Home Expat Focus Living in Costa Rica The Ultimate Cons of Living in Costa Rica

The Ultimate Cons of Living in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is one of the most desired locations to live for many Expats around the world, but before moving to the country, it’s crucial to know the ultimate cons of living in Costa Rica.

Before we begin sharing the brutal truth of living in Costa Rica, we’re currently living in the country and we’ve fallen in love with the people, culture, and exotic nature.

Even so, there are 10 reasons why Expats leave Costa Rica forever, and like any country in the world, Costa Rica has a few problems that may not be suitable for everyone who moves here so it’s helpful to learn about the cons.

To each individual, there could be hundreds of cons when it comes to living in Costa Rica, but we’re going to share the most common ones. Here are the ultimate cons of living in Costa Rica.

Most Dogs Bark in Costa Rica
Most Dogs Bark in Costa Rica

Dogs Barking in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the happiest country in Latin America which means Ticos in Costa Rica are friendly people, but this comes at a hefty price in regards to disciplining dogs. In general, Ticos believe in letting dogs live a discipline-free life which means they will bark at anything and everything.

Ticos will even let their dogs roam around the streets so they eat the neighbor’s trash, harass other dogs, and run wild on the roads. Morning walkers often carry a large stick to prevent aggressive dogs from harming them.

Motorcycles in Costa Rica
Motorcycles in Costa Rica

Loud Motorcycles in Costa Rica

For a quiet country filled with breathtaking nature, the motorcycles are unbelievably loud and disturbing! Cars are extremely expensive in Costa Rica so many Ticos drive motorcycles and which all sound like their mufflers are broken.

We previously lived in the U.S. and Mexico, and we’ve never heard such noisy motorcycles as we have in Costa Rica. Unless you’re living on private property far away from the road, you’ll never escape the screeching motorcycle sounds in Costa Rica.

Security Cameras in Costa Rica
Security Cameras in Costa Rica

Crime in Costa Rica

Compared to the bloody cartel battles in Mexico, Costa Rica is a very safe country, but there are still precautions everyone should take when exploring the country. Theft is common in Costa Rica, especially on the beach or at unattended cars parked in isolated areas.

Costa Rica has seven provinces, and statistically, the highest crime rates occur in the Limon province followed by the capital city, San Jose. Always travel in groups at night time, keep valuable items hidden, and try to explore public places to avoid theft in Costa Rica. On rare occasions, home invasions occur so many people have bars on their windows and build a gate to surround the property.

Golden Orb Weaving Spider in Costa Rica
Golden Orb Weaving Spider in Costa Rica

Bugs in Costa Rica

It’s obvious that Costa Rica is filled with bugs, but these bugs are huge! There are tons of spiders, ants, flies, centipedes, gnats, cockroaches, mosquitos, and other crawling creatures many Expats wouldn’t enjoy.

Every country in the world has bugs so this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but be aware the more rural the area, the more bugs you’ll encounter in your home.

Ticos Love Honking in Costa Rica 
Ticos Love Honking in Costa Rica

Honking in Costa Rica 

For multiple reasons, Ticos love honking in Costa Rica! Maybe they’re close to hitting someone, celebrating a national holiday, or simply saying hello to a friend. Even in quiet neighborhoods, large trucks, cars, and school buses will deliver loud honks to the world.

Over time, the cars, busses, and trucks honking become normal, but for those Expats who are sensitive to unnatural noises, it can get exhausting very quickly.

Poor Organization Skills in Costa Rica
Poor Organization Skills in Costa Rica

Complicated Systems in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is like a classic high school relationship; it’s complicated. Nothing is black and white in Costa Rica when it comes to healthcare, banking systems, buying a house, public hospitals, or any other major services.

You’ll find yourself waiting in multiple lines for hours in total confusion until you’re finally able to complete one errand. Especially if you don’t speak Spanish, the services in Costa Rica will drive you crazy until you end up leaving the country.

Difficult to Find Home and Store Addresses in Costa Rica
Difficult to Find Home and Store Addresses in Costa Rica

Finding Addresses in Costa Rica

Homes, stores, or any other location in Costa Rica does not have an address with numbers and letters. Instead, they describe their nearby surroundings of the location which can be extremely complicated when shipping items or giving directions to a taxi.

