You will be very near that area @ Children's Eternal Rain Forest.

Grecia is a "gringo gulch", lot's of gringos there. Known as the "cleanest town in Central America" but a little busy for me.

Closer to where you will be and very "tranquilo" are the small towns of Tronadora, Tilaran and Nuevo Arenal. I'd check them out but Costa Rica is a treasure trove of beautiful spots.

Pura Vida!

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Maureenpm00
1/20/2020 13:02 EST

Thank you so much for this info. I really appreciate it. I think grecia may be top busy for me too. I'm going to look up these 3 quiet towns and do a little research. If you think of any other quieter towns that are within 2-3 hours of where I will be or 2 hours from airport please share the town names.

Kohl
1/20/2020 16:56 EST

This Arenal area, it is often wet and windy, and is very scenic....but it is also very touristy.

lindyluvsCR
1/20/2020 18:51 EST

Well, I love Grecia. Only about 40 min from airport. I am normally the only gringa living in my barrio. "Busy" is relative. San Jose and Alajuela are too busy for me, and San Ramon too big. I am not a person you will find in a bar, day or night. Many more gringos in Atenas but I think smaller and too warm for me. Most of my friends are Ticos.

I see a few gringos in a couple of cafes in the morning when I pass by. In the afternoon if I go downtown, rarely see any. Most of them live up in the mountains and see a few maybe once a week at the feria. I have been here 5 years, and most see less than once a month. A few go to an English speaking church. I am the only Gringa in my church of about 130 Ticos.

Unless you speak fluent Spanish and have all your legal ducks in a row, most expats need to talk to a gringo now and then even if only to ask for info or opinion.

ILuvCR
1/21/2020 09:47 EST

JAJAJA! (HAHAHA) Maureenpm00

A little more action from the Facebook group, huh?

Pura Vida!

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Maureenpm00
1/21/2020 13:08 EST

HI yes. So much more activity there. But i so appreciate all the info from here too. I will post you a private message.

PuraVida
1/21/2020 13:28 EST

Check out Puriscal. In the mountains an hour West of San Jose, hour and a half to the beaches.

PombinhaCoco7
1/22/2020 07:20 EST

ILuvCR
Yes, Arenal is a town with many good restaurants, coffee shops, supermarkets,a nice park with a church and many hostels, cabinas and hotels. There is also a National Park with beautiful waterfalls (many steps though).

PombinhaCoco7
1/22/2020 07:39 EST

Khol,
I love Arenal. For some reason I feel very happy when I'm there.Maybe it's the thermal waters. Yesterday I thought about you. We went to Finca Verde (Bijagua) for lunch and to see sloths and then we spent one night in Caño Negro where we took a boat tour.
When we were in Upala I remembered that you and your wife had helped some people there during the big storm.
I find it amazing that every time we get close to Tenorio volcano is always raining.
The people in Caño Negro were in their patios waving at us and smiling.
We were the only people in the resort (Natural Lodge). It was only Yesterday as we were leaving that an excursion arrived.
Lots of spider monkeys in the resort but you need to awake up very early to see them. We saw a cayman in the river and they have many different birds in that area. At Finca Verde there were many sloths Moms with their babies. A friendly toucan was eating bananas on the ground (the guy put them there) and he wasn't afraid of us Great trip and great memories!
I hope I'm not making you sad but I believe that you also have very good memories.
The only negative thing was the road.
I hope they'll fix it in the future.

Kohl
1/22/2020 07:42 EST

'Nuevo Arenal' is the name of the town.

'The former village of Arenal near the La Fortuna area was inundated in 1978 with the formation of the artificial Lake Arenal. 'NuevoArenal' was a government project to relocate the displaced people. Nuevo Arenal is located about a one-hour drive northwest from the original village along a beautiful paved lakeside road that goes from La Fortuna to Tilaran.'

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

PombinhaCoco7
1/22/2020 07:49 EST

ILuvCR
Correction: I meant La Fortuna is a town.
Many people when they go to La Fortuna they say they go to Arenal because of the name of the volcano but actually they go to the town of La Fortuna. Lots of excursions from here.

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