Retirement and Good Living

 Finance, Health, Retirement Locations, Volunteering and more...
Retirement And Good Living  
Follow us on Twitter at RetirementSite


Like us on Facebook at Retirementsite
Previous Post: Next Post:

Why Retiring in Costa Rica Won’t Work For You

Friday, August 30th, 2013   11:38 pm |  Category:   Retirement locations   |   66 Comments  
Author:     posts:  3    Author's   bio

Share this post/page...FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInEmail   


Health Care Costs Don’t Concern You


If you are healthy or covered by an affordable health care plan, moving to a country with socialized medicine won’t have an impact on your decision. It’s not free for expats, but access to the Costa Rica health care is very affordable, often less than $100 per month for complete coverage. Yes, there are long wait lists for non-emergency medical treatments. Costa Rica doctors are for the most part, U.S. trained. Outside of San Jose, the hospitals and clinics can be lacking the most basic diagnostic tools. Want a name-brand drug? Probably aren’t going to get it unless you opt to pay for it out-of-pocket.


You Have Lived in the Same Place Forever


You won’t do well adapting to new people and their customs. Think about a person from a big city in the Northeast moving to a small town in the deep south. Language barrier and all. The culture shock can be as drastic.


Many Ticos speak English, especially those that make a living dealing with Gringos. But the teller in the bank probably won’t. Your car mechanic probably won’t. The taxi driver probably won’t. If you don’t learn the language, life in Costa Rica will be much tougher.


Tico Time is another adjustment for many. Type A personalities won’t do well here because the pace is very, very slow.


You Are a Conspicuous Consumer


If you drive a nice shiny late model car and your significant other drives a nice shiny late model car and you have a pickup truck too, it’s going to be difficult for you in Costa Rica. Duties on cars range from 50-80% of the MSRP. That means cars are very expensive – even used ones. Duties on other imports are very high also. If you need the latest version iPhone, it may not even be available in Costa Rica for a year after launch in the states.


You Enjoy Cooking and Fine Dining


Gourmet cooks will be very frustrated upon moving to Costa Rica. After all, the main dish served everywhere is chicken and rice (or some variation.) Pork is plentiful but tough and beef is hard to find and very tough. Fish is variable depending on where you are located in relation to the coasts. But the ocean waters are not very clean and most fish is for export. Other ingredients for the chef can be impossible to find. Spices and cheeses and cooking wines are very scarce.


Fine dining in a restaurant is limited to the resort areas catering to the tourist or San Jose. Otherwise, forget it.


So if you’re thinking about retiring in Costa Rica and none of the above caveats apply to you, make the move. Just know that your life will be much simpler – or much more complicated – depending on what you want and need in retirement.


Above all, the advice is to know yourself – and your significant other if there is one. And communicate what is really important to you before you make the commitment to Costa Rica.


Click for other information about Costa Rica.



Continue reading this post: previous page. . .
Check out other similar posts in the Retirement locations category.

  1. Retire in Costa Rica - International Living Sep 12th 2013  1:15 am

    Thanks for sharing your unvarnished and honest perspective of Costa Rica. It is rural with a small town feel in many areas, which doesn’t work for everybody. And you can enjoy a simple life with relatively low income. That said, as you noted, it’s not for everybody.

  2. robert Sep 28th 2013  11:43 am

    I find being a gourmet cook in Costa Rica as easy as cooking well in Alaska. You may not have everything in the world, but there are enough raw ingredients to make great food. I haven’t found tough pork there and coasts are close when looking for seafood.

  3. Mark Van Patten Sep 28th 2013  3:13 pm

    @robert: thanks for your comment. You are probably right – an excellent gourmet cook thrives on taking the local ingredients and making a fine meal. However, one of the things expats talk a lot about is finding spices and other ingredients that aren’t readily available at the local market.

  4. Janet Henry Mar 13th 2014  3:28 pm

    Vacationing in Costa Rica 3/25- 4/1, happen to be retiring (husband) immediately on returning to states. Flying into Liberia and staying at the Westin Playa Conchal. Any suggestions for us on things to experience in this Westin area. We live in Texas now and would love a less materialistic lifestyle.

