10 Reasons to Relocate to C.R.
Relocating to another country is a significant decision that should be given careful thought. When pondering about such a move, one can easily come up with a million questions about what to expect; something that can be attributed to the many complexities we have assigned to our modern lives.Like many other developing countries around the world, Costa Rica has seen her share of change and transformation in the last few decades. It could be argued that foreigners who relocated here 20 years ago had a lot less to consider than those who are planning such a move these days. Our country is still an,the best place to live, but in keeping with our Western neighbors Costa Rica has managed to become a bit more complicated than she used to be.
The ten following pieces of information below are not meant to be conclusive by any means. They are just ten important things that anyone may want to consider before moving here. Some of the topics below have already been covered in previous articles, and some -like taxation - are in a constant state of flux. The Costa Rica Star strongly recommends to anyone who has detailed questions about legal issues such as immigration, investments, real estate, and taxation to consult an attorney who is admitted to practice in Costa Rica. Assistance with several of the subjects below can be provided by organizations such as the ARCR -for a fee.
A sensible word of advice for anyone who is planning to move here, or to any other nation for that matter: the worst time to undertake a country relocation is while experiencing severe emotional turmoil, such as depression. In that case, a person should get well and find emotional balance before embarking in the adventure that moving to a foreign land always becomes.
1 – Immigration
Our new immigration laws present a number of opportunities for residency: through familial relations, business capital investments, guaranteed individual income, retirement, representative of a business enterprise, and temporary employment. Citizens of Group One countries can engage in perpetual tourism, something that could get old very quickly. The immigration process involves a combination of reasonable fees, forms, document authentications, appointments, translations, and other proceedings enshrouded in old-fashioned bureaucracy that some may consider overburdening.
Work permits for non-residents require sponsorship from a domestic enterprise and are subject to restrictions. Not all residents are allowed to get on a company’s payroll, but all have the opportunity to start their own business and enjoy any income proceedings thereof.
2 – Idiosyncratic Mindset and Social Habits
People in Costa Rica are known to be friendly, gregarious, jovial, non-confrontational, and relaxed. Foreigners who are accustomed to a lifestyle underscored by efficiency and achievement may find the glacial pace of Ticos unnerving at times. Patience is a must-pack item for all visitors, especially in a country where people take time to raise orphaned baby sloths.
Ticos are generally tolerant, sociable and family-oriented. They love social networking, but are known to take years to cultivate deep friendships. Ethnicity and nationality do not preclude dating or romance, although old-fashioned class divide still lurks in some circles. Women tend to be ultra-feminine and expect courtship, while men do not easily fall into the Latin American macho stereotype.
3 – Governance, Political Ideology and Religion
Costa Rica has a rich background in peace, democracy, diplomacy, unarmed conflict resolution, and socialism. The main political factions lean to the right, nevertheless the Libertarian Movement has been gaining popularity. Our Constitution establishes the Roman Catholic faith as the state religion, but freedom of worship is guaranteed.
4 – Housing and Real Estate
Foreigners have essentially the same rights as Ticos to hold title to real property. Home prices run the gamut, and For Sale By Owner transactions are common. Properties can be registered in the name of business entities to certain advantage. Tenants have significant rights over landlord. Monthly housing costs are lower than in many parts of North America and Western Europe.
5 – Education
Costa Rica used to enjoy the highest literacy rates in Latin America, but that honor now goes to countries like Uruguay and Chile. Free education is guaranteed by the government from grades 1st to 11th (or 12th in the case of vocational high schools). Tuition rates in private schools vary widely. Most private schools focus on bilingual education.
Tuition at the crown jewel of higher education, the University of Costa Rica, is either free or very reasonable for the hard-working students who are able to secure an admissions spot. A large number of private universities dot the educational landscape, some offering considerably low tuition rates.
6 – Health Care
Public health care is guaranteed for all residents, and all workers are expected to contribute to the system. Emergency medical care is freely provided for all, regardless of status. Tourists cannot contribute to La Caja, as the public health care system is known, but are able to obtain services at some public hospitals with prior approval, and only if they can be accommodated.
High-quality private health care options are growing, and their low cost is attracting many medical tourists. The National Insurance Institute (INS) is a former government entity that offers a variety of medical insurance policies at reasonable prices.
7 – Food, Dining and Household Goods
Costa Rica’s fertile soil and perfect climactic conditions make it a paradise for year-round fruits and vegetables. The best selection and prices can be found during the weekends at the farmer’s markets across the country. The country isn’t known for its cuisine, which isn’t particularly elaborate, but the emphasis on freshness makes it very palatable.
Shopping for groceries and household goods can feel like a bargain hunting or highway robbery, depending on the chosen venue. Wal-Mart is the largest retail chain in the country, responsible for about 50 percent of all grocery and household good purchases. When it comes to electronics and appliances, it really pays to comparison shop. Newcomers should not be afraid to try new brands like Mabe and Atlas (respectively from Mexico and Brazil), as they offer high quality at low prices.
8 – Cell Phones and Internet Access
The recent breakup of the former monopoly held by the government-backed ICE is allowing more flexibility in terms of wireless services. Cable and DSL broadband Internet subscriptions will soon get cheaper. According to a report in business news daily La Republica, cable company Amnet will begin offering 2 Mbits packages at about $22 per month in the next few weeks.
9 – Taxes on Imports and other Excise Considerations
The price tags of both new and used vehicles seem exorbitant due to the excessive taxation imposed upon passenger cars: close to 80 percent in some cases. The maximum tax on imported motorcycles is 34 percent. There are some cases that merit exemptions, such as plug-in electric vehicles and cars that will be put into service as taxicabs.
Costa Rica has never been considered an offshore tax haven, but it has enjoyed fairly low taxation on everything except imports and value-added tax (currently at 13 percent). That may soon change due to pending legislation. One very significant tax advantage is expected to remain unchanged: taxation on foreign income will stay at zero.
10 – Public Transportation and Mass Transit
The import taxes, tolls, cost of vehicle maintenance, and high gas prices do not seem to placate Ticos’ appetite for passenger vehicles. This trend is transforming what used to be a pedestrian and mass transportation paradise into a daily grid lock.
Getting around by bus is still one of the best ways to truly experience the country. The bus system is inexpensive and fairly modern. Those images of chicken buses popularized by old Mexican movies are simply not seen in Costa Rica.
An inter-province train system is connecting parts of the Greater Metropolitan Area, and is expected to expand in the next two years, eventually making trips to both the Caribbean and the Pacific. Taxis round out the ground transportation options, and fare prices can be considerably alleviated by being split among passengers.
Rent & Deposit are to be PAID in $ USD $ to your landlord upon arrival. We only accept a Reservation & hold deposit that is transferred to your prospective landlord. We cannot accept your rent by electronic methods.
