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Where to Live in Costa Rica

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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

Choose Your Location Carefully

Probably the best place to live in is the Central Valley with altitudes ranging from 2500 to 4500 feet above sea level and mountains rising all around. Here temperatures are very agreeable and the climate can be equalled to spring in the United States. More than half of the total population of the country is located in this intermountain valley with the four largest cities being San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago. Following are some of the places preferred by foreigners and wealthy nationals.


Just a few miles west of San Jose, this area is very exclusive with the high-priced San Rafael, Palma Mallorca, Bello Horizonte, and Trejos Montealegre neighbourhoods. Some of the best condos, finest homes and restaurants are found here. In fact, there's a stretch called la milla de oro (the mile of gold) which speaks for itself. Nearby is the very exclusive Costa Rica Country Club with its excellent golf course and tennis courts and, of course, its high cost of membership.


Located west of San Rafael de Escazú, in recent years it has undergone very rapid development. There you can find Multiplaza, considered the best mall in the country, as also exclusive stores, fine hotels, and many beautiful homes.

Santa Ana- Ciudad Colón

Farther west of Escazú and Guachipelin, past the El Alto de las Palomas (the Paloma Heights) are first, the town of Santa Ana, located in what is called El Valle del Sol (Sun Valley), and a few more miles further west, the smaller and less developed town of Ciudad Colón. Many foreigners live in this two-town area because of its nice, warmer climate, rural environment and close accessibility to San José.

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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.