Rohrmoser and La Sabana
In the last two installments of this series I wrote about the Central Valley in general and downtown San José. Now I will move on to other areas in the Central Valley. Remember the cities and towns in the CV are very popular with expats due to the excellent year-round weather and the proximity of good services like hospitals and the variety of housing options.
A lot of expatriates who don’t want to live in the heart of San José but still reside nearby, live around the Sabana Park. The majority live in Sabana Sur (south of the park), Sabana Norte (north of the park) and Rohrmoser which is just west of the park.
La Sabana Metropolitan Park is the country’s biggest and most important urban park. For 44 years it was the country’s international airport. The old control tower is the current art museum. The park was officially inaugurated in 1977 and is covered with tall trees , an artificial lake, jogging trails, an Olympic-size pool, soccer fields, recreational facilities and many more attractions.
The most prominent landmark in the park is its new National Stadium or La Joya (the jewel), as it is called by ticos. The stadium is located at the north-west corner of the park near the entrance to Rohrmoser. China donated the workers and materials to build our new world-class, state-of-the-art soccer stadium which was completed in 2010.
Living in Rohrmoser, is similar to having a home near New York’s Central Park or San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. In fact the area around the park is now being called the Manhattan of Costa Rica because of the large number of high-rise condos which have been built in recent years. Around a half dozen developers have constructed towers with as many as 12 stories to take advantage of the stunning panoramic views of the park and parts of San José and the surrounding mountains.
The areas around Sabana and Rohrmoser are middle to upper class Costa Rican neighborhoods. Its residents are predominantly tico families, along with a handful of foreigners. Several embassies are located here, as is the home of ex-President Oscar Arias.
The main tree-lined street called Rohrmoser Boulevard runs right through the center of Rohrmoser, virtually bisecting it in half. This neighborhood is bordered on the south by the Pavas Highway and just about any type of business you might need is found along this busy thoroughfare as well as the U.S. Embassy to the west.
Excellent international restaurants, boutiques, the Cemaco department store, several small strip malls, an English-language bookstore, fast-food restaurants, upper-end eateries, Más por Menos and Automercado supermarkets, pharmacies, bars, discos, doctor’s and dentists offices, gyms, beauty parlors, cafés, pastry shops, the Plaza Mayor and Plaza Rohrmoser shopping centers are located in and around this upscale neighborhood.
On Saturdays there is a large open-air farmer’s market or feria, located in Pavas, just west of Rohrmoser . On my monthly relocation/retirement tours I always make it a point of stopping at the feria and my guests just love the experience. They just cannot believe the number of exotic tropical fruits and vegetables available year-round in Costa Rica. It also gives them a chance to mingle with the locals and experience a sample the Costa Rican culture.
The area around the Sabana Park and Rohrmoser is made up of homes, apartments, condos, a few businesses and has some lovely smaller neighborhood parks. Rohrmoser has many upscale homes owned by wealthy Costa Ricans and is considered very safe, since a large number of well-guarded foreign embassies are found there. Condo prices start at about $100,000 on the low end, from $100,000 to $250,000 for a mid-range home and $350,000 to $750,000 or more for an upper-end home or high-rise condo.
Rent begins at around $700a month. At one time my family and I lived in Rohrmoser and paid $600 for a three-bedroom, three-bath penthouse apartment with indoor parking and a panoramic view of the mountains. Living there was convenient and close to everything. I used to walk to San José every morning.
Rorhmoser and La Sabana area located is right next to the new Caldera Highway so the closest Central Pacific beaches can be reached in about an hour and a half. Good shopping and dining can be found in upscale Escazú, about ten minutes away.