Playa Cocles near Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast
Playa Cocles near Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast
Playa Cocles near Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast

Pros and Cons of Living in Costa Rica

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Pros and Cons of Living in Costa Rica. Expats, Retirees and Digital Nomads talk about the pros and cons of living in Costa Rica

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William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

What are the pros and cons of living in Costa Rica?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Costa Rica responded:

"My only dislike is the postal system. The system is impossible to navigate when trying to receive a package. I have learned that it is easier for me to order something, and divert the government postal system altogether," explained one expat in Florencia.

"love the climate, people are helpful and friendly - beach sand is too hot in the summer sun," said another expat in Playa Jaco.

"The positive aspect of living in Playa Jaco and Playa Hermosa far outweigh the negative aspects. The area has excellent services for it's residents (locals and expats alike). The infrastructure is good with availability of internet, excellent water, paved roads, and reliable power sources. The police force is present but not overbearing and very helpful. Restaurants, bistros, bars and coffee shops are plentiful and reasonably priced. The community is very multi-national with expats from all over the world. The incredible variety of restaurants of the area boast this desirable quality with cuisine offerings from authentic French, Spanish, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean, American style steak houses and of course, local Costa Rican cuisine. Due to our proximity to the ocean, seafood is affordable and plentiful. The area has many butchers, bakers, vegetable/fruit stands, along with large chain grocery stores. The area has a good expat community that are friendly, helpful and will assist with helping other expats offering excellent advice and/or encouragement. The beach is the lifeline of the community with many aquatic activities, family beach/surf events, a strong art and culture following, and volunteering opportunities. As the area is popular with local Costa Rican families from the Central Valley, the beach is a big draw and does get busy during holidays and long weekends. The local businessed really rely on tourism outside the area so although the traffic can get busy, it's important for those in the tourism business especially after the pandemic affected the area," remarked another expat in Playa Jaco.

"Sold NY Home, moved to Costa Rica where everyone is from the US. Still have to check out and find a place in Florida but nothing is similar in the US to Costa Rica. I am still a citizen and have to leave June 2 for 72 hours. Borders to Nicaragua and Panama closed recently. All good, Key West probably," explained one expat living in Nosara, Costa Rica.

"Dominical is small and very complete. I Like the artist community and the laid back atmosphere. Getting used to a different way of doing business is challenging and I wouldn't change it. Working on getting my residency. The dry season is a bit hot. Being hot gives me opportunity to go to US and take art workshops. Supplies are hard to get, but the challenge is to work with what I can get. Now that the house is built, I will be working on getting to know the community. I want to share my knowledge of sewing with whoever is interested. I will be doing some volunteering with food distributions and hope to see where my other skills might be of some benefit. My retirement account is enough to keep me going, so I don't need a job. For 72 I have alot of energy and like sharing my knowledge. Landscaping my son's Airbnb property is one of my projects. Because the tropics are so different from US, I need to Find people to teach me about tropical planting and soil improvement. I am concerned about sewing machine repair and have a hard time finding cotton fabric here. Luckily there is a clothing maker in town, Ruth, who is very helpful. The mail service is pricey. We do alot of business with Amazon. Because we are always building and son makes furniture, Amazon is a great place to find parts that aren't available in Costa Rica. Looking forward to seeing Costa Rica, have a car now and friends are visiting, so off we go on some adventures. A fire destroyed my home and used this excuse for a new life," said another expat in living in Dominical, Costa Rica.

"The people The climate The beautiful land and sea The unique critters The adventure The peace The people," added another expat in Playas del Coco.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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