Rose Apartments are the only landlord we have that accepts rent via PayPal. To use PP, no account is required.
You can use your debit card, credit cards, checking or savings accounts to pay.
Claro USB Data Stick + cell phones
Central America Time
San Isidro de El General - South Central After experiencing the passage along the Inter-Americana Highway from San Jose to San Isidro de El General, you will either feel relieved to be in one piece or be wishing to do it again. It is known as Cerro de la Muerte or 'Mountain of Death' and is one of the highest points in the country, rising up over 11,000 ft (3300 m).
The Inter-Americana Highway passes right over it, providing awe-inspiring views of the landscape below if threatening clouds haven’t shrouded the area. After some weather permitting picturesque views from atop the ridge, you begin to meander your way down into Valle de El General and to the all important city of San Isidro de El General, or, Pérez Zeledón as it is also known by its municipal name.
Serving as the area’s main market, plenty of opportunities for lodging and grabbing a bite to eat are available. Mainly agricultural, the city also provides an opportunity to stock up on supplies and refuel before heading out to more remote locations. For anyone interested in exploring Chirripó National Park or any of the area’s popular surrounding attractions, a stop in San Isidro de El General is necessary before you tackle your monumental adventures. A quick jaunt to the southwest will take travelers to Dominical, one of the many jewels along the country’s unforgettable Pacific coast or continuing on to the southeast will land you in San Vito and the admired Wilson Botanical Gardens.
The area is known for flower farms and fruit plantations as it is situated along the base of the Talamancas. Some delectable goodies, especially pineapples, await hungry travelers. Just look for one of the many fruit stands in town. If you happen to visit during January, the spectacular Fiesta Cívica will leave the streets full of activity and the air reverberating with the sounds of mariachis. Another celebration takes place in May when the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro, is honored with a colorful parade.
After taking-in the atmosphere in San Isidro and passing the endless fields of pineapples, birders will be happy to know that the surrounding forests are wonderful for spotting some endemic species. The resplendent quetzal has been known to thrive in the area. Check out Reserva de Aves Neotropicales Los Cusingos between San Isidro de El General and Buenos Aires for unmatched birding on the 350 acre (142 ha) parcel.
From the neighboring town of Buenos Aires, 40 miles (64 km) to the southeast, fearless explorers can visit La Amistad International Park which is shared between Costa Rica and Panamá. Visitors should stock up and plan well before they tackle this outrageously biodiverse frontier.
- SERVICES - INFO - FAQ
- We will take you to your rental at no charge, for local only. No beach trips, you must provide your own transportation to any of the beach rentals.
- If you wish to view several rentals we can meet you at each rental or provide transportation at a rate of $15 USD per hour.
- All our rentals are fully furnished - Ask us about unfurnished, we have some contacts.
- We have Beach rentals at Dominical - Hermosa de Osa - Uvita
- Quebradas & Miravalles Rentals, 10 minute bus ride to town, bus every 20 minutes from Quebradas & Morazon.
- Micro Climate is cooler in the mountains than in town by as much as 20 degrees.
- We have cheap rental 4x4's.
- Hundreds of places to venture & see.
- We have tours to all parts of C.R.
- Hundreds of stores in town & Mall.
- WalMart's - Maxi Pali Super Center
- All rentals have Internet already or Internet Available.
- We Accommodate you for Dental/Plastic Surgery or any medical procedure.
- We have Dentists that are as good or better than the San Jose Dentists & save thousands of dollars.
- We know the best Doctors & Pharmacies.
- We help Veterans with their medicines or hospital care.
- Residency help/Less Expensive and Quicker than anyone.
- 99% of our rentals are located at bus stop or a short distance.
- Safety is assured here in Perez Zeledon - Safest City in Costa Rica.
- We have some very inexpensive homes for sale from $35,000 USD.
- Commercial Business Sales
- Investment Properties.
- Remember Whale Watching is here, starts in September.
SERVICES & RENTAL FAQ
- All of our people have been Vetted by us, so you know you will be provided an honest service and not overpay by the two tier pricing system here for the ex-pats. We are a cut rate housing rental for longer term rentals.
We do NOT rent units with linens, towels and other personal care items. At the rates our landlords have agreed to, they will not furnish any of these items. You must either bring or buy any household items that you wish.
Here in Costa Rica, you will only find hotels or expensive daily, weekly rentals that furnish towels, sheets, blankets etc.
We charge a very modest hourly rate of $15 USD for all services. Take you to buy food, household items, translations or anything we provide to you is by hourly rate. You can read many of our reviews to see from our other clients that said our hourly rate was the best money they had ever spent, in the long run we had saved them many times the amount they paid us.
We will take you to your rental at no charge. Taxi rates are on avg. $20 USD for travel & waiting time, and they cannot get you discounts on all you buy. Nor can they help you with all the legal issues or help with translations. So, our rate is a bargain!.
- We do not charge for referrals, only if we take you someplace and/or help you with translation etc. We provide dozens of services and assistance that can save you thousands of dollars on Residency, Doctors, Hospitals, Dental, Pharmacies, Medications, Pain Medications, Car Rentals, Car Sales, Car Repairs, Utilities, Cell Phones, Electronic purchases, Computer Sales & Repairs, Groceries, Maids, Retirement Solutions, Household Repairs, Home Maintenance, Home Building,
Shipping of Household, Shipping Autos & how to add to your Passport, Marchamo, Auto Inspections, Bus Services, Local & International, how to avoid the 90 day Visa and stay as long as you like. Marriage Solutions, Paperwork needed to apply for any service, Drivers License & much, much more.
5 Reasons You Should Consider Moving Abroad to Costa Rica.
David & Lisbeth Hall
More Americans are buying their second homes or retiring abroad than ever before.
Here we will look at the advantages and how you can obtain a much better standard of living than you can in the US and do it easily.
So what are the advantages of retiring abroad?
Many Americans are looking at Central America and with good reason, its just a few hours from the southern States of the US, flights are frequent and their cheap. ( July 2016 Flights as low as $130.00 one way from many States to SJO , San Jose , Costa Rica) Jet-blue has flights from Orlando, FL direct to SJO for $130 with taxes included.
So, you can have all the advantages of a higher standard of living and still be close to home.
For Americans retiring abroad Costa Rica remains the number one destination of choice and we will look at all the advantages here:
2. It's Cheaper, your lifestyle is better
You can buy houses at up to 70% cheaper in Costa Rica than in the US Southern states, you also get a better standard of living and when you retire abroad here and you can live comfortably on $2,000 a month.
3. Its beautiful and peaceful
Imagine stunning beaches, volcanoes, rolling hills, rain-forest and beautiful wild life in a country where the people are friendly, serious crime is rare, people have time to talk and there's no traffic, when retiring to Costa Rica you get all this and more.
