With the cost of living skyrocketing in North America and Europe, many people who never would have considered living abroad are now drawn to a Costa Rica retirement, enticed by the gorgeous terrain, the incredible biodiversity, the friendly people, great food, excellent health care, and last but not least, the low cost of living.
If you are wondering where to retire in Costa Rica, it’s good to know that the choices are many and the differences between them are greater than you might expect.
Here are some of the more popular Costa Rica Retirement destinations:
- San Jose. The centrally located capital city of Costa Rica is a good place for a Costa Rica retirement for many reasons, including easy access to world class health care and hospitals, museums, theater, restaurants, music, and more. Because of its central location, travel to other parts of Costa Rica is easy and nothing is terribly far away (no more than a day, usually much less). Retirees who want a more rural feel can still find countryside property in the hills around San Jose with great views and easy access to city conveniences.
- Jaco and Tamarindo. If a Costa Rica retirement means walking barefoot on the beach most days and sipping drinks with friends most evenings, or if you just like to be where the action is, the central Pacific beaches of the Guanacaste province will not disappoint. Prices will be higher (sometimes much, much higher) and you will run into lots of other ex-pats, but the water sports, fishing, surfing, nightlife, and beach culture here is second to none.
- LaFortuna & Lake Arenal. If you dream of owning a little bed and breakfast up in the Northern cloud forests, this just might be your dream Costa Rica retirement destination. Lake Arenal is one the least developed and most beautiful waterfronts left in Costa Rica, and is wedged between two perennial tourist favorites: the Monteverde Cloud Forest to the south and the Mount Arenal volcano and National Park to the North. San Jose is only two hours southeast, so city amenities are not impossibly far off, yet the terrain is exotic and lush and very private.
- Cahuita & Puerto Viejo. If a more Bohemian, Caribbean vibe is more to your taste, you may well fall in love with these two small towns south of Tortuguero National Park on Costa Rica’s eastern seacoast. Lots of surfers are drawn here, and the towns have a rugged, almost pirate sort of flair to them–very casual and sporty. Seafood is readily available, fresh, and delicious, and the food has a Caribbean flair. The area around Cahuita and Puerto Viejo is a retirement destination for adventurers. If you fantasize about being Ernest Hemingway in your old age, this is the place for you.
Wherever you decide to retire in Costa Rica, make sure you consider your own personal needs and tastes, and think about your options realistically. Costa Rica is a wonderful, mostly inexpensive retirement destination, but as in so many things in life, success and careful planning tend to go hand in hand.