“OK, hold on. We’re going to Costa Rica to visit some random friend of a girl you met in a bar in Chicago, who you hardly know?” My husband looked at me with that typical incredulous look he reserves for when I plan adventurous vacations.
Most formal volunteering programs are based in the San José area. But there are ways to give back to the community in nearly every location across Costa Rica. Many formal programs charge a weekly or monthly fee. This is a common practice for "voluntourism" trips.
Costa Rica has certainly been discovered as an ecotourism destination. Are you 20 years too late, or are there still places where you can be an ecotourist and have an authentic Costa Rican experience?
New Jersey native Phil Eitman moved to Costa Rica around the housing crash of 2008, with plans to oversee sales and financing for a mega-development on the Gold Coast. When the project evaporated, Phil learned to pivot and decided to open an insurance agency targeting expats.
Turtle nesting tours are fairly common in the coastal areas of the country. Annually, during nesting season, female sea turtles swim hundreds, if not thousands of miles—returning to the very beach where they were hatched to lay their own eggs.
Costa Rica opened on November 1 to travelers worldwide, including from all 50 U.S. states, without the need for a COVID test. You now only have to fill out a health questionnaire online, and provide proof of health insurance, to gain entry.
There's a silver lining to 2020 if you're dreaming of a life in Costa Rica… In the true spirit of Pura Vida, the administration is searching for ways to lure new investors and create new revenue channels for the country.
Once the hotels announced their varied openings in early summer, my husband and I began exploring "staycation" possibilities. I remember thinking this could really be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If we could find a luxury "deal" at one-half or one-third the price not too far from home…we could swing it with our budget for a couple of nights.
For those planning a move abroad, this lengthy COVID pause brings uncertainty, restlessness, and concerns about what the global economy will look like when the dust settles. The entire world has been impacted, and quite frankly, nobody knows when the economic fallout will reach the bottom.
From all reports, it sounds as if the apple cart has well and truly been upset in the States due to COVID-19. And while it breaks my heart to hear what's happening with my kids and grandkids and friends, I'm so happy to know that we've been minimally affected in our day-to-day lives here in the Orosi Valley.