Coming to Costa Rica is just coming to Costa Rica, right? Nope. Costa Rica has many different styles of living and climates. If you are thinking of coming to Costa Rica, you should visit the country, many parts of it. You have to determine what is right for you. Think about what you need in your life to make you happy. It’s extremely important to look at the positives as well as the negatives so you can make a decision that is right for you.
Everyone who wants to come to Costa Rica wants to live on the beautiful beaches, but the reality might not be ideal for everyone. Costa Rican beaches are amazing and the views are spectacular, but you have to remember, the beach is HOT. So, if you are a person who doesn’t appreciate the heat, this area may not be for you. The disparity in incomes is more obvious as you have the ocean-front mansions next to small, local homes. This disparity often creates higher crime areas, so home protection is very important. Also, beach communities are usually more transient with tourists coming and going and the community there to support this business. Finally, the beach areas are remote in the sense that if you have to do paperwork in the capital, you can be 2-6 hours away and healthcare facilities are also further apart. On my recent visit to Guanacaste, I was surprised that as much as this area has grown, you may have to drive quite a distance to get to the gas station or a major supermarket. Sounds discouraging, but if you really love the beach and all it has to offer, then this is for you. There are some truly spectacular beaches and being immersed in nature is still possible. On the other hand, if you like easy convenience and a real community feel, then check out some other options.
Okay, so if you aren’t into the heat and prefer the cooler weather, Costa Rica has that as well. Heading up in altitude will cool you down. The areas of Monteverde, Tilaran, and Poas in the north or Dota, San Isidro, and San Vito in the south are higher in altitudes where the quetzals fly. The weather tends to be cooler with more rain. I’ve often gone during a crisp day, thinking “THIS is my weather.” But then I remember that with the rain comes a lot of cloudy days and chilly nights and I get chilled easily. However, for someone who loves to cuddle up around a fireplace in a sweater after a beautiful sunny day, it’s perfect and, again, Costa Rica is small, so a trip down the mountain will warm you right up. The community aspect also tends to be stronger than in the beach areas because people live there year-round. Again, you have to decide for good and for bad, what you enjoy.
Convenience! Yes, everything from malls to fast food to great medical care. Oops, and the traffic that big city life brings. Security also becomes of primary importance. If you like everything right around you and the action of it all, then city life is for you. If it seems stressful and overwhelming, look somewhere else.
If you are looking for the welcoming community feel with an immersion into the culture, small towns are the places to look. These are places where people have lived all of their lives and know everyone, and everything, that everyone does. Remote? Some are, and some could be as close at 15 minutes to the big city. You can even combine a small town up in the mountains outside of Heredia which gives you easy access to the city without living directly in it or a central town like Atenas that is 45 minutes to the center of San Jose and an hour to the closest beach for vacations. Okay, I’m a small town girl, so you might see my preference, but small town life is not for everyone. Some people need more action or to be on the beachfront or completely isolated. That is not for me to decide, that is up to you. But it is important to know that about yourself and check out these different areas before you make a permanent decision. You don’t want to invest a lot of money in one environment, just to find out that in 6 months, this was a bad decision for you.
We, at Tristan & Newton Real Estate never want to push you into anything that isn’t right for you. “Names to Trust…Homes to Cherish” is our motto. We are happy when we find that perfect home for you and helping you determine the right home is part of the job. We have fabulous homes all over the country and we work with other real estate agents to find the right home for you if we don’t have it listed ourselves. Feel free to contact Tina at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions about living in Costa Rica and check the website and Facebook pages for more information.