All posts by Christopher Howard

The author is a consultant for National Geographic, a columnist for Central America Weekly newspaper, Costa Rica Outdoors magazine and the ARCR bimonthly magazine, El Residente. He also write the perennial best-selling travel/retirement/overseas investment guide book, The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. (IBSN 1881233588). He is the only author of any of the guidebooks about Costa Rica who actually lives there full-time.

More feathers in Costa Rica’s cap

The accolades for Costa Rica just keep coming. First, International Living Magazine named the country the number–one place to retire for 2018. Once again the country was named the happiest in Latin America and one of the most happy places in the world according to the United Nation’s World Happiness Report. According to the 2017 … Continue reading More feathers in Costa Rica’s cap

International Living finally gets it right by selecting Costa Rica as the best place to retire abroad

For many years International Living and its related services have been considered “the source” for those seeking to live or retire abroad. Recently, they published their 26th Annual Global Retirement Index edition that ranks the top 10 countries for living a happier and healthier life. The ranking is done by a team of International Living contributors who cover five … Continue reading International Living finally gets it right by selecting Costa Rica as the best place to retire abroad

Costa Rica (Central Valley) vs Medellín: a difficult comparison

I just read an article posted on the Medellín Guru’s website that compares the city of Medellín, Colombia with Costa Rica. Both are the most desirable relocation destinations in Latin America in my opinion. However,  it very difficult to compare a city with a whole country. That’s like comparing apples and oranges. A much fairer and more … Continue reading Costa Rica (Central Valley) vs Medellín: a difficult comparison

The Christmas season and the beginning of summer usher in many activities for expat retirees in Costa Rica

On Christmas day the annual Zapote fair jump starts the festivities. Famous for its running of the bulls, mechanical rides for the kids, food stands, a multitude of concerts and activities revolving around bulls including tormenting them and then dodging them, all without actually killing them as in many countries in Latin America and Spain. … Continue reading The Christmas season and the beginning of summer usher in many activities for expat retirees in Costa Rica

San José will have its own River Walk much like San Antonio, Texas

For years San José, Costa Rica experienced an exodus of people to the suburbs and urban blight. But things are beginning to change as part an urban renaissance with forgotten areas now starting to blossom. Pedestrian thoroughfares cross the city, and hip neighborhoods like Barrio Amón and Barrio Escalante are drawing people back to the … Continue reading San José will have its own River Walk much like San Antonio, Texas

Helping to change people’s lives again and again

Over the last twenty years I have personally helped 1000s of people relocate to Costa Rica on my monthly tours. It is really fulfilling for me to know that I have introduced many to an exciting lifestyle here in Costa Rica. Granted the country is not for everyone but I have lost count of the … Continue reading Helping to change people’s lives again and again

Expats in Costa Rica most often feel safer than in the U.S.

I have lived in Costa Rica for nearly 40 years and those who relocate here have told me on repeated occasions that they feel safer and more at ease than in the United States. Many Americans are ill-informed and think that some countries in Latin America are in a constant state of war and that … Continue reading Expats in Costa Rica most often feel safer than in the U.S.

Costa Rica’s wonderful people are reason to relocate here

Costa Rica is known internationally for its beauty, abundance of natural wonders, for having peaceful democratic tradition and not having a military. The latter is quite an accomplishment when one looks at the chaotic world panorama. For example, we all know the U.S. Is in shambles with its recurring natural disasters, racial strife, drug epidemic, … Continue reading Costa Rica’s wonderful people are reason to relocate here

Costa Rica is the number 2 expat destination in the world. Why?

Costa Rica was chosen as the second best country to live abroad, according to a survey conducted by the expat website InterNations. The organization polled more than 12,500 of its expat members from 166 different nationalities to get their opinion on their adopted countries. More than 40 factors were evaluated such as quality of life, … Continue reading Costa Rica is the number 2 expat destination in the world. Why?

International Living Erroneously Ranks Latin American Countries for Relocation

Since I have been involved in Latin America for almost 50 years I consider myself more than qualified to correct the country ratings recently released by International Living. I am a Costa Rican citizen and have lived in Mexico and visited every country in Latin America at one time or another. Furthermore, I have graduate … Continue reading International Living Erroneously Ranks Latin American Countries for Relocation

It is now easier that ever to relocate to Costa Rica for the reasons below

Let’s look at the why it is easy for retirees and expats of all ages choose to relocate to Costa Rica. Distance – Costa Rica is conveniently located only a few hours from Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Miami. Costa Rica has had a large expat community for three decades and it is easy to meet … Continue reading It is now easier that ever to relocate to Costa Rica for the reasons below