  5. Going Like Sixty Mar 13th 2014  3:50 pm

    @Janet: don’t know anything about that area… have never been there. If you are seriously considering retiring in Costa Rica, you need to get away from tourist areas. It is a whole different experience (better.) Check the blogs on my site for a nice cross section from people who live here.
    Have a great time.

  6. Ron Martin Apr 14th 2014  8:27 am

    I am surprised by the comment that the Costa Rican ocean “waters are not very clean.” What comparison is being made here? I can’t imagine that their waters (besides Jaco, of course) even approximate the problems that exist with ocean pollution everywhere that people live in the world today. And because fishing is done off-shore, I am not too sure that even San Jose’s runoff toward Jaco is going to make for a bad situation. One of the reasons I want to visit Costa Rica is to experience a beautiful ocean. My research hasn’t turned up any issues besides what is expected. I think if this were an article about southern California, then I would include a warning to check which beaches you end up at… What am I missing? Is this even accurate?

  7. Mark Apr 15th 2014  3:53 pm

    Re: dirty ocean… The waters *look* dirty for the most part. Of course there are pristine looking waters, but I’ll stand by my unscientific personal opinion that Costa Rica waters are dirty. Thanks for the comment.

  8. John Jun 30th 2014  10:40 pm

    Since this site was created the cost of electrical power in Costa Rica has increased dramatically, and is increasing another 16% in the near future.
    Many expats who cannot live in a hot climate without AC have moved back to the states, the $500. per month for electrical power was just too much for their budget. Groceries cost about the same as in the states, and the selection is far less. There is no eatable beef here, it’s like rubber, but the chicken is very good. Fruits and vegetables are less expensive than in the states. The cost of a car or anything imported is outrageously high, the government here imposes very high import taxes. We rarely hear of violent crime here, but petty theft is ramped. We live in a gated community with an armed guard, and we have bars on all of our windows and doors. It’s dark at 6pm and we can’t go outside the development gate at night. If the muggers don’t get you the drunk drivers will. The locals are friendly but many of them are lazy, which is why they import migrant workers from Nicaragua. Some Ticos will claim they need food but they’d never consider planting a fruit tree in their back yard. Even if they had a fruit tree they wouldn’t take the time to even water it. Home prices here are way out of line, they sell for almost double what they are worth, as you must take into consideration that the men who build homes down here earn as little as $4. per hour. The Gringos have destroyed the real estate market down here.

  9. Mark Jul 1st 2014  5:32 pm

    Hi John,
    You state “many” expats are moving out of CR… without any attribution to back up your claim. I know personally of a Canadian who moved back and also a Kentuckian that moved in.
    You are correct that the cost of living here is increasing rapidly. We chose to live in an area that didn’t require a/c for that reason. Our last electric bill was USD$120. Fridge, electronics, washer, dryer (sometimes), four ceiling fans.
    I agree about the beef – and would add pork and chicken to the list. It’s all tough in my opinion.
    Agree on the food prices/selection
    Petty theft is not rampant in our area. I imagine living close to the tourist areas you would find a much more undesirable element. Something to consider for sure.
    I think lazy is prejorative and unfair to categorize an entire nation on your feelings.
    Home prices are of course VERY subjective anywhere in the world.
    Thanks for commenting.

  10. Carla Jul 29th 2014  2:46 am

    I am fortunate enough to have visited Costa Rica in 1999 and again in 2006. Friends retired to San Jose c. 2005 and have found it a mixed bag, pretty much like most other places (mixed bag-wise, I mean). It’s sad that the influx of Americans with their almighty dollars has changed the country so much. I noticed that the food in restaurants improved markedly between ’99 and ’06. In the latter trip I was traveling with vegetarian – pescatarians. We cooked our own meals most of the time, and the quality of the produce was fine. Admittedly, we brought our own spices with us! We stayed on the Nicoya Peninsula and our dinners out featured excellent fresh fish. It’s a beautiful country with its own unique culture and of course, many wonderful people. Too bad it appears that Americans may be ruining it… but still, I hope to go back at least one more time and see for myself.

