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Where to Live When Retiring in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Retirement – So you have read all of the books about retiring and living here and taken a retirement tour to see the most suitable areas for living. Now you have to choose where to live. This can pose a problem since there are so many beautiful places from which to choose.

retiring in costa rica 1If you are a beach person you’ll have to decide if you want to live in the Northern Pacific, Nicoya Peninsula, The Central Pacific and Southern Pacific. I have purposely excluded the Caribbean side of the country because of the crime problem and distance from major services.

There are a lot of small beach towns where you can hang your hat if they fit your particular lifestyle. I know scores of Americans who live along the coast and love it. However, you have to be a certain breed of person to be able to live in a beach area. If you can’t tolerate hot weather, then the beach is not the place for you. Furthermore, good medical care is scarce as is ambulance service. Boredom can also be a factor except in larger beach towns like Tamarindo, Jacó and Quepos. These towns have a variety of restaurants, outdoor and indoor entertainment and decent shopping. However, even with said amenities living at the beach can be downright boring at times.

Costa Rica’s Central Valley has many more options than the beach areas and better weather. Technically, this area extends from Cartago in the east through San José, Heredia and Alajuela to San Ramón in the west and offers a choice of large cities and small towns where you can settle. If you are a city person the main cities are : Cartago, San José, Heredia, Alajuela and San Ramón. The advantage of living in one of the larger cities and or towns is their proximity to the best healthcare, good entertainment and better shopping. I know many expats that are happy residing in these areas.

Smaller towns in the Central Valley have a more laid-back and slower pace of life than the larger cities. The smaller towns where expats tend to reside in the Central Valley are Ciudad Colón, Puriscal, Atenas and Grecia. All have become increasingly popular with foreigners during the last ten years.

It is interesting to note that the majority the guests on monthly relocation and retirement tours who do decide to move to Costa Rica choose to live in the Central Valley for the many reasons I mention above. Only a small percentage of my clients choose the beach. Funny, when people think of moving to a tropical country like Costa Rica they always picture themselves living at the beach amidst a tropical setting which in reality turns out to be the last place that people choose to live.

If you are interested in a Retirement Tour Click Here to See His Tours.

Christopher Howard conducts monthly relocation/retirement tours fill in the form below to receive Chrisopher’s free book when you register for a tour and have him contact you personally. For details please see: He also has authored and published 17 editions of “The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica” and other guides about living in Costa Rica. See

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