Exciting new plans for San José’s downtown markets and Old post office

Like many European-style markets where visitors go to shop and take home a piece of the country, there is a new project that promises to transform three downtown icons into the epicenter of tourism and culture. The Borbón Market, Central Market and Coca-Cola bus terminal all will be refurbished as part of a new project … Continue reading Exciting new plans for San José’s downtown markets and Old post office

Why our country is called Costa Rica and the origin of “Pura Vida”

Recently, Costa Rica celebrated its Independence Day on September 15th. Many future expats as well as those who are residing here now do not know how Costa Rica’s name evolved. Originally, it was thought that Christopher Columbus gave the country the name of “Rich Coast,” after seeing the indigenous people’s abundance of gold ornaments. However, … Continue reading Why our country is called Costa Rica and the origin of “Pura Vida”

The biggest error you can make if you choose to relocate to Costa Rica

On my monthly relocation tours I always tell my clients that, “the worst here is far better than the worst in the States.” In fact, after living here for almost 40 years I can categorically state that Costa Rica is not perfect but far better than most places. I have truly had a blessed life … Continue reading The biggest error you can make if you choose to relocate to Costa Rica

Relocation to Costa Rica sounds more appealing than ever

Don’t misinterpret what I say in this article. I am originally from the U.S. and would not be living in Costa Rica if it were not for the opportunities I received for being born a North American. The United States is in trouble. All one has to do is watch news programs from there to … Continue reading Relocation to Costa Rica sounds more appealing than ever

Expat Retirees and Soccer in Costa Rica

Soccer or fútbol as it is called here, is becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. and Canada. This is mainly due to an increased interest among the youth and the number of devastating injuries associated with American-style football. Many retired expats become avid fans  soccer league while living here. Most important matches are televised locally. Although, attending … Continue reading Expat Retirees and Soccer in Costa Rica

Tax Responsibilities for Expat Retirees and Others from the United States

Although I work with and recommend a local expert on U.S. taxes, I have included the article below that is written by another specialist in the field of tax obligations for expats. It is always good to have a second opinion, especially when providing information about such a delicate subject. Retiring may absolve you of … Continue reading Tax Responsibilities for Expat Retirees and Others from the United States

Advice about driving in Costa Rica for expat retirees

Driving in Costa Rica is not for the faint of heart. In fact, as one expat remarked, “driving a car in Costa Rica is at times is like playing a video game.” After living here for almost 40 years I can asure you that my friends comments are partially true. However, with a little practice … Continue reading Advice about driving in Costa Rica for expat retirees

Three of Costa Rica’s Private Hospitals make significant improvements

In my last article I wrote about Costa Rica being the second most affordable country in the world for health care. Only Malaysia tops this country for inexpensive medical care. Access to affordable medical care is extremely important when choosing a country to retire abroad. In the same article I mention that Costa Rica is … Continue reading Three of Costa Rica’s Private Hospitals make significant improvements

Future retirees will be pleased to know that Costa Rica is among the five best countries with affordable health care

A recent article published by International Living praised the quality of medical care in Costa Rica. This comes as no surprise to me since I have experienced Costa Rica’s health care first-hand during the 37 years I have lived in the country. Expat retirees who live here will echo my sentiments. The country has a … Continue reading Future retirees will be pleased to know that Costa Rica is among the five best countries with affordable health care

A Costa Rican Amazon for Retirees

Retired expats and others can enjoy a multitude of natural wonders while living in Costa Rica. Tortuguero National Park is one area that is definitely worth visiting. In fact, tour guides who live in the areas consider it to be the country’s version of the Amazon because of its topography, flora and fauna. The park … Continue reading A Costa Rican Amazon for Retirees

More about yoga for retired expats in Costa Rica

In the past I have written hundreds of articles about how to stay busy and happy in Costa Rica. There are virtually hundreds of activities here from which to choose, so expat retirees have no excuse for being bored. Recently, the United Nations declared June 21st to be International Yoga Day. In honor of this … Continue reading More about yoga for retired expats in Costa Rica

Expats can visit Costa Rica’s Jurassic Park

Please don’t confuse this title with the series of movies which supposedly takes place on an island off the coast of Costa Rica. However, we do have a Jurassic theme park but not with live dinosaurs. About five hours by car from San José tourists and retired expats will find Dino Park. On guided tour … Continue reading Expats can visit Costa Rica’s Jurassic Park

Expats retirees should visit San Jose’s “other” downtown market

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of touring downtown San José is the city’s Central Market or Mercado Central. Most anyone who strolls down Avenida Central is bound to stumble upon the structure since it takes up a whole city block. Guidebooks say a tour to San José would not be complete without visiting this important … Continue reading Expats retirees should visit San Jose’s “other” downtown market