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Atenas, Costa Rica: Cost of Living, Healthcare, Local Clubs and Activities, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Atenas | Expat Exchange
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Atenas, Costa Rica

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jan 11, 2024

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Atenas, Costa Rica: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What do I need to know about living in Atenas?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Atenas, they said:

"Atenas is known for its warm, tropical climate and is often referred to as having the 'best climate in the world'. Before retiring in Atenas, expats should know that the cost of living is relatively low compared to many Western countries, but it's still higher than in other parts of Costa Rica. Healthcare in Costa Rica is of a high standard, with both public and private healthcare systems available. Expats can join the public healthcare system for a small monthly fee based on income, but many also choose to have private health insurance for more immediate care. Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica, so learning some basic Spanish will be beneficial, although many locals and expats speak English. Atenas is a small town with a tight-knit community, so it's easy to get to know people. However, it's also close to the capital city of San Jose, providing access to more urban amenities when needed. The local cuisine is a mix of traditional Costa Rican food and international dishes, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available. Costa Rica uses the Costa Rican colón as its currency, but US dollars are widely accepted. The country is politically stable and has a lower crime rate than many other Latin American countries, but petty crime can be an issue, so it's important to take basic safety precautions. Costa Rica has a slower pace of life, which can be a big adjustment for some expats. This 'Pura Vida' lifestyle is one of the reasons many people choose to retire in Costa Rica. Finally, it's important to understand the visa and residency requirements before moving. There are several options for obtaining residency, including through investment or by proving a steady income," said one expat who made the move to Atenas.

"The Costa Rican people in Atenas are kind and welcoming. There is an international group of expats, from Europe, the US, Canada, as well as from various Spanish speaking countries. I appreciate the diversity. During the dry season, the sun is strong. I am outside in the early morning and late afternoon, and inside from 10:00am-2:00pm. I choose to be car free. I am easily able to walk to shops, dentist, and other services. Atenas has a rural feel as is it a coffee growing region of Costa Rica, as well as a region for fruit and vegetables. There is a small town “vibe” with focus on church and local school activities. The pace is slow. These are some of my personal reflections," explained one expat living in Atenas, Costa Rica.

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RelocateNow Costa Rica's clients who run through the RelocateNow Program get quick results in formulating and successfully executing our laid out plan for moving to Costa Rica! Expert consulting for future expats in Costa Rica who wish to fast track the process of their move by receiving the specialized information they need, trustworthy connections within the country, and high level 1:1 support through the entire process.

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RelocateNow Costa RicaRelocateNow Costa Rica

RelocateNow Costa Rica's clients who run through the RelocateNow Program get quick results in formulating and successfully executing our laid out plan for moving to Costa Rica! Expert consulting for future expats in Costa Rica who wish to fast track the process of their move by receiving the specialized information they need, trustworthy connections within the country, and high level 1:1 support through the entire process.
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Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

What do I need to know before moving to Atenas?

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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We've partnered with RelocateNow Costa Rica to help you with your move.
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