Always use the Waze app to find your destination It’s easy, simple, and over time, you’ll learn how to get around Costa Rica. This is a very minor con in Costa Rica so don’t let this one bother you.

Costa Rica is the Most Expensive Country in Central America
Costa Rica is the Most Expensive Country in Central America

Most Expensive Country in Central America

Many Expats move to Costa Rica to save money, but Costa Rica is now the most expensive country in Central America, and it won’t be getting any cheaper. Almost everything is twice the price due to heavily taxed import fees.

Cars, gasoline, food, clothes, toys, makeup, books, computers, phones, or anything else that’s desired is way more expensive than things in the United States. The only thing Expats save money on is monthly rent. For most Expats, this is the ultimate con of living in Costa Rica.

Example of a Gardner in Costa Rica
Example of a Gardner in Costa Rica

Gardeners in Costa Rica

Ticos and Expats hiring gardeners in Costa Rica is very common since the grass can grow out of control very quickly. Due to this, you’ll hear multiple gardeners using weedeaters, mowers, and leaf blowers for hours on end unless you’re living in a private neighborhood far away from people.

Since most homes in Costa Rica are built so close together, you may hear several gardeners at a time during the weekend, so we recommend going on a day trip to avoid any long-term disturbances.

Potholes in Costa Rica
Potholes in Costa Rica

Poor Infrastructure in Costa Rica

The sidewalks and roads in Costa Rica are filled with massive cracks and potholes that can easily damage vehicles. Many roads in Costa Rica desperately require maintenance, but improvement plans get delayed by the government and when finally fixed, it’s not done well.

Expats and Ticos will often swerve on the road to avoid a pothole which can easily cause a deadly car accident. These are one of the common cons of living in Costa Rica.

Green Traffic Light in Costa Rica
Green Traffic Light in Costa Rica

Traffic in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an extremely small country which means they’re very few highways. During morning and afternoon rush hour, there’s a massive amount of traffic so if you’re going on a day trip from San Jose, always leave early.

Heavy traffic typically applies to those living near major cities such as San Jose, Escazu, Santa Ana, or other central hubs for work and entertainment. An easy solution is to live in a small town and only travel to the city to complete errands and pick up supplies.

House in Costa Rica
House in Costa Rica

Buying Cars and Homes in Costa Rica

Owning a car in Costa Rica is an absolute luxury. Whatever a car costs in the United States, it costs twice the price, or more, in Costa Rica. In addition, not all car dealerships are trustworthy since they will roll back the miles and brush over major details when it comes to car damages.

Buying a home in Costa Rica is equally complicated since you’ll need a lawyer, permits, and a ton of money. Borrowing money from a Costa Rican bank is never a good option since the interest rates are so high. Unless you’re coming to Costa Rica with a lot of money, you’ll most likely be driving an old car and renting a home.

Join our Facebook Group Expats in San Jose and Families in Atenas!
Join our Facebook Group Expats in San Jose and Families in Atenas!

Negativity From Other Expats in Costa Rica

An interesting con of living in Costa Rica is negativity from other Expats living in Costa Rica. Yes, we’re sharing the ultimate cons of living in Costa Rica, but only to help fellow Expats prepare for their future and know what to expect. This type of negativity from Expats living in Costa Rica is on a whole new level of savage and brutal.

For example, in Costa Rica Facebook groups, the members are beyond kind, caring, and supportive, but they’re those special cases where some Expats have turned sour. They will say anything rude or discouraging to prevent future families from moving to Costa Rica due to their fear of overcrowding, inflation in the real estate market, or other personal reasons.

If you’d like to know more cons of living in Costa Rica, here are 10 reasons why Expats leave Costa Rica forever! Living in Costa Rica can easily be achieved if you’re properly prepared and fully aware of the disadvantages.

Personally, we hardly have any complaints about living in Costa Rica, and over time, we’ve adapted to the lifestyle changes. Although there are many cons to living in Costa Rica, nothing is impossible with passion and determination.

Once you’ve arrived in Costa Rica, make sure to follow these 10 things you should avoid in Costa Rica to stay safe during your vacation.

Article originally appeared at Bonnieclydeworldwide.com and republished here with permission.