The Costa Rican Times wanted to share some of the experiences of our writers and their journeys through Costa Rica. Knowing what some people have experienced personally can help people understand Costa Rica a little better.
I’m the type of person who moves around a lot. I don’t mind it; I actually enjoy scenery changes and getting to know different neighborhoods. When I first moved to Costa Rica I wanted to spend some time in a few locations before deciding where to settle down. My journey looked like this:
-I spent the first month in a hostel in Los Yoses, San Pedro (east side of San Jose)
– then a houseshare on Paseo Colon on the west side of San Jose, far from San Pedro
– a houeshare in Sabanilla, Outskirts of San Pedro
– next a studio in La Granja, San Pedro Centro
-after that I tried living with a host family in Lourdes, San Pedro
– I moved with the host family to Granadilla, further east than San Pedro
-Next to a room in La Granja, San Pedro Centro
-Then another houseshare in San Pedro Centro near the mall
-Now that I’ve decided on the best area I’m moving to an apartment in San Pedro Centro.
As you can see, I have always been drawn back to the center of San Pedro. I felt that Sabanilla, though part of San Pedro, was too far from everything. Lourdes was close enough to the center of San Pedro if you don’t mind a 15 minute walk. The west side of San Jose I hated because things are more expensive there and everything closes early. I also felt that it was dangerous.
Living near Mall San Pedro is a great place to center your search for a great place to live. You can walk a few blocks east towards La Granja to find Calle de la Amargura, the street with bars and restaurants, and Mas x Menos Supermarket. If you walk a few blocks west towards Los Yoses you will find Auto Mercado and other specialty stores to get imported goods.
I find that the San Pedro Centro Area has many police and private guards so it feels safe. Students from the universities are always out late giving it a vibrant city life feel. The area is only a ten minute bus ride from San Jose but much cleaner! The main street hosts many parades and cultural activities.
If noise is a concern, just choose a location a few blocks south of the main street, for example in La Granja. This will give you some distance from the train and church bells as well as the bars. This area is in the center of Mas x Menos and the Outlet Mall and in walking distance from Zapote’s fresh food market which is every Sunday (think 3 bags of groceries for $8!) It’s a safe, central, and perfect location to experience the best of all things Costa Rican!