4. You have the comforts
You would expect you would have at home including great communications, entertainment, nightlife and many shops your familiar and of course you can enjoy a leisurely round of golf or maybe a rain forest tour.
5. Retiring in Costa Rica is easy!
People retiring here is one of the main reasons the economy is booming and the government makes it easy for foreigners to retire to Costa Rica.
You get the same rights to land and property as Costa Rica residents, there is no tax on your social security and there are plenty of specialist companies that make retiring easy.
It's only a three hour flight, so you are ever far from home and the communications are excellent with broadband and an excellent phone network.
Ask yourself this question
Do you want the high prices of the South coast of the US or do you want to maintain and increase your standard of life be close to home but have all the benefits of paradise?
Well, retiring to Costa Rica gives you all the above and much more and as it's the number one retirement destination of choice for Americans. You won't feel out of place with a large and booming expat community.
Like many Americans you may be concerned about inflation, high prices and maintaining your standard of living when you retire. Retiring to Costa Rica not only allows you to maintain your standard of living but improve it!
5 minutes can change your path in life. It did ours!
You have worked hard all your life and now its time to enjoy yourself, so retire to Costa Rica and do just that. Lisbeth and I have traveled everywhere in Costa Rica and we lived in 11 different places, just to see where we wanted to settle down. Five minutes can change someones life. Liz and I were over to see Julio, Liz' Brother he had just built him & Sonia a new home , and we were sitting on a bench at soda, just outside the Musoc bus station ready to board the bus and an old man said are you looking for a rental and we said no. He gave us the phone number anyway. We got on the bus and headed back to Ezcazu.
We had talked it over how nice the town and people were here in San Isidro.
We called Julio one day to go and check out the rental, we knew Julio was super picky. He went and looked it over and said wow what a place, we sent him to the money to lock it in for us. We called Transcama moving company, told them to send the biggest trucks they had to load our furniture. Just 3 days before we went and purchased a new 2 door fridge, after having to remove both doors to get it in, movers got there and had to do same thing again to get it out.
The one day we spent here we fell in love with this town. Like I said 5 minutes before we boarded the bus our path in life changed. Many years ago and we love our little slice of Paradise more each day. David & Lisbeth
The Southern Zone: Dominical, Uvita, San Isidro de General and OjochalIn Costa Rica’s far southern Pacific coast, down near the border with Panama, is a trio of towns that have become quite an expat haven in recent years. These are Dominical, Uvita, San Isidro and Ojochal. The climate in this area is tropical. The landscape of tree-covered mountains drop dramatically to the sea among virtually empty beaches—with little seaside development. But improved access to the region, known officially as the Southern Zone, has made it easier to get to and that has spread interest in retirees and other expats who come to live in a beautiful tropical setting for less.
Those who move to this area find a welcoming community of retirees, with several clubs, activities, and volunteer opportunities offering a way to integrate into social life. Thanks to an influx of gourmet-minded expats, there is a variety of restaurant options with cuisines from around the world. And several culinary festivals each year are also organized by local restaurateurs. It’s no wonder that some expats joke they retired to the Southern Zone for the food.
A large national park that runs several miles up the coast here restricts any oceanfront development. While the Southern Zone is facing an increase in visitors and long-term residents, it’s all relative. Actual numbers are still low, and the development is not overpowering the views. Services, amenities, and infrastructure, however, are much improved.
Our Thoughts on Why we Love This Country.
The greatest benefit of living in this area is re-connecting with nature. Here you cannot escape nature as it always surrounds us. The beautiful mountains and all the flowers and greenery, the beautiful rivers, the birds and animals are all a delight. I recommend that anyone moving here create friendships with locals who can teach you about the rural lifestyle. Learning about the variety of fruits and vegetables that are grown and the variety of trees and wildlife is a real treat of great benefit to your understanding of the culture of the people.
Re-learning how life is lived according to the seasons and the phases of the moon is life enhancing. Life in the competitive consumer oriented western world separates man from his connection to nature and the real beauty, pleasure and awe of living on this amazing planet. Move to Costa Rica and return to the magic of all of life before unbridled population growth, corporate greed and misguided politicians destroy it all. Take a tour of the sugar cane plant that is family owned by 20 members of the same family. See how they make raw sugar like they did for hundreds of years. Lisbeth and I had a wonderful time meeting and watching the oxen turn the giant wheels to pulverize the cane and put in the boiling pots, before tray it to cool and make raw brown sugar that they sell to places like Luferz Market. We both love the history of this wonderful Country. Thank you and hoping you find your Paradise like we have. David & Lisbeth Hall
Weather in Costa Rica
Alajuela | Cartago | Chacarita | Dominical | La Fortuna/Aerial | Golfito
Jaco | Liberia | Puerto Limon | Puntarenas | San Isidro de General
| San Jose | Tamarindo | Tambor | Tortuguero
Unlike the U.S and other countries, where there are four seasons, Costa Rica has no real summer, fall, spring or winter, only dry and rainy and/or very wet times of the year.
The dry season (or “tourist season”), generally starts during November and last to June.
The wet season starts in June and goes to November and a time when one can get the best deals on hotels and other forms of recreations.
Average temperature is around 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit in San Isidro de General, but in the high mountain areas above 8,000 feet, it can get below freezing. Starting in December to April (the peak of the tourist season) normally there is little rain. Keep in mind that Costa Rica is a tropical country, so the average rainfall in the country is around 100 inches, some mountainous areas get over 200 inches of rainfall on a yearly basis with the heaviest rain period between September to October.
The Caribbean coast has its own unique microclimate.
Tradewinds keeps the weather hot and humid most of the year; there is no real dry season and it can rain just about any day or time. Also keep in mind, Costa Rica rarely gets the blunt force of hurricanes, but they do receive the aftermath of it, like Tropical Storm Tomas,which hammered the Central Pacific, knocking out road, causing many landslides and even caused a few deaths in November 2010.
Even when Hurricane Ida (2009), Hurricane Gert (1993) and Hurricane Cesar–Douglas (1996) cause severe damage in other Central America countries, Costa Rica was in reality only side-swiped by them.
Expect the unexpected, just because you plan on a trip and vacation during the dry season, a tropical downpour can happen anytime of the day. Always bring along some weather protection.
If you do get caught in a tropical downpour, our advice, seek shelter in some bar and power down a few Imperials while waiting the few minutes (or a couple of hours) for it to clear up again :-).
