The dilemma one faces when moving to Costa Rica is that there so many nice places to live. However, most retirees and foreign residents prefer to live in the Central Valley because of the large number of services and entertainment that are available. The Central Valley consists of the area from Cartago west through San José to Cuidad Colón, Puriscal, Atenas, Heredia, Alajuela, Grecia, Palmares, Naranjo, and San Ramón Recently, I had a woman who was a resident of Panama on one of my monthly relocation/retirement tours. I asked why she was taking the tour since she already lived in Panama. She replied, “There are so many beautiful places in Costa Rica from which to choose.” She went on to say that, “Panama offers very few choices for retirees outside of Panama City and Boquete.”
Foreigners and retirees also live in the Central Valley because of its lovely, eternal-spring-like climate. In addition, the Central Valley has the best services and infrastructure, TV options, plenty of shopping and restaurants, the country’s finest public and private hospitals, an international airport, good Internet and cable connections and excellent public transportation. For many people Retirement is a huge change since they find themselves with more free time than before . This will not be a problem if you reside in San José or the nearby suburbs, since there is a large North American community and it is always easy to find something to do to keep busy. A lot of time, money and resources have been put into San José to try and attract more locals as well as tourists and retirees.
A good selection of housing is available in the Central Valley for all tastes and budgets. There are gated communities, high-rise condos, plenty of apartments for renters and even small ranches or fincas as they are called here. A recent boom in the construction in areas like Heredia has created a wide variety of affordable new homes from which to choose. Older homes can also be found here.
Deciding where to live in Costa Rica depends on your personal taste and budget. If you are a high-roller and like to live in an area that closely resembles the States then you will be happier in Escazú or Santa Ana. On the other hand, if you seek a more laid-back lifestyle then Atenas, Puriscal, Grecia or San Ramón might be more to your liking.
On my monthly retirement/relocation tours I visit most of the areas mentioned above in order to help my clients chose the best possible place to reside taking their lifestyle and budget into consideration. My guests actually get a sampling of what it is like to live in Costa Rica on my retirement/relocation tours and meet people who have made the move successfully.