LIVING IN COSTA RICA – From Inter Nations: Whether it’s the relaxed lifestyle, the kind people, or raw, natural beauty of Costa Rica that draws them, we explain why the Costa Rican way of life is so attractive to expats.
Low cost of living and quality healthcare
It’s hard to imagine, but it is possible for an expat couple to live comfortably in Costa Rica on around US$2,000 a month! That includes your health insurance, transport, internet, rent, utilities, groceries, and more. The health insurance is public, but very high-quality, and private options are also available. Eating out only sets you back about $5 a meal and hiring domestic help no more than $2 per hour (or $200 per month). Expats in Costa Rica generally earn a lot more than their local counterparts who, on average, live off $11,000 per year. However, it really pays to take some lessons from the locals: Expats who buy the same brands as they do back home quickly realize that Costa Rica can actually be expensive. The expats who purchase local goods and go the farmers’ markets are not only rewarded with lower prices, but better produce as well!
Beauty, climate, and environmental-friendliness
The Costa Rican landscape ranges from sandy beaches to mountainous jungles, and everything in between; all of which can be enjoyed year-round, as temperatures throughout the country range between 20-30°C (70-90°F). A quarter of Costa Rica’s land is environmentally-protected and all tourism operators must comply with sustainable practices. As if that weren’t enough, Costa Rica aims to be the first carbon-neutral country by 2021 and is currently ranked 3rd in the world for environmental performance. The achievement of this noble goal is helped by Costa Rica’s hydroelectric power plants and abundant water supply.
Lifestyle and people
The lifestyle in Costa Rica is peaceful and modern. In fact, it’s so peaceful that they constitutionally abolished their military in 1949 and spend the money on education instead! The cities have all the necessary amenities and if expats get themselves lost or can’t find something, they just ask a local. The Costa Rican people, or Ticos as they call themselves, have a reputation for kindness and willingness-to-help. The Ticos appreciate expats who speak Spanish, but enjoy practicing their English, too. As well as the multicultural locals, Costa Rica also has well-established expat communities in many of its towns and cities. Connecting with other expats is a great way to indulge in some of the activities and adventures Costa Rica has to offer. And, given the diversity of its landscape, there are many!
Adventure and relaxation
Whatever your hobby, if it involves the natural environment, you can likely do it in Costa Rica. Its mountain and forest sports include hiking, mountain-biking, canyoning, and ziplining; these can be enjoyed all over the country due to the many mountains, volcanoes, and forests. For those who prefer watersports, Costa Rica’s coastline offers many wonderful places to surf, scuba-dive, snorkel, and fish; and its rivers are perfect for canoeing, kayaking, and white-water rafting. After all the exercise, many expats enjoy relaxing in the hot springs, which are not found everywhere in the country, but the Arenal Volcano area is home to many. For wildlife-aficionados, relaxing might involve some dolphin and whale watching at sea; bird-watching in the forests; or walking along the beach at night in the hope of seeing a sea turtle nesting. All such activities are best engaged in at certain locations and times of the year, depending on the animals’ habits.
What are you waiting for?
There really is no good reason not to visit Costa Rica, or even better, move there! Just make sure you prepared for great weather, lovely people, stunning landscape, and a bit of adventure!