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Adjusting to the Weather and Climate

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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

Topographic Elevation Keeps You Warm or Cold

For most foreigners coming to live in Costa Rica, the climate could mean some sort of immediate discomfort. But generally for them the acclimatization is only a matter of time. In Costa Rica you won't have any trouble adjusting to the climate especially if you decide to locate in the Central Valley whose altitude ranges from about 800 to 3000 meters. Below that, you'll probably feel some discomfort at the heat and humidity; above that you'll note the coolness of the air. Above 2000 meters some persons feel somewhat dizzy. Any discomfort, however, will last no more than three days to a week while your body adjusts.

The good thing about Costa Rica is that distances are not too great. Within an hour's drive from any place within the country you can find the altitude you want. The Central Intermountain Valley, where the 65% of the population lives and works, has temperatures that average from 60 to 80 degrees throughout the year. Homes in the Central Valley don't need air conditioning or heating, thus cutting down on your electricity bills. In higher parts of the Central Valley, the most you need to sleep comfortably is a good blanket; at the lower levels, a sheet is sufficient.

The Central Valley has two sharply defined seasons: dry (summer or verano), which goes from November through the end of April, sometimes into middle May, and the rainy (winter or season which extends from May to November. On a normal year when neither the Niño nor Niña are present, you can expect your first sporadic showers to fall from April 13th to the 25th. In my more than 50 years of living in San Jose, I've observed how Nature has been exceptionally consistent, at least regarding the coming of the first showers of a new rainy season. However, March 2003 was the exception.

Tn late June appears the Veranillo de San Juan which is a break of about a week or more in the rainy season. It's given this name because on June 24 is celebrated the day of Saint John the Baptist. Then about the middle of July there comes the Canícula which is another break in the rainy season lasting for about a week. Later around the middle of August comes another dry spell which is called the second Canícula. From then on normally you can expect plenty of rain through the end of October. However, the months of September and October of 2001 were 25% drier than usual.

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