Here is what we’ve found to be the top 3 reasons why people are choosing to move to Costa Rica in 2020.

Since the start of the pandemic — and in fact for some years before — Americans’ internet search patterns have been increasingly indicating that they are looking for an escape… with some urgency. This noticeable growth in popularity offers evidence that more Americans are seeking out options for living better beyond the U.S. borders. According to Bambridge Accountants New York, twice as many people (5,816 Americans) relinquished their citizenship in the first half of 2020, compared to the 2,072 who did it during the entirety of 2019.

Though travel restrictions are still in place, eventually those will lift. People searching for information about moving overseas seem to be using this time at home to investigate their options for a life elsewhere. So far, 9 million Americans live outside of the U.S. borders. And there are plenty of reasons for more people to want to expatriate themselves.

Those who want to experience the expat life are searching terms like, “moving out of the U.S.,” “I want to move out of the U.S.,” “moving out of America,” “how to leave America,” and “leaving America.” And those who add in search terms that involve “Costa Rica” are drawn here by the three main reasons for people choosing to move to Costa Rica in 2020.

Ease of Transition

“I wonder what it’s like to live somewhere else?” 

This may be a question that most humans have asked themselves. But those serious about the answer, yet still looking for ease of transition, can find comfort in the potential of a new life in Costa Rica. 

English-speaking, westernized nations like New Zealand and Canada are often at the top of many potential-expat lists. But these countries are relatively tough to move to. Neither is particularly low-cost and both make it difficult to gain residency. So if ease of living and good values are important to you, Costa Rica may be a better option to consider. 

Costa Rica feels like California broke off from North America, headed south, and grew a rainforest. It has been chummy with the US for more than 150 years, making culture shock minimal. More than a million Americans visit the country every year, and Costa Ricans have put those dollars back into infrastructure. There are reliable airports, deluxe highways, and huge conservation districts — all of which make the country easy to get around and easy to enjoy. 

Although Spanish is the official language, with so many expats in Costa Rica, there are pockets dotted all around the country where it’s easy to fit in speaking English. Costa Ballena is one of those pockets, where adventurous expats and tourists have been visiting for decades. Officially, Ojochal is a village of three languages: Spanish, French and English — with many more, like German, Dutch, and Polish, being spoken in smaller but still relevant numbers.

It helps that many expats have already blazed the trails and there is a wealth of information available to those seeking search results for terms like “moving to Costa Rica” and “how to move to Costa Rica.” Well-established expat communities make settling-in easy, answering more specific questions on numerous local, national, and international message boards. Everyone who has received any help when moving to Costa Rica is all too happy to share what they’ve learned along the way with the new tropical pleasure seekers.

If travel time is important (in more open-border times), Costa Rica’s international airports are connected to domestic airports that offer lots of low-cost flights within the country that get you almost anywhere in Costa Ballena within an hour of your arrival. And in better times, travel to Costa Rica has become especially easy with dozens of direct flights making daily connections in Costa Rica’s international airports. This makes it possible to visit family and friends for special occasions all year round.

The U.S. Dollar is widely accepted, credit cards are widely used, and well-known U.S. brands are available. Costa Rica has many modern amenities such as shopping malls and movie theaters and all of the latest technologies are available for purchase. 

For those wanting to bring things from back home, it is easy to ship items into the country. Personal items being imported are deemed tax-free and shipping companies are timely with deliveries.

Three good visa options make it relatively easy to gain residence. And tourists can stay for up to 90 days on a tourist visa, with longer stays fairly easy to arrange. 

Impeccable Quality of Life

“I want to do something great with my retirement.”

“I want to live somewhere beautiful.”

“I want to immerse myself in a new culture and live among the locals.”

For those in tune with this stream of consciousness, Costa Rica is second to none. The sensational natural environments and the laid back vibe of the culture regularly make it appear on the ‘top 10 best’ lists in the world. People quickly understand why it’s not surprising to us that people here report being some of the happiest in the world.

If you like jungle trekking and all of the fauna and flora that comes with it, Costa Rica’s jungles and parks are some of the best and biggest in Central America. Costa Rica is similar in size to West Virginia but with a range of climates and places to live, from seaside villages to mountain towns. Our small, coastal region features a year-round tropical climate. But Costa Rica as a whole has 12 microclimates, many of which can be experienced within an hour’s drive from the coast. 

There are breathtaking jungle trails leading up to the tops of the Talamanca mountain range where colorful wildlife such as butterflies and monkeys are common. And soft, sandy beaches are plentiful along the coasts where on many weekends and public holidays, family and friends love to gather and play.

Known as foodie havens, Ojochal, Uvita and Dominical are home to amazing restaurants that feature many of international flavors representing the diverse population. The fresh air, water, and produce give this tropical wonderland an incredible ambiance for enjoying the simple pleasures of everyday life.

Due to health conditions, people with only years to live can choose to have a new experience and even hope to see improved health. Many retirees have sold most of their belongings, put the rest in storage, and set off on an adventure of a lifetime in Costa Rica. Some of our friends have even attributed remarkable improvements in health to their change to a more laid back lifestyle. Their conditions are still present but because they changed their diet, began exercising, and living with less daily stress, their quality of life has improved.

Affordable Improvements

“Can I improve my standard of living without a salary increase?”

“You’re telling me I buy a home and pay annual property taxes that are half of what it costs here?”

Millions of people have spent decades working their careers in the U.S. and then retired in a foreign country where their wealth will stretch further. They want to diversify their assets and invest in something that gives their bank accounts and their lives more value.

A lower cost of life and newfound work freedom are influencing people to think about other possibilities. The pandemic has created huge financial challenges for millions of people who are looking for good-value places abroad where their dollars will stretch further. New ‘remote working’ flexibility has many people thinking that if they can work from home, home might as well be in the tropics. And in the right spots in Costa Rica, tropical living can prove to be remarkably affordable and filled with value.

Many Americans have found a better quality of life for less by moving to Costa Rica. There are no shortage of spots where a retired couple can live well on $2,000 a month. You’ll find good quality medical care, exciting new traditions, and cultures, great food fresh from the market, engaging expat communities, welcoming locals, and more.

You can also find good value real estate in the less developed but wildly popular South Pacific Costa Rica. Whether you are looking for your dream home or a condo near the beach for rental income, Costa Ballena real estate is a hot commodity that is well worth the hype. The population swells during the North American winter, when Canadian, American, and European “snowbirds” flock to town for the great climate. And with a huge growth in ecotourism, vacation rentals in South Pacific Costa Rica have been tracking significant growth over the last few years — a result of huge government efforts to promote Costa Rica’s sustainable tourism to the world.

Final Thoughts About A Move to Costa Rica

Don’t stop dreaming and planning for your future. The current global crisis won’t last and a great way to be proactive is to think ahead to a better tomorrow. Moving to another country involves personal sacrifice but this is also the path to personal growth. You will gain new insights about what you truly appreciate about life and what you can surely live without. At the very least, it’s easier to move back to the U.S. than it is to move out so there is always an escape plan.

There are many benefits to moving outside the United States and some drawbacks, too. But the actual process is definitely doable; made much easier with a great team of realtors by your side. We are more than just a resource for finding real estate in Costa Rica. We are your ambassadors to a new life and here to answer all of your questions about if a life in Costa Rica might be right for you. Want to know more? Contact us here at any time: