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Getting a Bird's Eye View of the Country

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Home / Preface
5 - Costa Rica in Brief
6 - Map of Costa Rica
8 - Symbols of Costa Rica
9 - Introduction
12 - Getting a Bird's Eye View
14 - Why Choose Costa Rica?
18 - Costa Rica Has Many Firsts to its Name
22 - A Place That Accepts All Races
30 - The Friendliness of the Costa Ricans
33 - Ticos are Individualistic
35 - Ticos Are Different and Procrastinators
38 - Why Others Have Gone Abroad
42 - Specific Reasons for Leaving Home
45 - Culture Shock
48 - Enjoy Your Retirement by Adjusting
49 - Ways to Adjust to Your New Life
56 - Making Your Stay More Satifying
58 - Cost of Living
67 - Addresses and Directions
69 - Your Car and Driving
71 - How Not to Be Obnoxious to Locals
74 - Adjusting to the Weather and Climate
76 - Choosing the Right Climate for You
77 - City Living versus Country Living
79 - Where to Live in Costa Rica
82 - Living in Your American Style
84 - Top Quality Health Services
87 - Medical Centers in San José
89 - Dying in Costa Rica
91 - Security and Safety in Costa Rica
94 - Personal Experiences of Petty Thievery
98 - Sex and Romance
101 - Going into Business Yourself
105 - Expatriates Production Enterprises
110 - Expatriates Service Businesses
114 - The Business Environment
120 - Helpful Tips for the Newcomer
125 - National Holidays and Festivities
128 - Religion, Churches & Support Groups
131 - The Optimism and Health Link
133 - The 8 Point Formula for Anti-Aging
134 - Obtaining Insurance
136 - Early Colonial History in Brief
139 - English Language & Tico Expressions
144 - Misdemeanors That Are Now Felonies
146 - Closing Words
148 - Bibliography
149 - For More Information and Contacts
151 - Appendix
155 - Index

Explore First, Then Decide If You Want to Stay

If you've never been in Costa Rica and you think you'd like to live there permanently, I'd recommend that you first take some time, perhaps three weeks to a month and visit not only the larger towns and cities but also the rural areas.

In case you should stay longer, renting an apartment or a house, would be ideal. That'll give you more time to get a feel of the country and let you know more about the nature of its people. Should time permit you to visit twice, once during the dry season and another during the wet or rainy season, that would enable you to decide whether the six months of no rain as well as the six months of daily afternoon showers would suit you as a place in which to live permanently.

Definitely, before making a decision of where to settle, visit several small towns in the Central Valley, then try the Pacific and Caribbean beach areas, the northern plains, and eventually the southern valleys and flatlands extending to the border with Panama. By renting a Jeep or other four-wheel drive vehicle, you won't have trouble going over many back roads which will take you to beautiful more remote areas. However, since most roads are paved, even though many have plenty of potholes, most towns are reachable year-round by using a regular car. Generally, every small town has available places such as pensions or small hotels where you can stay while you continue to scout around. Also, in many rural areas where farmers are trying their hand at small tourism activities, you can find a place to stay for a day or two. That will give you an opportunity to get to know the people better.

Some American expatriates, who have retired semi-permanently in Costa Rica and can afford it, like to maintain two homes: their own in the States in which to stay from the end of March to early November, and another in Costa Rica where they pass out the harsh northern winter. However, most have sold their house in the States and later either bought, built or rented one in their new country.

As a reader of this book you undoubtedly are in the process of examining this country from many angles before deciding where to settle abroad. And I hope the information that follows leads you to eventually choose Costa Rica.

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All texts of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica are copyrighted © by Frank J. Thomas Gallardo and Editorial Texto Costa Rica. We recommend to buy a hard copy of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica.