CONTACT US QUICKLY.
REVIEW: CR-Paradise Rental Properties
When we came across the CR- Paradise website during a random Google search several months ago, we had no idea that it was our lucky day! We sent a message through the website and were quite impressed (and surprised) to receive a response within 30 minutes of submission. We soon realized just how lucky we were to find David and Lisbeth Hall.
David and Lisbeth are two of the most welcoming, warm and knowledgeable people I have ever met. Before we even arrived in Costa Rica they somehow managed to make us feel safe and comfortable about our move. You can't put a price on that, but the best part is that most of the A+ customer service we received was FREE!!
Logically, two "Gringos" who speak very little Spanish and have never visited Costa Rica before should feel at least some anxiety about arriving in a new city where you do not understand the language fluently. We can honestly say that David and Lisbeth were able to alleviate any worries we might have had. We were greeted at the San Jose Airport by their friend Koy, who scooped us up and drove us to the bus stop, bought our tickets, and made sure we got on the correct bus to San Isidro. A few hours later, we were greeted at the San Isidro Bus Station with open arms and hugs from Lisbeth.
The service we received from CR-Paradise was outstanding and more than we could have hoped for. Lisbeth showed us a rental that met everything on our wishlist and we are now very pleased to call this place our home. She shuttled us around town, showed us where we could get all of our basic needs, helped us set up our home, took us to the local markets, and so much more. I am now very grateful to call her my friend. David helped us with everything we needed to run our internet business and gave us outstanding advice and support.
Whether you are planning or just considering a trip to Costa Rica, www.crparadise.net should be your first step. We highly recommend them and cannot imagine receiving better service anywhere else. The best advice we can offer to anyone considering a trip to beautiful Costa Rica is to contact CR-Paradise and it can be your lucky day too!!
Donna & Jeff Luther, Nashville, TN
Below is a recommendation for your website. We are so very pleased with all of your services and are even more grateful to have found wonderful friends!
FROM: CATHERINE & TRISTAM
CR Paradise gave us a great experience in Costa Rica. David and Lisbeth are wonderful people that will make sure you have everything you need to have a good time here. My partner and I stayed in CR for three months, they hooked us with 2 apartments, gave us a phone chip to use during our vacation here, set up the internet for us, introduced us to people and helped us in many other ways. They arranged a cab to pick us up from the airport, told us which bus to take, arranged for someone to pick us up from the bus station and showed us around town all the good places and how to get around with the bus lines. I can't stress enough how nice it is to be able to solve any problem you have by making a phone call to Liz or David, especially if you need translation on something. We would recommend CR Paradise Rentals anytime. We loved the tenant parties every month, never had anyone do that with a rental. Catherine and Tristam Thorburn
This is two emails arrived in my inbox 10-14-2015 from two of our tenants, they are exceptional young men, we could not ask for any better clients. They are still living at our Rose apartments & we would like to thank them for the kind emails & for being wonderful tenants. Thank you, Michael & Guy.
This is to show our future tenants of what measures we go to make sure their stay is comfortable and happy.
Pura Vida! David & Lisbeth Hall
We have received hundreds of nice reviews from our great clients.
We will be glad to furnish you with emails or phone numbers of past or present tenants whom will be glad to relate to you how their experience was or is, or better yet come and talk to them. We are all like a family here.
Before moving to Costa Rica, I looked into several different properties around the country, by ultimately I decided to move to San Isidro mainly because David and Lizbeth were incredibly helpful with answering any per-arrival questions that I had. I took a chance, and I sent a deposit to David to hold my apartment while was still in the states. I needn't have worried as David transferred this money to my landlord without any problems.
Once landing in San Jose, Lizbeth has made sure that my transition to Costa Rica was as smooth as possible. From setting up my apartment to recommending the best places to buy meat, she has taken care of every detail. And David is available for all you computer needs, which I have come to find out is a very valuable commodity in this region. Overall, you could not work with two more trustworthy and caring people.
I started talking to David and Liz a few months before we came down and
sent a deposit ahead to reserve my studio apartment. They helped me arrange transport from the airport to the bus station and met me when I arrived in San Isidro to take me directly to my apartment. They arranged everything with my landlady in advance. The apartment was better than I expected, but even so they made sure I got a few more kitchen things (blender, bigger pots, more plates) by the end of the first week. Liz is always helpful when I need help figuring out the buses to tourist destinations and there is no way I would have been able to manage getting a Costa Rican SIM card and data plan by myself.
FROM: KRISTIEN WOODCOCK
Thanks David. I am grateful to have met a connection to many needs through you.
I love Latin American culture. Recently I decided to move to Costa Rica from the United States. I researched many different countries and regions within each one, but I'd learned from acquaintances that Costa Rica is a truly special place. A sun-drenched land, filled with beautiful, kind people and many nature-centered activities. I was looking for an apartment online, when I came across an ad for a lovely apartment in San Isidro and called for more information. Lisbeth answered on the other end and patiently responded to each and every one of my questions, including those about the apartment and many questions I had about Costa Rica and the region in which the apartment is located.
I made the decision to move based in large part on my interactions with Lisbeth and David. I felt secure, knowing that I would have a dedicated team tracking my progress every step of the way and waiting for me when I arrived. Lisbeth corresponded with me from the time I left to go to the airport, held my hand through my flight delays, arranged a reliable driver to pick me up at the airport, and followed through beautifully when I arrived in San Isidro, doing far more for me than I could reasonably ask. Lisbeth and David's business philosophy and practices embody the Pura Vida lifestyle. They are informative, generous, patient and immeasurably helpful. Thank you Lisbeth and David. You have made my transition to life in Costa Rica absolutely seamless, and a true pleasure. I love my new apartment!
Thanks David. I am grateful to have met a connection to many needs through you.
Figured I would be right about bus schedule. Want to thank you and Lizbeth again, You Could not have been better, I feel as if we are becoming good friends and not just Realtor and client can hardly wait to meet you two in person, we can toast to Pure Life with a cool drink L O L.
We will be posting a photo board of all our tenants, from our tenant parties and other activities. Meeting people from all over the world one at a time. We have a party once or twice a month for all of our tenants to get together and meet and greet, and last but not least a Bar-BQ.
Tenant party at my house on Valentines Day. 32 People attended.
This is our good friends and tenant Bob Kane's going away party. He will be back in Jan. after spending many months here. We will all be glad when Bob returns.
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?
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 $300, 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. June-2011
Country Costa Rica
Province San José Province
Canton Pérez Zeledón Canton
Founded ca. 1892
AreaTotal 197 km2 (76 sq mi)
Elevation 700 m (2,300 ft)
Population (2013) Total 65,327
Members of Costa Rica's Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR)
Make this jewel of a town your first stop in Costa Rica, to us this is true paradise! San Isidro,Perez Zeledon is the least expensive and the best to live in all Costa Rica. If you miss this crown jewel, then you have missed the best this Country has to offer.
A Trip to the Farmer's Market in San Isidro de General - We have one of the largest in Costa Rica.
Every village has a special feria day, and some larger cities may even host
several farmer’s markets throughout the weekend. Most markets are held on
Fridays or Saturdays, with vendors arriving at the crack of dawn to set up their
wares. For the best selection, some shoppers arrive early – between 6 and 7
a.m., to browse the day’s offerings and beat the crowds. If you’re not an early
riser, no worries, as there’s plenty to go around for most of the day. Markets
typically begin winding down after 1 p.m., and close between 2 and 3 p.m.
When you first arrive, take your time to stroll up and down the aisles before
making hasty purchases. This will give you a chance to check out everyone’s
prices, and to see what’s available. Generally, prices are set by kilo (1 kilo =
2.2 pounds), or individually. Regular shoppers often purchase their goods from
the same farmers each week, and large purchases may merit a slight discount.
Haggling is not customary at the feria, and with the prices so reasonable,
you’ll be hard pressed to find fault in any vendor’s costs. From juicy mango
and pineapples to over sized papaya, a trip to the Costa Rica farmer’s market
In addition to being easy on the wallet, by shopping at the feria, you’ll help
support local farmers in your community. Often times, the profits earned from
the farmer’s market is their primary means of income, and every sale – no matter
how big or small – adds up. And with the low prices – generally $2.50/lb or less
for the priciest items – taste testing is not only encouraged, but almost
required! Vendors take great pride in the quality of their produce, and
frequently offer samples to feria newcomers, as well as seasoned local
residents. Trying new things is one of my top reasons for shopping at the feria.
Every week in Costa Rican towns both large
and small, local growers convene in a central spot to sell their weekly harvest
of fresh fruits and vegetables. Known as “la feria,” the farmer’s market is a
time-honored tradition throughout the country – a place where friends and
neighbors gather to browse the packed stalls for delicious produce, cheese,
meats, herbs and other perishable goods. The sheer variety is absolutely
fantastic, from giant watermelons and purple cabbage to more exotic options such
as star apple, water apples or green plantain. One of my favorite aspects of the farmer’s
market is the affordability. A week’s worth of produce for two people rarely
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 your will likely need between $1,500 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.
If you are paying rent then factor that into the monthly expenses. You can find rentals in Costa Rica from $300 and up. In Rural
areas you should be able to find comfortable accommodations in the $ 300 to $800
range. If you want to live in the expat suburbs around San Jose you may have to
pay a bit higher rent and your range could be in the $800 to $1,200 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.