  11. Jerry Oct 9th 2014  8:42 pm

    I am considering retiring to Costa Rica, but am on a fairly limited budget – Social Security and a state retirement. Unlike many North Americans, I would not be interested in living in a “remote/peaceful” small town or near the beach, nor would I be interested in buying property (I prefer to rent). I have travelled to Costa Rica many times over the last 20 years and have numerous Tico friends, mainly in San José, Sabanilla, San Pedro and Heredia. I have a college degree in Spanish and speak Spanish fluently, which has allowed me to understand the Tico culture and way of life perhaps better than your average expat. I prefer big cities to small towns and am accustomed to getting around using public transportation. I’m not interested in living amongst expats. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against “my fellow Americans” (quoting Richard Nixon), but I don’t see any sense in moving to Costa Rica to hang out with expats. I guess I’m really hoping to immerse myself in the Tico culture for maybe 4-5 years. So… my question to you is… is it conceivable that I could lead a simple, no-frills life (with maybe an occasional weekend trip to the beach) in the San José area (no farther than from downtown San José to Cartago or Heredia on around $1500/mo.? I’m single and do all my own cooking, cleaning and laundry. For entertainment I like to visit with friends/neighbors, read, play cards, attend an occasional movie and dance, so entertainment is not a big-ticket item for me. Thanks for your input.

  12. Mark Oct 10th 2014  2:23 pm

    All I know is that you could live in Atenas on your budget. And with your simple lifestyle, probably save money. ( or self-insure your medical needs.)

  13. Steve Nov 4th 2014  8:46 pm

    I’m considering retiring to CR and wonder what the health care situation is and how much things cost. I have Type I Diabetes and manage it pretty well but I do need monthly supplies (insulin, insulin pump, needles, test strips, etc) as well as regular doctor visits. How would I go about determining what these and other factors would cost on a monthly/annual basis?

  14. Al Feb 27th 2015  3:10 pm

    My wife and I are planning a visit to C.R. next fall. Would fly to Liberia, rent a car, drive to Arenal area (Tabacon Spa) for a few days then to Flamingo Beach Resort for 5 or 6 days. Our purpose is to possibly find an area where we could rent, for a month or more, in the future. Any suggestions, comments or recommendations will be very much appreciated

  15. Javier Mar 12th 2015  3:22 pm

    Health Care in Costa Rica is very cheap, as soon as you get your costa rican residency you ll be under the public health care system, paying $80- $100 a month, it ll include doctor visits, medication and medical tests.

    Most of the private hospitals work with USA medicare.

  16. Javier Mar 12th 2015  3:27 pm


    Since you are going to be around Arenal area , check out Nuevo Arenal town , around Lake Arenal, you ll love it.

  17. Luther Apr 2nd 2015  5:31 am

    i am retiring United airline employee . I fly free so living near the airport would be best for me . I enjoy people and would like to be near the ocean . Being single ,I would also like to be near females that enjoy a fun guy ! I have looked at Belize but San Jose has more flights back to Houston ! I am currently downsizing for a simple fun life ! Is CR for me ?

  18. Mark Apr 2nd 2015  1:53 pm

    I have no experience as a geezer horn-dog, so I can’t answer your question.

  19. Linda May 3rd 2015  8:38 pm

    I’ve lived in Asia, speaking of different boy howdy! So I understand the problem with culture shock. Rent for a year absolutely good advice. Maybe rent entirely. You never know when political situations might change and Americans may not be so welcome. Just saying. We are not the most popular people in the world. Now where I lived in Asia nobody spoke English, and it’s surprising how well you can get along as you learn their language. You have to have a Type C or D personality to get along in any foreign country as an American. What we think is normal they think is very rude. Just living among expats would drive me nuts. Some expats are drunks, dopers, perverts, criminals, people you would never associate with at home. Why not consider the Caribbean, lots of cool English speaking places there. We like Costa Rica but are not that in love with Latino culture. If you don’t love the culture don’t do it.

  20. palomnik May 22nd 2015  6:05 am

    Javier, you mention that private hospitals in CR work with Medicare. How can that be? Medicare only covers a very limited range of items outside of the USA.
    I’m curious because my wife and I are considering a move there. We currently live in SE Asia, and have been here for 7 years. We would prefer to be in an environment closer to home. I speak Spanish (in fact, I do translations from Spanish to English) so that will make things easier. I’m curious about cost of living factors and I’m a little put off by the figures for electricity. Maybe we should stay here in Vietnam where my electric bill is about $20 a month.