COSTA RICA AUTOS and MOTORCYCLES
So you want to move to Costa Rica? Or just spending so much time there, you’re considering buying a car or motorcycle there, or better yet, bring the one you have to Costa Rica and thus saving you a ton of bucks. See Costa Rica auto and motorcycle import fees
First, buying a car or motorcycle in Costa Rica, expect to pay. You have to pay the import duties (about 20%) which are the main reason cars are expensive. Plus the dealers will require insurance and tap on their shipping costs. There are two things to consider, 1) if you buy a new car from a dealer in the US, the guarantee won't be valid here. 2) The car may be damaged in shipping or have parts stolen in transit and you will have to pay for this. There is no guarantee. While the insurance you buy may cover this damage, it probably won't. Especially if the damage may have been ore-existing or not related to the handling of the container
Second, so you want to bring a car or motorcycle down, you'll have to go through customs and believe me that’s not pretty - be prepared to have a bunch of money because it will cost you an extra, 1) if the car is 3 years old, 60%, 4-5 years old, 70%, and 6 or more years old, 86%. Or you can choose to have a customs broker, and figured another 4-5% on top. Costa Rica values a car on what is called the Black Book, and it is not based on Kelly's Blue Book or Value of a U.S. Dealership, but a value that the Ministry of Finance Costa Rica – Customs Department puts on it. And only God knows what that is! However, to give you an idea, if you have a new U.S. bought $40,000 vehicle, when all done and said, it will probably cost you about $35,000 just to import that car into Costa Rica.
TIP: Be very careful when buying a car or motorcycle from a private party or any Costa Rica classified ads like Craig’s List. Always get the vehicle import documentations from the buyer and make sure it has been inspected. If the vehicle is worth over $3,000 have the paperwork reviewed by a customs attorney or government agency to check for forgery. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying a lot more and even a fine. Or worse, the car or motorcycle impounded.
In the end you may just use the excellent public transportation system that Costa Rica has especially where even the best drivers have a hard time driving rent a car.
Costa Rica has been an independent country
for the whole twentieth century. There have been minor territorial transfers, but the names and capitals of its provinces country has 81 cantons.
A canton is a territorial subdivision of a country, e.g., region or state. The word is derived from the Latin canto "section of a country."
Cantons are generally relatively small in terms of area and population when compared to areas such as counties, departments or provinces.A province is a territorial unit, almost always a country subdivision.
1. Alajuela (Northern Central)
2. Cartago (Central Valley)
3. Guanacaste (North Pacific)
4. Heredia (Northern Mountain)
5. Limon (Caribbean Coast)
6. North Puntarenas (Central Pacific & Nicoya Peninsula)
7. San Jose (San Jose - Central Highlands - Southern Pacific)
COSTA RICA BEACHES
Costa Rica is a long, narrow country in Central America which has beautiful beaches along both the Pacific and the Caribbean. It has over 1000 miles of coastline with a variety of beach materials ranging from white sand on the Caribbean beaches to the darker materials which are volcanic in origin on the Pacific beaches.
Some of the beaches in Costa Rica include Dominical, Playa Hermosa de Osa, Playa Uvita, Playa Ventanas, Malpaís, Manuel Antonio Beach, Playa Flamingo, Playa Grande, Playa Pavones, and Punta Uva.
COSTA RICA BUSINESS SERVICES - ONLINE
Costa Rica remains one of the safest and one of the most attractive countries to do business in. Many of the services have English-speaking owners CEOs and management who have traveled to the U.S, and some have been educated in the U.S - giving them the ability to offer great services.
The Costa Rican government maintains a pro-U.S. and continental stance in regard to financial security and tax laws. The aim is to attract high-tech corporations to take advantage of Central America's most educated, computer literate and disciplined workforce; many Forbes 500 companies operate out of Costa Rica. The city of Santa Anna (right outside of San José) is in economical grown because of this. The economy is being transformed from its long-time dependence on coffee, bananas and cattle rising to one centered on microprocessor production and high-tech telecommunications services, where many are saying, Costa Rica is The Silicon Valley of Latin America. Online and Internet marketing services are now playing an important roll in Costa Rica Business along with a jump in online products in wholesale and retail. It is the best Country in Central America to start a new business.
Culture is synonymous
with variety as is the land of Costa Rica. And in this country touching on the topics of race, food, festivals, and customs just scratches the surface of how colorful the culture if this land is.
Costa Rica has a strong and efficient national education system, with its citizens maintaining a 95% literacy rate. Combine that with the strongest and most stable, democratic tradition in all of Central America and it molds the human character that has made the Costa Ricans a self-assured and hospitable bunch. That again is the outcome of the education system that makes it obligatory up to the sixth grade; for pursuing higher education, the National University and the University of Costa Rica has been made available to the public. However, the Costa Rican Government doesn’t believe in making a bookworm out of the people; therefore, a total of three symphonic orchestras and five autonomous state publishing houses are also considered a part of the education system.
Among the premier holidays, Easter and Semana Santa (the Holy Week) are the most prominent. It is the time when the Costa Rican's express their faith through street processions held every day for one week before Easter commences. Christmas celebration and New Year’s Eve also manifest a similar phenomenon. Among the most significant non-religious holidays, the Independence Day of Costa Rica rules supreme. The magic of the ceremony lies in the diverse formal official celebrations that vary greatly from town to town.
Musically speaking, the land of Costa Rica represents mostly the folklores that had originated at the northern part of the country and bears heavy Mayan influence in the form of tambito (a rhythm) while the genre of the music is known as Punto. Further classification reveals the Punto Guanacasteco (from Guanacaste Province) and the Punto Sancarleño (from San Carlos in Alajuela Province) as the sub-genres. The modern era has witnessed rock music taking center stage.
The cuisine of Costa Rica borrows flavors from different parts of the world, although some would say it lacks in terms of anything distinct or original. Costa Rican cuisine stands as a grand assortment of Spanish, Mexican, American, Caribbean and Southern American recipes like other Central American countries. However, it still retains the age-old flavors. Gallo Pinto (a combination of black beans and white rice) is considered the national dish, though Arroz con pollo or rice with chicken always gives it a run in terms of popularity. However, a broader view on the eating habits of the Costa Ricans reveals some important regional differences. While the Caribbean side has an affinity toward coconut oil, the north-western part of the country tends more toward corn products making large, cheese filled tortillas and other corn snacks the primary food for the region.
COSTA RICA GAMBLING, CASINOS, BETTING
Costa Rica has dozens of online companies that provide this tropical Central American country with leading offshore bookies.
Whether it is an online sports betting operation or a brick and mortar, employees are generally young, between 18 and 30, and earn from $600 to $1,600 a month. That compares with an average of $325 a month for the average Costa Rican worker. With the low and very laxed taxes and little government involvement, small casinos are now peppered throughout the country and in very remote areas. It is not surprising that you will find some tucked away and operating under thatch roofs or in some back-room with only a few machines. Just about any taxi driver will know where these are. But be warned: Enter at your own risk and do not expect the same odds that Las Vegas has. Each casino sets its own rules.
For example: The most popular Casino game is 21 also called “Rummy”, which is similar to blackjack but with Tico rules. You get two cards, you can then ask for another card or stay with the two you have if you have 21 or close to 21. As in blackjack, the idea is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over, with face cards counting as 10 and aces counting as one or 11. All the rules just mentioned are just like blackjack. Here is where the game differs from the Las Vegas version: if your first three cards are the same, three of a kind, or a straight (6, 7, & 8 of the same suit), you have a ‘rummy’ and you are paid double. And if your three of a kind happens to be three sevens (which is 21), you get an even higher bonus. If you get 21 with two cards or get five cards without breaking 21, there’s no double bonus as you get in many other international casinos. Splitting pairs is allowed as is doubling down. In some, You may find yourself losing with a push with the dealer.
Most of the bigger facilities will have the typical Vegas-style gambling machines, along with, Canasta (Roulette), Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Mini-Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Rommy Blackjack ,and Tute poker. Below are a list of some of the larger casinos and a list of Costa Rica Casinos
Cabo Velas Santa Cruz - Paradisus Playa Conchal & Jazz Casino Conchal
Cariari - Melia Cariari Hotel & Country Club
Ciudad Quesada - Lucky San Carlos Casino
El Roble - Caribbean Village Fiesta
El Robledal Uruca - Barceló San José Palacio Spa & Casino
Goicoechea - Radisson Hotel & Casino Europa
Golfito - Hotel Sierra and Casino
Guanacaste - Hotel Flamingo Beach Resort & Jazz Casino
La Uruca - Irazù Hotel Best Western & Casino Concorde
Perez Zeledon - Hotel & Country Club del Sur & Casino del Sur
Playa de Jaco - Barceló Amapola & Jazz Casino
Playa de Tamarindo - Hotel Tamarindo Diriá & Jazz Casino Tamarindo
Playa Herradura - Los Suenos Marriot Golf Resort & Stellaris Casino
Playa Jaco - Hotel Cocal & Casino
Playa Panama - Premier Fiesta Resort & Spa
Playas del Coco - Flor De Itabo Hotel & Casino Hotel Casino Coco Bay
Puntarenas - Hotel Yadran & Casino Adriatico
Quepos - Kamuk Hotel & Gallo Casino
San Isidro de General - Lucky Casino & Hotel
San Jose - Club Colonial Casino Bar & Restaurant, Del Rey Hotel & Casino del Rey, Fiesta Casino Fiesta Casino Costa Rica at the Garden Court Hotel Horseshoe Casino Hotel, Hotel Presidenta, Herrudura Resort & Casino Krystal, Quality Hotel Centro Colon & Casino Costa Rica, Royal Dutch Hotel & Casino.
Costa Rica Home -
A Better Lifestyle for You and Your Loved Ones
If you're thinking of retiring, want a second home, or want to live in a country that offers you a better and more affordable lifestyle - then you should consider buying a home in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is a slice of paradise that's affordable - and buying a home in Costa Rica is easy. Let's look at the lifestyle you could enjoy.
There are three groups of people who should consider buying a home in Costa Rica, they are: People who wish to retire : People seeking a second home : People wanting to work abroad
1. Retiring: You have worked hard all your life, and now you want a quality lifestyle - where your money goes further. Property is up to 70% less expensive than in the southern states of the USA - and you're just a few hours flight from the Southern states of the US. When you live in Costa Rica, you benefit from the following: Property is cheaper, and so too are your living expenses - up to 70% cheaper - meaning your social security cheques go further.
If you buy a Costa Rican home, you still get the entire infrastructure you've become used to in the USA - great communications, shopping, and entertainment.
. You get beautiful scenery - from rolling hills, to stunning beaches - even volcanoes!
. Buying is easy - and you get the same rights as Costa Rican residents.
. You get a more relaxed pace of life - and serious crime is rare.
. You get the comfort of world-class healthcare - at a fraction of the cost you'd have to pay in the US.
. Finally, you get some of the best weather in the world - live without the need for heating in the winter, or air conditioning in the summer.
2. A Costa Rica second home, or an investment property: A Costa Rica home gives you all the advantages of the above and many more - but buying a home in Costa Rica is not just for retired people. With more Americans than ever looking at vacation and investment property, you should consider the following:
Real Estate Values ready to Soar. Costa Rica homes are cheap - and real estate values are growing at an average rate of 30% per year - and in many locations prices have doubled, or tripled in just a few years. Therefore, you get an asset you can enjoy as a second home whenever you want - with prices up to 70% cheaper than in the southern US states such as Florida. Many people are buying Costa Rica homes as an alternative buying property in the USA - it's cheaper, and you get a fantastic lifestyle. You get a cheaper property with better growth potential - and the added benefit of a booming vacation rental market. So when you're not enjoying your second home yourself, you can rent it out and make a good income.
3. A Complete change: We've already seen the benefits of a Costa Rica home for retiring to, or as vacation home - but maybe you fancy moving, and setting up a business in Costa Rica? Well the opportunities are endless. As more Americans and other foreigners relocate to Costa Rica than ever before, there are opportunities to set up businesses and take advantage of the new wealth being created.
Tax Advantages The major advantage is that the Government will not charge you any tax for years - so you can get your business off to a flying start. Educational standards are high, and labour laws are flexible - so you have everything you need to make your business a success.
Consider Buying a Home in Costa Rica
It's an affordable slice of paradise, and record numbers of Americans and other foreign nationals are actively buying, or considering buying a home in Costa Rica.
If you've not considered a Costa Rica home, then maybe this article will encourage to find out more - you won't regret it!
Ex-Patriots Living in Costa Rica
There are some three hundred & sixty thousand ex-patriots, mostly from the US and Canada, and a smaller percentage of Europeans that live here year round. It is possible to obtain residency either as a retiree or a rentista with a guaranteed income, like a pension or an investment, while others qualify who have invested in Costa Rica tourism (like me). Most enjoy an easy way of life with the reduced cost of living, a wonderful climate, homes perched in the cool mountains overlooking San Isidro/Perez Zeledon, exploring Costa Rica in a new SUV, and easy access to the outside world with their internet and English language cable TV or their satellite dishes. San Jose is only two and a half hours flight from Miami, three from Houston. Ex-pats tend to have their own circle of English speaking friends, and organizations. Private medical care in Costa Rica is close to US standards at a fraction of the cost. Many visitors pay for their vacation with the savings from their plastic, dental and eye surgery done in private clinics.
Join over one million visitors every year that visit and almost 375,000 Ex-Pats that calls Paradise home. All you need is a Passport. Come on – Costa Rica and its friendly people await you! Enjoy the pleasures of a visit to this American paradise.
This is very safe here. This is a great town to raise your family or to retire. The cost of living is much less than almost every place in Costa Rica. There are hundreds of large and small stores to shop. Maxi Pali, Walmart owned. We have a nice mall to go eat and catch a movie. If you live in the mountains about 10 minutes outside of San Isidro, you can grab a bus every 20 to 40 minutes to town and back. A fleet of well maintained buses here that are very cheap and comfortable. The avg. cost is about .40 cents..
