Living the Good Life in Costa Rica

If you’re ready for la pura vida, “the pure life,” you might want to consider retiring in Costa Rica.

This country of just over 4 million is tucked between Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Costa Rica may truly have it all: a year-round tropical climate, modern cities, Caribbean beaches, Pacific coastline, rain forests, lush valleys, and mountains. According to the U.S. Department of State, more than 20,000 U.S. expatriates live in Costa Rica,  many of them as retirees.

That’s because Costa Rica has one of the highest standards of living in Central America. With an economy catering to tourists, you’ll have no trouble finding theaters, galleries, fine dining in virtually any cuisine, excellent health care, and modern telecommunications. In addition to its natural beauty, culture, and convenience, Costa Rica attracts many expats with its lower cost of living and slower pace of life. This jewel of Central America has the added advantage of still being relatively “undiscovered” by mass tourism.

Many retirees choose to live in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, within a few hours of the capital city of San Jose and its international airport, shopping, and medical facilities. The weather is also an important factor –this area enjoys year-round spring-like temperatures averaging 72ºF.

Others choose to live near the beaches…the Guanacaste province and the Pacific coast from Jaco to Quepos are the most popular. If you plan an extended stay, consider applying for either rentista or pensioner residency status.