How is it that expats decide where to live in Costa Rica? It’s all about finding the best balance for your ideal life in the tropics.

You’ve been to the tropics a number of times and loved it. You may have even visited Costa Rica enough times to know that you are settled on the idea that you want to move here. Or maybe you have never been but you’ve heard and seen enough online to know that you definitely want to move to Costa Rica. You love a warm climate, bright, green nature, enchanting wildlife, friendly people, and want to live a revitalizing way of life. But investing in foreign real estate is no joke and you want to choose the exact right place for you to make your new home. So what is it that makes the best fit? Here’s a list of the criteria that we hear from our clients that you can use when deciding on where to choose for your big move to Costa Rica.

Choosing the right climate

Depending on where you choose to live in Costa Rica, you can experience a vastly different quality of life. Some people love the heat, others can’t stand it. No matter your preference, Costa Rica has a climate for you. The narrow country is split in two by a series of mountain ranges where the higher elevation provides cooler temperatures and mountain breezes. This is where you will find all of the big cities in Costa Rica as well as many robust expat enclaves in places like Atenas, Grecia, and San Isidro. The people who live in the central regions enjoy the cooler temperatures and less rain that most North Americans and Europeans are accustomed to and they grow the majority of the food in this country. 

Closer to the coasts you will have much more tropical beach-like climates with lots of dense jungles and rivers. The North Pacific has warm, dry temperatures and tropical dry forest environments. On the Caribbean side there is much more humidity and wet weather for more of the year. And in our South Pacific region, we have warm air coupled with high humidity creating a long rainy season. Those of us who choose this region to live enjoy the six months of afternoon rains and the lush, green environment it creates. You will however notice that the expats who live closer to the coast will center around areas where the mountains meet the sea. We like the higher elevations that provide us with gorgeous ocean views, cooler temperatures, and the ability to grow more varieties of foods. But we Southern Zoners love how the higher humidity makes us feel and the warmer weather means a more minimal wardrobe.

Proximity to preferred activities

The activities you enjoy doing in your everyday life are important to have close at hand and Costa Rica fulfills a lot of wish lists. For some it’s work and an active social life that get them going. These expats want to be closer to a big city with all of the high-end amenities that come with higher populations. Others enjoy a more leisurely pace and want to be in a more tranquil and remote mountain or coastal community. Those coming to Costa Rica with kids can narrow down their options to the areas with the best schooling opportunities and child-friendly recreational activities. Most people who move to Costa Rica want to be close enough to the things they need for everyday basics — good internet, grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, restaurants and other services and almost everywhere in Costa Rica provides for each of those needs in some way. Our South Pacific towns of Dominical, Uvita, and Ojochal are all growing up fast and each area today has access to almost anything you could want for a comfortable life in the tropics. 

Great return on investment

Not everyone who is buying real estate in Costa Rica in 2021 is looking to move here right away. They may not be ready to give up their first world lives where they are still highly connected to their work and social grid. But they do want to secure a place in Costa Rica that they love before they are outpriced and outmatched. Properties have been selling at an unbelievable rate in Costa Ballena in 2021 and property rentals are booked up even in this “low season.” This is not necessarily the case in every region in Costa Rica so those looking for some return on their investment are looking to areas that are experiencing this high volume of sales now. They see that regions like ours are growing quickly and they want to carve out their space in places like Ojochal while there are still ocean view acreage properties available on the market. These people know that they will be able to rent their properties here for a good rate with maximum occupancy because even in a time of minimal international travel, people from all over Costa Rica want to visit regions as beautiful as ours with amazing beaches, verdant green mountains, and pura vida vibes.

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