Pérez Zeledón: Barrios in P.Z.
Barú, Cajón, Daniel Flores, General, Páramo, Pejiballes, Platanares, Río Nuevo, Rivas, Boston, San Isidro de El General, San Pedro, Morazon, Quebradas - San Isidro de El General
We refer you at NO charge to the correct & honest people for your residency, there are many less than honest people in that field. Their are some crooked lawyers will take money and just keep asking for more money as time goes by. Then quit answering their phone. Don't fall for their schemes. Let us put you in touch with Residency experts that can get your Residency faster and cheaper than anyone. All you have to do is to ask our many tenants that have obtained their Residencies. We can set you up with a payment plan, so you do not have to pay all of it at once.
San Isidro de El General
Named for the saint of farmers, San Isidro de El General, about 120 kilometers
(75 miles) south of San José and a half hour inland from Dominical along
the Pan-American Highway, offers inexpensive housing and a warm climate
due to the town’s elevation of 2,300 feet. The area is a major producer of
high-quality Costa Rican coffee, sugarcane and dairy products.
San Isidro is considered by many to be the fastest-growing city in Central
America. As a municipal center, it houses all of the government offices of
the province of Pérez Zeledón. Monte General is the city’s new shopping
mall. It has a Megasuper supermarket, Universal department stores, three
movie screens, nine restaurants in a food court, a Scotia bank branch, 160
stores and 320 parking spaces. The mall is the anchor for the large Monte
General residential community adjacent to it. BCR Banks, Banco Nacional,
many others. Large hospital, 24 hour US type clinics. Pharmacies that have
a Doctor inside to help at no cost for most people, just pay for scripts. Maxi
Pali owned by Walmart on the Pan American Highway. It has the second
largest farmers market in Costa Rica.
The city is a full-service commercial center for the southern zone. It is the
ideal place to live because of the low crime, mild climate, plentiful goods and
services, hardware stores, supermarkets, banks, farmers markets, professional
services schools and a public hospital. Regarding the latter, a friend of mine
was in Playa Uvita and had to have an emergency appendectomy. He was
rushed to the hospital in San Isidro where he had the operation and lived
to tell about it.
The area does have a good selection of restaurants. However, there
is one good eatery where many Gringos hang out called Bazookas on the
Pan-American Highway on the north side of town. The place is a “required
stop” on my monthly retirement and relocation tours. The restaurant is
owned by a Costa Rican couple who lived in the U.S. and who really know
how to cater to the likes of foreigners. A lot of gringos also hang out at the
Chirripó Restaurant across from the city’s newly-refurbished central park.
San Isidro is off the beaten path, but some foreigners make this small
city their permanent home. Of all the areas in the southern zone they
actually prefer to live near San Isidro. The views are fantastic, land prices
are lower, the municipality is well run, services and shopping are close by,
and there is a better chance of integrating with local culture, as most Ticos
in the southern zone live in the San Isidro area.
Real estate is reasonably priced in comparison with some of the areas in the
Central Valley. There are many ocean-view properties in the mountains along
the highway between San Isidro and Dominical. Here you can have the best
of both worlds: a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding mountains
and ocean but without the heat and humidity of the lower beach areas.
San Isidro is the largest city in southern Costa Rica
U.S. Embassy: http://costarica.usembassy.gov/
San Jose Airport: http://www.fly2sanjose.net/
Bus Service: http://www.fly2sanjose.net/front/pt1.php?ref=11
Auto Rentals: http://www.fly2sanjose.net/front/pt3.php?ref=45
Nature Air Flights: http://www.natureair.com/
Travel Time: http://www.govisitcostarica.co.cr/travelInfo/travelTime.asp#407
National Parks & More: http://www.yourtravelmap.com/costarica/nationalparks/
Barquero Shipping: http://mariobarquero.com/home.aspx - This is the best shipper to Costa Rica, Vehicles, Household, Orders, anything. They are great! No duty on orders from Amazon, Walmart etc.
Local & International Bus Lines in Costa Rica
http://nicabus.com.ni/en/ Nica. Bus
http://www.ticabus.com/eng/index.php Tica. Bus
http://goo.gl/Wy8Sbp Grey Bus Lines
This is our Feria " Farmers Market" it is huge, veggies, meats, cheese, spice, nuts, many , many other things. Food courts with many cafes to eat while shopping. At the end of building is a large Mercado - grocery store. This is one of the largest in C.R. San Isidro/Perez Zeledon is the most wonderful city that I have ever lived in. It is very safe and secure with so many great people, awesome shopping, super medical care, the cheapest town to live in anywhere in C.R.
Monthly Living Expenses in Costa Rica
The amount of money that you will need to live in Costa Rica on a monthly basis will depend largely on your lifestyle and the are of the country where you want to live. If you want to live near the expat communities and shop for imported products then you will require a larger monthly budget. If you are willing to shop at the farmers market and live a in more rural setting then your living expenses will be much lower.
The following is an example of what you can expect to pay for selected items in Costa Rica. The numbers assume that you own your house and will be paying property taxes. If you are renting then factor in the rental amount into the equation. The reality is that you will likely need between $1,200 to $2,500 to live comfortably in Costa Rica. Anything below that amount will require some adjustments. Plenty of people live for around $800 per month in San Isidro de General. To live anywhere near San Jose, you will need $3,000 or more to live comfortable.
If you are paying rent then factor that into the monthly expenses. You can find rentals in Costa Rica from $400 and up. In Rural
areas, like San Isidro you should be able to find comfortable accommodations in the $400 to $800
range, semi-furnished or furnished. Remember you must factor your utilities & Internet in extra. If you want to live in the expat suburbs around San Jose you may have to
pay a higher rent and your range could be in the $1500 to $3,800 range.
PRACTICAL LIVING CONSIDERATIONS
Welcome to the Section on Practical Living Considerations. Here you can find
practical tips about life in Costa Rica.
in Costa Rica. How is the Currency.
The Costa Rican currency is the "COLON". The different bills are set forth below. The exchange rate between the Costa Rican Colon and the US Dollar or EU Euro fluctuates. You can determine the current exchange rate by looking it up at the Central Bank of Costa Rica which provides currency conversions with all major currencies worldwide: Costa Rican Colon Exchange Rate
FOOD GOING TO THE SUPERMARKET
The least expensive places to purchase food in Costa Rica is at the Farmers Market. In every city and small town of Costa Rica every Saturday morning you will find a Farmers Market in the center of town. Here you will find fresh fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices.
As far as Supermarkets in Costa Rica the major food chains are owned by Walmart
which purchased the locally owned supermarket chain Mas X Menos which included the "Pali" and "Maxi Bodega" brand names as well. Another chain is the Mega Super which has a presence in may of the cities of Costa Rica. The more upscale supermarket in Costa Rica is Auto Mercado which is more prevalent in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. It has been expanding and there is an Auto Mercado in the beach town of Tamarindo in Guanacaste.
