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Chinatown in San Jose, Costa Rica

Pros and Cons of Living in San Jose

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jun 01, 2023

Summary: The pros of living in San Jose, Costa Rica include its beautiful scenery, friendly people, and low cost of living. Additionally, the city is home to a variety of cultural attractions, including museums, galleries, and theaters. The city also offers a wide range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and surfing. On the other hand, the cons of living in San Jose include its high crime rate, traffic congestion, and air pollution. Additionally, the city is prone to earthquakes and other natural disasters.

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What are the pros and cons of living in San Jose?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in San Jose responded:

"Expats and digital nomads living in San Jose often appreciate the city's vibrant culture, friendly locals, and excellent climate. They also enjoy the city's affordability, with a low cost of living and plenty of affordable housing options. On the other hand, some expats and digital nomads may find the city's traffic and pollution to be a downside. Additionally, the city's infrastructure can be lacking in some areas, making it difficult to access certain services," remarked one expat in San Jose.

"After the newbie excitement wears off, I doubt that there are many expats who really love living in Costa Rica. There are myriad problems and the lifestyle can actually be fairly boring. There's even a cottage industry of expats complaining about the country. However, especially for the money, Costa Rica is a more agreeable place to live than any other place I've lived. Most things, from utilities to the healthcare system, usually work, the weather is nice, and the people are friendly. Also, despite the high figures expats often toss around, $1000 a month for a single person is enough to live decently. This is more than the average local with a full-time job earns, and Costa Rica is a middle-income country, not "third world." I don't, of course, recommend that expats plan to live on this little. More is obviously more comfortable. Also, until or unless people know their way around and can navigate in Spanish, costs are usually higher. My point is rather that bang for the buck, Costa Rica offers a surprisingly agreeable quality of life. I moved to Costa Rica 14 years ago and haven't looked back. I read that half of expats leave within their first year, and that may be true. (Others stay and complain.) What works for some people doesn't work for others. However, I guess Costa Rica works for me. ," explained one expat living in San Jose.

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What do expats in San Jose appreciate most about the local culture?

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.

Chinatown in San Jose, Costa Rica

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