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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

Rohrmoser - south Sabana - eastern Pavas

In these three residential areas of western San José you'll find some of the most expensive and exclusive homes of Costa Rica, good schools, fine stores, banks arid restaurants. The cost of land here is very high.

Amón, Otoya, Aranjuéz

As the city of San José began its rapid expansion in the early 20th Century, the wealthy importers and coffee growers moved from downtown to these three interconnected districts. Many of the beautiful old homes there are of Victorian in style and have been well preserved. Municipal regulations prohibit tearing them down.

Los Yoses, Barrio Escalante, San Pedro, La Granja, los Pinares, Hacienda Vieja, Curridabat

These eastern San José residential areas are very exclusive and also have expensive beautiful homes. Several universities and excellent stores and restaurants are located nearby.

La Garita, Turrucares, Atenas, Grecia

If you want to live farther out from the big cities, these four are as in the Province of Alajuela will give you a feeling of country living. You'll also see nice country homes and enjoy what is considered to be the best climate of the country.

I can go on and on listing all the beautiful areas good for living, but there are so many that I'll leave that to the real estate people and tourist guides plus the exploration trips you might conduct yourself. The country's physical geography and its privileged climates allow you to take your pick of the area in which you would like to locate. You should look for a place where you can find the temperatures, humidity and other climatic conditions that suit you best yet be close to the services and amenities you need.

For example, if you want an "eternal spring" climate, you should choose the big Central Intermountain Valley, which for many years has been mistakenly called the Meseta Central because it isn't a meseta. Altitudes range from 2000 to 6000 feet above sea level. This Central Valley is described as actually being two in one with the Alto de Ochomogo dividing the two. The Occidental or Western Central Valley goes from Ochomogo past Atenas to the Montes del Aguacate. The Eastern Central Valley extends to Turrialba.

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