The Supermarket is not cheap in Costa Rica because many of the goods are imported and are subject to import duties to enter Costa Rica. Many foreign visitors have indicated that the cost of going to the Supermarket in Costa Rica is similar to the United States and other cities in Latin America.
Costa Rica: History of This Peaceful Paradise
We all know and love the Costa Rica of today, but many of us don’t know the
history of this beautiful country and how it came to be. The trials and tribulations, the failure and the successes. I always find that you can truly appreciate a country on a much greater scale, especially as a
tourist, when you are more informed on it’s history. Today I give you a brief,
yet enlightening, history of our beloved “rich coast”.
Long before Costa Rica saw any colony settlement or encountered it’s first
European visitors, it was a country mostly inhabited by small indigenous tribes.
The most significant of these tribes were the Bribri and the Boruca. The Bribri
tribe live in the Limon province of Costa Rica, and are estimated to have a
population of about 11,500. The Boruca tribe is much smaller, only about 2,660
population, and reside in the Puntarenas province. When the Spanish arrived in
Costa Rica, the majority of these tribal members blended into the Spanish
colonies, leaving the indigenous population much smaller than before.
Once Costa Rica was colonized by the Spanish, it actually spent some time as
the southernmost province of what is now Mexico. However, Costa Rica did not
offer so much of what the Spanish were seeking – gold, silver, and other
resources – and remained sparsely inhabited through this period. In fact, the
Spanish governor once described Costa Rica as “the poorest and most miserable
Spanish colony in all the Americas”. Costa Rica was also poor in indigenous
inhabitants, thus not providing much in the way of labor and leaving most of the
work to the settlers – this did not go over well either. This all worked out for
the best, however, as Costa Rica was left on its own and did not have to fight
for its independence like the rest of it’s Central American neighbors. After,
the Mexican War of Independence, all of Central America was declared independent
– thus giving Costa Ricans the important date of September 15th, or Independence
Costa Rica joined the First Mexican Empire, but this did not last long as the
empire collapsed only 2 years later. At this time, Costa Rica joined as a
province in the Federal Republic of Central America, which lasted about 16
years. This time proved to be rather tumultuous, as wars raged between provinces and the political establishments of the Federal Republic of Central America – but Costa Rica remained mostly at peace during this time.
First Mexican Empire
After the dissolution of the Republic, Costa Rica declared itself a sovereign
nation and withdrew. Then came the coffee. In the 19th century, Costa Rica saw
its first crops of coffee. Coffee quickly became the first and largest export
Costa Rica had seen, with most of its production being shipped to Europe. Later
in, bananas became a largely popular export in this country.
While Costa Rica has largely remained in a peaceful state, it has suffered a
few violent outbreaks. The first was the exile and overturn of the dictator,
General Frederico Tinoco Granados, which lasted from 1917-1919. The second was the dispute of the presidential election between Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia and Otilio Ulate Blance, which resulted in the Costa Rican civil war and 2000 deaths between 1940 and 1944. Peace followed, however, with the new democratic government that formed and abolished the country’s armed forces. Since then, 13 elections have been held, and are regarded worldwide as being peaceful and honest elections.
Today, Costa Rica is still considered a developing country, and experiences a
high poverty and unemployment rate. However, slowly but surely and at their own pace, Costa Rican’s are pulling themselves out of it. Ecotourism, software
development, engineering, and pharmaceuticals are improving the economy tremendously. For companies and individuals interested in investing in the country, the government even offers a tax break. Costa Rica was also awarded the Caribbean and Central American Country of the future 2011/2012 by the Financial Times.
Costa Rican Cuisine: Best of Latin Food
Home cooked food is invariably the trend in Costa Rican cuisine. While you’ll
find that a majority of yummy local dishes are centered around rice and beans,
you won’t find a lacking in the department of seafood and exotic local cuisine.
Common dishes in Costa Rica are centered around beef, chicken, fish, black
beans and pinto beans, rice, plantains, and vegetables. Some delicious
concoctions you can expect to see are:
Arroz Guacho – Sticky rice, made from savory pork and rice
Papas con Chorizo – Chorizo Sausages and potatoes
Sopa de Mondango – Costa Rican Tripe Soup, made in beef stomach
Barbudos – String bean omelet
Platanos Maduros – Fried plantains
If you’re looking for an authentic Costa Rican fine dining experience, you
won’t be disappointed. San Jose features some of the best restaurants in the
world, and provides a leisurely environment for you to enjoy your food at your
own pace and relax. You can even enjoy some mouthwatering food on Costa Rica’s
Caribbean cost that boasts a strong Jamaican influence. Dishes found at these
restaurants are made from some of the best seafood, and also feature some
unusual ingredients such as turtle eggs! Dishes you may run across in a Costa
Rican restaurant are:
Curried Goat and shrimp
Pepperpot Soup – Callaloo, cabbage, okra, pigs tail, dumplings, pepper, and a variety of other ingredients
Ackee – A fruit that tastes a bit like scrambled eggs
Encurtido – Vinegar brine featuring vegetables and Chile peppers
These meals and more can be found in an abundance of superb and highly
affordable restaurants located throughout the country, including the highly
rated Casa Luisa restaurant located in San Jose which features some of the best
Spanish style cooking you’ll ever taste. Another restaurant not to be passed up
is the Casa de Dona Lele, which is a steak and barbecue restaurant, also located
in San Jose, featuring some unforgettable authentic cuisine.
Costa Rica Spring Break – Affordable Luxury
Whether your plans include lounging on a warm beach with a cocktail in hand,
camping in the wilderness, or pursuing a volunteer opportunity, the time to
start planning for spring break is now.
Costa Rica might mean “rich coast”, but you don’t have to be
wealthy to enjoy this country’s natural wonders. From the beaches of the Pacific
to the country’s extensive natural park system, Costa Rica has something for
everybody. Eco-tourism is the name of the game here, and volunteer opportunities abound. For the budget-conscious, a bare-bones day in Costa Rica (staying in hostels, eating from supermarkets) can cost as little as $20.
Poas Volcano National Park
Just outside of town, Poas Volcano National Park is easy to get to, and well worth a look. The 2,708-meter volcano is quite active, although the last major eruption took place in 1954.
This is probably Costa Rica’s most easily accessible volcano. You can
drive almost to the rim itself and walk the rest of the way on a paved
pathway. You can’t go around the crater more than a short way, but there
is a nice observation platform, and there is almost always some bubbly action
Poa's is one of the few volcanic craters in the world you can get to without
getting out of breath. It is only a short walk on a nice smooth path from
the car park to the crater rim. You will probably see a few pizotes
cadging handouts. Don’t fall for their pitch: just keep on walking
and try not to let them catch your eye. There is also a small crater lake
you can see after a walk through the forest, but go for the walk itself-the lake
is a mild attraction.
