Have you ever been to Costa Rica?

by konrud
4 replies
  • |
Hi everyone. I am interested in visiting Costa Rica and maybe staying there for several months.

Have you visited or lived there? Can you tell me pros and cons? I heard many good things about it: not too expensive to live, nice climate... Is it truth?
  • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
    Haven't been yet, but it's on my short list of places to visit next. A couple of my good buddies have been, and they really enjoyed it. They stayed in the Nosara area. Said the weather was pretty hot along the coast. Great surf though (which was the main reason they went). CR has some pretty high mountains, so I would imagine the temp can vary quite a bit, depending on elevation.

    Regarding the cost of living... I've heard it's not as cheap as it used to be, but if you stay off the beaten path (out of the "touristy" areas), it's not too bad. As with any country, the touristy areas are going to be more expensive.

    One other thing they mentioned, is that a lot of the roads are in really bad shape (especially in the rainy season), so it helps to have a 4WD.

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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    It's true. An acquaintance is retiring there. She acquired a nice acreage for relatively little.

    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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    • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
      Hi, yes I've been there but only for 1 month so I won't be able to give an expats viewpoint but just a long stay tourist.

      If you are going for a short time to CR or dang near anywhere here is a great site for your accommodations: https://www.airbnb.com (not an aff link obviously, I really like this site).

      The weather like Panama is cooler in the highlands and warmer on the coast.

      Cost of living varies wildly depending on where you want to be and what standard you want. If you're looking to straight up go full blown high end Nortamericano I.E. Gringo back home life in another country then get ready to spend.

      You don't need to go flop house Tico to get by on the cheap either. You can have a nice 2 bedroom condo with security in a really safe area furnished for $800. The days of getting that for $350 are pretty much over in CR.

      The rest of your expenses can also vary wildly. I'm a Mercado shopper and nearly shun grocery stores. The Mercado's are in most cases less than 1/2 price and the quality is twice as good.

      If you learn to eat out where the locals do then you can avoid paying 5 times what they pay I.E. Gringo/tourist tax as it's called.

      A great example is in Lima Peru (I know we are discussing CR but bare with me). The best Ceviche in all of Lima is a little green waterfront shack (I forget the name now, sorry about that) with an old boat outside parked in the sand, somewhat rickety wooded chairs and an owner who when she smiles will steal your heart. The Full round of Ceviche with avocado and a shot of the tigers milk set me back $4.50. The place on Pizza street in the tourist area cost $12.95 and was crap compered to this.

      So, it's NOT a cop out when I say it depends on what lifestyle you anticipate living there as to what your costs will be like. But that could be said for most of the Caribbean and South American Countries.

      If you don't go there and act like a big shot gringo with a sign on your forehead that says I'm an idiot please take my money then you will have a hard time spending $1,500 a month over and above your rent. If you go full tilt gringo you could blow 20K without breaking a sweat.

      If you're not into hot and sticky then the coast won't be your bag. I live in Tampa and it's a little sticky for me there but not unbearable by any means. The mornings are usually nice and cool until about 10am then it will start warming up.

      I hope you enjoy your trip.


      [Edit] The name of the Cevicheria is Sonia. However a friend now tells me that it's not on the beach anymore but up a few blocks. The beach was to pricy. It is however still green[Edit]
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