Costa Rica is a gorgeous, safe and affordable destination for a retirement or second home… if you know where to go.

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The Southern Zone of Costa Rica, located approximately 3 hours south of San Jose’s International airport, just happens to be one of those places. Exotic wildlife, thundering waterfalls and spectacular, forest blanketed mountains descending towards the sparkling Pacific where pristine beaches extend as far the eye can see are all a part of the Southern Zone’s charm. But this is only part of what this area of Costa Rica has to offer…

Personal Wellbeing 

Costa Rica isn’t at the top of the Happiness Index for nothing. Costa Ricans enjoy a slower, laid-back pace of life. The Happiness Index is based on environmental imprint, life expectancy and wellbeing, and although most of Costa Rica can attest to following these models, there’s no question in the Southern Zone. Warm weather, local, organic fruit and vegetables, fresh seafood and plenty to keep busy at outside, this area of Costa Rica encourages healthy living without even trying. Expats living in this area of the country enjoy the fresh air - air pollution being non-existent - with some even claiming that their previous breathing issues (asthma, etc.) are gone altogether!

Natural Beauty

It’s easy to find beach towns where skyscrapers line the coast, well-known fast-food chains dot the main street and hoards of tourists file in and out of souvenir shops. Although this is possible to find in Costa Rica, you’re a good few hours away in the Southern Zone, one of the few untouched corners of this country. Here, you’ll be greeted with secluded beaches, towering mountains, small, personable villages and an abundance of wildlife that outnumbers people.

No Shortage of Amenities

Now, don’t get us wrong. Just because the Southern Zone is tucked in a secluded corner of Costa Rica certainly doesn’t mean you will go without! The difference is that the shops and services are small and personable as opposed to large and sprawling. Small gourmet restaurants, a hair salon, family-run markets, a French deli, coffee shop and boutique hotels are all available and accessible without marring the real feature, Mother Nature’s playground. There are national parks to explore, private beaches to discover and multitudes of trails to hike, birdwatch or ride horseback..

We talk about how secluded and private the Southern Zone is making for affordable real estate and quaint living. These days more people are travelling to the Southern Zone, those looking to escape the common touristy areas of Costa Rica, and those looking for affordable property. As we’ve told you, the latter is still available, but the more developed this area becomes, the higher the prices of property will go. It’s definitely in your best interest to try and get in early.

Article from Where International Magazine - Affordable International Living.  July 2013