I have enjoyed living in Costa Rica for 19 years. Now at 83 years I am well taken care of by the universal health care system, which rivals those of Europe and puts the U.S. to shame. I pay $73 per month premium for myself and my wife, which also covered by daughter until she reached 18 years. Now daughter Kelcey has two young boys who are getting an excellent education in a bi-lingual school and gets inexpensive family health coverage through self-employment. In 1992, when real estate was less expensive than now, we bought two homes on a two acre property with forest, river, and waterfall for $154,000. Kelcey and the grandkids live in one home. Christine and I live in a large home with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, jacuzzi, veranda with views of the tropical forest and our gardens of multi-colored plants. We hire a part-time gardener who has made our grounds into a tropical garden. There are mountains above and city below. At 1350 meters altitude the climate is mild, 20-25C days (70sF) and 17-20 C nights (60sF).
International surveys rank Costa Rica as the “Happiest Country in the World.” A typical hello or goodby on the street is “pura vida,” meaning a friendly wish for a good life. The country of “pure life.”
Costa Rica is located only 8 degrees north of the equator, but it is only hot at sea level, and only then in the dry season (January to May). A rule of thumb is that if it is 32C (88F) at sea level, the temperature will drop nearly one degree Celcius for each 100 meters of altitude, so that at 1000 meters altitude the temperature will be around 24C. It is somewhat cooler in the rainy season that begins in May and winds down in December, including at the beaches where there are afternoon showers. Summertime, the dry season, is January into May. The point is that you can choose the climate you prefer, as well as in the mountains, rural or urban area. There are 11 climatic zones with diverse local microclimates, many of which are separated by a drive of only an hour or two. You will find dry forest, rain forest, and mountain cloud forest, and lowlands, wetlands and other topography. The Pacific Ocean is to the West and the Caribbean Sea to the East. The nation's 11 distinct ecological zones are home to an astounding array of flora and fauna--approximately five percent of all known species on earth and protected by Costa Rican law.
There are different categories of Residency, Pensionado (if you have social security or annuities), of if you open a business here or have funds from abroad to sustain your cost of living. For Residency requirements in detail go to www.arcr.com
Costa Rica is the second smallest country in Central America about the size of the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. It is bordered on the north by Nicaragua and to the south by Panama. The population of Costa Rica is about 4.5 million with 2.2 million people living in the greater Metropolitan Area of San Jose. The country is divided into 7 provinces (states): Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, and San Jose.
Tourists, retirees and local residents can enjoy a mind boggling list of outdoor activities: surfing on both coasts, Kayaking, shooting the rapids, scuba diving, snorkeling the vibrant coral reefs, bungee jumping, zipping through the treetops like "George of the Jungle", hiking through lush tropical rainforests or misty mountain cloud forests, horse-back riding along the beautiful white sand beaches, climbing a volcano, soaking in thermal hot springs, enjoying some of the best fishing the world offers, playing golf, tennis, and of course soccer. About the only activity you will not find here involves skiing on SNOW!
Costa Rica's bio-diversity, stunning beauty, friendly and helpful people, laid-back lifestyle, near perfect tropical climate, low violent-crime rate, stable democratic government has earned this tiny country world-wide recognition and has resulted in thousands of foreigners making this paradise their home.
Costa Rica has the oldest and longest-standing Democratic government in all of Latin America. The country's political system continues to develop while keeping its democratic roots firmly and securely in place. In 1948, the government of Costa Rica demonstrated their confidence in the stability of their nation by abolishing the army. The large amount of money thus saved was then dedicated to social services such as national health care, education, public utilities to the entire country, and social services. Governments elected have usually been reformist or Center-Left in orientation. However, there is a more centrist, conservative trend in recent years even though the governing parties considers itself center-left. However, serious reforms or changes are often stymied by the multitude of competing parties in the Cámara de Diputados. For information on government go to www.go.cr.cr For news on Costa Rica subscribe to www.amcostarica.com Onlne read www.visitconstarica.com www.theticotimes.com and www.welovecostarica.com
For those who read Spanish I placed a blog that I wrote some years back with the subject matter of the economy, politics, and business, On the home page click “Economía Política y Negocios.”
Costa Rica does have a major problem for residents and investors--the cost of living and paying operating expenses in colones when sales are in dollars. This is due to the appreciation of the colon in relation to the dollar precipated in the aftermath of the international crisis of 2007-2009. This caused a great flow of speculative capital out of the U.S. and Europe which had dramatic impacts in Costa Rica and other Latin American countries. This is explained in depth in an article I wrote some years ago posted on the Home Page as a blog, “Exchange Rate, Costa Rica Colons and Dollars.”.
Text and images copyright Tucan Investments and Properties. All rights reserved. Information deemed to be reliable but not guaranteed. The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes from the seller, documentation in the local municipality or information publicly available in the Costa Rican National Registry. Listing broker has attempted to offer accurate data, but buyers are advised to confirm all items.