Ojochal, Costa Rica

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 24, 2021

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

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Is the cost of living in Ojochal high?

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We asked people about the cost of living in Ojochal, they wrote:

"The cost of living is less than most tourist towns. For example if you own a restaurant in a non-tourist town and your food is not good or overpriced, you will quickly go out of business. Yet many well know restaurants are located in Ojochal. Water is abundant and you never need heat and most don't use AC. The temperature is more temperate than many other areas in Costa Rica, because the largest lowland forest in all of the entire Pacific region starts in Ojochal and continues to the south. The largest mangrove estuary in all of Central America is just to the south as well - so there is lots of clean air. The newest hospital in the CAJA system is located just two towns to the south in Cortez -- so healthcare is close and inexpensive," added another expat in Ojochal.

Why do people move to Ojochal?

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When we asked people why foreigners move to Ojochal, they responded:

"Ojochal is a well known international residential community, not a tourist town. It has a larger percentage of foreigners than nearly any other town in Costa Rica. It is often referred to as "the Culinary Capital of Costa Rica" since many expats have opened restaurants there offering food from their home countries. Ojochal was the starting point of the Costa Ballena Women's Network, now with hundreds of members. There's a large US, Canadian and French contingent there, but you can also find residents from every continent. We now have an Indonesian restaurant, 2 French bakeries -- and Italian, Mexican, French, Thai, Tico and World cuisine. There's one of the most extensive collections of cooking ingredients of any grocery store anywhere in Costa Rica, in fact if you like to cook, this is the place to be. The little supermarket in Ojochal sells everything from Caviar to Curry, 5 kinds of Capers, Spring roll wrappers, Nori, Pickled ginger, polenta, cous cous and everything else you could think of. The expat community has been thriving for over 25 years. The crime rate is also lower than most other areas since it is a residential community and not a tourist town. It is also located south of the passport control checkpoint on the Baru River, criminals north of this point don't want to cross that bridge. The beaches in this area are stunning: Playa Tortuga, Playa Ballena, Playa Ventanas. Plus, it is is also where the mouth of the longest navigable river in all of Costa Rica reaches the ocean (the Terraba River). There are at least 10 phases of development for expats in Ojochal and lots of activities for both expats and Ticos. The neighborhood community interacts more with Ticos than in many other parts of Costa Rica," said another expat in Ojochal.

What do I need to know about living in Ojochal?

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

"Leave most everything where you came from, sell it off, come start a new life in Paradise. Be prepared for some culture shock and getting used to the slower pace of life but be prepared for more exercise and a better quality of life where you will live life, not watch it on television. (not that we don't have tv's and cable)," remarked another expat in Ojochal.

How do I meet people in Ojochal?

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When we asked people living in Ojochal about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"There is a bunch of expat organizations in Costa Rica to welcome newcomers. The largest is ACRC. In our town there is a group called the Coasta Bellena Women's Club that has about 400 members. We have a great international expat community. Ojochal, Uvita and Dominical are considered to be the southern Pacific Region of Costa Rica. The cost of living is lower here than in many other parts of Costa Rica and the pace of life is slower and more relaxing. We have a pot luck brunch in town, pizza night at a local restaurant (Gringo Mikes) and a local farmer's market on Saturdays," remarked another expat in Ojochal.

Will I be able to find a job in Ojochal?

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When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Ojochal, they reponded:

"Residential construction and related, pool design, construction and maintenance, landscape design and maintenance, interior design and maintenance, restuaranteur, tourist related activities, shops, services," explained one expat.

What is life like in Ojochal?

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When we asked people living in Ojochal what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"This area is more like a village. We have a very international crowd; Dutch, French, Canadian, American, Estonian, Indonesian, etc. We have a great mix of restaurants and the area is reputed to be a culinary high point of the country. Lives revolve around social events more than work, we have a local soccer team that competes with the Ticos in town and there is a bull ring for our annual bull riding contest. Many are involved in philanthropic endeavors, helping the local schools, an orphanage from San Isidro En General, etc," remarked another expat in Ojochal.

Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Ojochal accepting of differences?

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"The is a small denomination of catholics in town, some mennonites and a few Pageans :'). We have amazing cultural diversity and there is ample economic opportunity due to the high rate of growth in the area. Thera is a lot of construction related work in high end custom homes. The town is very accepting, almost too much so," said another person in Ojochal.

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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Ojochal, Costa RicaGuide to Living in Ojochal, Costa Rica

Ojochal, Costa Rica: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Ojochal

Costa Rica Forum Costa Rica Forum
Join our Costa Rica forum to meet other people living in Ojochal, Costa Rica.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Ojochal.

Healthcare in Costa RicaHealthcare in Costa Rica

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.

Ojochal, Costa RicaExpats Talk about Living in Ojochal

Expats talk about what it's like living in Ojochal, Costa Rica: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What Newcomers to Ojochal Should Know

11 Tips for Living in Ojochal, Costa Rica11 Tips for Living in Ojochal, Costa Rica

Ojochal, Costa Rica is an international residential community, not a tourist town. It boasts beautiful beaches, a low crime rate, a thriving expat social scene and more. Steve Linder offers a great overview of the area.

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