  21. shannon Feb 21st 2016  1:11 am

    Wow Mark, great “mean spirited” response to ol’ Luther, who seemed to be sincere in his question and didn’t come across as a “horn dog” just cause he is a “fun guy” who likes females.

  22. Rick Mar 5th 2016  7:04 pm

    Are there any tennis communities around the ocean? We are looking and and the only one we saw was in Jose.

  23. Suz Mar 6th 2016  4:06 am

    my husband&I are from Canada and planning to visit Costa Rica this fall for our anniversary and if all goes well,are seriously hoping to move there and rent a furnished place in the mountains when he retires in 6 years
    we would love to hear any feedback please

  24. Tony Mar 7th 2016  12:57 am

    I am divorced, and met a nice woman from CR online. We started as friends; but now talk/IM/email throughout the day, everyday and have for sometime now. I really like her. She is a Mom as well, which at this point in my life I am more than happy with.

    She is someone I could see myself married to. However, she has trepidation about moving her and her kids to the states. She speaks English quite well and I believe would adjust quickly here. I only speak conversational Spanish.

    I have a good career and a healthy savings. I could support her in the states. But my question is what would I expect to need money wise to survive comfortably down there with her and her kids? She of course works a decent job, but I don’t want to be a sponge. With my skill set I could get a job anywhere in world, but not knowing the language would be a huge detriment. So I am trying to figure out if it is realistic to think I could survive in CR until I get their language on savings alone? Or should I just hold that she needs to relocate here at some point?

  25. Mark Mar 7th 2016  2:32 pm

    First, are you gonna live together in CR? This triggers a whole lot of legal concerns. Check it out.

    You legally can’t work as a laborer in CR- only as owner of a business. Check it out.

    Money? Will you rent? If yes, you can live on $1500 a month. Google living on $1500. There is a great site that documents this.

    Good luck.

  26. Mark Mar 7th 2016  2:39 pm

    Six years? A lot can happen! What you find today in CR will change. Developing nations work like that.
    You’re on the right track- google is your friend. :-)
    I have links to a lot of CR specific blogs on my site Some aren’t very active but still have good info.
    Facebook groups are also active.
    Above all, your anniversary/ vacation experience will be dramatically different than living here full time !

  27. Mike Mar 11th 2016  7:54 pm

    My wife and I will soon be retired and CR looks very inviting. I’m 74 she 72 and our monthly income will be about $3,000. We’d rather rent an apartment rather than buy. I’ve read some very negative comments regarding high power bills, muggings, and some other things. I’m concerned because we’re not exactly young anymore. We don’t want to move somewhere where we may not have the peace and quiet we need. Maybe we’re looking for a non existing tropical paradise. Thank you for your input.

  28. Mark Mar 13th 2016  2:29 am

    Mike- Atenas has some beautiful 3 BR homes with pool in nice developments for $1500-$2000 a month. Since we live in the mountains, a/c isn’t necessary which keeps electricity costs down.
    I’m guessing it would be $200/mo for electricity.
    If you’ll be happy in a smaller 2 BR home w/ pool you can find them. Costs from $1000-$1500. 
    It’s hard to generalize about crime. In 5 years we have experienced no personal or property crime.
    Hope this helps. 

  29. John Mar 20th 2016  6:44 pm

    I am retiring from the U.S. Military this September and will be receiving between $36,000-$48,000 annually. How realistic do you think it would be for my family (wife and 2 young children) to move there and live off of that income by the beach? Thank you.

  30. Carax Mar 28th 2016  3:59 pm

    “This is their entertainment: laughing with their friends and family.”

    So what is wrong with that????

    All your reasons for why it won’t work are exactly why I would want to go there.

  31. GoingLikeSixty Mar 28th 2016  9:43 pm

    Carax: NOTHING is wrong with that… but in context the point was that if you live in a larger city with museums, entertainment venues, movie theaters, nearby malls and other places to socialize, you MIGHT not be happy in a place where these are hard to come by.

  32. june schnovel Apr 29th 2016  2:02 am

    DO NOT ENJOY BIG CITIES BUT LOVE THE OCEAN. Yearly income is $21000.

