Here you will find expats from around the world as well as plenty of locals giving this former fishing village a vibrant international atmosphere. One of the driest locations in the country, Coco offers lots of sunshine and minimal rainfall making it a fantastic destination for exploring the great outdoors.
While we wait for the boat to pull away from the dock, we pose in our orange lifejackets. The breeze is whipping our hair into our faces, and the sun is shining brightly. The ocean varies from intense sapphire to a crystal clear aqua. There’s exuberant greenery along the shore, and the striking city skyline gleams in the background. We all smile wide for the inevitable photo. Soon we’ll be digging our toes into white sands and wading into warm waters.
When you land there, you see a painted little billboard that says, “Welcome Home.” And, when I got off my puddle jumper flight, that’s exactly what happened, I felt like I was home. When I talk to fellow expats here, that was their feeling, too.
Suburban Santa Ana is nestled in the hills west of Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. It is conveniently located on the tollway next to the popular upscale suburb of Escazú. Two decades ago Santa Ana was just a small dot on the map in the Central Valley’s mountainous landscape.
How about building your perfect custom home on a few acres of your own land, free from the pressures of permits and architects and construction complications? Add saving money by living off-grid and growing your own food...and you can see why my American expat friend did exactly this.
When I lived in Florida, growing a vegetable garden was like flying too close to the sun. Everything got burned to a crisp. But in Cuenca, where the warmth of the equator meets the high elevation of the Andes, the climate provides near-perfect spring/fall weather year round. The average temperature is low 50s to mid-70s most of the year, with frequent rains, so my plants have a fighting chance at life.
As if the legends weren't enough, there also are stories that fall into the realm of unexplained mystery. One of the most important of these is the story of the stone spheres of Costa Rica. This is not fiction; it's simply a true story that includes strange and as yet unexplained facts.
Currently, this is more of a buyer's than a seller's market. If you're test-driving life in Panama, I recommend renting before you buy. Countless expats have moved to the beach, only to find that they prefer a mountain community in another part of the country—and vice-versa.
Recently, I took a trip along the coast between Manta and Salinas. The object of the trip wasn’t to focus my attention on the big cities—but to take a good look at what lies between them.
“A lot of people come to Belize for retirement, even if just for the winter, but I’ve been coming here all my life,” says Dan Bingham originally from Ontario, Canada but now a full-time resident of Spanish Lookout in Belize’s Cayo District.