For people who have decided on retiring in Costa Rica, the biggest question is where does one reside? First it is important to understand that Costa Rica is not a big country but it does have varying climate and diverse geography scenery depending on where you live. The country is essentially divided into three regions- the north, the central region, and the south.
There is no good or bad between any of these regions for retiring in Costa Rica; it all depends on personal preference and what sort of lifestyle you have.
The Northern Region
The northern region located just south of Nicaragua, also known as the gold coast, has a warm dry climate, a laid back lifestyle, beautiful beaches, pristine blue waters of the pacific and small seaside towns dispersed all over the pacific coast. This area of the country is very developed with great road system to the most places, new Cima Hospital, close proximity to the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport and great infrastructure. The three key towns here include Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo and Playas del Coco. Arenal has also become a favorite hotspot for expats in the last few years. This area is also famous for the cone-shaped Arenal volcano, which thankfully has been dormant since 2012. Expats and retirees have been living in this part of the country for over a decade and many even run restaurants, nightclubs and sight seeing expeditions. Being close to the pacific coast means that there is cheap seafood available all year round but there are also shops that sell almost every type of food that is available in the USA. Next to superb golf courses, the best thing about this part of the country is that it does not have torrential rainfalls and the region is blessed with more sunny days that any other part of the country. For those looking to experience Costa Rican culture and warmth; and a strong supportive expat community, this is an ideal place retiring In Costa Rica.
Another Item for considering when you choose on retiring In Costa Rica is real estate pricing. Real estate is very reasonably priced in Playas del Coco, Hermosa, Ocotal and Papagayo. Large modern homes can be bought can be bought for around $200,000- and many have and a scenic lake view; 2 bedroom 2 bathroom townhome / condo in Las Palmas subdivision and other places in Playas del Coco can be purchase for $100,000 -$150,000. Renting fully-furnished homes is usually less than $1,000 a month. Contact us now for more information on retiring In Costa Rica or real estate information.
The Southern region
The southern region is also associated with the Pacific Coast where the steep mountain cliffs suddenly plunge into the waters. This part of the country is less developed but is considered to have diverse geography. It is ideal for people who love nature and the outdoor life. The three key towns here include Uvita, Dominical, and Ojochal. Unlike the north, the beaches here are deserted and the place is not well developed. The weather in this part tends to be hot, humid and the downpours can also be heavy. Unlike the North, most homes are isolated and there are no large-gated communities. Real estate is cheap but the infrastructure still needs quite a bit of development. But if you like warm humid climate and enjoy to have very little people around you, this may be a good areas for retiring In Costa Rica and it will cost you a fraction of what would you be paying in US.
The Central Region
The central region is well developed and has a tropical resort area atmosphere. One can have all the convenience of modern life and yet be within walking distance of some excellent beaches. The weather is hot and humid but the scenery is gorgeous. The central region has always been a magnet for retires but it is congested in some areas. The biggest advantage of living here is that one is close to the capital, San Jose, and this allows quick access to the big city amenities and atmosphere. If you choose on retiring here you need to know that real estate is more expensive because everything is urbanized. Most expats prefer to retire elsewhere. However, food, transport and local amenities are cheap. You will be living in the urban area with huge population, a lot of traffic, more crime, more noise and all other charms of city life.
There is no question that retiring in Costa Rica comes with many benefits. The biggest decision is deciding where you want to retire. All regions have nice warm weather, cheap food, bargains in real estate and real friendly people. Retiring in Costa Rica and living well can be done for around $2,000 a month. However, if you want to retain connections to expats, live in a fancy home, eat well, have access to the warm waters of the Pacific, have decent healthcare, and a wonderful way of life, then the northern region of Guanacaste province is the closest thing to heaven on earth.