    Thank you.

  33. Mark Apr 29th 2016  3:33 pm

    Hi, I can’t help much because everybody is so different and this is such a personal decision. I can tell you that Atenas is a nice little town with good bus service. Flies and Fauna is everywhere in Costa Rica! There are plenty of single women of your age here. $21,000 a year doesn’t leave you much room, but it can be done.
    Good luck.

  34. Walker Rowe Jul 9th 2016  2:09 pm

    I am an American living in Chile for 6 years and now thinking of where to retire. I was thinking about Cartagena, Colombia; Costa Rica; or Iquique, Chile. Reading these comments answered some questions for me. But I also can comment on what it is like in general for the gringo to come live in Latin America. I think 1/2 or more of you reading this are not good candidates for moving to Costa Rica or anywhere else.

    There are two approaches to such a life: (1) live as an expat and seek out other expats and (2) go native.

    I have done (2) but now am living alone again so was considering (1) to perhaps make some friends. Like the post said you will find it hard to make Latin friends since they live like clans. So for the male the thing to do is to look for a girlfriend. Anyway trying to live like an American down here you are going to be frustrated. I have lived mainly in a rural area. So I am used to there being no Walmart and to how backward things are.

    One thing I see here in Chile is that lots of expats hang out with other expats. So they end up learning no Spanish. Seems like you can do that in Costa Rica if you are willing to spend heavily to have that kind of gated community, Walmart, and expensive restaurant lifestyle. You would definitely make more friends as all those expats are seeking out other people. But it’s going to cost more and probably leave you frustrated when you do have to deal with the local government, the thieves, and the medical system, insurance, and all of that on down the road.

    So, which of the two kinds of expats will you be? The rich one living in isolation who ends up frustrated and goes back home? Or someone willing to dive into the culture and live like the locals? I am going to stay in the second category. I have gotten used to it too, but also I do not want to spend a zillion dollars trying to live like an American in a foreign country. Nowhere in Chile are there such expensive houses on the coasts and expensive boats like there are in Costa Rica. In Cartagena, Colombia there are expensive boats, but not all those really expensive houses. That might be a better bet for those of you needing a city. As for coming to Chile, forget about that. The ocean is too cold. The air temperature however is perfect. But there are no English speaking expats here outside Santiago.

  35. Jeff Davis Jul 20th 2016  11:57 am

    I’m very much interested in moving to Costa Rica preferably on the Caribbean side. I don’t need much at all. I do need a Dr to help me get the meds I take each day and I love my American sports so if it is possible to get some kind of dish or whatever they have down there. You see these are just two of the questions I have. If I could hook up with an expat that has lived there for a while and could answer my question it would make my ability to move there much easier. I don’t want to get off a plane and sleep on the beach till I find out the things I need to know. I see there is a good size city on the Caribbean coast called Limon I think and I was thinking they probably had a Dr and so forth. I get a monthly check for a $1000.00 and a few months ago I went to the internet to see where in the world a person could live comfortably on that amount. Costa Rica was one of those places. Anyway to cut to the chase I need someone to help me with my questions and perhaps know a place or two I could rent. It doesn’t have to be in a large city just as long as it’s close enough for me to get to the Dr. I won’t have a car. I live in the Cayman Islands 25 yrs ago and love the laid back way of life and I make friends really easily and enjoy getting to know their culture. If someone can help me please contact me at
    . Thank You,
    . Jeff davis

  36. Debra Anne Aug 12th 2016  8:49 pm

    I am just beginning to research the best place to retire in Central/South America. Costa Rica is at the top of the list, along with Ecuador.

    @, did you find someone to chat with about your questions? If so, will you contact me? Thank you!

  37. roro Feb 16th 2017  7:23 pm

    I may be missing something here, but can’t you just order what you want over the internet? (like spices, products, etc)

  38. mark Feb 17th 2017  12:26 am

    Shipping into Costa Rica is expensive and iffy.
    Fed Ex and DHL are getting better to high population areas. Mail delivery is a gamble.

