By moving to a country like Costa Rica you can retire early

Now a days to retire early most often seems well-nigh impossible. It’s hard enough enough these days just to retire at age 65, let alone retire early. Yet somehow this dream has become a reality for a few who plan for an early retirement. Let’s look at how it can be done. To understand how … Continue reading By moving to a country like Costa Rica you can retire early

Costa Rica’s Philarmonic Orchestra will offer a wide range of concerts in 2014

It was just announced that this orchestra will give a series of concerts featuring pop and rock music form the 1980s and romantic music in Spanish. For instance, some of the rock songs that will be performed are The Wall by Pink Floyd and Toto’s hit, Africa. The Philarmonic Orchestra’s season will begin at the … Continue reading Costa Rica’s Philarmonic Orchestra will offer a wide range of concerts in 2014

A Caribbean Style Hangout for everyone

La Caribeña, located in San José’s suburb of Zapote, recently celebrated its 28th birthday. When the discotheque and restaurant first opened in the mid-1980s It was quite a novelty because of its unique atmosphere. In those days I went there many times with my friends to dance and enjoy the festive ambience. The name of … Continue reading A Caribbean Style Hangout for everyone

Costa Rica does have incredible weather

I arrived in Los Angeles, California on December 15 on business and plan to stay until the 20th before things just get too hectic here. It has been about six or seven years since I last visited . I was raised in L.A. but left right after graduating U.C.L.A. to attend graduate school in the Bay Area.

On this trip to “La La Land” I found the city and especially the freeways to be more crowded than ever. The a day I arrived I was caught in one-huge traffic jam for almost two hours. This is despite the fact that most freeways have at least six lanes in each direction. The good thing about this visit is that the weather has been incredible — mid 80s during the day and the 50s at night. At this time of year in Southern California many of the days are usually sunny and warm, but the temperature can occasionally drop to freezing some nights. I remember spending the night in Pasadena many moons ago to see the the Rose Parade and froze my rear end off until the sun came up.

Southern California probably has the best year-round climate in the U.S. with warm summers and fairly mild winters. Granted Florida had good winter weather but the summers are scorchers.

costa rica spring weather

I was looking at the newspaper today and the following are the daytime and nighttime temperatures in a few of the other places in the U.S. to put things into perspective: Seattle 48/35, Dallas 63/36, Miami 76/63, New York 31/22, Portland 48/31, Chicago 21/18,and Denver 59/28. January usually brings even colder weather to many parts of the country.

When compared to most of the places above Costa Rica has much better year-round weather, especially in the Central Valley where daily temperatures usually hover in the 70s. In Costa Rica the lower the elevation the warmer the weather and the higher the elevation the cooler it is. The Central Valley is at the perfect elevation to enjoy spring-like weather. For this very reason it is the area of choice for most retirees who are escaping the freezing winters and scorching summers of many areas of the U.S. In addition to the country’s sheer beauty, impeccable international image, friendly people, excellent medical care, a lack of a military or terrorism, pura vida lifestyle, myriad of outdoor and indoor activities from which to choose and the other intangibles, Costa Rica’s privileged climate seems to be its main drawing card.

I live in San Francisco de Heredia and do not have air conditioning or heat in my home. On the coolest nights I seldom use more than one blanket. Needles to say my monthly electric bill is very low. Retires on a budget will be happy to know that they can save a lot of money on utilities here.

Interesting places for retirees to visit

I always keep my eyes open for interesting activities, events or places to visit so that I can pass on the information. Recently, I discovered the Centro de Conservación, located in Santa Ana. It is a type of animal refuge for local species. Now you don’t have to travel to the middle of the jungle or rain forest to see some of the wild animals that are found in Costa Rica.

The mini-zoo has a number of animals including jaguars, coyotes, deer as well as other species. A large number of the animals found there have been rescued. For instance, Samba, a female jaguar, was declawed and spent her first years on display at a hotel. Gordillo (fatso), a male jaguar, was confiscated from someone who kept him after his mother was killed by poachers. Sansón, is a another male jaguar that was rescued after his mother had been killed by hunters.

The animals at the complex that have been rescued cannot be released into the wild because they were not raised by their mothers and never learned the necessary skills to fend for themselves and survive in their natal habitat.

Admission to the park is 1700 colones (a little over three dollars) for children and about 2400 colones (five dollars) for those over 12 years of age. To get there go to the intersection where the Red Cross building is located in Santa Ana, travel 400 meters west, and then 200 meters north to the end of the road.

Zoo Ave (bird zoo) is a special zoo where you can see Costa Rica’s native wildlife up close in a safe environment. Founded in the late 1980’s, Zoo Ave’s main mission is to rehabilitate and care for Costa Rica’s injured, orphaned and mistreated wildlife. More of a wildlife refuge than a zoo, the park does not purchase animals. Some of the animals you can observe are: deer, monkeys, iguanas, scarlet macaws, owls and other birds. All were either donated to the zoo or were injured then nursed back to health.

To get there: From the Juan Santamaria International Airport, take the main highway west. When you reach the RECOPE oil tanks, turn right and follow signs to La Garita and Zoo Ave.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about Santuario Lapas El Manantial. It is a project dedicated to the conservation of macaws native to Costa Rica. The main focus of the project is the Scarlet Macaw and the Great Green Macaw, who once flew freely in many areas of Costa Rica. As a result of such practices as the destruction of their native habitat, logging of the Almendro de Montaña trees and the poaching of macaw chicks for sale in the pet trade, the specie’s population become severely reduced. In 1994 Santuario Lapas was founded with the sole purpose of reintroducing of Macaws back into the wild, and to increase their numbers.

The project is located about one half hour north of the city of Puntarenas just off the Pan-American Highway. For more information: (506)88232460 – (506)26615419, Email:,

Laura Chinchilla is three months pregnant by political foe

If you retire in Costa Rica understanding the people’s humor is an importing part of adapting to the culture. When I fist came here 33 years ago many ticos explained to me that everything in Costa Rica is on big vacilón. This term comes from the verb vacilar which means to have fun or enjoy … Continue reading Laura Chinchilla is three months pregnant by political foe

Retirees should know that Spanish Soap Operas are part of the Costa Rican and Latin American Cultures and have their benefits

A telenovela or novela for short or culebrón in slang, is a Spanish language soap opera and much like soccer the opiate of the masses in Latin America. They tend to be very melodramatic with plots that are interwoven with love, infidelity, heroes, villains, treachery, deceit and more elements to keep the plot moving forward. … Continue reading Retirees should know that Spanish Soap Operas are part of the Costa Rican and Latin American Cultures and have their benefits

Be careful you don’t get a “Gato por liebre”

In Spanish the phrase “Meterle or vender gato por liebre” means to get ripped off or gypped. If you walk down San José’s Avenida Central you will scores of vendedores ambulantes or street vendors selling their wares. They usually spread their products out on blankets. Why? For a quick “get away” since what they do … Continue reading Be careful you don’t get a “Gato por liebre”

Another great tour stop for future retirees

In my last article about tour stops and property viewing I mentioned that on my relocation/retirement tours I include a small sampling of properties to give my clients an idea of different types of living situations. On the second day of my Central and South Pacific Beach Tour we visit Portasol, which is an eco-community … Continue reading Another great tour stop for future retirees

34 years of living the pura vida lifestyle in Costa Rica

When I was a college undergraduate I was awarded a scholarship to study in Mexico for a year. As a result I became enamored with the Hispanic culture and decided that I eventually wanted to live somewhere south of the border. It was not until 1980 that I was finally able to realize my dream … Continue reading 34 years of living the pura vida lifestyle in Costa Rica