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

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jul 11, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Puerto Viejo, 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 Puerto Viejo?

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

"Expats considering retirement in Puerto Viejo should be aware that the cost of living is generally lower than in many Western countries, but it can vary depending on lifestyle choices. They should also know that the official language is Spanish, so learning the language can be beneficial, although English is widely spoken in tourist areas. Healthcare in Costa Rica is of a high standard and affordable, with both public and private healthcare systems available. However, it's important to note that while the public healthcare system is free, it can be slow, so many expats opt for private healthcare. Puerto Viejo is known for its laid-back, Caribbean lifestyle, with a mix of cultures including indigenous Bribri, Afro-Caribbean, and expat populations. The town is small and walkable, with a variety of restaurants, shops, and amenities. The weather is tropical, with a rainy season from May to November and a dry season from December to April. The area is also prone to earthquakes and tropical storms, so it's important to be prepared for these natural events. Real estate can be more expensive in Puerto Viejo compared to other parts of Costa Rica due to its popularity with tourists and expats. Renting before buying is often recommended to get a feel for the area and understand the local real estate market. Finally, it's important to understand the residency requirements in Costa Rica. There are several options for obtaining residency, including through pension income, investment, or starting a business. Legal advice is recommended to navigate this process," remarked one expat who made the move to Puerto Viejo.

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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 Puerto Viejo?

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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.

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

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