  39. walterscott Feb 25th 2017  9:56 pm

    Never been to CR, but considering a trip in order to see if we like it enough to put it on the list of where we might move to. Finances wouldn’t be a consideration, but … what is the internet situation around the country? I assume it’s available in the capital city, but what about elsewhere? And is it in sync with the electrical cost, meaning very high if you actually want to use it? Thanks.

  40. Mark Feb 26th 2017  12:55 am

    Internet is available. Kinda. 2-10 Mbps down for $60-100 month. Ask… More importantly, see for yourself.
    Kolbi ICE is nationwide with cable TV Internet. CRWiFi covers alot of the gringos.
    But VERIFY.

  41. Morton Zobotznyck Mar 3rd 2017  10:28 pm

    We want to leave Trumpistan. Are there rental retirement centers that supply everything, all inclusive programs? There are no dopers in C R, are there? We have had bad experiences with those sorts in Eureka and don’t want that again.

  42. Mark Mar 4th 2017  1:26 am

    Yes, dopers are here.

  43. brent watson May 1st 2017  4:33 pm

    my wife and I are looking into retirement in costa rica. would like to know
    of towns around san jose that are decent.

  44. Mark Van Patten May 1st 2017  5:47 pm

    Brent… Atenas, Grecia, San Ramon have a lot of expats.
    Your question is too generic… But there’s a start.

  45. Mike W May 22nd 2017  11:42 pm

    I am a retired E-7 from the Navy and will soon be retired a 2nd time from the DOD as a civilian as will my wife, so I think I can meet the financial aspect quite easily. Our medical is covered by my retirement – would you happen to know if it eligible in CR? Never been, however I have traveled the world from Spain to Bahrain and have never had a problem with the locals or the small town environment. We just want a more peaceful lifestyle….

  46. Mark Van Patten May 23rd 2017  1:35 am

    VA benefits are available in Costa Rica. But I’m not an expert.

  47. R Harrison May 25th 2017  2:15 pm

    Mark, retiree here, caring for my mother for as long as I can keep her out of the nursing home. After that, I want out, far enough away my kids won’t be faced with the same decision. Some place where I can take advantage of altitude for a/c, yet be within a short drive of a beach. I’m looking in the Dominical/Uvita/Ojochal to San Isidro area, as I want someplace off the beaten path. Any thoughts on my choices and/or alternatives appreciated.

  48. Mark Van Patten May 25th 2017  4:03 pm

    R Harrison
    The Central Valley has a lot of expats for a reason. 60-90 minutes from the beaches, but close to larger cities with lots of medical care options. You can get to higher altitudes in the Central Valley, where a/c is very rare.

  49. Fred Jackson May 27th 2017  2:31 pm

    I’m glad to find your website/blog. I’m building a house in the Tronadora area of Lake Arenal. Will move there permanently in Mar 2018. Needless to say, I am excited about this next adventure in my and my wife’s lives.
    You have such good info and down-to-earth advice. I’m gonna keep reading and monitoring your website. I really appreciate your helpful insites!

  50. R Harrison May 27th 2017  3:42 pm

    I’m really looking for something no more than an hour from Uvita. Don’t mind living Tico style, almost prefer it. My number one priority is being close to a less touristy beach setting. Any ideas?

  51. Mark Van Patten May 27th 2017  4:32 pm

    I’m skeptical of Gringos that say they can live like Ticos. That’s like moving to a rural Mississippi trailer park. They are all cousins, have their own language, chicken and dogs everywhere, underemployed neighbors.
    I don’t know about Utiva area.
    Good luck.

  52. R Harrison May 30th 2017  11:31 pm

    I meant housing style, rustic. I’m looking for long term rentals, not to buy. Something small, simple, private.

  53. mirtala angulo Jun 25th 2017  1:08 pm

    Hello Mark,
    would you please direct me to the necessary website to find the legal side about moving as a retiree to costa rica… what kind of visa does one need?
    where does one apply ? where does one find a house? a realtor?
    do have info on there counties or just costa rica?

    Great article, great advise. I am looking forward to continuing emails with you.
    looking forward to your reply

  54. MArie Jun 27th 2017  7:15 pm

    I’m thinking of a 1-2 week vacation over the Christmas holidays. MY purpose is to explore CR for possible 3-6 month residency each year. Where do I go to book a hotel (or 2 week rental) and find a guide to show me around?