Be sure you schedule your trip to Poas for early in the morning, as clouds
start to move in and obscure the view of the crater as early as 10am. The
visitor center is worth a look and you can, of course, get a nice cup of
coffee. Try the tamales. They have the same toucan fridge magnets
here they have anywhere, so you may as well get them.
Info: The Visitor Center is open 8am-4pm, and
has a small cafeteria and souvenir shop. Entrance fee $7. Tel. 2482-2165.
TIP: Occasionally the park is closed due to too much bubbly action. In 2006 Poas was going through a stage of mild activity, blorping out gobs of extremely hot mud and gases in the general direction of the viewing platform usually occupied by gawking
tourists. Call ahead to avoid disappointment or scalding.
The Capital City of San Jose
Although there are a few things of interest in the capital city of San Jose,
the best things for visitors to Costa Rica are found outside the cities.
Even though it lacks the worst of third-world slums and poverty, San Jose is
basically an unattractive city with few tourist diversions. Since most
flights from North America arrive in San Jose in the afternoon, usually too late
to catch a flight or drive to more salubrious areas of the country, most
visitors find themselves spending at least one night in town.
Taxis are cheap, starting at about $1.90 for the first kilometer.
The new valley train and its Curridabat, San Pedro and Heredia extensions soon will reach Alajuela and maybe even Cartago.
Buses go everywhere, and to spend more than $5 the trip has to be a really long one. Most city routes are 44 U.S. cents or less
Weekend ferias contain the bounty of the earth. Vegetables and fruits are almost given away. And the flowers!
There are plenty of working class restaurants and take-out chicken outlets for the cost conscious. For the well-heeled, there are plenty of upscale eating places, and some are world class.
Even at the supermarket the Costa Rican - style diet is very reasonable. Rice and other products are price controlled. The Costa Rican tamal is available all year long.
Upscale markets are now carrying U.S. beers and an assortment of U.S. foods for those who want to live as a Gringo.
Who can walk past a bakery without dashing in and buying great bread, sweets, empanadas, almojábanas and all kinds of crunchy treats.
The Mercado Central is a step back into the 19th century. Yet sanitation is acceptable.
This is coffee country, and the local brands sure beat the $8 export varieties.
The Walmart, the Prices marts and similar have not yet taken over the Costa Rican market, although its nice to know they are there. The hidden corners of every town hold surprises for the shopper. The San José pedestrian malls have changed the face of the downtown.
When the folks up north tire of their clothes, the garments end up in dirt cheap Ropa Americana stores here. The clothes come in as bales. Where else can you get an elegant designer dress for $2?. Brand new with tags still attached of men's walking shorts and designer shirts for $1.
How about all those Chinese stores where certain products like dishes and other ceramics are total bargains. Not to mention the 50-cent beers under the counter.
Those who require First-World shopping always have the malls. They are the same all over the world.
Not being confronted with ice, snow and those winter ailments is a real plus.
The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social clinics may be uneven, but the major hospitals provide excellent care. The Hospital Nacional de Niños is envied all over Latin America.
Private hospitals are more expensive but with prices far below those in the north even for U.S.-trained physicians and technicians.
Some medicines here are available over the counter instead of with prescriptions as in the north and the prices seem more reasonable. And some are available for free from the Caja.
Rents range from $100 to thousands a month, depending on the quality of the location. A frugal expat can find a safe, secure apartment for $400, but double that will put the place in a better area.
Housing prices represent a great savings over two years ago. There is city living. There is country living and all options in between. Those with a green thumb will like a rural home with garden space. Maybe room for a few chickens. Got some cash? How about a lap pool or one that approaches Olympic size?
Expats can kiss the oil and gas heating bill good-bye. Unless one seeks out chilly mountain living, nearly every place in Costa Rica does not require heating, just a second blanket a couple of times a year.
Beach living might require air conditioning, but one can survive with proper, screened ventilation even during the warmest periods.
Utilities are a steal. Where else can you get a land line from the phone company for 2,450 colons ($4.90) a month or a cell phone for 3,685 ($7.37). Toll calls are extra. The government subsidizes and controls these and other utility rates.
Television still is free, but cable is better, particularly for those who must see North American programs or U.S. sports. Internet continues to improve, and new firms are entering the market. You get what you pay for but still less expensive than elsewhere.
Expat bars are plentiful, but the beer is cheaper at a hole in the wall that caters to locals.
First-run movies are priced for the local market, and iTunes and some online services are available. Netflix says it soon will add Costa Rica to its list of countries.
No place is far from a beach.
Sponsored and free entertainment can be found in all but the smallest burg.
This is a tourism destination, and expats can enjoy these benefits.
Costa Rica teaches patience to a new arrival. The pace is reduced. There is time to enjoy the sunny mornings and prepare for the afternoon rain. The evenings are time for sitting outside with a favorite beverage.
In fact, the country is bilingual, although Spanish is required to understand the culture. Even most grade school children know some English. The government is pushing that.
What can you say about the legions of friendly, pleasant Costa Ricans who usually go out of their way to help a foreigner. Not everyone but most.
Sun Valley provides the best service and best rates of any vehicle rental agency in Costa Rica. Ask for Aaron.
Forget The Rest - Call The Best
Web site coming soon. http://www.sunvalleyrentacar.com
Email: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Phone numbers: (506) 2282-7013 (506) 2203-4443
10% discount on monthly rentals. This is our Son's rental agency.
To find you a rental is FREE.
All of our relocation services are ¢8,000 per hour.
Computer Repair or Services are ¢12,500 per hour.
Very trustworthy taxi we have used for years.
Jorge Barboza V.
( Koy ) San Jose Taxi
Airport Service to anywhere in Costa Rica Propietario Servicio de transporte
Todo Publico, Personas con discapacidad
Koy Cell: 8359-4025
Koy charges $220 & up, depending on what you are moving & day or night. All taxi rates are set by Government at same rate at the airport to San. Jose . Koy has a van if you have lots of luggage or pets to bring to San Isidro. Rates start at $220 USD for a daytime trip to San Isidro de General.
From San Jose to San Isidro de General is around three hours.
Koy is available to pick you up at the airport and take you to Musoc bus station in San Jose or a hotel, fee is $50 USD, if you wish he can pick you up and take you to Musoc bus lines or anywhere you wish to go. You can call him directly if you speak Spanish, if not you can call us to translate for you. All Red taxi's charge waiting time here. (A Maria taxi is a metered taxi.) There are thousands of parataxis or pirate taxis here, most do not carry insurance or permits to operate. If they are in an accident and you get hurt badly like I did, you are stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Be safe use the Maria's taxi's.