Costa Rica relies heavily on tourism as you most likely know as an Insider. For the last couple of decades, the country has promoted itself as a leader in adventure eco-tourism and runs slick ad campaigns showcasing incredible volcanos, brightly colored waterfalls, empty beaches, verdant mountains, and loveable sloths—amongst other jaw-dropping biodiversity. Then it expanded successfully into luxury tourism: glamping, gaycations, and wedding destinations. According to the Knoema numbers for 2019, 13.5% of Costa Rica’s GDP came from tourism—bringing in approximately US$1.9 billion. It is safe to say that in many of the popular beach communities and national park areas, well over half of the income comes directly or indirectly from visitors.
Considered one of the most developed beach communities in Costa Rica, the once-sleepy fishing and surfer town of Tamarindo has exploded in popularity since the early 2000s. If you ask 100 people who reside there a reason why this is a great place to live, you will most likely hear 100 different reasons. Here are five of the most cited…
I have been grouchy lately. I would say for months. A year? I guess it was lockdowns, canceling multiple plans, and dealing with the ongoing rescheduling aftermath. My initial hopes for a more “normal” 2021 were dashed by personally contracting COVID-19 (it’s still a mystery, since I practically walked around town in a hazmat suit; alcohol sanitizer dripping off me with each step). We’ve all been touched by similar social maladies to one degree or another this past year.
One of the quintessential ingredients of living or visiting anywhere in Costa Rica is that you are typically within an hour or two drive of some mysterious landmark, amazing national park, or unusual encounter with nature that will knock your socks off. Of course, you most likely won’t be wearing socks, since you’re in a tropical paradise. Tamarindo makes a perfect “home base” beach town for exploring the nearby splendors of the Nicoya Peninsula in northwestern Costa Rica.
Healthcare coverage and proper medical care can often be a daunting and costly process in just about any country around the world. On top of that, add in a world-wide pandemic and it leaves most of us with questions about future costs and the strength of healthcare systems—whether private or public. Fortunately, Costa Rica has a highly regarded national healthcare program compared to many of its Latin American neighbors.
If you are researching the best places to live (or visit) in Costa Rica, with just a few keystrokes of an online search you’ll be presented with hundreds of suggestions. But on the flip side, there is not much warning about places to avoid. General safety? Yes. But you will find few suggestions of places not to live or even visit. It is time to fill that avoidance void.
Although Costa Rica is no longer considered a “cheap” place to live like it was in the previous century, there are thousands of expats living comfortably on conservative budgets all around the country. Most will tell you their monthly spending is less than the overall cost of living in numerous cities around the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
When you dream of a vacation (or living) in the tropics, often the first thing you imagine is the coastline. Long sandy stretches of palms swaying in the sea breezes. The waves gently lapping the shore. Playing in the surf or donning a mask and exploring the colorful submerged world. Yes, it is easy to talk about beaches, but it is definitely not so easy to pick the top five.
You may ask, “Do unhappy expats exist? Aren’t they living their best life?” The short answer is yes. Although expats put in the time and effort to live in their chosen country, some can still be unhappy, lonely, frustrated, or angry anywhere in the world—especially considering the politically charged year the planet has just experienced.
As a correspondent living overseas, I often field questions about the process of obtaining a second passport. In fact, during this era of COVID, many U.S. passport holders are longing for a second passport to open their world of international travel once again.