  55. Mark Jun 27th 2017  9:26 pm

    Mirtala: You’re asking for a lot. Google is your friend! If you don’t want to be bothered, I can help you out – email me directly.

  56. Mark Jun 27th 2017  9:29 pm

    Marie: I recommend – good for both short term and long term rentals. As far as a guide, I can’t help. Bring a friend and rent a car and explore the Central Valley yourself. :) Also if you use Facebook, there are many groups for Costa Rica.

  57. David Jul 10th 2017  12:01 pm

    Hi we have some Oceanview acreage on the Central Pacific coast at 1100 ft no need for air cond! We want to start a small sustainable community for retirees here. All the infrastructure has been installed. ICE electricity, spring fed water system and WiMAX internet. We have greenhouse and plan on raising chickens and goats. We have planted 400 fruit tree that are currently producing. You can build a home here for less than $150000 we have the local building crew and the first house has been completed. We have monkeys, toucans and scarlet macaws daily.
    If interested in our project email me at

  58. Paul Aug 22nd 2017  11:34 am

    Hi. Please bear with me, I appreciate this has been asked many times so I apologise for the repetition. Is there anyone with experience of living in/around Liberia/Hermosa/Tamarindo area, who can tell me about monthly electric and water costs for a three bed house with a pool? Is a/c needed all, year round? Does it cool enough to turn off the a/c sometimes?

    Again, apologies for the repetition.

  59. Martin Oct 2nd 2017  3:02 pm

    Hello everyone…I’m looking into retiring in Costa Rica, but would prefer to rent, not buy. Most websites seem to cater to short term (vacation) rentals. Can anyone recommend sites that cater to those looking for long term (yearly) rentals? Thanks

  60. Mark Oct 2nd 2017  11:26 pm

    All real estate agents deal in long term rentals, sometimes to the detriment of those who have homes for sale.

  61. Vicky Oct 16th 2017  10:57 pm

    Hi Mark, I appreciate you taking the time to keep this website up and running! My hubby and I live in Houston, Texas and we are sick of the heat!! We want to live at an altitude (3 or more thousand feet) that does not require air conditioning. We prefer a small town setting that at least has healthcare services available. Can you recommend an area in CR that fits our requirements? Thanks so much!!

  62. mark Oct 17th 2017  12:58 pm

    Vicky, Atenas and the areas nearby.

  63. Dottie Jan 30th 2018  7:07 pm

    Dirty ocean water? It was brown ocean water outside the Cartagena, Colombia region also. Swam anyway, until we discovered they were dumping their raw sewage in it. This was years ago, maybe Costa Rica does the same, maybe not?

  64. Carole Feb 21st 2018  12:54 am

    Hi Mark- Thank you for all of this good info!

    We are from Northeast US w large extended family. Bro & sister in law retired and built beautiful home in Jamaica. As much as we love JA- it’s not for us- long term. Many friends have spoken of Costa Rica and we plan a visit next year to start to learn “lay of the land”.

    We will retire within next 4 years. Long term, steady income about $5K/month. Some medical (type 1 diabetes). Any idea for trajectory of costs in Costa Rica next 3-5 years? We love cooking, reading, walking,sun & surf, and are social– but at our age– we go to bed by 10pm…!

    Thoughts on location??– Don’t want to be in heavy duty tourist area (owned a cottage on Cape Cod MA so been there, done that…!) , don’t want to be too rural but DEFINITELY DO need to be near ocean. IF only we all had a crystal ball!!

    We recognize that Costa Rica is becoming quite popular, and housing supply & demand may be increasing $$. Would love your thoughts and speculation. Many thanks!

  65. Marc Mar 1st 2018  1:26 pm

    Valuable service you are offering here–thanks. Appreciate your honesty, too. How possible is it to travel about the country w/o a car? Is there a decent bus system linking the towns?

  66. EDDIE MCCONNELL Mar 23rd 2018  7:05 pm


If you would like to leave a comment please use the form below.


Please enter the anti-spam code below (required):

Please subscribe to our newsletter for the latest posts, news and more
About  · Blog  · Contact Us  · Terms of Service

copyright © 2018 by MSI - powered by WordPress