Living in Costa Rica can be exciting and exhausting at the same time. This is why for most people, relocating to a new place needs mental preparation and awareness.
Nevertheless, you need not worry! This piece will talk about everything that the country has and doesn’t. This piece is an absolute guide. It has all you need to know about the country.
Table of Contents
All about living in Costa Rice
Situated in Central America, Costa Rica is covered with lush greenery and vivid landscapes. This country shares borders with Nicaragua and Panama. On its west lies the vast blue Pacific Ocean. At the same time, the waters of the Caribbean Sea wash the east. This country is also one of the most famous tourist spots due to its large coastline.
The presence of astonishing flora and fauna add to its natural beauties. Apart from having numerous volcanoes as residents, this country is also home to quetzal birds and spider monkeys.
The highest volcano of Costa Rica is Cerro Chirripó. The elevation of this place is more than 12500 feet above sea level. This country is also blessed with a high-altitude lake. It is known as Lake Arenal.
According to the latitudinal and longitudinal distance of the country, it stretches for over 19000 square kilometers. You can easily locate this country between 9 degrees and 10 degrees north of the equator on the globe. Therefore, this country has a tropical savanna climate.
Due to this climate, the country experiences moderate temperatures throughout the year. The average temperatures range between low 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The vivid topography and the extensive coastline allow the country to experience severe monsoons.
Despite being a tourist-rich country and experiencing a heavy influx of tourists, this region’s primary and official language is Spanish. English, on the other hand, is a language that people barely know.
Although the people use Spanish to communicate with one another, the pronunciation and tone of the language are very different from the Spanish spoken by people of other countries.
Benefits of living in Costa Rica
Here are the reasons why you should consider living in Costa Rica:
It can give you a lifetime experience if you are ready to be laidback
Costa Rica is immensely renowned for the attitude of its natives. The entire population has a philosophy, ‘pure life’ or Pura Vida. This attitude makes the population lethargic for no reason.
Although visiting here can be a welcome change, staying here may not! Life as a native might get frustrating and often. The attitude lays a huge impact on the minds of people. This can make daily trivia difficult.
For example, consider this scenario. You have a minor power electrical failure in your building, and you assign an electrician. But they do not turn up because of Pura Vida! This results in you spending days without electricity.
Another common phrase prevalent amongst the people is ‘mañana.’ Although it means tomorrow, it never is! The laid-back attitude has sunk into the veins of these people.
But when it comes to serious issues, such as acquiring your visa, it can be troublesome. Processes that can take days may take months. This can make your days difficult and frustrating. However, anger does no good. So relax and enjoy the Pura Vida! You may smile at these memories later.
Value for life
Despite the Pura Vida attitude, the government of this country has a well-functioning healthcare system. This rigid, efficient, and unbiased system is one of the main things that the country provides.
The excellent health care facility has increased the life expectancy of the people to 77 years. Some benefits that the natives receive include healthcare insurance, free periodic health checkups, etc.
A large number of non-governmental organizations that intensely contribute to the healthcare industry have raised the healthcare standards higher than the United States of America itself.
Select your home
The most important decision always accompanies the thought of relocating. Where to stay? Well, to make this decision, it is important to know the places in Costa Rica.
This country can be primarily divided into five zones: Gold Coast, Southern Zone, Central Pacific, Central Valley, and Arenal. You may also choose to stay in the capital of Costa Rica, which is San José. However, if you are looking for some peace of mind, you may want to stay in smaller towns.
Some of these are Uvita, Grecia, Escazú, Tamarindo, Puerto Viejo, Dominical, Ojochal, Atenas and Jacó. Ex-pats and tourists highly recommend these places.
Immense adventure opportunities
If your motto involves both adventure and traveling, living in Costa Rica will be fun. This country has both these key things available in plenty.
The beautiful beaches, volcanoes, wild animals, jungles, and man-made structures make this country immensely beautiful.
The sunset plays like a gorgeous backdrop to any of these sights. No matter where you experience it from, it will surely bewilder you.
In your leisure time, you may go skinny dipping into the sea or soak your skin at one of the plunge pools. However, no matter where you may stay, you can expect nature to surprise you now and then.
You may have heard how Costa Rica is often referred to as the land of fire. This is primarily due to the huge number of active volcanoes in the country.
Being active, these volcanoes erupt rapidly and without any warning. This can significantly impact your daily life and may even cause severe health issues.
The climate is a worrisome issue
Before relocating to Costa Rica, you seriously need to consider the country’s climate, especially if you’re moving from a colder country.
During the summer months, the beachside of the country experiences low heat with high humidity. On the other hand, the center of the country experiences an intensely hot and dry climate.
