In my last couple of articles I talked about why retirees choose Costa Rica and doing the proper research before moving to the country. This week I’d like to talk about the options available for touring the country with the purpose of moving here.
One of the good things that Costa Rica has to offer is that there are so many areas that are suitable for living. There are the beach towns in Guanacaste, Nicoya and the Central and South Pacific. If living at the beach isn’t your cup of tea then there are the cities and many towns in the Central Valley or San Isidro de General in the southern part of the country. One of the clients on my monthly relocation/retirement tours remarked, “It is difficult to choose where to live in Costa Rica, because there are so many nice areas.” What a dilemma!
Anyway there there are several options for touring the country with the purpose of moving here.
Exploring the country on your own
One way is on your own. Those who have traveled extensively abroad or visited Costa Rica on numerous occasions will probably have success touring the country on their own. However, these people are few and far between and this method is not for the faint at heart. At some point independent travelers will have to rent a car or take buses which can prove tiresome and time-wasters. Also, there have been cases where people traveling by bus have had their luggage stolen. Even if you choose to fly around the country, at some point you will take a taxi or bus since you won’t have ground transportation, and that can add up to a lot of money. Furthermore, travelers who speak little or no Spanish may feel helpless when asking directions or trying to get around. Remember: Not all Costa Ricans speak English. Imagine having car troubles or some other emergency in the middle of nowhere and trying to communicate with people.
A regular group tour
Caravan Tours offers 10-day touristy-type trips which cover some parts of the country. These tours are a great way to see the country’s natural wonders, get acquainted with the country and get a general view of what Costa Rica is like from a tourist’s perspective. I have had numerous clients go on Caravan’s tour and say it is worth what they paid. The only real drawback to their tours is that they are not designed for retirees. Check out their Costa Rica tours at: http://www.caravan.com/tour/costa-rica
An organized retirement tour
A far as I know there are three relocation/retirement tours offered at this time. One, as the URL indicates, shows you how and where to live on your Social Security Pension. Another tour, given on a limited basis, claims to show you the real Costa Rica and prepare you for living here. Both tours only cover the areas in the Central Valley. The other tours, given by “yours truly,” are for people with all budgets, cover the Central Valley and Central and South Pacific beach areas and include a two-day seminar by the Association of residents of Costa Rica (ARCR). Whichever tour you choose to meet your specific needs, be assured that a relocation/retirement tour is probably the best way to see Costa Rica if your goal is to live here. At least once a year International Living offers a huge seminar here with a lot of attendees. It is NOT a retirement tour nor is it as complete or comprehensive as the seminar given by the Association of Residents. Take my word for it.
On the other hand, most of the participants on the retirement and relocation tours above have stated that they could have never explored the country on their own nor learned so much as they did from their tour guide’s experience. The knowledge and contacts you get from a veteran retirement guide are invaluable. And best of all you can leave all of the headaches like finding lodging, transportation, viewing the inside of homes and looking for good restaurants to your tour guide. When you consider all of these factors, a guided retirement tour is a no-brainer.
What you should expect and learn from a retirement tour:
* You should have enough information to know whether Costa Rica is for you, and if so, which area you can see yourself living in.
* You should also learn the good, the bad and the ugly.
* Your guide should be licensed and registered with the Country’s tourism institute to ensure the quality of the tour
* The best locations suited for your lifestyle and specific needs.
* View living situations that are in neighborhoods with high-speed Internet access and near the best private hospitals in case of a serious medical emergency.
* Meet expats who have moved here and who will share their experiences to you.
* Make valuable contacts to help ensure your success if you end up moving here.
* Learn what to really expect when you move here
* Time-proven shortcuts for learning the Spanish language
* Learn about the lifestyle you can have living in Costa Rica.
* And more……
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: www.liveincostarica.com. 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 www.costaricabooks.com