Is anybody still reading? I know I have been neglecting my social media lately but I got caught up in the ‘Pure Life” of Costa Rica. I just spent a 8 days in 18 cities on the Pinellas International Council’s Realtor Trade Mission to Costa Rica. Of course, that meant the usual mad scramble of getting everything at work & home in place the weeks before I left. And as usual, buyers, sellers and friends who I haven’t heard from in months decided that they needed me in those few days before the trip. Arriving at the airport in Liberia,Costa Rica without any sleep for days was really okay because everyone is so friendly and relaxed. SO over a few blogs, I hope to share some photos and notes from my 4th trip to this beautiful country that might be helpful, if you think that you would like to live full-time or purchase a vacation home in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica – Notes IMG_5594

  • Pura Vida means pure life, which means healthy longer life due to clean living in Costa Rica. The actual translation from Spanish means “rich coast”.
  • Costa Rica is filled with incredible rainforests, volcanoes, mountains, beaches and has a tropical climate year round. It is popular with adventurists, surfers, sportsmen and environmentalists.
  • Costa Rica is probably one of the healthiest countries in the world. The United Nations consistently ranks the public health system in the top 20 in the world. All citizens belong to government health insurance system, know as CAJA. For retirees, costing about $50-$65/month.
  • San Jose is the capital is where about half of the population lives.
  • Altitude and GPS on your phone is a priority for living and navigating in Costa Rica, even if they don’t always work. WiFi, Internet and phone service can be spotty due to all of the mountains..
  • Costa Rican’s are known as Ticos (male) and Ticas (female) and the sense of community is so strong that word of mouth travels super fast in the towns, often much faster than through phones or emails.
  • A lot of the cities that are highly advertised are short on water. 8 major areas are not allowed to build at the moment. No building permits allowed for those areas. It is not a lack of water but rather lack of infrastructure in place to provide water access. Ex: Arenal, Excasu
  • Each developer and professional we met highly recommended that we “Trust, but verify” with someone that you know & trust. Check developers reputation. People know everyone here and word of mouth travels fast here.
  • One of the developers we met gives intensive 3 day all-inclusive tour where expats learn what it is like “living” in CR. $1140 for a couple. Answers if moving to Costa Rica is for really you? Questions like should you bring your stuff from the states? Includes info on how to protect your assets. SA corporation, not an LLC there. Single Anonymous = SA.
  • Cars cost double in Costa Rica compared to USA prices . Ex:  KIA normally 18k in USA but about 38K in Costa Rica
  • You have to be an attorney to be a notary. The notary is the only professional that has access to the property records which are all in one city in hand written books for the whole country.
  • Manana means not today. They live in the moment, ex: stop cars in the middle of the street to talk, doesn’t matter if blocking street. Speaking of streets, many of the streets are only dirt or rock, narrow, steep & windy.
  • To live there, it is necessary to come down off the sense of urgency and hurry up that we have.
  • The temp is + or – 10 degrees consistently wherever you are depending on the elevation
  • These photos were taken in the Tamarindo area.

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