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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

The Central Intermountain Valley Described

For practical purposes, though not from a geographer's point of view, the Occidental or Western Central Valley extends northwest to include the towns of Heredia, Alajuela, Grecia, Naranjo, Palmares and ending at San Ramón. Smaller towns and also nice places in which to live are Escazú, Aserrí, San Ignacio de Acosta, Puriscal, Zarcero, Poás, San Rafael de Heredia, Barva, Santa Barbara, San Isidro de Heredia, Santa Ana, and Ciudad Colón.

The Oriental or Eastern Central Valley extends from Ochomogo on the east, passes Cartago (the ancient capita!), Orosi, Cervantes, Juan Viñas and ends at lower altitude Turrialba. In these two lesser valleys within the large Central Intermountain Valley, you will find variations in temperature and amount of rainfall due large part to differences in altitude, position of mountain ranges and prevalence of winds.

The Alto de Ochomogo marks the Continental Divide. Rivers flowing westward empty into the Pacific Ocean; those flowing east go into the Caribbean Sea. For many years there was a big sign pointing to this, and tourists that were taken there, who by spreading their legs, could have one foot on the Pacific side while the other foot rested on the Atlantic side.

The towns of Tierra Blanca, Cot and Pacayas are located on the flanks of Irazú Volcano where large quantities of potatoes and vegetables are grown, many organically. The best dairy herds of the country are to be found in this area. The people in this high altitude have a very white complexion and many exhibit rosy cheeks. Another cool valley is the one where the Los Santos (the saints) is located. They're so named because they have saints' names - San Pablo, San Marcos de Tarrazú and Santa María de Dota which are strung along at a short distance from each other.

Somewhat isolated, the Los Santos is a large coffee growing area with a large production of apples, peaches, avocados and blackberries. A strong trout raising association exports to the USA tons of frozen trout raised in artificial ponds by nearly a hundred small farmers. There is good sports trout fishing in the cool river waters of this region. Nice cool mountain areas north of San Jose are San Rafael, Barva, San Luis and San Isidro, aIl in the Province of Heredia.

If you're a beach lover, your most difficult task will be deciding which of the very many fine and beautiful beaches to choose from for a place to buy a lot, house, or condominium. The advice is to try to visit as many beaches as you can and then take your pick.

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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.