Monsoons here will bring along floods and incessant downpours. This can be extremely frustrating due to inconvenient situations such as waterlogging and lack of electricity.
Moreover, monsoons can also be slightly dangerous due to other reasons. Many people have had animals, for example, snakes and scorpions, in their houses. Such encounters can often be fatal, especially if you have children at home.
One of the prime benefits of staying in Costa Rica is the low crime rate. The people of this country are kind, honest, and friendly. This warm nature of these people extends towards everyone they come across, especially tourists and ex-pats.
The people are generous and thoughtful. So much so that no matter where you stay, you can be sure to find yourself a kind neighbor. However, not all people are the same, and neither are their situations. This is why, as a fellow ex-pat resident, you may often hear of thieves and other petty stealers who usually pickpockets or snatch and run.
Severe crimes, on the other hand, such as murders, are primarily caused due to property issues. This is why it is advisable not to leave your belongings unattended at any place. Tourists are also advised to refrain from wearing costly jewelry or carry expensive items or accessories.
If you’re traveling to Costa Rica from any state of the United States of America, you’re in for a treat.
You may be aware of how being an American citizen can be highly beneficial to you as a tourist. However, in Costa Rica, it is beneficial due to the opportunities it provides.
The country has a rule according to which citizens from different countries, especially from the United States of America, England, Brazil, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and France, do not require visas.
All people traveling from these countries can reside here as tourists for about three months without a passport or visa. Moreover, these tourists are also liable for other benefits, such as acquiring property that is not available to other travelers.
Being a citizen from any of the above-stated countries can make you an eligible candidate for purchasing properties such as land, houses, apartments, and so on. You need not even be a resident.
Irrespective of your citizenship status, it might be a little troublesome if you are planning to acquire a work visa. This is because of the complicacy of the formalities. To acquire a work visa, you need to prove to the body that the role you have applied for cannot be fulfilled by a present native. Moreover, you will need your employer to sponsor your travel. This might be a tricky job.
As soon as you’re a resident of this country, the common phrase ‘Pura Vida’ will be extremely prevalent in your daily life.
The impact of the attitude allows the government to take better care of its residents. The government makes extra effort to ensure that the people are aware of public holidays, emergency contact numbers, and the communication methods to contact the embassies.
They do that by distributing leaflets and using other forms of advertisement and communication.
The transportation condition
Before relocating to Costa Rica, a major thing that you need to know about is the transportation service.
Every part of the country is well connected through railways and roadways.
The railway service of this country is highly reliable and safe. On the other hand, the roads are not at all appreciated.
This is mainly because the roadways of this country are a tangible mess.
As soon as you move out of your house, you will only find muddy streets and numerous potholes.
This is one of the main reasons due to which fewer people purchase sports cars in Costa Rica.
The frequent rain and floods add to this disaster, further denting the need to have better roads.
The distance between Costa Rica and North America
To reach Chicago with a single-stop flight, you’ll only require six hours and 15 minutes. To reach Miami with a non-stop flight, you can reach in about two hours and 15 minutes.
Similarly, you can simply take a non-stop flight and reach in about five hours and ten minutes if you want to travel to New York.
An intriguing mix of people and culture: Also known as the happiest country globally, Costa Rica is a sophisticated country. The rich culture and historical heritage of this landmass come from its primary natives. These are as follows.
- The Maleki
- The Bribri
- The Brunca
- The Teribe
- The Cabécar
- The Ngöbe
- The Huetar
- The Chorotega
Of these eight groups, seven belong to the Chibchense origin. However, the eighth group, that is The Chorotega of primary people who are of Meso-American origin.
One of the most astonishing facts about this piece of information is that these natives only form two to three percent of the population.
Cost of living in Costa Rica
The cost of living in Costa Rica is pretty cheap and affordable. By spending four to five hundred dollars a month, you can easily acquire an apartment.
If you can extend your budget up to 1800 USD, you will get yourself a fine house. On the other hand, if your budget is over 2000 USD, you can comfortably get yourself a private villa, luxury condo, or a larger house.
Although the cost of accommodation sounds a little costly, other sources of expenditure are much lesser. For example, you can easily cover up other expenses with about 1500 USD. This can include food, transportation, entertainment, etc.
This country also offers plenty of job opportunities for both locals and tourists. According to your work genre and experience, you can easily apply for jobs and acquire them too.
The people are extremely outgoing and supportive in terms of work. If you want some time off your profession, you can also work at local retail stores, coffee shops, libraries, etc. However, you can also find numerous jobs as a teacher or a nanny. If you’re worried that being a tourist or an ex-pat can lower your chances, well, it doesn’t.