Saturday, 31 October 2020

Two Very Different “Gringo Gulches” in Costa Rica

A lot of the nightlife in San José, capital of Costa Rica, takes place in a section of town often called “Gringo Gulch.” It is the area a few blocks from the center of downtown San Jose and around Morazán Park, Barrio Amón and the infamous Hotel Del Rey.

The main attractions of the gulch area are the Hotel del Rey, the Key Largo Bar, Sportsmen’s Lodge, Papi’s Sports Bar, Chubs Bar and Joe B’s bar. These establishments are a magnet for an interesting cast of colorful expat characters from all walks of life. You’ll find a mix old timers, newcomers, gringo retirees, tourists and a few Costa Ricans who frequent these places. It is quite easy to strike up a conversation with a fellow expat even make new friends. I don’t recommend hanging out in these bars every day because of the risk of becoming an alcoholic or falling into clutches of some unsavory women of the night.

If this downtown area is the original “Gringo Gultch,” then Escazú is the new and distinctly different “Gringo Gulch.”

- Advertisement -

Why? Escazú is sometimes referred to as the Beverly Hills of Costa Rica because of its upscale cosmopolitan atmosphere. Indeed Avenida Escazú does resemble a miniature Rodeo Drive with its high priced stores. Parts of Escazú resemble the U.S. so much that you may have to blink twice to make sure you are not back home.

Escazú has all the amenities of any North American suburb with U.S. style-living including some of the best shopping and dining in Costa Rica. It is filled with strip malls, high-rise condos, elite private schools, a country club, a branch of World Gym, U.S. chain restaurants (Outback Steak House, T.G.I.F Friday’s, Tony Roma’s and Starbucks to name a few), some of the country’s most expensive real estate and Multiplaza, a huge mega-mall that will rival any mall you have ever seen in the States. You will also find upper-crust North Americans, Ticos,Venezuelans and Colombians living there. The Guachipelín area of Escazú has a slew of condominium complexes that offer a good security, but a more boring lifestyle.

Avenida Escazú
Avenida Escazú

Personally I don’t care for the “new” Escazú that much. It is just too Americanized — a nice play to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. If wanted to live in a place like that I wouldn’t have ever left the States. I must admit that I occasionally go to Escazú to dine at couple of my favorite restaurants or to take in a movie at the Cinemark theater in Multiplaza. I like the stadium seating and butterd popcorn which you can’t get in all of movie theaters here.

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -
Christopher Howardhttp://www.liveincostarica.com
Christopher Howard has lived, worked and played in one of the most magical places on earth for more than 33 years. His love for Central America is so great that he became a citizen of Costa Rica. Howard is the author the perennial best-selling travel/retirement/overseas investment guide book (15 editions), The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. He is the only author of any of the guidebooks about Costa Rica who actually lives there full-time. You can reach Howard at liveincostarica.com

Related Articles

COVID-19 in Costa Rica: 1,296 new cases; country reinforces shelters for risk of floods due to tropical depression

QCOSTARICA - The General Director of Health, Priscilla Herrera, confirmed 1,296...

President signs law to reduce the 2021 Marchamo

QCOSTARICA - President Carlos Alvarado, signed on Friday the law reducing...

MOST READ

Panama obtains credit at 2.2%; Costa Rica however at 8.3%

QCOSTARICA - The realities of having bad credit. While the government of Panama got foreign investors to lend it US$1.25 billion in September at...

Congress approves reduction in 2021 Marchamo

QCOSTARICA - As had been expected, Congress approved on Tuesday night the bill to reduce the property tax of vehicles of the 2021 Marchamo. By...

Costa Rica Will Soon Be Back Open to U.S. Citizens

The outbreak of the novel virus COVID-19 has resulted in more than one million Americans applying for job seeker benefits. While some are scrambling...

Tico surf ready to receive tourists from all over the world and reactivate the economy

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica's opening of the air border to the world in a few days, on November 1, is a great relief for...

Reduction of working hours for private sector would be extended for six more months

QCOSTARICA - With the objective of avoiding massive layoffs and more labor lawsuits, private sector workers who are working only part-time today due to...

Distrust of sectors complicate signing an agreement with the IMF this year

QCOSTARICA - Reaching a structural adjustment agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this year seems like an impossible mission for President Carlos Alvarado,...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.