The Central American country of Costa Rica is mostly famous for its long life expectancy, high standards of education and a democratic and fairly stable government system. All these, and many more, contribute to the fact that the country is an amazing place to consider moving to. Below you will find several other incentives.
1. Living here is much cheaper than in other North American countries
Basic groceries, such as oranges and rice are generally half the price in Costa Rica than in the United States. You can get a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for $33 USD for two people, and you’ll only spend an average $55 USD on a monthly transportation pass.
2. Safety First
Costa Rica has been proclaimed the safest country in Latin America, according to a survey of the United Nations published in 2014. Although considered safe in general compared to other Central American countries, one mustn’t forget to take precaution when stepping out into the crowded and busy city streets.
3. Health Insurance at its Finest
A first class healthcare system exists in Costa Rica, at less than half the price of what you can find in Northern American countries. Most of the doctors speak English and were trained in Europe or the United States. The World Health Organization acclaimed that Costa Rica is first in the World regarding long life expectancy.
4. Adventure Awaits
Costa Rica is considered an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. Because of its varied geographic features, ranging from sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters to steep, rocky mountain peaks, the area has a lot to offer. Get yourself a weekend energy boost and try some of these adrenaline-filled activities! If you’re into snorkeling, then one of the beaches in Jacó, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Cahuita or Uvita will surely cure your thirst for marine life. Montezuma and Puerto Carrillo are some of the best places for surfing, whilst Jaco and Guanacaste provide excellent zip lining opportunities. Head to Tortuguero or Nosara to enjoy some turtle-watching, or go to the Quepos region for a day of canyoning or rafting.
5. Tropical weather year-round
If you’re worried that a sudden thunderstorm might wreck your weekend adventure plans, you shouldn’t. Since the country is located between 8 and 12 degrees north of the Equator, the weather stays warm throughout the year, with the exception of some microclimates, which have formed above higher geographic levels. Dry season, also known as summer, occurs between December and April, whilst the rainy season, or winter is between the months of May and November. Mean annual temperature in the coastal lowlands is 80OF, while in the summits of the highest mountains it’s generally under 50OF.
6. Environmental balance
Costa Rica was proclaimed the Greenest country on Earth by NEF. Locals care so much about their surroundings, that even though the country possesses merely 0.1% of the World’s landmass, it also contains 5% of its biodiversity. A quarter of the country’s land area is proclaimed protected and have national park status, making it the largest percentage of protected areas in a country. Costa Rica is also a true pioneer when it comes to ecotourism, and has been named first in the sustainable tourism category.
7. It’s home to one of the most beautiful islands in the World
Cocos Island is composed of 2 million year-old rock, covered in tropical rainforests and scored with waterfalls and ravines. It is a Marine World Heritage Site, being home to one of the richest concentrations of pelagic species in the World. It is a spectacular diving site, but bear in mind that you can only go scuba diving through organized tours and with a guide. The best time to do so is between March and December.
8. The capital city isn’t so bad either
The capital city of Costa Rica, San Jose, lies in the tropical climate range, but because of its elevation, it has a mild climate, perfect for living in the city. Various public transportation routes (buses and trains) connect the capital to numerous other cities. It is one of the safest cities in the region and is the primary work area of the country. Besides these factors, San Jose has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment and leisure. Plenty of museums (National Museum of Costa Rica, Museum of Contemporary art and Design, Museum of Pre-Columban Gold), theaters (National Theater of Costa Rica, Melico Salazar Theater), parks and squares (National Park, Morazan Park, San Jose Central Park), offer numerous leisure opportunities to locals and tourists, along with an abundance of bars, clubs, and restaurants.
9. Life can be adventurous in the smaller cities
If you aren’t too fond of the rush of the capital, choose a smaller city, like Liberia to live in, the capital of Guanacaste Province. Located 220 kilometers away from San Jose, Liberia is one of the largest tourism centers in the country. It has the second largest airport, so even if you decide to go home to the US or Canada for a short weekend, you can choose from many international flights. Living in this city is even cheaper than in San Jose, and it is a mere half hour’s drive away from the beach. It is also surrounded by some of the most spectacular national parks in the country, such as Guanacaste, Palo Verde, Rincon de la Vieja and Santa Rosa national parks.
10. Stay near the capital
If you don’t want to leave San Jose that far behind, stay in the ex-capital city of Cartago, located only 25 kilometers from the big city. It is the perfect base if you ever need to go to San Jose, or work there and need to commute. We especially recommend this area to nature-lovers, since the whole province is famous for its ecological diversity, located in dense tropical rainforests which cover the surrounding mountain ranges.
11. Escape the crowds; choose a town with a population of 500!
If you really want to retire to a peaceful and quiet place which doesn’t have too much commotion, then Tamarindo is the place for you! Although the district has a population of almost 7,000 inhabitants, the small town of Tamarindo is only home to 500 people. It’s the perfect place for the ultimate retirement destination: it has a long, clean beach, a homey farmers market, and a relaxing environment.
12. Have an adventure-filled stay at Jaco
For the outdoorsy types who can’t decide if they prefer the beach or the mountains, Jacó is the obvious option. Lying between two large beaches and several mountains, Jaco can be found 100 kilometers south of the capital city. It is special because of its proximity to Carara National Park, where one of the biggest remaining populations of Scarlet Macaw lives. After you’re done with beach time, head to one of the best adventure parks in the World, the Rainforest Adventure Ecotourism Park, where you can admire the beautiful and dense rainforest from a hanging tram.
13. Live healthy
If you’re tired of all those processed and pre-cooked foods you can buy at your local supermarket, try some of the fresh fruits and vegetables from the local farmer’s market. Not only do they taste excellent, they are also extremely healthy, since they’re organic and produced locally.
14. Affordable homes in small-town areas
If you decide to move to a smaller town with less commotion, getting an affordable house close to the beach is quite possible. A 600 sqft apartment in Jaco, with two bedrooms and a bath is perfect for a smaller family and can be purchased for merely $69,000. With a lovely kitchen and living room area, this listing is located in the heart of town, close to every amenity, in a safe community and only at a 10-minute walk from the beach!
15. Pamper yourself with a beach condo
If you’ve saved up enough until your retirement that you can afford to buy a beach house in Costa Rica, get prepared because there are plenty of choices on the market. You can purchase a 3,600 sqft apartment with four bedrooms and three baths built in 2011, for $785,000. The custom-built new villa has an awesome view over Playa Hermosa and is at arm’s reach from the nearest beach. Its greatest feature is a glass wall next to the open concept living, dining and kitchen areas, with a view over the crystal waters and high volcanoes.
These are just a few of the many reasons why many people are considering moving or retiring to this amazing country. From a first-class healthcare system to amazing landscapes, Costa Rica has something to offer for everyone.